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

This Golden Flame by Emily Victoria- Book Tour

Hello and welcome to my stop for This Golden Flame by Emily Victoria book tour, organized by Tbr and Beyond tours! Thank you so much for this opportunity!

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

Orphaned and forced to serve her country’s ruling group of scribes, Karis wants nothing more than to find her brother, long ago shipped away. But family bonds don’t matter to the Scriptorium, whose sole focus is unlocking the magic of an ancient automaton army. 

In her search for her brother, Karis does the seemingly impossible—she awakens a hidden automaton. Intelligent, with a conscience of his own, Alix has no idea why he was made. Or why his father—their nation’s greatest traitor—once tried to destroy the automatons. 

Suddenly, the Scriptorium isn’t just trying to control Karis; it’s hunting her. Together with Alix, Karis must find her brother…and the secret that’s held her country in its power for centuries. 

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

Karis is an orphan and she’s forced to serve her country’s ruling group of scribes, but she wants to find her brother, who was taken away from her years ago. But the Scriptorium doesn’t care about bonds and family, its only goal is to discover the magic of the automaton army. When Karis manages to awake a hidden automaton, intelligent and conscious of himself, Alix, both of them are forced to flee, because the Scriptorium is hunting them. Helped by Dane, Karis’ best friend, pirates and rebels, Karis and Alix fight to find her brother, uncover the truth and for freedom.

This Golden Flame is a thrilling and brilliant standalone fantasy. The worldbuilding is intriguing and captivating and the story is told by two POVs, Karis’ and Alix’s and it was really interesting reading about their journey, both physical, from their little island through oceans and psychological.
Karis is a stubborn and brilliant character, made cynical by the brutal world she was forced to grow in and she’s determined to find her brother and to be free with him. It was amazing reading about her journey, both physical and psychological and her growth.
She was taken by the Scriptorium and forced to work for them, but managed to defy their rules, teaching herself the language of runes, curious about the world and fighting to find her lost brother.
Alix, on the other hand, is a peculiar automaton, woken up after centuries, finding everything he’s ever known dead or lost, like his home and memories. Sensitive, intelligent and stubborn, he’s a great character. His relationship with Karis is complex and truly beautiful, if wary at the very beginning.
Karis and Alix grow so much in The Golden Flame, through their experience and their relationships with other characters.
Karis’ relationship with her best friend Dane is intricate and I love how much they help, support and rely on one other, growing up in the Scriptorium and then, when they are forced to flee and make choices, choosing to fight for the freedom and their future and for the truth about their country. It was interesting realizing, through Alix and his memories and the present, how much the story was written by winners and how much the ruling group is hurting people.

I really loved reading this book, not only for the amazing worldbuilding, but also for the characterization. The characters are complex and well written, relatable in their fears, desires and mistakes. Karis, Alix, Dane and Zara are such brilliant characters, it’s impossible not to love them. Like Zara. I love her so much. She’s a great character, sassy and brave and I love reading about her ship, her crew and their fight and rebellion.
I loved that Karis was aromantic and asexual (it’s so rare reading books with aro characters) and I love her growth and her relationship with Alix, Dane and the others. I’ve also loved the cute and romantic moments between side characters. I’ve also loved Matthias with his low vision and cane, his disability never a hinder to his stubborness, bravery and fight.

It’s a story about freedom and the fight for it, about the strength in be oneself and the importance of family and relationships. 

Emily Victoria is a Canadian prairie girl who writes young adult science fiction and fantasy. When not word-smithing, she likes walking her over-excitable dog, drinking far too much tea, and crocheting things she no longer has the space to store.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

I’ve got the chance to interview the author!

  • When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve wanted to be a writer for basically as long as I can remember. When I was really young, my elder sister would write these fairy stories and I was always so amazed of what, at the time, seemed like her stunning writing talent. So as soon as I was old enough, I started writing stories too and I never really stopped.

  • What inspired you to write This Golden Flame?

For me, it really started with the world and the characters. I knew that I wanted my next novel to be set roughly in Ancient Greece and I had this idea where one character was going to be human and the other wasn’t, and they were going to have to figure out how to work together and to trust each other.

  • Could you tell us your writing routine and where and how do you prefer to write? Do you use pens, pencils or pc writing programs?

So I am definitely a morning/afternoon writer. As soon as it gets towards evening, I have a lot harder of a time concentrating on writing, so I do try to write as early in the day as possible. I also like setting aside a solid block of time to write. I’m not really a person who thrives when I can only steal 10 or 15 minutes at a time.

I used to write all of my first drafts longhand in a notebook, but that was just so slow I eventually started writing them on the computer (a fact which I still mourn, because I did love notebook writing). I usually use Scrivener, since I like the way I can subdivide my manuscript into different scenes.

  • Do you like writing while listening to music? If so, do you have a playlist for This Golden Flame?

I do like listening to music while writing. That being said, I listen almost exclusively to instrumental music. I just find that if the music has words, it distracts me while I’m trying to write. So it’s a lot of movie soundtracks (most recently the instrumental tracks from Frozen 2) as well as Lindsey Stirling, because her music is awesome.

  • What character was the most challenging to write and why?

I’m going to say Alix, just because it was really quite challenging writing a nonhuman character. I’m so used to being able to use bodily sensations to describe things. For example, things like noting how the character’s heart pounds when they’re nervous or having their palms go sweaty. And Alix didn’t have any of that. So I had to get a lot more creative when showing his emotions and what he was feeling.

