Pubblicato in: Book preview

Camp by Lev A.C. Rosen FFBC Blog Tour

HELLO AND WELCOME TO MY STOP OF THE CAMP BLOG TOUR!

An HUGE thanks to the publisher for sending me an ARC of this wonderfully funny and intense book! Thanks to NetGalley for the digital copy and the FFBC for the chance to be part of this blog tour!

Camp by Lev A.C. Rosen

Publisher: Little, Brown Books For Young Readers

Release date: May 26th 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Conteporary, LGBT, Queer



Randy Kapplehoff loves Camp Outland, a camp for queer kids where he can be himself, with nail polish, rainbow unicorn sheets, surrounded by his friends, doing theater, dancing and acting. But he has this huge crush on Hudson Aaronson-Lim, who is only into masculine guys and doesn’t know he exists.

This year Randy is determined to make Hudson fall in love with him and not just the usual flirt Hudson is famous for. So Randy decides to reinvent himself. Now he’s Del and he’s more masculine, his hair cut, weight lost and he’s ready to give up his passions, theater, dancing, nail polish and so on, to get the boy of his dreams.

But even though his plan seems to work, Randy starts to ask himself how much he’s ready to give up and if Hudson falls in love with him, it’s really love since he’s not himself?

I loved everything about this book, but I’m gonna put some order in my review or I will only rant about it.

I absolutely loved this queer camp. The whole idea of a safe place for queer people, a safe haven where they could be themselves without fearing others’ judgments or worse is fantastic.

I don’t know if a place like that exists, but reading about Camp Outland was like a breath of fresh air. An haven. Amazing.

The cabins, the bonfires, the games, the s’more, the water fight, the color wars, everything was beautiful and, at the same time, educational since there are also history queer classes, where they talked about queer rights and the protests and fights in the past, learning about how queer people were treated in the past and their achievements.

I really loved the author’s writing style. His characters are skillfully written and so realistic. They are alive, well written and well rounded and brimming with life, love and friendship.

The story is told through first person, through Randy’s POV, so the reader can right away connect with him, able to experience his feelings, doubts, joys.

For most of Camp Randy plays a role to win Hudson over and be his boyfriend. His plan means he has to change everything about him, everything that could be seen as feminine and become the perfect butch boyfriend. And, even though he suffers because he’s giving up his passions, he thinks Hudson is worth it.

Randy is a complex main character. He’s funny, sarcastic, sweet, determined. An amazing friend. He’s proud of who he is, he loves himself and his passions, his nail polish, his fans and his theater friends, but at the same time he changes for Hudson, wanting to win him over and then easing him into the real Randy, basically creating a rom-com for the whole camp, where only Hudson doesn’t know anything about it.

Hudson is right away drawn to Randy (as Del) as he’s the type he’s convinced he has to want and desire, the butch boyfriend, interested in sport, with butch clothes and passions.

The reader sees Hudson through Randy’s eyes, this amazing boy able to inspire everyone, convincing them they can be anything they want, they can be special and able to be supportive and proud.

As Randy (and the reader) gets to know him, the real Hudson that becomes more and more complex and layered and through his talking with Randy an internalized homophobia is discovered, because of his parents’ ideas and actions, his relationship with his grandma, his real feelings about being queer.

Hudson’s beliefs are changed throughout the book, thanks to Randy and through talking and self-analysis. I absolutely the way Hudson changes and betters himself, deciding to be more like the himself he wants to be, getting out of his shell, discovering what he likes without fearing others’ judments.

At the same time Randy realizes changing for someone, even temporarily, isn’t worth it and he decided to be sincere and himself, above all when he understand how his acting has hurt his friends.

Randy’s and Hudson’s relationship is sweet, above all when it’s clear they have real feelings for each other and it’s not only sexual and physical attractions.

George and Ashlegh are wonderful and funny characters, George with his fans and jokes and flirt and Ashleigh with her crushes and sarcasm. They are such supportive and amazing friends, ready to be there for Randy and his crazy plan and after. I love this trio. They are unbelievably funny and so sweet.

The other side characters are also amazing, like Brad and his crush for George, Mark and Connie, the counselors, Paz.

One of the things I loved about this book is the queer representation. Randy, George, Brad and Hudson are gay, Ashleigh is demi, Connie is trans, Jordan is non-binary. I also liked that the book talks about sexual exploration and the safety of it, reading about queer people enjoy and discovering themselves, flirting with one other.

It’s pretty rare reading queer sex in book and its normalization (like it should be). I really liked it. Another important thing is the normalization of therapy in the book. Mark talks often of his therapist and the importance of talking and healing.

Beautiful.

Camp is a book that, through a cute comedy and amazing characters, critiques the toxic masculinity in the queer community, the whole idea that there is a right way to be gay. That wearing “feminine” clothes or colors, or doing things usually seen as feminine, like wearing makeup, painting your nails, loving unicorns and so on means being a weak stereotype, means being “wrong”.

Through Hudson the reader is able to see him battling his parents’ ideas of being the “right” gay, that, for them (and many others) means being buff, masculine and like certain things, like certain clothes and sports.

Camp is a hymn to be queer and to love oneself. I love the message that it doesn’t exist a “right” or “wrong” way to be queer and the importance of loving and expressing yourself. It’s a lesson Randy already knows (and has to remember, while becoming again to the real Randy) and Hudson has to learn throughout the book and their relationship, through self-analysis and talking through his feelings.

I loved this message and, at the same time, the book is very realistic. Through Connie’s talk with Randy it’s clear that being oneself and proud is the way things should be, BUT in the outside world it’s not so simple and queer people can be in danger, because there’s still so much hate and homophobia in the world.

Camp is for them a safe haven, a place that was created for them. And it’s beautiful. Camp is a love story about being queer, a book about love and friendship, passions and being proud. An haven and the hope people can create and find place like this in the future. It’s beautiful, funny, heartbreaking and unbelievably cute.

It’s like a warm hug, it’s like home.

I love this smell. I love it every summer. It’s the smell of freedom. Not that stupid kayaking-shirtless-in-a-Viagra-commercial freedom. That’s for straight people. This is different. It’s who-cares-if-your-wrists-are-loose freedom.

But safer and happier don’t always go hand in hand. It’s a choice that a lot of us have to make- when to come out, who to come out to.

You’re all at that age when you’re trying on identies anyway, so I don’t know if you understand what it’s like to be told there’s a right and a wrong way to be queer, and the right way looks just like bein straight, yet probably some of you do.

So maybe the equality we’re fighting for isn’t just marriage or the ability of not be fired from our job for being queer- which is still perfectly legal in over twenty-five states, by the way- but the ability to be whoever we want, jeans, skirts, makeup, heels, beards, whatever, and still be treated like anyone else.

Because theather is who we are. Those identities aren’t different costumes we try on- they’re different facets of us, differents bits of truths. And it takes bravery to show those truths to the outside world.

Terrible things happening to you are never an excuse to do them to someone else.

But what I mean is there’s an out and then there’s the sort of out people don’t want you to be.

There are different degrees of out…and you need to stick to the ones that are safe. Now, what’s safe changes with where you are, and who are with.

“So it’s not really hiding” I say “It’s a role. For an audience of two- your parents. And you only have to play it around them. But you’re still you. You have nail polish on underneath your nails, and eye shadow under your lids and the fiercest eye’s cat…they’re just under everything, waiting to come out. Which you can be with me. With me you alway get to be whomever you want to be.”

I pull his arms tight around me and take a deep breath. I can smell the grass and the trees outside, the hairspray and wood of the theather, the sweat of the actors and Hudson, that smell that I’ve given up to name, but I know is him. All of it blends together and I can see a life extending from it in front of me, a future. Freedom, love…no, it’s better than that. It smells like home.

Lev Rosen is the author of books for all ages. Two for adults: All Men of Genius (Amazon Best of the Month, Audie Award Finalist) and Depth (Amazon Best of the Year, Shamus Award Finalist, Kirkus Best Science Fiction for April). Two middle-grade books: Woundabout (illustrated by his brother, Ellis Rosen), and The Memory Wall. His first Young Adult Novel, Jack of Hearts (and other parts) was an American Library Association Rainbow List Top 10 of 2018. His books have been sold around the world and translated into different languages as well as being featured on many best of the year lists, and nominated for awards. 


Lev is originally from lower Manhattan and now lives in even lower Manhattan, right at the edge, with his husband and very small cat. You can find him online at LevACRosen.com and @LevACRosen

https://fantasticflyingbookclub.blogspot.com/2020/04/tour-schedule-camp-by-lev-ac-rosen.html

AMAZING NEWS!

CAMP has been optioned by HBO Max to be turned into a feature film for the streaming device. Academy Awards winner Dan Jinks (American Beauty, Milk) will produce through his Dan Jinks Company, and Kit Williamson (creator, director, and star of the Emmy-nominated EastSiders) will write the screenplay.

