Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Not Good for Maidens by Tori Bovalino- Book tour

Hello and welcome to my stop for “Not good for maidens” by Tori Bovalino. Thank you, tbr and beyond tours, for having me and to the publisher for the copy!

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Horror
Publishing date: June 14th, 2022
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indigo | IndieBound
Rep: Sapphic, Asexual, Bisexual

Salem’s Lot meets The Darkest Part of the Forest in this horror-fantasy retelling of Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market.”
Lou never believed in superstitions or magic–until her teenage aunt Neela is kidnapped to the goblin market.
The market is a place Lou has only read about–twisted streets, offerings of sweet fruits and incredible jewels. Everything–from the food and wares, to the goblins themselves–is a haunting temptation for any human who manages to find their way in.
Determined to save Neela, Lou learns songs and spells and tricks that will help her navigate this dangerous world and slip past a goblin’s defenses–but she only has three days to find Neela before the market disappears and her aunt becomes one of them forever.
If she isn’t careful, the market might just end up claiming her too.
Content warnings: on-page gore, on-page body horror, violence, trauma

Thank you so much, NetGalley, Page Street Publishing and Page Street Kids, for the chance to read this book in exchange of an honest opinion.

TW: violence, blood, torture

In York, beneath the streets, there’s a goblin market calling to the Wickett women, witches that take care to its victims. They know they have to defend their city and they shouldn’t visit the market itself, but one day May fell for a goblin girl, triggering a waterfall of violence, escapes and memories and, even after years and after May and her sister Louise left for Boston, the goblins remembered. Seventeen years later, Lou, May’s niece, knows nothing of her magical lineage, but when her aunt Neela is kidnapped, she’s willing to do anything to get her back, including visiting York for the first time and discovering what her mother and aunt hid from her. Confronting her past and magic, Lou has to find a way to save Neela without losing herself in the market too.

Told by May’s POV eighteen years ago and by Lou in the present day, Not good for maidens, is a brilliant and creepy story swinging from past to present, until everything is connected and secured. Set in a world filled with magic, violence and rhymes and in another, modern and known, the story is thrilling, full of magnificent characters, losses, love and so much more. The main characters are the young May and Lou and the reader is able to follow them falling in love, discovering dangers, losing someone, suffering, fighting back, learning things and getting their own lives back. May, in the past, fell in love, lost someone and she’s forced to move, Lou, in the present, is afraid to lose someone, angry and upset because her family hid from her magic and secrets and willing to do anything to get Neela back, even getting involved in something she knows nothing about and risking her own life.

The story is intriguing and wonderfully written, eerie and interesting, describing a dangerous world, the goblin market, who calls to its victim, a market filled with blood and bones, fascinating creatures and magic. It’s a love story, too, almost an enemy to lovers, if the enemy is so because rules and society and race. It’s a story of family bonds, siblings love, full of strong female characters, from the main to the side ones, willing to do anything to protect their loved ones and their city. I loved how strong is the love in this book, the family, queer and sisters ones.

Eerie, intriguing and brilliant, I loved everything!

Tori Bovalino grew up near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and never knew she wanted to live abroad until she was already in London. She’s awful at picking favorites, but her consistent go-to books are Pride and Prejudice, Fire, and The Picture of Dorian Gray. She’s enamored with books that make her cry.
Tori holds a BA in English fiction writing and anthropology and a minor in German from the University of Pittsburgh and an MA in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway, University of London. She is currently on the Creative and practice-based PhD course at RHUL, researching the relationship between Russian folklore and YA fantasy novels. In her free time, Tori enjoys reading (duh), embroidering, and traveling.
She is represented by Dr. Uwe Stender and Amelia Appel at TriadaUS Literary Agency. She writes short stories, poetry, and novels.
Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads
 
Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Hell followed with us  by Andrew Joseph White- book tour

Hello and welcome to my stop of “Hell followed with us” by Andrew Joseph White! Thank you so much, Tbr and beyond tours, for having me and to the publisher for the magnificent copy! Opinions are my own.

Genre: Young Adult Horror
Publishing date: June 7th, 2022
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indigo | IndieBound
Rep: Autistic, Nonbinary, Transgender, Queer, Gay

Prepare to die. His kingdom is near.
Sixteen-year-old trans boy Benji is on the run from the cult that raised him—the fundamentalist sect that unleashed Armageddon and decimated the world’s population. Desperately, he searches for a place where the cult can’t get their hands on him, or more importantly, on the bioweapon they infected him with.
But when cornered by monsters born from the destruction, Benji is rescued by a group of teens from the local Acheson LGBTQ+ Center, affectionately known as the ALC. The ALC’s leader, Nick, is gorgeous, autistic, and a deadly shot, and he knows Benji’s darkest secret: the cult’s bioweapon is mutating him into a monster deadly enough to wipe humanity from the earth once and for all.
Still, Nick offers Benji shelter among his ragtag group of queer teens, as long as Benji can control the monster and use its power to defend the ALC. Eager to belong, Benji accepts Nick’s terms…until he discovers the ALC’s mysterious leader has a hidden agenda, and more than a few secrets of his own.
A furious, queer debut novel about embracing the monster within and unleashing its power against your oppressors. Perfect for fans of Gideon the Ninth and Annihilation.