  • You answered a question on Goodreads about the main character being aromantic. Do you have any books or movies or TV series recommendations with aro characters?

You know, I don’t actually know any movies or TV series with aro characters (they’re probably out there—I’m just not aware of them). Even in books, I feel like it is somewhat of a rare thing still. But there are some books out there like Loveless and Tarnished are the Stars.

  • What are you favorite writers and books?

This one’s always so hard to answer! I love basically anything by Victoria Schwab and when I was young, Tamora Pierce was a huge influence for me. Some recent books that I have loved are Belle Révolte and Elatsoe. Both of those books were just so amazing!

  • Could you tell us if you have more books planned in the future and what are you working on?

So my next book coming up is Silver in the Mist and it’s another standalone. It’s set on a divided continent with dying magic and a malevolent force called the Mists. The main character is a spy and she is sent across the border to capture the most powerful magical caster that is left. But things do not go as planned.

Here’s the tour schedule!

And also a giveaway!

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Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Wench by Maxine Kaplan- Book tour by TBR and Beyond Tours

Hello, booklovers! Welcome to my stop for “Wench” by Maxine Kaplan, the book tour organized by TBR and Beyond Tours!

First of all I wanted to thank TBR and Beyond Tours, NetGalley, ABRAMS Kids and Amulet Books, for the chance to read and review this amazing and funny book!

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publishing date: January 19th, 2021

Goodreads Amazon Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Indigo | IndieBound

Content warning: Some magic in the book involves self-harm. 

A funny, fiercely feminist YA epic fantasy—following the adventures of a tavern wench 

Tanya has worked at her tavern since she was able to see over the bar. She broke up her first fight at 11. By the time she was a teenager she knew everything about the place, and she could run it with her eyes closed. She’d never let anyone—whether it be a drunkard or a captain of the queen’s guard—take advantage of her. But when her guardian dies, she might lose it all: the bar, her home, her purpose in life. So she heads out on a quest to petition the queen to keep the tavern in her name—dodging unscrupulous guards, a band of thieves, and a powerful, enchanted feather that seems drawn to her. Fast-paced, magical, and unapologetically feminist, Wench is epic fantasy like you’ve never seen it before. 

“Wench” was an absolutely pleasure to read! Set in a world where magic exists, but only few are able to use it without crazy incidents, the main character is Tanya, who has worked at her tavern since she was a little girl. When her guardian dies and she risks losing everything she’s ever known, she’s determined to do do anything in her power to get her home back. That means travelling to the Capital and petitioning to the King and Queen. Her whole world expands, not only geographically, but also personally, including meetings with unscrupolous and peculiar guards with unknown business, guild of thieves, magicians and a magic feather drawn to her.

This book was so funny and incredible. It’s fast paced and it was so amazing reading about Tanya, whose life was confined to the tavern, adapting and adjusting to everything this crazy journey throws at her. Tanya is a brilliant main character. She learned how to read people, how to use everything for her advantage, how to adapt and when her life is turned upside down, Tanya is unbelievably stubborn and resourceful. Magic and adventure, kidnappings and breathtaking escapes, indipendent mare and feather, this epic fantasy is funny, brilliant and wonderfully written. The characterization is one of the things I loved the most in this book and Tanya is a genuine heroine with her stubborness, smart retorts and abilities. I loved reading about her interactions with…well, basically, everyone, because this book is full of funny and intriguing moments, like the bond between Tanya and Jana, or between Tanya and Rollo and so on. I love Jana and Riley, they are really complex and amazing, Rollo is a captivating character and Greer too.

It’s really amazing reading about a main character so relatable and lifelike and the story is full of plot twists, peculiar magic and many adventures. So I definitely recommend this book to those who love a good epic fantasy with great characters.

Maxine Kaplan was born in Washington, DC. She and her twin sister spent their early childhoods trotting behind their journalist parents as they traveled around the world, eventually settling in Brooklyn, NY. Maxine graduated from Oberlin College in 2007. Following a long stint in the world of publishing, she has worked as a private investigator since 2009. She lives in her adopted hometown of Brooklyn, NY, with her dimwitted, but soulful cat. 

Her first novel The Accidental Bad Girl received a starred review in Publishers Weekly and will be available in paperback January 5, 2021. Her sophomore novel, Wench, is coming in January 19, 2021.  

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Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Cast in firelight by Dana Swift- Book Tour by TBR and Beyond Tours

Hello and Welcome to my stop for the Cast in firelight Book Tour, organized by TBR and beyond Tours. Thank you so much for this opportunity!

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publishing date: January 19th, 2021

Goodreads Amazon Book Depository Barnes & Noble | Indigo | IndieBound

The first book in an epic, heart-pounding fantasy duology about two royal heirs betrothed to be married, but whose loyalties are torn, and a ruthless enemy who threatens their world, perfect for fans of Sabaa Tahir, Hafsah Faizal, and Renée Ahdieh.

Adraa is the royal heir of Belwar, a talented witch on the cusp of taking her royal ceremony test, and a girl who just wants to prove her worth to her people.

Jatin is the royal heir to Naupure, a competitive wizard who’s mastered all nine colors of magic, and a boy anxious to return home for the first time since he was a child.

Together, their arranged marriage will unite two of Wickery’s most powerful kingdoms. But after years of rivalry from afar, Adraa and Jatin only agree on one thing: their reunion will be anything but sweet.

Only, destiny has other plans and with the criminal underbelly of Belwar suddenly making a move for control, their paths cross…and neither realizes who the other is, adopting separate secret identities instead.