I absolutely recommend this book. It’s sweet, funny and intense and it will stay with you for a very long time. Check it out on goodreads and here’s some links to online shops:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48081823-camp

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2xTMIj7

Bookdepository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Camp-L-C-Rosen/9780241428252?ref=grid-view&qid=1584822573045&sr=1-1

iTunes: https://books.apple.com/gb/book/camp/id1479840904

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/camp-l-c-rosen/1133331865?ean=9780316537759

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/camp-22

Google Books: https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Camp.html?id=LQ6vDwAAQBAJ&redir_esc=y

Prize: Win (1) of (2) copies of CAMP by Lev A. C. Rosen (US Only)

Starts: May 20th 2020

Ends: June 3rd 2020

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d9681b86500/?

So, this is my HUGE review on Camp and if you’re interested in it, if you wanna read it or if you have already, let me know!

There will be another Camp giveaway on my Instagram, if you wanna double your chances to win it!

https://www.instagram.com/lilsbooks/

Pubblicato in: Book preview

Docile by K.M. Szpara ARC review

480 pages

Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Tor.com

SPOILERS AHEAD

There is no consent under capitalism

TW: rape, dubious consent, sexual harassment, drugs, forced drugging, attempted suicide, suicidal thoughts, violence, torture, bdsm

PLOT

In a dystopic society, thanks to the Next of Kin law, people inherit their parents’ debts (if they are married) and they are forced to interact with the Office of Debt Resolution and sell themselves to work their debts. The ODR works with the Dociline, a drug that “helps” debtors to be docile and compliant while working and to erase their memory when under the drug. The Bishops invented the Dociline and the whole debtors’ system use it. In a world where the consent is “optional” and where trillionaires control, through Dociline and the ODR, the life of others, Elisha and Alex struggle to be themself and maintain their soul.

Elisha Wilder’s family is ruined by debt and his mother is under a Dociline state after spending 10 years paying part of her debts. To save his thirteen years old sister from the ODR, from selling herself (usually trillionaries seeks Dociles for sex), Elisha tricks his parents and he registers himself to the ODR, hoping to choose a kind Patron and a short term.

Alexander Bishop the Third works for his family company and he’s forced by his father and the Board to look for a Docile, since he pushed away their choice for him. After refusing the choices prescreened by his father and the Board, Alex is attracted by Elisha and decides to be his Patron, offering him a monthly salary for his family and a full life term. Alex feels the pressure of the society, of his father and his role as CEO and the creation of a new version of Dociline, that he wants to test on Elisha. But when Elisha uses one of the seven Docile rights, refusing to take the drug, Alex is put in a difficult position and he’s forced to show his father, the Board and his influential friends he can train an off-med Docile.

They begin, this way, a complex relationship, where Alex enforces rules upon rules on Elisha, telling him how, when and where to stand and sit, not to ask questions, not to be curious, how to dress, how to eat, molding him into a perfect Docile. And disciplining him with cruel punishments, like putting his knees on rice, when he misbehaves. Slowly, forced to obey because he fears Alex could stop paying his family the salary decided in the contract, Elisha lets him changing him, shaping him into a perfect Docile, making him taking cooking, piano, language lessons and so on.

Bit by bit, in six months, Alex erases his personality, his being Elisha, until Elisha can’t function by himself anymore, doesn’t how how to act or sit or dress and only wants only to please Alex, to make him happy, Elisha suffers from a kind of Stockholm Syndrome.

But Alex’s plan to change Elisha goes both way. When a cruel incident forces him to realize he’s falling in love with him and that he’s hurting him, Alex’s only choice is to get Elisha far away from him, to save him, to let him heal with his family and friends.

But at this stage, their relationship, their bond is too strong and complex. Their feelings, their heartstrings and the consequences of their actions get Alex’s company, his friends, his convictions involved, changing his perception of his world and reality.

Abused, changed and broken Elisha is forced to slowly heal himself, to live his life without Alex, forcing to accept the truth about their relationship, while fighting against a trillionaire system that wants to hurt him and his family, his feelings for Alex and how to be his own person again. Raw and moving is realizing how Elisha was so deep in their relationship, so coerced and controlled he couldn’t recognize the abuse.

Important in the life of Elisha and Alex are the Empower Maryland, an organization that helps poor people, assisting them, providing food and clothes, tutors and school, that fights against the Docile and debtors’ system. They contacts Elisha, when he becomes Alex’s Docile, to help them fight the Bishops’s Dociline. And then, when Alex’s family files a lawsuit against Elisha and his family, they helped him fight and get better.

MY THOUGHTS

Docile is a book full of intense and incredibly complex characters, written skillfully and set in a dystopian society. It’s a story about abuse, power, love, need and desire. Told by two POVs, Elisha’s and Alex’s Docile follows their relationship, how they change and grow up. It’s a book about relationships, how to be true to himself, how to maintain his own personality in a world where debts and need want to change you.

Elisa is one of the most relisient and stubborn characters I’ve ever read. He loves deeply and it’s his love for his family that pushes him to sign the contract with Alex. It’s chilling getting to know him and his personality and seeing it being chipped away by Alex’s rules and impositions.
Elisha is forced by need and fear for his family to sign his contract with Alex and even though there is an undeniable attraction between them, his relationship with Alex is not consensual. He’s expected to have sex with him, he loses his virginity with Alex the first night, to satisfy his desires, sexual or not.

In Elisha’s society Dociles are seen like things and in the upper class society, the trillionaire’s one, with Alex’s friends like Mariah and Dutch, they are sexual doll. During one of the first society events Elisha is raped by Dutch and drugged to have sex with another Docile, and that was completely normal for them.

That Alex has feelings for Elisha, that he cares for him, more that he should have (according to the society’s way), is right away seen as weird, dangerous, not socially acceptable. Elisha is forced to be Alex’s perfect Docile, dressed like Alex says, doing whatever he wanted him to do. Elisha slowly changes, until his family, above all his father, can’t recognize him anymore, can’t believe he’s his own person.
It is moving and awful reading how Elisha loses himself and struggles with rules and feelings, not knowing what he did wrong or how to function without Alex.

When Alex realized how much he hurts Elisha and lets him go to his family, Elisha’s world is destroyed, without him and he has to go through a painful process of reasserting himself, learning again how to ask things, how to like things without Alex’s brainwashing. Reading about this was so raw and moving, how he was helped by the Empower Maryland, by his family and friends.

Alex’s character, as Elisha’s, is complex and intriguing. Pressured by his family, the whole city to prove the effectivness of Dociline, he’s torn between his growing feelings for Elisha and his loyalty to his father, Board and legacy.

For me, it wasn’t easy to see Alex as a villain in Docile. He was shaped by the world he lives in, Alex is the product of a society where Dociles are seen as things and where he, as Bishop, has to act and be a certain way.

But Alex’s action are not justified by his being grown up in a certain way. Throughout the whole book Alex is forced to open his eyes and recognize his mistakes and actions.

While reading Docile it’s impossible not to compare both of them, to see Alex as the villain and Elisha as the victim, the abuser and the abused, the rapist and the raped. But they are so much complex that that. In a game of seduction, love, violence and hurt, they move and they live in a society that shapes them and wants to mold them in certain ways.
Thanks to his relationship with Elisha, Alex begins to understand how his POV was biased, how his being rich and spoiled prevented him to see the truth, even when it regarded his closest friends. Jess and Dutch are Alex’s best friends, they work for the Bishop Labs and both of them were under Dociline, when kids.

Discovering Dutch’s and his Docile Onyx’s true nature and intentions was a surprise for me, so it was reading them helping Elisha get back on his own feet and forcing Alex to see what his family company did to debtors in general and Elisha and his mother in particular, pushing him to open his eyes and recognize his feeling and what he should do. Jess is another complex character, her expertise in Dociline helping Alex and Elisha, her friendship with them and Dylan sweet and sure.

THE RELATIONSHIPS

I love how the characters grow in this book. Alex, from rich and spoiled and blind to others’ suffering and feelings, becomes a more mature version of himself, deciding to free himself from his father’s and the company’s clutches and owning the truth about what he did to Elisha, how he hurt and broke him.
Reading how Alex sees that and at the same time that is ready to make amends, helping him and his mother, denouncing his family’s company was incredible.


Reading about Elisha’s depersonalization was awful and raw, so like reading his slow reasserting his own identity and personality, his indecision, his pain, his attempted suicide, his healing, helped by his family and friends. Every character is complex, flawed and utterly human in his faults, desires and needs. None of them is completely bad or good, but they are in the gray area of humanity, pushed and manipulated by a society and system that want to mold them, where debts create slaves and riches. Alex and Elisha change one other and, above all, Alex’s world and convictions are upturned.

