Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

For the Lost Time by Heather Blair Booktamins Blog Tour

WELCOME TO MY STOP FOR THE BOOKTAMINS BLOG TOUR OF “FOR THE LOST TIME” BY HEATHER BLAIR

First of all I wanted to thank Booktamins for this opportunity and for the chance to read this beautiful book!

Genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary, Historical Fiction, LGBTQIA, New Adult, Romance
Publication day: 21st April 2020


THE PLOT

Diego Delgado’s life is turned upside down when he closes his eyes in 2020 and opens them one century before, alone and penniless. Forced to live in a time and world he doesn’t know anything about, Diego decides to do anything in his power to try to understand what happened to him and how he could come back to his time, his best friend and ex wife Kendra and his daughter Molly.
In the America of 1920 he’s helped by a kind factory owner, Henry Wallingford, he meets a peculiar mystic, Madama Olah (Dora) and his life is complicated and changed by the charismatic and exuberant heir, Thomas Greely.
But while trying to find some answers, he finds himself involved in the life of the roaring twenties and, above all, in that of the beautiful and complex Thomas, their attraction hard to fight.

MY THOUGHTS

I really liked For the lost time. The book is a very quick and sweet read, with interesting characters, both the main ones, Diego, Thomas and Henry, than side ones like the stubborn Kendra and the strong-willed Clementine.
Diego finds himself in a world he’s not used to, saved by the generosity and gut feeling of the kind Henry, but he’s heartbroken and confused by something he doesn’t know how and why it happened to him and he misses his family.

He’s determined to find a way back, to not let himself get distracted, but while frequenting his benefactor and working in his factory, his path crosses Thomas’, the buoyant and brilliant son of the co-owner of the factory, the dancer, the heir, the curious and smiling person he can’t help be attracted to.

While Thomas is descripted as exuberant, too curious, maybe annoying sometimes with his attitude and insistence, the reader, through Diego’s point of view learns how hard was and is his apparently perfect life.
Adopted in China by two globetrotter, Thomas suffered and suffers for his family’s lack of attention and love, growing up spoiled and unloved, finding comfort and attention only in Henry, his father’s friend and co-owner (and neighbor), kind and affectionate. Behind Thomas’s smiles, his dancing and friendship with his friend Clementine, his curiosity, there’s an intense sadness and loneliness.

Henry is another interesting character, with a heavy and painful past and trauma and it was hard and shocking to read about Henry’s nightmares and past memories. His kindness and love for Thomas are a constant in both of their lives, as his protection and desire to see him happy.
The three main characters are gay and, if Diego in 2020 is free to love and marry the person he loves, being gay in the America of 1920 is risky and dangerous, as Henry’s past proved it.

The future is a common element in both Thomas’ and Diego’s situation.
Thomas, with his apparently golden and rich life, is terrified of a future that seems already written, that his parents want to impose on him, forcing and threatening him to go to college, to inherit their factory, throwing back in Thomas’s face his adoption and what and where he would have gone without them.
At the same time Diego is burdened by the knowledge of his real life a century in the future and unable to be happy of the present, torn between his love for Molly and his blossoming one for Thomas and the friendship with Henry and Dora.
His relationship with them is very cute, I love Dora’s help, her character is joyous and funny and Henry’s protectiveness and affection.

Thomas and Diego are absolutely wonderful together and the way their relationship changes during the book is sweet. At first Diego isn’t interested in Thomas’ attention and attempt to be his friend, too caught up with his own problems, but slowly they start to see one other as they really are and their romance starts, blossoming in a cute and tender relationship. A relationship complicated by Diego’s real time and family.

I won’t write anything more because I don’t want to spoiler anything.
I liked the idea of destiny and the whole concept of found souls in different times, but I wished the whole time travel (the reason why and how it happened) would have been explained better and I found the way Diego managed to familiarize himself in a time a century earlier a bit too overlooked, because I expected more difficulty in fitting in.

Nevertheless I liked this book, the story is sweet and tender, its characters interesting, stubborn and complex and through their experience the reader is involved in their romance and love and it’s really cute and adorable.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Heather Blair is the author of new adult romance novels including “Lucid Dreaming” and “Wide Awake.” She was born and raised in Vermont and has spent much of her adult life in New York and Los Angeles. She currently resides in Connecticut with her two cats.

EXCERPTS

EXCERPT ONE

There he was, standing by the darkened bay window, staring ominously into the night sky—the most handsome man Thomas Greely had ever laid eyes on.

He was very tall, over six feet to be sure. Perhaps six foot two? Three? And in all that long space between the top of his umber head and the soles of his umber oxfords, there stood an astonishing figure. He was broad-shouldered and slender-waisted, his posture delicately sloped at the shoulders as if he carried a lofty burden upon them.