Between dodging deathly spells and keeping their true selves hidden, the pair must learn to put their trust in the other if either is to uncover the real threat. Now Wickery’s fate is in the hands of rivals..? Fiancées..? Partners..? Whatever they are, it’s complicated and bound for greatness or destruction.

Thank you so much, Random House Children’s, Delacorte Press and NetGalley, for the chance to read and review of my most anticipated books in 2021!

Adraa is the royal heir of Belwar, she’s a talented witch and she will take her royal cerimony test before all the nine Gods to become a rani. She’s engaged, since she was a child, to Jatin, the royal heir to Naupure, a competitive wizard, able to use all nine colors of magic.
Their relationship isn’t the best. They lived separated, since Jatin was sent abroad to study and Adraa tutored at home, their relationship is made of taunting and competitions and neither of them is enthusiastic to see one other, when, at the start of the book, Jatin comes home.
But while investigating the criminal underground, their paths cross and neither of them realize who the other is, since they are using secret identities. Between magic fights, deadly spells, both Adraa and Jatin keep their real identities secret, but their relationship become more and more intense and important and they will have to trust one other to uncover their truths and a dangerous threat, ready to destroy everything they care for.

Cast in firelight is the first book of a intense and heart-pounding fantasy duology, about two royal heirs betrothed to be married and a ruthless enemy, willing to use and destroy their world.
This book is unbelievably amazing and the worldbuilding is wonderfully crafted. Set in a fantasy world, where people believe in nine gods and some are blessed by their powers, so they can use healing magic, or fighting magic, fire, water, ice and so on. They can cast in nine different colors, each connected to a type of magic and a deity. Jatin can use all kind of magic and Adraa is training to be a worthy leader for her country, by mastering all nine types.
The political situation is pretty complex, since each country has its own beliefs about gods and goddesses, their worth and the people’s worth, causing discriminations and problems. In Belwar and Naupure our main characters have to fight against a dangerous drug, lies and subterfuges and more manipulations, too.

The story is told by Adraa’s and Jatin’s POVs and they are amazing main characters, complex and well written. Adraa is a brilliant young woman, a powerful witch determined to prove her worth to her family and country (and to herself). She’s strong-willed and passionate about the things and people she loves and she’s anxious about her ceremony and to prove herself.
Jatin is a strong wizard, seen by Adraa as an arrogant and cold young man, the truth is much more complex and he’s anxious to return to home after being away for so many years to study, uncertain about his relationship with his own father and confused about that with Adraa. Their relationship is complex, since it was made of taunts and competitions, fighting to surpass one other while they were growing up. Now that they are both adults everything is different and it won’t be easy to get past their first assumptions about one other.

I really loved the way they get to know one other, throught their secret identities, investigating the criminal underworld, fighting with deadly spells, risking their own lives, building their trust. The criminal underground is really intriguing, with its complexity, the magic fights, drugs and mysteries. Wonderful. A mystery woven into a romance and a fantasy novel.

Cast in firelight is full of plot twists, well written main and side characters. I absolutely loved Kalyan, Riya and Prisha and Maharaja Naupure, whose relationship with Adraa is build on trust and affection and the plot touches important themes like discrimination, addiction, drugs, war, murder, violence and lies.

It’s not a “simple” story about two heir, forced into an arranged marriage, but a story about fighting to discover the truth, protect their countries, prove his and her own worth, trust, family and friendship.
I loved reading Cast in firelight and I devoured it in less than a day! The story is intriguing, the characters’ interactions are brilliant and funny and the way they slowly get to know one other is fantastic.

I recommend this book to those who love romance, mystery, wonderfully crafted worldbuilding, new kinds of magic, love, friendship and family.

“Society tell us that as women we need a man to be something. We don’t.”

“Yeah, the sky only turns orange when it’s at peace.”

“Maybe we would be great together- pushing each other to be better in magic and life. Or…we might argue all the time about everything. I can’t tell, and that’s what petrifies me.”

“You’ll be telling me what to do. You love that, Smoke.”

“We are a team. The best team.”

Dana Swift started making up fantasy worlds when she was eleven years old and hasn’t stopped since. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned degrees in English and Advertising. While in college, Dana competed as a saber fencer and learned a thing or two about fighting, parrying and how it feels to fall in love with your sparring partner. She currently lives with said husband in Miami, Florida. 

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US only

One person will win a finished copy of Cast in Firelight. The giveaway ends on January 25th.

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Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

The ballad of Ami Miles by Kristy Dallas Alley- Tbr and beyond Book Tour

Hello and welcome to my stop for “The ballad of Ami Miles” by Kristy Dallas Alley book tour, organizated by Tbr and beyond tour! Thank you so much for this opportunity!

Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Publishing Date: December 1, 2020

Goodreads Amazon Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Indigo | IndieBound

Raised in isolation at Heavenly Shepherd, her family’s trailer-dealership-turned-survival compound, Ami Miles knows that she was lucky to be born into a place of safety after the old world ended and the chaos began. But when her grandfather arranges a marriage to a cold-eyed stranger, she realizes that her “destiny” as one of the few females capable of still bearing children isn’t something she’s ready to face.

With the help of one of her aunts, she flees the only life she’s ever known, and sets off on a quest to find her long-lost mother (and hopefully a mate of her own choosing). But as she journeys, Ami discovers many new things about the world… and about herself.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review. Thank you so much, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group and Swoon Reads, for the chance to read and review it.