The lawsuit was a brilliant way to force the characters to realize and talk about their own feelings and faults.
I love reading how Dutch tells the truths about Docile, how the trial showed the fault in the Docile’s system and the debtor’s reality, how Elisha decides to own his own truths, admitting to himself and other to have been raped and brainwashedand how Alex realizes his faults and tries to fix it, testing himself with drugs and trying to find an antidote for Elisha’s mother.
I was unbelievably proud when Elisha breaks up with Alex and they both realize it’s the right thing to do in that moment, because they need to heal and fix their relationship. I was proud of both of them owning their truths.
I love reading how Abby, Elisha’s sister is supportive and how Nora, Dylan’s mother and David, Elisha’s father are so close to him, even after the first fights because Elisha couldn’t realize he’s changed.
It was fun and interesting reading about the sex scenes, about the BDSM, about the poliamorous relationships.

I loved reading how Elisha and Alex change during the whole book, how they become different people, owning their own truths and faults. Their relationship is incredibly complex. Their love, born in a not consensual relationship, change both of them. Pushed Alex to realized how much he’s hurting Elisha and to letting him go to his family, understanding how, living with him, wouldn’t help. Elisha, after all he’s been through, still have feelings for Alex, strong ones.

After being so dependent in Alex, reading how Elisha reasserts himself, making his own decisions, asking his own questions, was absolutely amazing. So was reading how Alex owns his mistakes, his faults, his guilt, deciding to give Elisha space, to letting him heal, piece by piece. Their relationship change a lot throughout the book, from owner and owned, abuser and abused, from Elisha being dependent on Alex, to be his own person, again and starts a new relationship with him, without disparities, helping each other and seeing one other as how they really are, without pressures and social impositions.

I loved the ending. It was hopeful and sweet, social justice aside. I loved reading how both Elisha and Alex still have feeling for each other and they are willing to give each other space and time, while deciding to work together and be together.

QUOTES

“I want to be with you- want to be around you without the pressure”

“He kissed me again, and again, parting so slowly I feel dazed. Heady. Elisha leans his forehead against the base of my neck and I rest my chin on his head, the hood long fallen off. When he finally looks at me, he says “I’m not giving up on you, Alexander Bishop.” I don’t answer him, because I want him to feel like he can go on without me if he needs to. He’ll see me soon, anyway. We’re neighbours, now, and I think I promised to open a clinic with him. This isn’t a goodbye. It’s a beginning- one we’ve agreed on. Together.”

CONCLUSION

Docile left me breathless and full of things to say and write. I loved the plot, the characters, the themes. I loved Elisha and Alex and the ending left me so hopeful for them, showing how it’s possible to heal and starts love again even after awful experiences. How it’s important to be true to oneself and do the right thing, how it’s right to fight for what it’s right. Docile is a book with intense and skillfully written themes like abuse, power, consent and love. It’s raw, beautiful, heartbreaking and sexy. It’s impossible not to love Elisha and Alex.

Let me now what do you think! Will you read Docile? Are you excited as I am to have this book in your hands? Comment this post and share your thoughts.

Pubblicato in: Most anticipated

Most anticipated reads

Part 3- May and June

From Googles images

HELLO! Welcome back! My infinite list of the most anticipated reads reachs May and June today! Here’s the books I can’t wait to have in my hands!

Dangerous remedy (Dangerous remedy #1) by Kat Dunn

432 pages

Expected publication: May 5th 2020 by Zephyr

Camille, a revolutionary’s daughter, leads a band of outcasts – a runaway girl, a deserter, an aristocrat in hiding. As the Battalion des Mortes they cheat death, saving those about to meet a bloody end at the blade of Madame La Guillotine. But their latest rescue is not what she seems. The girl’s no aristocrat, but her dark and disturbing powers means both the Royalists and the Revolutionaries want her. But who and what is she?

In these dangerous days, no one can be trusted, everyone is to be feared. As Camille learns the truth, she’s forced to choose between loyalty to those she loves and the future.

This book sounds absolutely amazing and I’ve the earc! I’m so excited to read it! I will post my review closer to the publication date. (goodreads)

The Extraordinaries (The Extraordinaries #1) by T.J. Klune

400 pages

Expected publication: May 5th 2020 by Tor Teen

Some people are extraordinary. Some are just extra. TJ Klune’s YA debut, The Extraordinaries, is a queer coming-of-age story about a fanboy with ADHD and the heroes he loves.

Nick Bell? Not extraordinary. But being the most popular fanfiction writer in the Extraordinaries fandom is a superpower, right?

After a chance encounter with Shadow Star, Nova City’s mightiest hero (and Nick’s biggest crush), Nick sets out to make himself extraordinary. And he’ll do it with or without the reluctant help of Seth Gray, Nick’s best friend (and maybe the love of his life).

Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl meets Marissa Meyer’s Renegades in TJ Klune’s YA debut. (goodreads)

As you may have guessed, I’m a sucker for books with queer themes, so this one is a must read/must have.

Girl, serpent, thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

336 pages

Expected publication: May 12th 2020 by Flatiron Books

A captivating and utterly original fairy tale about a girl cursed to be poisonous to the touch, and who discovers what power might lie in such a curse…

There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it’s not just a story.
As the day of her twin brother’s wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she’s willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man who isn’t afraid of her, whose eyes linger not with fear, but with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison.

Soraya thought she knew her place in the world, but when her choices lead to consequences she never imagined, she begins to question who she is and who she is becoming…human or demon. Princess or monster. (goodreads)

This cover is so gorgeous I’d buy the book even without reading the plot. But I’ve read it and I think this will be spectacular!

The Fascinators by Andrew Eliopulos

304 pages

Expected publication: May 12th 2020 by HarperTee

HarperCollins has acquired Andrew Eliopulos’s YA debut, The Fascinators, pitched as The Raven Boys meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, about an openly gay high school senior in small-town Georgia. He may or may not be in love with his best friend, and his hopes for his last year of school are thrown off course when old secrets, new crushes, and a brush with dark magic threaten his close-knit group of friends. (goodreads)

As I wrote earlier, queer books. But reading this book is like Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda AND The Raven Boys how could I not want to read it?

The ballad of songbird and snakes (The hunger games #0) by Suzanne Collins

540 pages

Expected publication: May 19th 2020 by Scholastic

It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute. The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined — every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute . . . and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes. (goodreads)

OK. So, this one is a conflicted most anticipated reads, because I was convinced this book would have been on Mags or, anyway, past Tributes. Not about Snow. I’m hoping Snow will be written as an unrepentant villain and not like someone forced to become that way for this or traumatic event in his life. I’m a bit tired of villain being “justified”, just because they had a bad childhood or something like that.

Of silver and shadow by Jennifer Gruenke

480 pages

Expected publication: May 26th 2020 by Flux

Ren Kolins is a silver wielder—a dangerous thing to be in the kingdom of Erdis, where magic has been outlawed for a century. Ren is just trying to survive, sticking to a life of petty thievery, card games, and pit fighting to get by. But when a wealthy rebel leader discovers her secret, he offers her a fortune to join his revolution. The caveat: she won’t see a single coin until they overthrow the King.

Behind the castle walls, a brutal group of warriors known as the King’s Children is engaged in a competition: the first to find the rebel leader will be made King’s Fang, the right hand of the King of Erdis. And Adley Farre is hunting down the rebels one by one, torturing her way to Ren and the rebel leader, and the coveted King’s Fang title.

But time is running out for all of them, including the youngest Prince of Erdis, who finds himself pulled into the rebellion. Political tensions have reached a boiling point, and Ren and the rebels must take the throne before war breaks out. (goodreads)

I’ve read the earc of this book and I really liked. I liked the way it is written and…I will say more later in my review, closer to the publication date.

From Istockphoto.com

All of us by A.F. Carter

208 pages

Expected publication: June 2nd 2020 by Mysterious Press

All of Us is a riveting thriller with six compelling protagonists–who all share one body. Though legally she is Carolyn Grand, in practice she is Martha, a homemaker who cooks and cleans for her “family,” Victoria, a put-together people person, Serena, a free spirit, Kirk, a heterosexual man, Eleni, a promiscuous risk-taker, and Tina, a manifestation of what is left of Carolyn after years of childhood sexual abuse. As they jockey for control of their body, all the personalities also work together to avoid being committed to a psychiatric facility. But Carolyn’s tenuous normal is shattered when Hank Grand, the man who abused her and leased her out to pedophiles, is released from prison. Soon he begins stalking her, bringing back painful memories for all of the personalities.

When Hank is murdered in a seedy hotel room, Carolyn is immediately a prime suspect. But the man has other shady dealings, and the burden of proof weighs heavy on the police–especially when, propelled by demons of his own, one of the detectives assigned to the case finds his way into Carolyn’s very solitary life.

The police and the reader are left wondering: are any of Carolyn’s personalities capable of murder? A deeply suspenseful novel, with a truly unique cast of characters. (goodreads)

WOW! This book is really peculiar and I will post my review and the trigger warnings closer to the publication date.