From where he stood, paralyzed with curiosity, Thomas could make out only the man’s profile. A long neck dotted with oversized freckles, a square jaw, a subtly cleft chin. His single visible eye showed an iris so dark one could hardly distinguish where it ended and the pupil began. The look of it might have been sinister were it not so spellbinding.

Every muscle in Thomas’s body ached to reach out and touch him. To trace the line of that commanding jaw with the pad of his thumb and follow it to the tip of his sturdy chin. To connect the dots of those beauty marks and discover the shapes they made. To brush the back of his fingers against the grain of his sandpaper stubble.

Thomas then began to wonder why the stubble was there at all and why the hair atop the man’s head hung a bit loosely in one spot. Why such sorrowful crinkles marked the wide plane of his forehead, and most puzzling of all, why did he cast a million-mile stare out the window with such torrid focus?

Why, why, why?

EXCERPT TWO

The restaurant Diego soon found himself in was far classier than the art deco diner where he usually ate lunch. After almost a month in 1920, he’d finally begun to understand what prices constituted as “high” and he knew that the eighty-five cent lunch specials at Caroline’s would have been too pricey for his blood. Incensed, he slapped the menu down on the table.

“Are you trying to rub it in my face?”

“Am I trying to what?

“Where do you get off taking me to a nice place like this when you know that I…” He trailed off. Thomas’s mouth parted as he realized what Diego was trying to say. When you know that I’m homeless.

“I meant no insult. I simply have a thing for the creamed chicken on toast they serve here. Jeepers, friend, do you really think I would do such a pig-headed thing?”

“Yes,” Diego answered simply. “And why do you keep calling me friend?”

A solitary laugh puffed from Thomas’s lungs. 

“You don’t consider me a friend?”

“I consider you a spoiled rich kid who’s never been told no in his life and wouldn’t know how to handle it.” Diego hadn’t meant to be so harsh. He was like a cornered animal, lashing out on instinct.

“Wrong on all accounts,” Thomas replied coolly. “I’m not rich, my parents are. I’m not a kid, I’m twenty-one years of age, and I’ve been told no plenty of times and I handle it by simply choosing to ignore it.”

Purchase Link

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084H5FD62 

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51079492-for-the-lost-time

Media Links

Website – https://heatherblairauthor.blog/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18185508.Heather_Blair

Twitter – https://twitter.com/IamHeatherBlair

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/iamheatherblair/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/heatherblair.author/

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Music from another world by Robin Talley ARC review

384 pages
Published March 31st 2020 by Inkyard Press

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

TW:

homophobia, internalized homophobia, bullying

THE PLOT

Tammy Larson is unable to be herself anywhere, not at school, or with her friends, or in family dominated by her aunt Mandy and her anti-gay propaganda. She is a closeted lesbian and she’s always lived her life fearing for and unable to be herself and free.

Her only way to escape her strict and conservative Christian life in Orange County is her diary, where she writes to the gay civil rights activist, Harvey Milk, until the school starts a pen pal program and she meets Sharon.
Sharon Hawkins lives in San Francisco and right away she bonds with Tammy, sharing their love for punk music, feeling free to be themselves, their letter another way (except their diaries) to be absolutely (or at least trying to) honest with one other.

Sharon’s life in San Francisco, like Tammy’s in Ocean Valley, is full of secrets and lies.
She is struggling (at least in the beginning) to accept that her beloved brother, Peter, is gay and both of them are scared of their mother’s possibile reaction, should she discover it.
And in antigay fervor they fear for their lives. Both Tammy and Sharon finds in one other a true friend, starting to understand things about the world and each other.

MY THOUGHTS

I really, absolutely loved this book! It’s my first queer historical fiction and it was great! Set during a very complicated and awful time for queer people, the book is about this intense friendship (and more) between two young girls, their growth and how they will learn to fight for the freedom and right to love and stand up against injustice and hatred.

Told by two POVs, Tammy’s and Sharon’s, through their diaries’ entries and the letters they write to one other, in a very interesting and unique way, this book is moving, funny, heartbreaking and so, so important.

Reading Tammy’s POV was incredibly hard because I could feel her frustration, fear, her feeling trapped in her life, with conservative parents and relatives, homophobes, feeling scared all the time someone could see through her lies and hurt her. How she was forced to dress and wear her hair in a certain way, dominated by her cruel and hypocrite aunt and her whole community, politically active in their antigay propaganda, how she was forced to support that propaganda, because being out would mean changing everything.