TW: racism, homophobia, bigotism

The ballad of Ami Miles is a book about self-discovery and I really liked reading it. Ami is a young girl and her whole world was the compound and everything she knew was through her grandparents’ lessons, through the Bible. How to be a good girl, what her “duty” and “destiny” was, the difference of roles between male and female, how female should act and dress, when to speak and how and so on.
Set in an almost apocalyptic world, where a sickness made almost every woman barren, Amy could be one of the last able to bear children and so, according to her family, it’s her duty to God. But Ami can’t do it, she’s not an animal to be bred, so she runs and her journey to find her mother, who left her when she was a baby, is journey that will open her eyes about the reality and herself, making her question beliefs and everything she thought was true, only because her family said so.

The story is intense, the prose fluid and Ami is a captivating main character, strong, stubborn and determined, willing to learn new things, to grow and face the truth. Because she was so sheltered she is naive and surprised of things other people consider normal and sometimes it was hilarious. I liked the side characters, too, complex and well written. Without spoilering anything, I really loved one of Ami’s aunt and her new friends were amazing.

I loved reading how Ami adapts hersef in this new community, how she grows and changes and finds her place in the world. Maybe the way she was able to question and discard a lifelong set of ideas in a just few days was a bit unlikely (since her mother wasn’t absolutely able in years), but apart from this, I really liked this book.

There are many themes in The ballad of Ami Miles, like racism, homophobia, bigotism. The way the women were treated in Heavenly Sheltered isn’t so far-fetched and unfortunately I could see a world where things like that could happen.

I really liked the queer relationship, even though I found it a bit too rushed, but it’s lovely and the way Ami was able to find her place with family and friends was beautiful and intense.

Overall, this a 4.5 stars book and I definitely recommend it to those who are looking for a dystopian, queer and apocalyptic book.

“You should see yourself! What, ain’t you never heard a woman cuss before? Lord, child, they have kept you in a little glass box all your life, haven’t they?”

“Running away and getting to Lake Point all by myself was the beginning. Being on my own and taking care of myself, making my own choices about the best way to get myself where I needed to be had shown me how strong I really was. I never would have thought I was capable of any of that, but I was. And then being here, meeting all these new people, finding kids my own age who could become friends, seeing how much bigger the world was than I had ever known—it was all just so big! And it all made Heavenly Shepherd look mighty small. How could I fit myself back into that little closed-up life?”

“Do you really think anyone has ever made it all the way through life without making a mistake? Mistakes are in the eye of the beholder, if you ask me. Sometimes we make choices and things don’t work out; that’s true. And then do you know what happens? We just move on. We survive.”

Will I feel like I just found a piece of myself I didn’t even know was missing? Will I feel like I’ll die if he smiles at me and I’ll die if he doesn’t? Will I know because I’ve never felt so much like myself as I do when I’m with him?” Her face had gone from surprise to shock. “Because that’s how I feel with Jessie. And I know, I know, people can change, feelings can change, I get it! But that doesn’t mean these feelings I have right now aren’t real.

Kristy Dallas Alley is a high school librarian in Memphis, Tennessee, where she lives with her husband, four kids, three cats, and an indeterminate number of fish. She studied creative writing at Rhodes College in another lifetime and holds a Master of Science in Instruction and Curriculum Leadership from the University of Memphis. In an ideal world, she would do nothing but sit on a beach and read every single day of her life, but in reality she’s pretty happy reading on her front porch, neglecting the gardens she enthusiastically plants each spring, and cooking huge meals regardless of the number of people around to eat them. The Ballad of Ami Miles is her debut novel.

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Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

MASTER OF ONE by Dani Bennett & Jaida Jones book tour- Tbrandbeyond tours


Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publishing Date: November 10, 2020

Goodreads Amazon Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Indigo | IndieBound

Sinister sorcery. Gallows humor. A queer romance so glorious it could be right out of fae legend itself. Master of One is a fantasy unlike any other.

Rags is a thief—an excellent one. He’s stolen into noble’’s coffers, picked soldier’s pockets, and even liberated a ring or two off the fingers of passersby. Until he’s caught by the Queensguard and forced to find an ancient fae relic for a sadistic royal sorcerer.
But Rags could never have guessed this “relic” would actually be a fae himself—a distractingly handsome, annoyingly perfect, ancient fae prince called Shining Talon. Good thing Rags can think on his toes, because things just get stranger from there…

With the heist and intrigue of Six of Crows and the dark fairy tale feel of The Cruel Prince, this young adult fantasy debut will have readers rooting for a pair of reluctant heroes as they take on a world-ending fae prophecy, a malicious royal plot, and, most dangerously of all, their feelings for each other

Thank you so much, NetGalley, HarperCollins Children’s books and Harperteen for the chance to read this book!

TW: murder, torture, violence, loss of free will, kidnapping, death

Rags is an excellent thief, until he’s caught by the Queensguard and forced to help a sadistic and cruel sorcerer to find an ancient Fae relic, a powerful relic unlike anything they ever knew. But after Rags finds a Fae, a beautiful, powerful prince called Shining Talon, things begin to become more and more dangerous and complex and he finds himself involved into a deeper plot. Between gallows humor, sinister and sadistic magic, prophecies and Fae magic, Rags has to face adventures, new allies and enemies, dangers and, above all, his and Shining Talon’s feelings for each other.

Master of one is an intense, brilliant and funny young adult fantasy debut and it’s unbelievably amazing. Set in a world ruled by a cruel and sinister Queen, Rags’ life is a difficult one, living on the streets, stealing and building his name as a thief. His world expands when he’s thrust into a complex and dangerous situation, forcing him to grow, to work with others, to understand himself and the world around him.