Content Warning: parental death, graphic death, body horror, violence, religious abuse, discussions of genocide; instances of homophobia, transphobia, misgendering, and deadnaming

Thank you so much, NetGalley, Peachtree and Peachtreeteen, for the chance to read this book in exchange of an honest review.

TW: violence, abuse, murder, body horror, transphobia, religious abuse, abusive parents and partner, victim self-blaming, self-injury, Check the author’s website for the complete TWs https://andrewjosephwhite.com/content-warnings%3A-hfwu

Benji is a sixteen year old trans boy, on the run from the cult that raised him, a religious extremist sect that unleashed Armageddon and decimated the world’s population and infected him with a bioweapon. Desperate to find a place where they can’t find, hurt and use him. Benji is rescued by a group of teens from the local Acheson LGBTQ+ Center, known as the ALC. Its leader is Nick, gorgeous and autistic and he knows Benji’s darkest’s secret, that the bioweapon is turning him into a deadly monster. Rescued and sheltered, Benji decides to learn how to control the monster and use its power to defend his new family. Even if that means confronting the cult’s hate and power and escaping from it alive and free.

Hell followed with us is a magnificent and furious queer debut, about embracing your monster and fighting back against your oppressors, to be alive and free. The story is set in a post-apocalyptic world, with destroyed cities, dead and/or mutated bodies, where the survivors are fighting to live, eat and be safe from the monsters, humans or not. Benji was raised by a fundamentalist cult, struggling with their hate and ideas, trying to get free and to live as a boy, when everyone in the cult wants him to be their savior girl, battling transphobia, deadnaming and violence from abusive parent and partner. When he’s rescued by the ALC, a ragtag group of queer teens, with different ideas, but who built a safe place for them, Benji starts to see another world, a chance to be himself and to find his own home, place and love.

The ALC is strongly opposed to the cult’s ideas and violence and there Benji starts to make friends, to find a new family and a place to survive and he will be willing to do anything to keep them all safe, even getting back to the lion’s den and destroy it from within. The worldbuilding created by the author is eerie and scary, filled with violence and surviving, monsters and mutations, virus and religious fanatism and religion used and abused to justify genocide and bigotry. the writing style, the prose is so vivid I could imagine everything so clearly and I absolutely loved how immersive and evocative the story was.

Benjii is a great main character, struggling with victim self-blaming, religious brainwashing and wanting to be free and himself. He’s stubborn, brilliant and filled with justified anger and the desire to destroy those who hurt and still threaten him. I loved his relationship with Nick and how they slowly start to understand, respect, protect and love one other in a very messy and violent situation. I’ve also loved the disability rep and how wonderfully written was Nick’s character. The extremism, the constant use of religion to justify hate and violence is strongly opposed by the ALC and by these wonderful queer kids, fighting back and resisting a world bent on destroying them, by loving and taking care of one other.

The horror, grief, rage and hate are mixed with hope, found family and love in this awesome dystopian story. The author wrote a book full of gore, fire and justified anger, about monsters who decide to fight back for themselves and their loved ones. A story about embracing yourself and the monster within and fighting against your oppressors, finding your own home and family.

Hell followed with us represent a cruel world and the amazing queer teens who fight to survive.

“God is an absent parent who demands loyalty despite never coming around, and I just have to keep throwing my prayers into nothing and trust He gets them.”

“I understand anger. God, I do.”

“Maybe the Flood has given me something in return for me body: the anger I never let myself have as a little girl, the rage I swallowed down every day of my life. It feels like it’s slotting into place where it was meant to be all along.”

“Their emotions come in like the tide. Hunger. Anger. Pain. The things everyone would feel, really, if put in their places.”

“But Nick looks back at me and I follow like I’ve been doing this all my life.”