Both Tammy and Sharon were taught to see being gay as a wrong and unnatural thing, something that should be corrected and pray away, but, Sharon thanks to her brother and Tammy thanks to her sexuality and feelings, learn to think with their own heads and to escape their conservative and homophobic world, finding a more friendly reality where they can be themselves.

It was interesting reading how Sharon starts to discover herself, through music shows, new friendships, opening her mind to a new world and identity.
Her bond with Peter is truly amazing and very realistic, down to their fights and misunderstandings. Reading about how she discovered her sexuality, her feelings was really fantastic, because, living in a community where people were antigay, in a school with nuns and homophobes, she, at first, struggle to accept her brother’s sexuality (it was incredibly cute readig how she decided to accept it, because she loves her brother very much) and then hers.

It was clear her confusion and frustration, finding difficult to understand what she should do or act.
Her relationship with Tammy is really intense, because, through their letters, they learn to be and questioning themselves, above all when Tammy comes to San Francisco.

Peter is another brilliant character. Seeing through Sharon’s and Tammy’s eyes, he’s a young man, sure of his sexuality, but fearing his mother’s reaction, fearing people would know the truth about him and hurt, since he was already bullied in the past. It was moving and empowering reading how, slowly, Peter becomes more sure of himself and his feeling for Dean, until he’s ready to move on and coming out, deciding to live according to his own rules, terms and feelings.

Absolutely intriguing the way the political and historical movement is both background and vital part of this book, how Tammy sees in Harvey Milk someone to look up to to gather the courage she needs to be herself.


I loved how Tammy, Peter and Sharon become politically involved, supporting Harvey Milk, propaganding against the Proposition 6, the Briggs Iniatiative, that wanted to ban gay teacher and whoever supported gay rights, helping in the bookstore, learning about civil rights and feminism.

It was interesting reading about political and historical figures, like Milk, Briggs and Bryant and how these young characters act in that movement. Cute the side characters, like Evelyn, Midge, Kevin and so on. Interesting and hypocritical aunt Mandy, with her being sanctimonious and weak and unable to reach out and change her opinion Sharon’s and Peter’s mother.


The adults in this novel fulfill, except Harvey Milk, the role of “villains”. Sanctimonious and hypocritical families, ready to do anything to have their perfect sons and daughters and refusing to see them for what they are, should they be different from their expectations and society’s “norm”.
Teenagers and young adults (Tammy’s friends and sisters, for example or Sharon’s classmates) are or molded according to their parents’, Church’s and society’s wishes and norms, or they represent a world where Tammy, Peter and Sharon can find haven, in Dean’s, Leonard’s, Evelyn’s, Alex’s (and so on) friendship and support.

I love how they managed to form a family, with their friends, how they support one other, helping each other finding a place to stay, a job, a way to start over, even with a broken heart.

It was hard to read how their families couldn’t, wouldn’t, accept their sexuality, how they, above all aunt Mandy, kept using God as an excuse of their awful behaviour. It shows the faults in the blind religion, using their Bible as a weapon to hurt and humiliate queer people. It was frustrating reading their rhetorics and false and hypocritical faith.


Tammy and Sharon fight against what people expected to be and to do, perfect daughters, straights daughters with boyfriends and a future with a family. In a climate of activism, for LGBT’s and women’s rights, they fights and understand themselves, their feelings and what people call friends and family.

Music from another world is beautifully and skillfully written and it’s a story about love and hope, hate and injustice, family and friendship and it’s more current than ever.

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

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Expected publication June 6 2020

Cemetery Boys was my first 2020 read and I couldn’t have started this reading year better.

Yadriel lives with his Latinx and traditional family, who’s struggling to accept his gender. To prove himself and to them he’s a real brujo, he decided, helped by his cousin and best friend Maritzka, to perform the ritual on his own, summoning a spirit and releasing him in the afterlife. Looking for his murdered cousin’s spirit, Yadriel finds himself with a different one: the spirit of Julian Diaz, the school bad boy. Determined to find what happened to his friends and himself, Julian and Yadriel make a deal, helping each other, so they can both reach their goals. But they will find themselves involved in a complex plot, a surprising “villain” and to realize saying goodbye it’s not so easy.

Cemetery Boys is the kind of book you don’t want to end. It’s the book you decide to read over and over, committing to memory quotes and pages and squealing in delight and fear because you’re so involved with the story and its characters. It’s the kind of book you have to finish, because you need to see what will happen next. And at the same time you don’t want to, because its world is full of magic, its characters amazing and you wanna know more and more.