Rags is an unlikely and reluctant hero, fighting with self doubts, fears and using gallows humor to get by and survive the pain and the dangers. He’s a wonderfully relatable character, with his feelings and thoughts.

The story is told, at first, by Rags’ POV, but, as his world expands so the POVs. Each character is skillfully written, well rounded and complex, with their pasts to face, secrets, lies, family to protect, revenge, guilt, remorse and so on. They are relatable in their fierceness, flaws and mistakes. It’s impossible not to love, support and freak out about them and their adventures.

They are introduced slowly, piece by piece, like a puzzle, adding more and more to the initial plot. This is one the things I loved the most about Master of one.

Everything starts with Rags and a mission he’s forced to do by a sinister sorcerer and the dangers he will find, facing it. But slowly the story breathes and expands, including more characters, places and plots, truths that have to be uncovered and faced, secrets and magic.

The worldbuilding is lush and well written, the story set in a world medioeval or similar to that time, but with magic and sorcerers, a cruel queen and enslaved people. There are a lot of dark themes in Master of one, like murder, torture, death, enslaved people, exploitation and cruel and complex characters.

The interactions between characters are amazing and brilliant. The main relationship the reader sees is between Rags and Shining Talon, self deprecating, full of dark humor and doubts the first, a Fae brilliant, honorable and brilliant the second. Their relationship is a slow burn, an achingly beautiful queer romance between them, a chemistry and a yearning intense and lovely to read.

It was amazing reading how much they grow to trust, help and love one other, above all witnessing the growth of Rags, from a lonely and stubborn thief, self-deprecating and sure of being better alone, to someone able to trust, protect and work with others and relying on them.

The magic is another interesting element in this book, both sinister and cruel if used by sorcerers, but full of wonder and beauty when used by the Fae, heartwrenching and so beautiful.

I won’t say anything more about this book, because it’s an experience and everyone should read and love it! So if you love queer romance, yearning, action packed plot, slow burn, suspence and an intriguing worlbuilding this book is perfect for you.

Five stars rating vector icon

There are many reasons you should read Master of one, but here’s my top 5! There could be spoilers ahead, so be careful!

If you love slow burn romance, yearning and two stubborn characters (let’s be honest, one stubborn and self-deprecating character), this book is perfect for you. The relationship between Rags and Shining Talon is amazingly written and complex, the chemistry between them intense and intricate. Their queer love is *chef’s kiss*.

I loved reading about them, following them in their adventures, slowly learning to trust, confide and help one other and open up. They grow up so much in this book and I’m so proud of them. I was freaking out about Rags and Shining Talon since the beginning, smiling at every small interaction and touch. They are perfect together.

While reading Master of one it’s impossible not to laugh or facepalm thanks to Rags dark and gallows humor, able to defusing a tense situation or simply helping getting by and face the dangers. Rags is darkly funny and his interactions with Shining Talon are hilarious. It’s thanks to this kind of humor, these characters move on, trying to see the silver lining in their troubles and situations.

As written above in my review, Master of one has multiple POVs. The story begins with Rags’ and slowly expands, introducing more and more characters. They are intricate, burdened by loss, past traumas, intense feelings and intentions. Like pieces of a broken mirror (pun intended), the reader is able to know them and, through their eyes, to follow and know the whole story, above all when the characters are separated, learning about their feelings and thoughts, doubts and fears.

There are many themes in Master of One and some of them are dark. Master of one deals with murder, torture, enslavement, exploitation, cruelty, loss of free will and consent, using dark and sinister magic.

It also deals with love, yearning, friendship, loyalty, connection, rebellion and trust. These characters, each of them from different social classes, upbringing and even species, are bonded through accidents, fate, adventures and destiny and they have to learn how to rely on, trust and help one other, fighting for the right thing and supporting each other.

The magic used in Master of one is a sinister and cruel one, used by the Queen’s sorcerer’s. In this world of enslaved, dark magic and cruel intentions, the fragments’ and Fae’s magic is in stark contrast, full of beauty, wonder and deeply connection. It was intriguing and captivating starting to learn more about the Fae and their kind of magic, the connections between them, their powers and pasts.

Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett are married co-authors (without wanting to divorce yet) who live in Brooklyn with 8 cats. Danielle is from Victoria, British Columbia, and works freelance as an independent editor, proofreader and plagiarism checker. Jaida is a native New Yorker. Their published work includes four novels from the Volstovic Cycle, in addition to their many twitter rants on intersectional feminism and the NYC subway system. COMING FALL 2020 FROM HARPERTEEN: MASTER OF ONE.

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni, Book preview



A huge thanks to Tbrandbeyond tour for this chance!

The Camelot Betrayal (Camelot Rising #2) by Kiersten White

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Publishing Date: November 10, 2020

The second book in a new fantasy trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White, exploring the nature of self, the inevitable cost of progress, and, of course, magic and romance and betrayal so epic Queen Guinevere remains the most famous queen who never lived.

EVERYTHING IS AS IT SHOULD BE IN CAMELOT: King Arthur is expanding his kingdom’s influence with Queen Guinevere at his side. Yet every night, dreams of darkness and unknowable power plague her.