A song of wraiths and ruin (A song of wraiths and ruin #1) by Roseanne A. Brown

480 pages

Expected publication: June 2nd 2020 by Balzer + Bray

For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts Malik’s younger sister, Nadia, as payment into the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal—kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom.
But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny; and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck. Grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic . . . requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition. When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a heart-pounding course to destroy each other. But as attraction flares between them and ancient evils stir, will they be able to see their tasks to the death? (goodreads)

The court of miracles by Kester Grant (Court of miracles #1)

464 pages

Expected publication: June 2nd 2020 by Knopf Children’s

Les Misérables meets Six of Crows in this page-turning adventure as a young thief finds herself going head to head with leaders of Paris’s criminal underground in the wake of the French Revolution.

In the violent urban jungle of an alternate 1828 Paris, the French Revolution has failed and the city is divided between merciless royalty and nine underworld criminal guilds, known as the Court of Miracles. Eponine (Nina) Thénardier is a talented cat burglar and member of the Thieves Guild. Nina’s life is midnight robberies, avoiding her father’s fists, and watching over her naïve adopted sister, Cosette (Ettie). When Ettie attracts the eye of the Tiger–the ruthless lord of the Guild of Flesh–Nina is caught in a desperate race to keep the younger girl safe. Her vow takes her from the city’s dark underbelly to the glittering court of Louis XVII. And it also forces Nina to make a terrible choice–protect Ettie and set off a brutal war between the guilds, or forever lose her sister to the Tiger.

AMAZING! This book will be amazing, I can feel it!

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

352 pages

Expected publication: June 9th 2020 by Swoon Reads

Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.

When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.

However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.

THIS BOOK! It was my first read of 2020 and I’ve been in love ever since. I’m obsessing over this book because it’s TRULY beautiful!

My review is on the blog and I will share it again closer to the publication date.

The damned by Renée Ahdieh

456 pages

Expected publication: June 9th 2020 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Following the events of The Beautiful, Sébastien Saint Germain is now cursed and forever changed. The treaty between the Fallen and the Brotherhood has been broken, and war between the immortals seems imminent. The price of loving Celine was costly. But Celine has also paid a high price for loving Bastien.
Still recovering from injuries sustained during a night she can’t quite remember, her dreams are troubled. And she doesn’t know she has inadvertently set into motion a chain of events that could lead to her demise and unveil a truth about herself she’s not quite ready to learn.

Forces hiding in the shadows have been patiently waiting for this moment for centuries. And just as Bastien and Celine begin to uncover the danger around them, they learn their love could tear them apart. (goodreads)

After THAT ending, I need this book ASAP.

Fragile Remedy by Maria Ingrnde Mora

352 pages

Expected publication: June 16th 2020 by Flux

Sixteen-year-old Nate is a GEM—Genetically Engineered Medi-tissue created by the scientists of Gathos City as a cure for the elite from the fatal lung rot ravaging the population. As a child, he was smuggled out of the laboratory where he was held captive and into the Withers—a quarantined, lawless region. Nate manages to survive by using his engineering skills to become a Tinker, fixing broken tech in exchange for food or a safe place to sleep. When he meets Reed, a kind and fiercely protective boy that makes his heart race, and his misfit gang of scavengers, Nate finds the family he’s always longed for—even if he can’t risk telling them what he is.
But Gathos created a genetic failsafe in their GEMs—a flaw that causes their health to rapidly deteriorate as they age unless they are regularly dosed with medication controlled by Gathos City. As Nate’s health declines, his hard-won freedom is put in jeopardy. Violence erupts across the Withers, his illegal supply of medicine is cut off, and a vicious attack on Reed threatens to expose his secret. With time running out, Nate is left with only two options: work for a shadowy terrorist organization that has the means to keep him alive, or stay — and die — with the boy he loves. (goodreads)

This book is brilliant and I can’t wait to have it in my hands!

Forest of soul (Shamanborn #1) by Lori M. Lee

400 pages

Expected publication: June 23rd 2020 by Page Street Kids

Sirscha Ashwyn comes from nothing, but she’s intent on becoming something. After years of training to become the queen’s next royal spy, her plans are derailed when shamans attack and kill her best friend Saengo.

And then Sirscha, somehow, restores Saengo to life.

Unveiled as the first soulguide in living memory, Sirscha is summoned to the domain of the Spider King. For centuries, he has used his influence over the Dead Wood—an ancient forest possessed by souls—to enforce peace between the kingdoms. Now, with the trees growing wild and untamed, only a soulguide can restrain them. As war looms, Sirscha must master her newly awakened abilities before the trees shatter the brittle peace, or worse, claim Saengo, the friend she would die for. (goodreads)

Here’s my May and June list of my most anticipated reads! Let me know what books you can’t wait to read! Share and follow my blog, if you like it!

Pubblicato in: Book preview

What kind of girl by Alyssa Sheinmel

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.

Trigger warnings about self harm, bulimia, physical and physicological abuse, drug use

What kind of girl is a book about survivors, fighting, love, friendship and abuse. Told by multiple POVs, or I should write, different side of the same two person, the story is narrated by Maya and Junie, her best friend, during the time of one week.

It’s Monday when Maya goes to the principal office with a black eye, denouncing the golden boy of their high school, her boyfriend Mike. It’s her last straw. After three months of abuse, she says it’s enough. He has to stop.

After that the school divide in two parts. Who believe in Maya, rallying against her abuser and demanding the school board to expel him and who can’t side with her, asking why she waited to speak? Why did she stay with him?

Bit by bit the reader finds about the controlling nature of the track star, how Maya was scared of him, how she suffers from bulimia, how she couldn’t confide in her mother or best friend, how she sought the help of the school burn out, Hiram, finding solace and understanding in him.

Maya realizes her relationship with Mike, seeing it clearly, understanding all the times he pulled, pushed and pinched her, how he wanted to controll her.

At the same time the reader gets to know Juniper, Junie, Maya’s best friend, who struggles with anxiety and who finds release in cutting herself, who, without realizing fully, suffers from her parent’s expectations, above all her father, a human rights attorney, who pushed her to fight, to rally, without seeing her sufferings.

In just one week both of their lives are upset, pushing them to make decisions, to stand for themselves, to seek one other, to support each other.

It was interesting reading the two POVs and seeing all their facets. Maya is the girlfriend, the popular girl, the bulimic, the burn out, while June is the anxious girl, the cool girl, the activist, both of them struggling against pressure and expectations, both of them sick and confused.

I appreciate how the author wrote about Maya’s difficulty to talk, to accept her being a survivor, her being abused, her guilty about Mike’s future and scholarship, her confused feelings, her feeling guilty because she couldn’t talk, because controlled and scared. Her accepting this wasn’t her fault.

I appreciate Junie’s side, too, reading about her anxiety, her need to cut, her need to please her parents, to be controlled, to be cool, her fear that loved ones could think her a basket case, above all her parents, Maya and Tess.

I liked reading about Tess, how Junie decided to be open to her, be sincere about who she is and the open ending. I really loved the open ending. It wasn’t disappointing. I felt that, one way or another, I would have felt hurt or disappointed, but leaving it like that was really smart.

I liked this story, the writing style, it’s a quick read, even though the book is almost 400 pages, because the reader needs to know more, needs to know what happened, what happens, how the main characters will react to this or that and so on.

Compelling, interesting and captivating.

Let me know if you like my review, or if you would read this book.

Follow me and I’ll follow back

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Blog tour Highfire by Eoin Colfer

Welcome to my stop of the blog tour for Eoin Colfer’s first adult fantasy novel, Highfire, which comes out on January 28th!

A huge thanks to Milly Reid for my shiny copy of Highfire and to the publishers! I’m thrilled to be part of this blog tour!

Synopsis:

From the internationally bestselling author of the Artemis Fowl series: Eoin Colfer’s first adult fantasy novel is a hilarious, high-octane adventure about a vodka-drinking, Flashdance-loving dragon who’s been hiding out from the world – and potential torch-carrying mobs – in a Louisiana bayou . . . until his peaceful world’s turned upside down by a well-intentioned but wild Cajun tearaway and the crooked (and heavily armed) law officer who wants him dead.

Squib Moreau may be swamp-wild, but his intentions are (generally) good: he really wants to be a supportive son to his hard-working momma Elodie. But sometimes life gets in the way – like when Fake Daddy walked out on them leaving a ton of debt, or when crooked Constable Regence Hooke got to thinking pretty Elodie Moreau was just the gal for him…

An apprenticeship with the local moonshine runner, servicing the bayou, looks like the only way to pay off the family debts and maybe get Squib and his momma a place in town, far from Constable Hooke’s unwanted courtship and Fake Daddy’s reputation. Unfortunately for Squib, Hooke has his own eye on that very same stretch of bayou – and neither of them have taken into account the fire-breathing dragon hiding out in the Louisiana swamp…

For Squib Moreau, Regence Hooke and Vern, aka Lord Highfire of Highfire Eyrie, life is never going to be the same again

I’ve always been a fan of Eoin Colfer’s books, since I grew up with Artemis Fowl, so I was over the moon when Netgalley accepted my request for an earc and then when I was asked to be part of my first blog tour.