Andrew Joseph White is a queer, trans author from Virginia, where he grew up falling in love with monsters and wishing he could be one too. He is a graduate student in George Mason University’s Creative Writing program and has a habit of cuddling random street cats. Andrew writes about trans kids with claws and fangs, and what happens when they bite back.  
He is represented by Zabé Ellor of the Jennifer de Chiara Literary Agency. Author photo by Alice Scott.
Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads
Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Anything but fine by Tobias Madden- Book Tour

Hello and welcome to my stop for “Anything but fine” by Tobias Madden. An huge thanks to Tbr and beyond tours for this chance and to the publisher for the earc!

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publishing date: January 25th, 2021
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indigo | IndieBound




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All it takes is one missed step for your life to change forever.
Luca Mason knows exactly who he is and what he wants: In six months, he’s going to be accepted into the Australian Ballet School, leave his fancy private high school, and live his life as a star of the stage—at least that’s the plan until he falls down a flight of stairs and breaks his foot in a way he can never recover from.
With his dancing dreams dead on their feet, Luca loses his performing arts scholarship and transfers to the local public school, leaving behind all his ballet friends and his whole future on stage.
The only bright side is that he strikes up unlikely friendships with the nicest (and nerdiest) girl at his new school, Amina, and the gorgeous, popular, and (reportedly) straight school captain, Jordan Tanaka-Jones.
As Luca’s bond with Jordan grows stronger, he starts to wonder: who is he without ballet? And is he setting himself up for another heartbreak?

Thank you NetGalley, Page Street Publishing and Page Street Kids, for the chance to read this book in exchange of an honest review.

TW: homomisia, islamophobia, grief, parental death (previous)

Luca Mason has everything planned. He’s going to be accepted into the Australian Ballet School and leave his private high school behind to become a ballet star. But when he falls down a flight of stairs and breaks his foot everything changes. His doctor tells him he will never be able to dance again, he loses his scholarship, he’s forced to transfer to a public high school, leaving all his previous life, ballet and friends included, behind. The only bright side in his new school is the friendship with the brilliant and nerdy Amina and his new crush, the apparently very straight school captain, Jordan Tanaka-Jones. While their bond become more and more stronger, Luca starts to ask himself who is he now, without ballet and what he will be.

Tobias Madden wrote a brilliant and deeply relatable story about a young man whose dreams are shattered and his heartbreak, rage and strength in moving on, in finding a new dream and path. Luca’s life rotated around ballet. His dreams, his friends, his scholarship and when a life-changing injury changes everything he’s forced to upturn his whole life, reacting in a pretty relatable way. His pushes away his ballet friends, couldn’t bear to listen to them talking about dancing and his old school and traditions, his own father, his old dreams to become a dancer. In a very realistic way for a teenager, Luca lashes out, he makes mistakes, he pushes people, loved ones, away, he obsesses over people who could hurt him, like his crush on a straight boy. Luca’s life is turned upside down and now he has to adjust to a new school, new friends, new possible heartbreaks, bullies, studying, exams and so much more and the way the author wrote about him is realistic, heartwrenching and so beautiful.

It was both moving and inspiring reading how Luca faces everything, every changes in his life with righteous anger and pain, but also finding the strength into making new friends and moving on, picking up the pieces, forging new paths, strengthening relationships, cutting abusive and cruel ones. This book was really inspiring and strong, I loved the author’s writing style and how, through Luca’s voice, I was able to understand his suffering and determination, his curiosity and love. I loved his relationship with the witty and funny Amina, with Jordan and, later, with Grace too and his bond with his father was really well written and moving, I loved how they understand, support and love one other, realzing their mistakes, apologizing and moving on.

Definitely recommended it.

Tobias is an author and editor from Sydney, Australia. His debut young adult fiction novel, ANYTHING BUT FINE, is out now in Australia and New Zealand (Penguin Teen), and coming to the US 25 January 2022 (Page Street YA).
​Originally from Ballarat, Tobias worked for ten years as a performer, touring Australia and New Zealand with musicals such as Mary PoppinsCATSSingin’ in the Rain, and Guys and Dolls. In 2019, he edited and published UNDERDOG, the first #LoveOzYA short story anthology for previously unpublished Aussie young adult fiction writers. Also in 2019, he wrote the cabaret show Siblingship, which played to sold out audiences in Sydney, Melbourne, and Canberra. Tobias is a passionate member of the #LoveOzYA and LGBTQ+ communities, and currently works in publishing as a Digital Marketing Executive and YA Publicist.
Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook
 

Check here the tour schedule!

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Bound by firelight by Dana Swift- Book tour Tbr and beyond tours

Hello and welcome to my stop for “Bound by firelight” by Dana Swift book tour! A huge thank you to Tbr and beyond tours for this opportunity!