Guinevere might have accepted her role, but she still cannot find a place for herself in all of it. The closer she gets to Brangien, pining for her lost love Isolde, Lancelot, fighting to prove her worth as Queen’s knight, and Arthur, everything to everyone and thus never quite enough for Guinevere–the more she realizes how empty she is. She has no sense of who she truly was before she was Guinevere. The more she tries to claim herself as queen, the more she wonders if Mordred was right: she doesn’t belong. She never will.

When a rescue goes awry and results in the death of something precious, a devastated Guinevere returns to Camelot to find the greatest threat yet has arrived. Not in the form of the Dark Queen or an invading army, but in the form of the real Guinevere’s younger sister. Is her deception at an end? And who is she really deceiving–Camelot, or herself?

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review. Thank you so much, Random House Children’s and Delacorte Press, for the chance to read and review this book.

In Camelot king Arthur is expanding his kingdom’s influence and queen Guinevere is at his side, but even though she accepted this new role, Guinevere fights against the feeling of not belonging. Plagued by nightmares and lost memories, Guinevere isn’t able to find her place in Camelot, not with her friends, each of them occupied with their own problems and troubles: Brangien pining for her lost love Isolde, Lancelot, fighting to prove her worth as Queen’s knight and Arthur, with his kingdom to deal with and less time for her.
When the younger sister of the real Guinevere comes to Camelot, Guinevere has to struggle with more and more deceptions.

The Camelot Betrayal is the second book in this new fantasy series and it explores magic and its consequences, romance, betrayals, memories and loss.
Like the first installment, The Camelot Betrayal is full of plot twists, magic and questions, with an intense main character who is struggling to understand who she is, what memories are real, what really happened and is happening around her and Camelot.
Hurt and betrayed by Mordred, fascinated and scared by him and by the Lady of the Lake, Guinevere tries to fit into a role made for someone else, wondering what and who she should be. Wife? Sister? Queen? Witch?

While Arthur is busy with politics and the Dark Queen, Guinevere has to deal with missing memories, intrigues, romances and more and more questions about everything. Her character is really complex and relatable in her wondering, in her trying to do the right thing, protecting her loved ones and her city.
Interesting her thoughts about magic and its aftermath, about her own intricate feelings about Arthur and Mordred and Merlin.
The Camelot Betrayal is full of strong female characters, both old and new, characters determined to protect, fight and save and do the right thing.

In a world mixing politics and magic, roles and romance, enemies and allies, The Camelot Betrayal is an intriguing sequel, full of plot twists, sweet and intense moments, magic, love and friendships. 


Here there are my top 5 reason to read The Camelot betrayal.

Like in the first book, the magic used by Guinevere is peculiar and intriguing, made of knot, intricate knots, casting spells to protect her city and the people she loves. Her magic, her art is subtle, but intense and powerful and even though it costs her physically, Guinevere is ready to do anything to save and protect.

In a world of knights and people obsessed over king Arthur and his strength, women are the real protagonists. The Camelot betrayal is feminist, studded with women able to make their own choices, to fight, to love and protect, refusing to be in men’s shadows.

All the women in this book are fierce and determined, brave and stubborn, with their own plans and agency, their own strength and who refuse to stand still and wait for some man to save them.

I loved the presence, more prominent in this second book, of Brangien and Isolde and their love, so sweet and full of understanding and support.

Mordred is a very captivating, complex and deceptive character, his intentions unclear and his plans unknown to anyone.

Merlin. Like many other characters in this series, Merlin’s intentions are unclear and mysterious. It feels like his hands are everywhere, controlling and steering many characters’ fate, their opinions about him complex and not always positive.

Kiersten White is the New York Times bestselling and Bram Stoker award-winning author of the And I Darken trilogy, the Paranormalcy trilogy, The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, Slayer, The Guinevere Deception, and many other novels. Kiersten lives with her family in sunny San Diego, California, where she perpetually lurks in the shadows.

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Giveaway (US Only):

Finished copy of The Camelot Betrayal. The giveaway ends on November 16th.

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Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni


I Hope You’re Listening by Tom Ryan

Genre: Young Adult Mystery

Publishing Date: October 6, 2020


An huge thanks to Netgalley and Albert Whitman & Company for the chance to read this book and to Tbr and beyond for the opportunity of being part of this tour.



In her small town, seventeen-year-old Delia “Dee” Skinner is known as the girl who wasn’t taken. Ten years ago she witnessed the abduction of her best friend, Sibby. And though she told the police everything she remembered, it wasn’t enough. Sibby was never seen again.

At night, Dee deals with her guilt by becoming someone else: the Seeker, the voice behind the popular true crime podcast Radio Silent, which features missing persons cases and works with online sleuths to solve them. Nobody knows Dee’s the Seeker, and she plans to keep it that way.

When another little girl in town goes missing, and the case is linked to Sibby’s disappearance, Dee has a chance to get answers with the help of her virtual detectives and the intriguing new girl at school. But how much of her own story is she willing to reveal in order to uncover the truth?

TW: child kidnapping, cult, drug use, homophobia

“I hope you are listening” is a captivating YA mystery, with a cute queer romance, missing cases, guilt, friendships, intense characters, a story with many plot twists. I enjoyed reading it and my attention was captured right away!

Dee is a really interesting and lifelike character. Her guilt (even though she couldn’t have done anything) was very realistic and the way she found to “deal with it” and to help other people with her podcast is brilliant and moving. It was so eerie and sad reading how many people went missing every years and none knows nothing about them. I loved the way people were trying to solve cases, finding clues, contacting people, digging up and the importance of the Web, if used in the right way.