Told by three POVs (Vern’s, Squib’s and Hooke’s), Highfire is a very peculiar book, full of adventure, action and funny moments. Like in his other books, Colfer’s writing style is brilliant, full of sarcasm, jokes and foreshadowing.

“And as is so often the case, things would’ve turned out a whole lot better if the kid could’ve kept it in his pants.”

Highfire’s characters are brilliantly written and relatable. Squib is a fifteen years old, who finds himself involved in something bigger than he could have ever thought, running from a crooked cop, with a dragon as boss. His thoughts and inner monologue are hilarious and his character is multi-dimensional and realistic. Through his POV the reader can see how deeply he loves his mother, how loyal and stubborn he is. And unfortunate. He means well, even though he finds himself into trouble everytime.

His thoughts are consistent with his age, still able to believe in extraordinary things like a talking dragon and to accept this turn of events, without thinking himself crazy. Even though he’s in a difficult situation (his Momma works hard, he works three jobs, his Daddies left them in trouble), Squib is brilliant, sassy, sarcastic and able to see the world for what it is and act accordingly, but without losing his hopes and dreams.

Reading through Vern’s eyes, the reader is able to experience his loneliness, his depression. He remembers, melancholically, an Era when dragon were feared and he mourns his family, killed by humans, whom he distrusts and hates. Vern hides from them and their phones recording and weapons and from what would happen if they discover his existence. Convinced to be the last dragon alive, he would love to live peacefully watching TV cable and talking only with Waxman, his mogwai and oldest friend. But then Squib changes his entire existence.

Vern is funny, sarcastic and thoughtful. Even though he has fantasy characteristics, such as flying, hording riches, fire, Colfer created a new dragon, talking about his physical traits like his powerful sense of smell, the oil he needs to use his fire, his fat, his cells, the proprieties of his fluids and excrements, his penis and the importance and message of the balls if they are in or out. It was unbelievably funny ( and sometimes gross) reading about the physical characteristics of both dragon’s and mogwai’s anatomies.

Even though he is a dragon, a mystical creature, Vern is absolutely relatable and “humanized” with this thoughts and fears, his prejudices, his depression and blues and loneliness. I’ve never felt so close to a dragon before.

The third POV is Hooke’s, who is crooked, arrogant and psycothic. Sadist. From his background the reader learns he had a difficult childhood, with his parents, above all his father, but it’s impossible to feel sympathy for him, because Hooke is unrepentant. He’s cruel, greedy, patronizing, calling everyone “son”, feeling superior. In his thoughts and inner monologue it’s clear the influence of his father and the church. His lust for Elodie and hatred for Squib are very clear. It was interesting seeing his thoughts, because he’s the perfect villain in the story, ready to do anything to get what he wants. He represents, incarnates the cruel human Vern is hiding from, with his violence and plans to exploit or kill.

The relationship between Vern and Squib is one of the thing I loved the most in Highfire. Rocky and suspicious at first, slowly they get to know each other, until they are at ease with one other. Vern is cinical and bitter, but funny and Squib is sassy and brilliant, even though many didn’t know that. I really liked reading their banter. They would do (and do) anything for each other. It was fascinating reading how much they and their relationship grow throughout the book, until they become friends. Vern and Squib are captivating main characters, very intruing.

The side characters were brilliantly written, too. I liked a lot the relationship between Vern and Waxman, full of insults, witty and sarcastic banter and good-natured bickering. I liked how Squib listened to Waxman’s advices and thoughts, how he was an important friend in his life. Elodie Moreau and Bodi Irwin were amazing characters, both of them sassy and protective of Squib first and then of Vern, too. I’d loved to read more about them.

There are a lot of reference to music and TV shows in Highfire, from Flashdance (Vern really liked that movie, above all a particular scene), Game of Thrones (Vern DIDN’T like how the dragons were portayed), Lord of the Rings, Batman and so on.

I loved reading Highfire. I laughed so hard, I was moved by many moments and involved in the action. It was impossible not to love these characters, cheering for Squib and Vern, getting angry at Hooke, laughing at Vern bantering with Waxman, Squib and Bodi.

I really enjoyed reading Highfire, a very peculiar book, a mix between a comedy, a thriller, a noir with unforgettable characters, full of funny, moving and deep moments, able to captivate the reader since the first page into an emotional and brilliant rollercoaster.

Trigger warnings: suicide, attempted suicide, death, gore, mutilation, rape jokes, depression, kidnapping, drugs, weapons.

#Highfire           @JoFletcherBOoks                        @EoinColfer

Pubblicato in: Most anticipated

The most anticipated reads

Part 2

From google images

The kingdom of back by Marie Lu

336 pages

Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Two siblings. Two brilliant talents. But only one Mozart.

Born with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish–to be remembered forever. But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she’ll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. She is a young woman in 18th century Europe, and that means composing is forbidden to her. She will perform only until she reaches a marriageable age–her tyrannical father has made that much clear.

And as Nannerl’s hope grows dimmer with each passing year, the talents of her beloved younger brother, Wolfgang, only seem to shine brighter. His brilliance begins to eclipse her own, until one day a mysterious stranger from a magical land appears with an irresistible offer. He has the power to make her wish come true–but his help may cost her everything.
In her first work of historical fiction, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu spins a lush, lyrically-told story of music, magic, and the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister. (goodreads)

The kingdom of back is an evocative and intense tale of love, magic, music and family. The review will be posted closer to the publication date.

Docile by K. M. Szpara

480 pages

Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Tor.com

Docile is a science fiction parable about love and sex, wealth and debt, abuse and power, a challenging tour de force that at turns seduces and startles.

To be a Docile is to be kept, body and soul, for the uses of the owner of your contract. To be a Docile is to forget, to disappear, to hide inside your body from the horrors of your service. To be a Docile is to sell yourself to pay your parents’ debts and buy your children’s future.
Elisha Wilder’s family has been ruined by debt, handed down to them from previous generations. His mother never recovered from the Dociline she took during her term as a Docile, so when Elisha decides to try and erase the family’s debt himself, he swears he will never take the drug that took his mother from him. Too bad his contract has been purchased by Alexander Bishop III, whose ultra-rich family is the brains (and money) behind Dociline and the entire Office of Debt Resolution. When Elisha refuses Dociline, Alex refuses to believe that his family’s crowning achievement could have any negative side effects—and is determined to turn Elisha into the perfect Docile without it. (goodreads)

Docile is a sexy, moving and wonderful book about consent, love, sacrifice and justice. The review and the trigger warnings will be posted closer to the publication date.

House of earth and blood (Crescent city 1#) by Sarah J. Maas

816 pages

Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Bloomsbury Publishing

Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.

Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.

As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.

With unforgettable characters, sizzling romance, and page-turning suspense, this richly inventive new fantasy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas delves into the heartache of loss, the price of freedom—and the power of love. (goodreads)

For me Sarah J. Maas is one of the most talented writer and I love every book she wrote, so I’m absolutely excited about this one.

Havenfall by Sara Holland

320 pages

Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Bloomsbury YA

A safe haven between four realms. The girl sworn to protect it–at any cost.

Hidden deep in the mountains of Colorado lies the Inn at Havenfall, a sanctuary that connects ancient worlds–each with their own magic–together. For generations, the inn has protected all who seek refuge within its walls, and any who disrupt the peace can never return.

For Maddie Morrow, summers at the inn are more than a chance to experience this magic first-hand. Havenfall is an escape from reality, where her mother sits on death row accused of murdering Maddie’s brother. It’s where Maddie fell in love with handsome Fiorden soldier Brekken. And it’s where one day she hopes to inherit the role of Innkeeper from her beloved uncle.

But this summer, the impossible happens–a dead body is found, shattering everything the inn stands for. With Brekken missing, her uncle gravely injured, and a dangerous creature on the loose, Maddie suddenly finds herself responsible for the safety of everyone in Havenfall. She’ll do anything to uncover the truth, even if it means working together with an alluring new staffer Taya, who seems to know more than she’s letting on. As dark secrets are revealed about the inn itself, one thing becomes clear to Maddie–no one can be trusted, and no one is safe… (goodreads)

The review will be posted closer to the publication date.

Only most devastated by Sophie Gonzales

288 pages

Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Wednesday Books

Summer love…gone so fast.

Ollie and Will were meant to be a summer fling—casual, fun, and done. But when Ollie’s aunt’s health takes a turn for the worse and his family decides to stay in North Carolina to take care of her, Ollie lets himself hope this fling can grow to something more. Dreams that are crushed when he sees Will at a school party and finds that the sweet and affectionate (and comfortably queer) guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High.

Will is more than a little shocked to see Ollie the evening of that first day of school. While his summer was spent being very much himself, back at school he’s simply known as one of the varsity basketball guys. Now Will is faced with the biggest challenge of his life: follow his heart and risk his friendships, or stay firmly in the closet and lose what he loves most. (goodreads)

One of my most anticipated is this lgbt book because “SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA meets CLUELESS in this boy-meets-boy spin on Grease“.