I loved many things in this book. First of all, I have to admit: I’m a sucker for learning new traditions, new things, new stories. I’ve never heard anything about the brujeria. It’s not a surprise, since I live in Italy and I don’t know much about Yadriel’s world. So it was absolutely incredible and interesting learning about the traditions, about Lady Death, Bahlam, Xibalba, brujos and brujas. Aiden Thomas wrote a book so realistic, so incredibly engaging you could almost taste and smell Yadriel’s world, almost see the cemetery with the spirits, Tito and its marigolds, the calaveras and the magic. I loved reading about Lady Death and the brujos’ and brujas’ powers, their portaje; it was fascinating and thrilling learning their view of death and afterlife. The idea of being able to see a dead loved one was incredible.

The characters in Cemetery Boys are beautifully written it’s impossible not to love them or relate to them. Yadriel is the main character. He’s a trans boy, he’s gay and he’s struggling to be accepted by his family and community as a boy and a brujo. The only person able to understand him completely was his mother, who died last year and his cousin Maritka, always ready to support him and to be involved in his plans. Yadriel hates not being fully part of the brujx’s life, but he’s not the only one in his famiy who’s alienated. His uncle Catrix, even though should have been the leader of the brujx, was excluded because he hasn’t many powers. With Maritka, Tio Catriz supports and loves Yadriel, accepting him for who he is. Surrounded by his family, his brother Diego, his father Enrique and his Lita, Yadriel struggles to find his place with them and in the community. Yadriel is brilliant, funny and it was hard reading how he’s struggled (and struggling) against prejudices, transphobia and misgendering. He’s incredibly strong and he loves and respects his traditions and their powers, but he’s tired to fight to be himself, tired to accept others’ mistakes and to be the one out in his community. But Yadriel loves it and his family, so he’s ready to do anything he could to prove them who he is. It was a delight reading about a complex character like him.

Maritka is another complex and peculiar character. Both she and Yadriel are the black sheep in their community. Yadriel, because he’s trans and gay, Maritka because she’s vegan and to use the bruja’s powers she should use animal blood, so she’s refusing her healing powers. She’s smart and I love her pink and purple hair. Unlike his cousin, who is more introvert and hates bringing attention to himself, Maritka is extrovert, boisterous and really funny and supportive.

Julian. What can I say about Julian? Julian is the spirit Yadriel accidentally summoned and he’s obnoxious, loud, chatty and right away he’s seen as a “problem” to Yadriel and his plans. Yadriel needs to find his cousin, to release Julian’s spirit, to make his community and his family accept him in time for the Dia de Muertos. His days are few and his deal with Julian, promising him to check on his friends and find out what happened to him, make everything even more complicated. When Yadriel starts to realize he’s falling for Julian, attracted by his being fierce and protective, his being full of energy and fire things become even more difficult. Julian is an amazing character. I loved his energy, his fierceness, his questions, his curiosity his love for his family and friends. I have to admit, he wan’t what I expected him to be after reading the blurb and learning he’s the school bad boy. But he’s an amazing surprise. Julian is so pure, funny and I laughed so much reading about his interactions with Yadriel and Maritka or when he tries to learn his haunting powers.

I really liked how the book is stratified. Yadriel is struggling to prove himself to his family and community, but the murder of Miguel and his disappeareance and Julian’s presence lead him and Maritka to be involved into a complex and surprising plot and plot twists. I loved how the author wrote about important issues like transophobia, prejudices, racism (the difficulty of Miguel’s parents and Julian’s friends to fill a missing report and to make the police looking for missing kids), the importance of the family (not only the blood one, but the family one can create).

Written in third person, by Yadriel’s POV, I loved every page of Cemetery Boys. I enjoyed the mistery of the missing kids, learning new things and traditions. I really loved the relationship and love story bewteen Yadriel and Julian, their jokes, their bickering, their bond.

I fell in love with Cemetery Boys. I enjoyed the story so much. It was full of plot twists, revelations, gods and magic. It was the perfect book for me. The love story between Yadriel and Julian is sweet, complex and I loved every moment of it, leaving needing more about them. I loved their relationship, how they made a deal to help each other and slowly they get to learn more and more about themselves, their stories, their families, falling moment by moment in love with each other in a impossible situation. Julian is without filter and he was a surprise to Yadriel, who struggled all the time to be accepted. After his mother and his cousing, Julian becomes a person Yadriel can be himself with, without filters or explanations. Their trust in each other is complete and refreshing. Reading about him and Yadriel on the bed, listening to music and talking all night was one of my favourite part ever. I enjoyed a lot his relationship with Yadriel and I found myself so involved I squealed, cursed and cried in more than one occasion. It was beautiful seeing them falling page after page. This book is brilliant, heartbreaking and so important, full of characters brimming with life and energy, so intense you could almost touch them. I can’t wait to have this book in my hands.