Dee doesn’t want to get involved directly, she doesn’t want to reveal her identity as the Seeker, but when another girl in her city is missing and there are similarities between this case and Sibby’s, she is forced to deal again with her best friend’s kidnapping. She decides it’s time to get some answers and she starts to investigate, helped by a new girl in town, Sarah.

“I hope you are listening” follows multiple mysteries, intertwining during the whole book: Layla’s disappereance, the kid missing, Sibby’s kidnapping and The Seeker’s cases for the podcast in a very interesting novel. I was captivated right away, following Dee and Sarah looking for clues and answers, investigating and uncovering. The queer romance is very sweet and I loved reading about them together, but even though it’s there, it doesn’t put aside the mysteries and how much Dee grows in her search for the truth, unraveling emotions and burdens she still has.

I really loved reading about Dee and her investigation. She’s stubborn, fierce, quiet and determined and the traumatic event affected her, her family and her friends, changing everything. Dee is not a perfect character, none in this book is and it’s one of the thing I liked the most. They fight, make mistakes, get angry and selfish and they are wonderfully human. Dee and her best friend Burke fight, there are misunderstandings, questions and it’s very natural.

I liked the characterization. As I wrote before, Dee is a wonderful character. Burke is another character I enjoyed reading about, supportive, stubborn and who was also hurt by Sibby’s disappearance. Dee’s parents are supportive and worried this new disappearance could bring their daughter painful memories, while Sarah, the new girl in town, is a welcome novelty in Dee’s life and she’s ready to be there for and help her in this mystery.

The mysteries, some small and some big, are interesting and they captured the reader’s attention, who wants to know what happened to Sibby, what will happen next, following these improvised dectives in their search for the truth and justice.

I really liked this book, I devoured it, but I found some parts a bit unrealistic, but I won’t spoiler anything.

Overall “I hope you are listening” is a 4 stars for me and I recommend this book to those who are looking for a captivating mystery (mysteries), intense and complex characters and a thrilling story.

“But take it from me, even a sad ending is better than no ending at all, and that’s always been my goal: to deliver an ending to as many unfinished stories as possible.”

“Listen up. Let’s try.”

“I just tell stories. I hope that telling them might make up for the story I wasn’t able to tell properly all those years ago. The story that never had an ending.”

“I’ve heard it said that everything good that happens to you wouldn’t have happened but for every bad thing that happened to you before it. But if that’s true, then doesn’t stand it stand to reason that the opposite is true as well?”

“It’s our story” she says. “We should tell it together.”

Tom Ryan is the award winning author of several acclaimed books for young readers. He has been nominated for multiple awards, and was the winner of the 2020 Arthur Ellis Award for Best YA Crime Book. Two of his books were Junior Library Guild selections, and three of his young adult novels, Way to Go, Tag Along, and Keep This to Yourself, were chosen for the ALA Rainbow List, in 2013, 2014 and 2020. He was a 2017 Lambda Literary Fellow in Young Adult Fiction.

Tom, his husband and their dog currently divide their time between Ottawa and Nova Scotia.






Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni



Welcome to my stop for the Hear our voices book tour of this amazing collection of stories!

Thank you so much, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, for the chance to read and review this book!

Vampires never get old is a wonderful collection of short stories and I really loved reading how each author talked about lore and traditions surrounding vampires, from how they are turned, how they feed, how they are born, romance, influence, attraction and so on. It was really empowering reading such diverse characters and vampires and the rep is absolutely fantastic.

We have Latinx, Native, Black, fat, queer, disabled vampires with their stories and strength, families, love, pain, in a intense mix of stories and unforgettable characters.

Seven nights for dying by Tessa Gratton

In the first story the author tackles the issue of how a vampire is born, because there are many stories and rules and they change from story to story, from lore to lore. Being bitten, drinking vampire blood, but there’s alway a transformation from living to undead. In Seven nights for dying our heroine is given a choice and she has seven nights to ponder what to do and what to choose.

It’s a very interesting story, with a bi or pan representation, tackling issues like grief, loss and moving on. Amazing the introduction of Henry, a trans boy character, a very young vampire.

Mirrors, windows and selfies by Mark Oshiro

TW: blood, death, murder

This may be one of my favourite story. Cisco is a peculiar vampire, because he’s the son of two vampires and he shouldn’t exist. Confined at home, forced to follow rules and rules, his only escape is a blog where he writes about his situation and loneliness.

I found really heartbreaking and, weirdly I had to say, relatable, his loneliness and his need to discover more about himself and even about how he looks, since he never saw himself. Mirrors, windows and selfies is about loneliness, finding the strenght to be free and be indipendent, to look for answers and discover oneself. Interesting reading about the traditions surrounding the mirrors and how they are surrounded by superstition and lore.

The house of black sapphire by Dhonielle Clayton

TW: slavery mentioned In this story the MC Bea is a vampire forced to move from her home, when people start whispering about her and her family being vampires. Moving in a new place, full of mysteries she’s eager to discover and truths to uncover, to find love and her own home, The house of black sapphire introduces interesting and captivating characters, like the Shadow Barons and the Eternal women.

I really liked reading about these fierce and powerful Black women and their interesting story. Captivating and curious the issues of the house, how the author reimagined the coffin as an house bonded to vampires and how it burns and regenerates in a different place to protect them. Bea is a strong character, eager to see the world and be indipendent.

The boys from Blood River by Rebecca Roanhorse

TW: bullism, death, murder, loss This story is another of my favourite in this collection and it’s deliciously creepy and atmospheric, set in a small town known after a massacre. Lukas, the MC, is a young teenager, dealing with his mother’s sickness, bullies and his need to get out, to be in another place, to be free and not the loser of the city.