I mean, it possible NOT to be excited? Not for me.

The midnight lie by Marie Rutkoski

368 pages

Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Where Nirrim lives, crime abounds, a harsh tribunal rules, and society’s pleasures are reserved for the High Kith. Life in the Ward is grim and punishing. People of her low status are forbidden from sampling sweets or wearing colors. You either follow the rules, or pay a tithe and suffer the consequences.
Nirrim keeps her head down and a dangerous secret close to her chest.
But then she encounters Sid, a rakish traveler from far away who whispers rumors that the High Caste possesses magic. Sid tempts Nirrim to seek that magic for herself. But to do that, Nirrim must surrender her old life. She must place her trust in this sly stranger who asks, above all, not to be trusted.

Set in the world of the New York Times–bestselling Winner’s Trilogy, beloved author Marie Rutkoski returns with an epic LGBTQ romantic fantasy about learning to free ourselves from the lies others tell us—and the lies we tell ourselves. (goodreads)

Another lgbt book, this time a fantasy and it seems absolutely fantastic.

Wicked as you wish by Rin Chupeco (A hundred names for magic 1#)

432 pages

Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Sourcebooks Fire

Tala Warnock has little use for magic – as a descendant of Maria Makiling, the legendary Filipina heroine, she negates spells, often by accident. But her family’s old ties to the country of Avalon (frozen, bespelled, and unreachable for almost 12 years) soon finds them guarding its last prince from those who would use his kingdom’s magic for insidious ends.

And with the rise of dangerous spelltech in the Royal States of America; the appearance of the firebird, Avalon’s deadliest weapon, at her doorstep; and the re-emergence of the Snow Queen, powerful but long thought dead, who wants nothing more than to take the firebird’s magic for her own – Tala’s life is about to get even more complicated… (goodreads)

March 3rd is FULL of new releases. So many amazing book will be published!

My dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

384 pages

Expected publication: March 10th 2020 by William Morrow

Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer.
2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.
2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may be far different from what she has always believed?

Alternating between Vanessa’s present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of RoomMy Dark Vanessa is an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself. (goodreads)

My dark Vanessa is one of the most hard (because of its themes) and intense book I’ve ever read. The review and the trigger warnings will be posted closer to the publication date.

The electric heir (Feverwake 2#) by Victoria Lee

480 pages

Expected publication: March 17th 2020 by Skyscape

Six months after Noam Álvaro helped overthrow the despotic government of Carolinia, the Atlantians have gained citizenship, and Lehrer is chancellor. But despite Lehrer’s image as a progressive humanitarian leader, Noam has finally remembered the truth that Lehrer forced him to forget—that Lehrer is responsible for the deadly magic infection that ravaged Carolinia.
Now that Noam remembers the full extent of Lehrer’s crimes, he’s determined to use his influence with Lehrer to bring him down for good. If Lehrer realizes Noam has evaded his control—and that Noam is plotting against him—Noam’s dead. So he must keep playing the role of Lehrer’s protégé until he can steal enough vaccine to stop the virus.
Meanwhile Dara Shirazi returns to Carolinia, his magic stripped by the same vaccine that saved his life. But Dara’s attempts to ally himself with Noam prove that their methods for defeating Lehrer are violently misaligned. Dara fears Noam has only gotten himself more deeply entangled in Lehrer’s web. Sooner or later, playing double agent might cost Noam his life. (goodreads)

The fever king and The electric heir are two of my favourite books. This duology deals with a lot of important themes, from abuse, to injustice, to survivors, politcs, love, friendship… The review and the trigger warnings will be posted closer to the publication date.

A conspiracy of bones by Kathy Reichs

352 pages

Expected publication: March 17th 2020 by Scribner

It’s sweltering in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Temperance Brennan, still recovering from neurosurgery following an aneurysm, is battling nightmares, migraines, and what she thinks might be hallucinations when she receives a series of mysterious text messages, each containing a new picture of a corpse that is missing its face and hands. Immediately, she’s anxious to know who the dead man is, and why the images were sent to her.
An identified corpse soon turns up, only partly answering her questions.
To win answers to the others, including the man’s identity, she must go rogue, working mostly outside the system. That’s because Tempe’s new boss holds a fierce grudge against her and is determined to keep her out of the case. Tempe bulls forward anyway, even as she begins questioning her instincts. But the clues she discovers are disturbing and confusing. Was the faceless man a spy? A trafficker? A target for assassination by the government? And why was he carrying the name of a child missing for almost a decade?
With help from a number of law enforcement associates including her Montreal beau Andrew Ryan and the always-ready-with-a-smart-quip, ex-homicide investigator Skinny Slidell, and utilizing new cutting-edge forensic methods, Tempe draws closer to the astonishing truth.
But the more she uncovers, the darker and more twisted the picture becomes… (goodreads)

I’m a sucker for Temperance Brennan and her investigations, so I loved this book. As usual, the review and the trigger warning will be posted closer to the publication date.

The House in the cerulean sea by T. J. Klune

Hardcover, 400 pages

Expected publication: March 17th 2020 by Tor Books

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours. (goodreads)

http://www.infosysmt.com from goodle images

Queen of coin and whispers by Helen Corcoran

464 pages

Expected publication: April 6th 2020 by The O’Brien Press

She loved me as I loved her, fierce as a bloodied blade.’

When teenage queen Lia inherits her corrupt uncle’s bankrupt kingdom, she brings a new spymaster into the fold … Xania, who takes the job to avenge her murdered father.

Faced with dangerous plots and hidden enemies, can Lia and Xania learn to rely on each another, as they discover that all is not fair in love and treason?

In a world where the throne means both power and duty, they must decide what to sacrifice for their country – and for each other …(goodreads)

Another legbt book! This one looks incredible!

  • Bonds of Brass (The bloodright trilogy) by Emily Skutskie304 pages

Expected publication: April 7th 2020 by Del Rey Books

A young pilot risks everything to save his best friend–the man he trusts most and might even love–only to learn that he’s secretly the heir to a brutal galactic empire.
Ettian Nassun’s life was shattered when the merciless Umber Empire invaded. He’s spent seven years putting himself back together under its rule, joining an Umber military academy and becoming the best pilot in his class. Even better, he’s met Gal Veres–his exasperating and infuriatingly enticing roommate who’s made the Academy feel like a new home.

But when dozens of classmates spring an assassination plot on Gal, a devastating secret comes to light: Gal is the heir to the Umber Empire. Ettian barely manages to save his best friend and flee the compromised Academy unscathed, rattled both that Gal stands to inherit the empire that broke him and that there are still people willing to fight back against Umber rule. As they piece together a way to deliver Gal safely to his throne, Ettian finds himself torn in half by an impossible choice. Does he save the man who’s won his heart and trust that Gal’s goodness could transform the empire? Or does he throw his lot in with the brewing rebellion and fight to take back what’s rightfully theirs? (goodreads)

The silence of bones by June Hur

336 pages

Expected publication: April 21st 2020 by Feiwel & Friends

I have a mouth, but I mustn’t speak;
Ears, but I mustn’t hear;
Eyes, but I mustn’t see.


1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seol is living out the ancient curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Indentured to the police bureau, she’s been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman.
As they delve deeper into the dead woman’s secrets, Seol forms an unlikely bond of friendship with the inspector. But her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect, and Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder.
But in a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly.
June Hur’s elegant and haunting debut The Silence of Bones is a bloody tale perfect for fans of Kerri Maniscalco and Renée Ahdieh. (goodreads)

Incendiary (Hollow Crown 1#) by Zoraida Córdova

464 pages

Expected publication: April 28th 2020 by Hodder & Stoughton

I am Renata Convida.
I have lived a hundred stolen lives.
Now I live my own.

Renata Convida was only a child when she was kidnapped by the King’s Justice and brought to the luxurious palace of Andalucia. As a Robari, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria, Renata’s ability to steal memories from royal enemies enabled the King’s Wrath, a siege that resulted in the deaths of thousands of her own people.
Now Renata is one of the Whispers, rebel spies working against the crown and helping the remaining Moria escape the kingdom bent on their destruction. The Whispers may have rescued Renata from the palace years ago, but she cannot escape their mistrust and hatred–or the overpowering memories of the hundreds of souls she turned “hollow” during her time in the palace.

When Dez, the commander of her unit, is taken captive by the notorious Sangrado Prince, Renata will do anything to save the boy whose love makes her place among the Whispers bearable. But a disastrous rescue attempt means Renata must return to the palace under cover and complete Dez’s top secret mission. Can Renata convince her former captors that she remains loyal, even as she burns for vengeance against the brutal, enigmatic prince? Her life and the fate of the Moria depend on it.