Fascinating is the legend of the song and the boys from Blood river. This story is so captivating, chilling and I loved everything about it.

Senior Year sucks by Julie Murphy

I absolutely loved reading this story. It’s so rare to read a story or a book where a character is fat- positive and so sure of him/her/theirselves. It was really empowering reading about the MC character, Jolene, with her strenght, confidence and power. It was very inspiring. Jolene is the captain of the cheerleader squad and she’s a vampire slayer.

She not the canonically vampire slayer. Usually they are white, muscled and able bodied, but Jolene is another kind of vampire slayer, more relatable and realistic. It was really empowering reading about her, her strength and determination. Her meeting Alma was both funny and intense and I liked reading their interaction and the tension between them. This story left me wanting more about them.

The boy and the bell by Heidi Heiling

TW: misgendering I loved this short story so much. It’s creepy and chilling and it’s set in a cemetery. Will is a young man, a body snatcher and he aims to be a doctor, to study. He’s interested in saving lives, in learning anatomy, but the body he founds it’s not exactly dead. It was so interesting reading about a transgendered MC and his passion and curiosity about medicine, anatomy, how bodies work and how to save lives.

Captivating the observations about the superstitions about how to ensure someone didn’t become a vampire in the grave, like burying someone facedown or decapitating the body or, in the Victorian age, with a bell and a breating tube so if the person was buried alive he/she/they could ask for help.

In kind by Kayla Whaley

TW: caregiver abuse, attempted murder, ableism

In this story Grace, who has a degenerative neuromuscolar disease is almost killed by her own father and saved by Seanan, who turns her into a vampire. This story is very interesting and peculiar, mixed with newspapers’ articles about her “death”. The reader saw Grace’s anger towards his father, who was convinced that killing her would have been a merciful thing, without considering what life meant to Grace.

Interesting is the fact that, even turned, her vampirism didn’t cure her disease, considering how disabilities and chronic illnessess are part of people’s identities. So, even though she’s stronger and her senses are better, her body is still her body. She didn’t lose herself. I really loved the way she remains in her wheelchair, herself, in her body, even though she’s a vampire.

She didn’t want to be fixed, her life meant something for her and it’s so important that she still was true to herself even as undead, showing the mercy others didn’t show to her.

A guidebook for the newly sired desi vampire by Samira Ahmed

TW: MC forcibly turned, colonialism, racism

This short story is one of the most funny and important of the collection. It’s a guidebook for vampires, imagining a system in place in India for people turned into vampires and this one is for someone who was turned against their will by a British tourist. It’s full of unapologetic jokes and puns, teaching the new vampire all about being an undead, what to eat, what will change, slowly easing her/him/their into this new reality. Impressive and strong is the attack against colonialism, against tourists making fun of their foods and words and taking advantage of people.

I loved reading this unapologetic attack against colonizers and how they feel entitled to do certain things. This guidebook is funny, supportive, full of references to the Indian culture and it was really interesting reading it.

Bestiary by Laura Ruby

TW: abusive parents, MC changed against her will, murder (mentioned) I liked reading this story and the observation about animals and vampires, how in the lore vampires are able to transform themselves in bats, or dogs, wolves, fog and so on. The main character, Jude, was turned against her will and now, even though she feels lonely, angry and isolated, she found her place with the animals in the zoo she is now able to understand and care for. Interesting the way she, as vampire, is connected to the animals and she wants to protect them, while navigating the world.

Vampires Never Say Die by Zoraida Córdova & Natalie C. Parker

I really liked reading this story. Brittany is a vampire who, one day, decided to join Instagram to reconnect with things she lost, a place where she can be whomever and whatever she wants to, not a vampire premier in New York with the rules and laws. There she meets and befriends the young Theo. I loved their friendship and connection, how they became closer.

In this story I loved the way Brittany chooses to turn women like her, women who were told they were weak and unworthy, women hungry for the world and how she battles against people, men, who feel entitled to do harm. Interesting is the observation about the vampire’s power of influence people and how in this story Theo and Brittany think about the kind of influence they have on both human and vampire world.

First kill by Victoria “V.E.” Schwab

I absolutely loved this short story! Juliette is a vampire and she was born this way, she wasn’t turned by anyone and she has this cute crush for Calliope, the new girl at her high school. As Juliette, Calliope has secrets, too, because she and her family are hunters. In a game of prey and hunter, First kill is a wonderful story with LGBTQIA+ rep, with two intense characters pining for one other and at the same time in very complex situation of duty, family and first kill. First kills for both of them.

#Ownvoices reflection

I found myself in lots of these stories. These bold, brilliant and brave characters spoke to me in every story. I totally identify myself with Cisco’s loneliness and his desire to see more, to be more in “Mirrors, windows and selfies” by Mark Oshiro. His restlessness and curiosity are really familiar to me.

Moving and brilliant was reading, also, “In kind” by Kayla Whaley and how I got the message every life is worth living, even though people may disagree, they have no right to decide for you. The importance is to be be happy and true to oneself.

But it was “Senior year sucks” by Julie Murphy that really spoke to me. It’s so rare to see a fat positive character, so reading about Jolene who, not only is a cheerleader captain, role movies and tv series give to slim women, but also a vampire slayer was so empowering and brilliant. I loved it so much.

I recommend this book to those who love captivating characters, interesting stories about vampires, love, friendship, dead and undead.