But returning to the palace stirs childhood memories long locked away. As Renata grows more deeply embedded in the politics of the royal court, she uncovers a secret in her past that could change the entire fate of the kingdom–and end the war that has cost her everything. (Goodreads)

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Burn the dark Malus Domestica #1 by S.A. Hunt

Publication date: Today! 14 January 2020 https://www.amazon.com/Burn-Dark-Malus-Domestica-1-ebook/dp/B07QLHFZGB https://www.bookdepository.com/Burn-Dark-S-Hunt/9781250306425?ref=grid-view&qid=1579030128846&sr=1-4

I thank Netgalley and the publisher for this book, received in exchange of an honest review.

Robin Martine is not the usual girl. She’s an orphan, she can use swords and knives, she runs a Youtube channel, she travels around America recording her adventure in…witch killing. Robin is a witch hunter and the witches are not like Sabrina Spellman or any kind witches seen on television. They are cruel, they are known to siphon life to them through spells and sacrifices and they are immortal. They killed Robin’s mother, Annie, blaming her violent father. After being instituzionalized, because Robin spoke the truth about the witches and doctors made her believe she was crazy, filling her with medications and shock therapies, she’s rescued by a family friend, Heinrich. He reveals her the truth about witches and starts training her. Haunted by a green eyed monster, for years, Robin fights against supposed hallucinations and spells, while trying to do her job. The story is built with flashbacks and memories and starts when Robin comes back to Blackfield, in her old city. For Robin, coming back home means reconnecting with Joel, his old best friend and to know Kenway,with whom Robin right away get along, dragging both of her friends in her caotic and dangerous life and revenge. Her path crossed Wayne’s and his father, who they just moved in her old house. While she’s keen on getting her revenge on the Coven that killed her mother, Robin starts to understand she may have been underestimated the situation.

I really liked this book. Robin is a great main character, funny, determined, stubborn and keen on discovering the truth about her family, her mother, the creature that haunts her. She wants to kill the coven that murdered her mother, the dangerous Lazenbury. Joel is a fantastic and ironic best friend and I love her relationship with him and how she found someone in him and Kenway to rely on. Kenway is another amazing character. He’s a veteran, he went through hell and back and, like Robin, he’s full of memories and scars. I loved how Robin’s plot crossed with Wayne’s, the new kid. I like Wayne, a lot. The author did a fantastic job writing his character. Wayne lost his mother to cancer, his father went through a bad moment, drinking and, deciding to move from Chicago to a little city meant for him changing his whole life, school and friends, while still grieving for his mother. He’s a strong character, friendly, smart and I liked reading about he having new friends. He was forced to grow up faster when his father started to drink. I found really sweet his habit to put her mother’s wedding ring near his eye and see through it.

I love how important that ring became in the book., too. Leon, his father, a teacher, found himself involved in witches, monsters and spell, involving witch hunting, magic rings and creature from other dimensions. I liked reading about Robin’s mentor and savior, too, Heinrich, even though he’s less present in the book and I hope to read more about him in the sequel, because he seemed an interesting character. The book is captivating, full of twists and revelations and it kept me hooked until the end. It was amazing reading the multiple POVs, Robin’s, Joel’s, Wayne’s, Marylin’s and see through the “villains’ ” eyes too. I liked reading about witches, their powers and dryads, goddesses and so on. I’m really happy to have read this book and I can’t wait to know more about Robin’s story.

Pubblicato in: Senza categoria

The God game by Danny Tobey

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.

Publication: today! January 7 2020

CW: attempted suicide, violence, self harm, depression, blackmail

The God Game is the most peculiar, exciting and brilliant book I’ve read in a long time.
The writing is perfect, the characters well rounded and so real, so relatable (Alex and Charlie were really perfect) it hurts, the plot captivating and chilling.
Everything starts with a chatbot, the God game, that answer any kind of question, an AI that claims to be God and starts sending messages on Charlie’s and his friends’ phones, asking them to do something. It’s a game, a wild one where it controls everything, can access everything, from phones, to pc, to cameras and so on. It’s God, He sees and knows everything.
Intrigued by the ad, Charlie, Peter, Vanhi, Alex and Kenny decided to play this peculiar game, using their phone, accessing, in this way, a cool and peculiar virtual reality. The Game is simple. If you do well, you get Goldz and something good will happen in your life. If you do bad, you get Blaxx and more Blaxx you got more likely the player will be killed. And if someone dies in the game, dies in the real life. Skeptic and curious, Charlie and his friends decided to try the Game and they started doing quests, following instructions, running around the school at night, discovering it, through the virtual reality, full of mysteries, gods and quests to accept or to buy.
The game inspired by the religion is a wild one and day after day they each found caught up with missions and with the Game. From simple request to dangerous one, to lies and cover ups.

I loved many things about this book. The game itself is creepy, brilliant, controlling, managing to use its players like pawns, using them and turning them against one other. In a game where the difference between reality and virtual one is really slim, where they can’t trust anything electronic, the characters move and act, in a giant chessboard, without knowing exactly what’s the Game real goal, where are the others players, what will they do, what are the purposes of their missions. It rewards them if the player do what the Game asks and punish them otherwise. It’s a crescendo of missions, lies, revenge and so on, pushing and threatening them into doing things they wouldn’t have done, otherwise.

What I loved more about this book are its characters. I rarely read characters so real, authentic and raw. So multidimensional. So relatable and well constructed.
Charlie is a young man, who lost his mother to cancer and since her disease and death his life, his grades and relationship with his father is spiralling out of control. He feels resentment for his father, who fell apart when his wife got sick, basically leaving Charlie to do the caretaker and bearing his suffering alone.
Vanhi is a brilliant woman, a bass player, an Hindu girl who’s struggling against her parents’ expectations and their desire she will go to Harvard, hiding a bad grade and a paper forged from them.
Kenny is a cellist, the philosopher, from a very religious family and he too, like Vanhi, has to suffer his parents’ pressures to do better, to do perfectly.
Alex is a nihilist, a young man who is abused at home, depressed and lonely, bullied and feeling himself suicidal.
Peter is the golden boy of the situation, the rich one, the carefully hidden deranged one, doing drugs and dealing, with his absentee father and a mother who left him when he was young.
They found solace in their group, called the Vindicators, doing pranks, supporting each other and doing the Game, that tested their friendships, morals and lives.

Each one of this characters, the main ones, are beautifully written and I was able to feel their rage, pain and frustrations. What it impressed me was that the side characters were amazingly well rounded too. There aren’t sterotypes, like the girl to win over or the bad guy. We read about Mary, the perfect and beautiful girl, controlled and with a big secret to mantain. Kurt, violent henchman, with an homophobic father. Tim, violent and controlling, with his stealing father. There are no absolutely good or bad people in this book, but incredibly complex ones. Even Charlie and his friends nurture feelings that could hurt one other, like envy or bitterness or rage, raging against each other, hurting each other.
The Game, knowing everything about them and their dreams, manipulated them and everyone else in a big chessboard, moving pieces like it wants. Or He wants, according to the Game.

It was amazing reading about the augumented reality, seen through phones or glasses, reading about missions, packages, quests and it was disturbing and creepy see the characters being controlled more and more, until they try to quit the Game and be free. Reading they being so controlled and observed was suffocating and I felt their emotions, their warring thoughts.
I loved the characters in The God Game, because they were flawed and human. Charlie with his rage, Alex with his depression, Peter with his need to control everything, Kenny and Vanhi with their desires and family’s pressures. It was moving reading how Charlie was so lost after his mother’s death and how Peter, in his own, maybe debatable ways, was with him or how Charlie was so caught up in his own grief to not want to reach for Alex’s pain, favouring the carefree and unconcerned Peter. Or how Alex was so in pain to get involved so much in the Game, that used his suffering to manipulated him. Or Vanhi’s and Kenny’s ambitions, their fear of disappointing their parents, their need to do the right thing, to be honest.

This book put forward interesting and moral questions. If it someone or something offered me what I want, would I accepted it? Even if it hurt someone? Could I hurt someone to save someone else, maybe a loved one? Someone else’s pain is worth my friends’ or family’s lives or could I sacrife someone to save myself or my loved ones?
During all the book, from small and innocent missions, the characters found themselves debating moral choices, which path take. If someone is a bully he deserved to be hurt and humiliated? Can I ruin someone’s life to life mine better?
What will you do if your life isn’t yours to control anymore? If you didn’t ever have any control on it? What will you do when you’re so caught up in the Game and you can’t see any way out other than the worst one? And the Game, in his infinite power, manipulated, fooled and tricked all his gamers, until the ending, showing them the free will was a difficult thing to achieve, in The God Game, to be free from the Game itself.

Charlie and his friends grew in the book, I loved reading about their development, their choices, their desires, their healing each other. I loved their relationship, how they all are so fallible, human, torn between doing the right thing and follow their desires, their selfishness.

Besides pushing the reader to think about moral choices, grey areas and religion, it’s a book about friendship and relationship, mostly between fathers and sons, from the complex and incredibly frustrating one with Alex and his father to Charlie and his dad.
About friendship, because it was absolutely moving reading they going to the great lenght to save and protect each other, notwithstanding their small fights and misunderstanding.
It was a book that gave me hope, because its characters, even though they are hurt and flawed and will do mistakes in the future, go towards a path of growth, forgiveness, another chance to liberation, like one of the character say.
That things may seems bleak and awful, but you could go on, pick yourself up, glue the pieces together again and try to be better, to try again and harder. Not alone, of course. With friends, family and help.

This book is absolutely brilliant, pushing the reader to ask questions, to seek answers, to be moved by friendship and love
And, to be honest, to fear how far the technology, any AI, could go and do.
An excellent read. A 5 solid star. Danny Tobey’s writing style is enthralling and his characters are alive and pulsing with life and choices.

“I’m a guinea pig in a fucking morality play that stops when I’m dead?”

His mind was a house of pain, all exits locked.

Pubblicato in: Book preview

The night country

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD


The night country, sequel of The hazel wood, is a perfect ending for this captivating, wonderful and thrilling story. It’s a mix of fantasy, thriller, murder investigation, dark fairy tales and it’s absolutely enthralling.
It starts a year after the events of the first book. Alice is free from her own story, away from the Hinterland, helped by Ellery Finch and saved by her own stubborness; at the end of the first book she found herself on Earth, after being disappeared two years. At the beginning of The night country, Alice is trying to live a normal life.

She wants to live like an ordinary girl, studying, getting a diploma, working, living with Ella, her mother. But her escape from the Hinterland prompted other Stories to do the same and the Hinterland is dying, without its stories (and Stories).
Alice is divided between two worlds in this book. Hinterlanders live in the city, people from Earth who choose to live in the Hinterland and came back, all of them meet regularly to try to adjust to their new life. All of them trying to adapt to their new world, new existence, free to make their own choices, without being subject of their plot. But the presence of Dafne, an agitator, an ex Story, forced Alice to choose between her two worlds. And she chooses her mother’s.
A series of Hinterlanders murders, killed with ice, pushed the others to suspect Alice and mysterious letters from a person she thought she lost forever turned her life upside down another time.


This book has two POVs, Alice’s and Ellery’s and they narrated the story from two different timelines and worlds. Alice, on Earth, investigates the murders, trying to unsmear her own name, fighting to understand who’s the culprit, why blame her and how protect herself and her loved ones.
Meanwhile, Ellery Finch was in the Hinterland and saw the world dying, his decision of breaking free Alice having created an avalanche of Stories running away. When a mysterious traveler, Iolanthe, offered him a way out and the choice to travel through other worlds, he accepted.
The Night Country story, told separately by Ella to Alice and Iolanthe to Ellery is from a children’s picture book, a real story and world that connected Alice and Ellery, during the book.
During all the book Alice’s and Ellery’s stories run on different tracks, parallel ones, connecting each other only through magical letters and coincidences, bewteen worlds and times. Like The Hazel wood, The Night country contains fairy tales, creepy ones, like Ilsa’s story, Alice’s best friend called Sophia on Earth and like The night country, stories full of blood and sacrifices and, like the first book, Alice found herself in a world where there’s no difference between fantasy and reality. And the stories, and Stories, have teeth.


It’s an wonderfully complex book, like a peculiar mosaic, where things are seen from two point of views until you can get the whole image. It’s formed by tracks, parallel ones, worlds, deaths, blood and stories. It’s the ideal conclusion for this story.
Both the main characters are grown, are changed. Alice is more adult, more aware of the world around her and the Hinterland and, as before, she’s driven by her love for Ella, choosing to be away to protect her. Her relationship with Finch is a peculiar one and more present this time. Ellery’s letters find her and from different times and worlds they miss each other, they want to get back and give each other another chance, to have more time to be together.
Ellery’s need and want to travel prompted him to live in the Hinterland, to trust a stranger, to find a library full of doors for another world, to become something else, risking everything to save his own world.
I love how everything connected, how the ending wasn’t a sad or an happy one, but an hopeful ending/beginning.
Amazing, brilliant. This book is another ode to stories, reading and traveling. Like Alice’s and Ellery’s journey, it is almost a push to search, to discover, a celebration of fantasy, imagination and love.


“I want to hold your hand. I wonder if I’d be brave enough to say this to your face.”
[…]I want to write to you again, but what I want even more is to watch your face when you look up from a book one day and see mine. One day soon. I’m gonna be so shy when I see you again. It’s just, by now, I’ve said as much to you in letters than I did in life. Be patient with me, okay? When I see you and my tongue tangles up. Be patient. I’ll see you after the Night Country.”


“Stay. Stay where you are. Let me find you.” […] I want to find you. I want to walk between worlds with you. I wouldn’t mess it up this time, I wouldn’t hide inside my own head. I wouldn’t let you hide inside yours.”


We’re something formidable now. I’m an ex- Story, the girl who got away. He’s a Spinner who survived the rise and fall of his world. We’re both survivors, the two of us. We’re wanderers. We could make a home in any world.


The Night Country is the perfect conclusion of The hazel wood saga and this world, these worlds, will stay with me with their characters for a long time. I wish there could be more, because this story is addictive. And I love everything about it.
Alice and Ellery will stay with me for a very long time, I’m sure.

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

One of The Observer’s Best Children’s Books of 2018!

Fans of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and The Children of Blood and Bone have been getting lost in The Hazel Wood

“The Hazel Wood kept me up all night. I had every light burning and the covers pulled tight around me as I fell completely into the dark and beautiful world within its pages. Terrifying, magical, and surprisingly funny, it’s one of the very best books I’ve read in years. -Jennifer Niven, author of All The Bright Places

From Google

Melissa Albert is a web editor and the founding editor of B&N Teen Blog. She has written for McSweeney’s, Time Out Chicago and more. Melissa grew up in Illinois and lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is The New York Times bestselling author of The Hazel wood. (from the back cover of The hazel wood and The night country).

The Hazel wood, first book from the series The Hazel wood (the sequel, The night country will come out in 2020) is a really peculiar book. It’s a fantasy and a thriller and a fairy tale book with horror strokes. The main character is Alice, a seventeen years old, who spent all her life moving from city to city, with her mother Ella, living in friends’ houses, trying to shake their uncanny bad luck. When a letter informed them that Ella’s mother, Althea Proserpine (a fairy tales author Alice has never met), is dead in her mansion, the peculiar Hazel Wood, Ella thinks their problems are gone, their luck restored. They are free. She decided to marry up and for a while she and Alice settled and tried to live a normal and quiet life. No more running, no more bad luck. But one day Ella’s kidnapping turns Alice’s world upside down. Her kidnapper claims to be from the Hinterland, the mysterious world Althea set her story in. Alice finds herself alone, left by her stepfather and stepsister and with a strange letter, bearing her name in a story, with weird and dangerous people following her and no choice but ask her classmate Ellery Finch, a great fan of her grandmother, to help her find her mother and The Hazel wood.

They start a magic and perilous journey, through fantasy and reality, dangers and death, stories that are not just words on paper, but are real and dangerous, ready to maim and kill them. Running from the Hinterland itself, manifesting through its inhabitants, Alice and Finch follow clue after clue to find the mysterious Hazel wood, Alice’s grandmother’s house. And they find more they had bargained for.

The hazel wood is a book full of twists and revelations. So many shocking twists, I loved them. It was a rollercoaster. Melissa Albert book is, among other things, a dark fairy tale. Interwined and fundamental for the main plot there are fairy tales, loved and narrated by Ellery Finch. The main characters are interesting and well written.

Alice is full of rage and ice, a young woman who decided to take the power and the story in her own hands and she’s driven by her love for her mother, her need for answers. Alice’s journey brings her to a world she never thought it could exist. Obsessed, when little, by the arcane figure of ther grandmother and her fairy tales, she discovered a world and answer so shocking her life is changed forever.

Ellery Finch is a complex character, full of loss, pain and intelligence and wit, different from the rich kid Alice thought he was. He’s complicated, with a painful past and bleak present. I adore reading about his love with Tales of the Hinterland, Althea’s book, a love so great to become obsessed with that world, to desire to visit it, to live in it. I totally relate to this desire to discover and see other worlds, magical ones.

This book is a story about a lonely girl who is trying to find her mother, about discovering her real identity, a journey to find herself and her place in the world, the Earth or the Hinterland.
The story is amazing, captivating and it conveys the importance of words, how could they change, heal or hurt someone.

Reading about the Hinterland was absolutely amazing. A world where Stories exists, where stories from a book are real, living in a world where the Story Spinner controls everything. Everything and everyone but Alice. She’s not a damsel in distress, a princess to be saved, but a strong and clever girl who fights to decide her own life and world.

The fairy tales intertwined with the main plot are not the Disney ones, but there are cruel, creepy and captivating, full of blood, murder and mystery, like the story of Alice Three Times. I’d love to read all the story from Tales from the Hinterland.

In the end, The Hazel wood is a 5 stars reading, able to captive your attention and making you wish to follow Alice and Ellery in their journey.