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publishing date: January 18th, 2022
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indigo | IndieBound
The heart-pounding sequel to Cast in Firelight, perfect for fans of epic, sweepingly romantic fantasy by Sabaa Tahir, Susan Dennard, and Mary E. Pearson.
After a magical eruption devastates the kingdom of Belwar, royal heir Adraa is falsely accused of masterminding the destruction and forced to stand trial in front of her people, who see her as a monster. Adraa’s punishment? Imprisonment in the Dome, an impenetrable, magic-infused fortress filled with Belwar’s nastiest criminals—many of whom Adraa put there herself. And they want her to pay.
Jatin, the royal heir to Naupure, has been Adraa’s betrothed, nemesis, and fellow masked vigilante . . . but now he’s just a boy waiting to ask her the biggest question of their lives. First, though, he’s going to have to do the impossible: break Adraa out of the Dome. And he won’t be able to do it without help from the unlikeliest of sources—a girl from his past with a secret that could put them all at risk.
Time is running out, and the horrors Adraa faces in the Dome are second only to the plot to destabilize and destroy their kingdoms. But Adraa and Jatin have saved the world once already. . . . Now, can they save themselves?

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

After the devastating magical eruption that devasted the kingdom of Belwar, royal heir Adraa is falsely accused and arrested. Sent to the Dome, the impenetrable fortress filled with criminal herself put there, Adraa will have to fight to prove her innocence and save her own life. On the other side, Jatin, the royal heir of Naupure and Adraa’s betrothed is willing to do anything to save Adraa, helped by friends and unexpected allies. But when Jatin and Adraa discover there’s a plan to destroy their kingdom, they will have to be ready for anything.

Bound by firelight starts right after the thrilling ending of Cast in firelight, in a Belwar where people are seeing Adraa as a monster, rioting and rallying against the royal family and where Vencrin and Bloodlurst are still major problems. The author expands the universe with the Dome’s introduction, a prison where the divide and power imbalances are strongly present and where Adraa finds herself in a complicated situation. Alone and without allies, or so she thought, Adraa is forced to do anything in her power to adapt to this new situation, trying to understand what happened at her trial and what is happening in this facility, between lies and manipulations, fights and tortures, deaths and unexpected allies.

Jatin finds himself without his partner and helped by Prisha, Riya, Hiren and Kalyan and by an ex classmate they start to concoct a plan to help Adraa escape from the prison, but nothing is what it seems and there’s more to the eye. The story is told by two POVs, Adraa’s and Jatin’s and I loved reading this book, because the author talked about brilliantly, about self-doubts, traumas, guilt, fears and what it means to have a voice, or not have one, to fight back, to be oneself and face the world, but also the importance of having a partner, to let others in and trusting them.

One of the most intense and lovely relationshis in this book is the one between Adraa and Jatin, who came a long way since the first book. Rivals, betrothed, allies, partners, I love their chemistry and how much they trust, help and support one other. Their relationship shines even more in this sequel, because, even among self-doubts about ruling countries and self-worths, they know they love each other and that their love is strong and it can face everything and that’s truly beautiful. Like in the first book, the author talks about addiction, torture and Bloodlurst, power imbalances and unfairness, mainly in the Dome as setting, a new and scary universe where the hierarchy is strong and built on violence and intimidation and where Adraa has to move and fight back.

I loved reading about the interactions between characters, new and old ones, in a romantical way or in parents/children or siblings one and I was really happy to see how the author addressed jealousy, love, family problems and doubts in this book. The characters’ growth is parallel to their fights against usurpers, violence, lies and manipulations and I really admire both Adraa and Jatin as characters. I was really happy to be able to read this book and I think it’s a brilliant sequel and a wonderful way to end this duology.

Between war, lies, violence, magic and self affirmation, this book is absolutely amazing. I loved the banter and the sweet moments, the intense and wild ride, the action and fights and I was so in love with everything. The ending is an open and hopeful one and I truly appreciated it, because it shows how much Adraa and Jatin have done and are still doing for their kingdoms, themself and each other, confident and powerful. I totally recommend it.

Jatin will do anything for the people he loves. And he loves me.”

“No one can save me but myself.”

“In this world, I don’t need to throw myself away or hide behind a mask.”

“I like you well enough. Always. Thank you for liking all part of me.” Every part. Every version. Every facet of myself that got me here, that he helped shape. “I love you.”

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

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

The Reckless Kind by Carly Heath- Book Tour

Welcome to my stop for The reckless Kind book tour! Thank you, Tbr and beyond tours, for the chance to read this amazing book in exchange of my honest review!

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

A genre-defying debut, this queer historical YA centers a wild and reckless trio who fly in the face of small town tradition—full of compassion, love, and determination to live the lives of their choosing.
It’s Norway 1904, and Asta Hedstrom doesn’t want to marry her odious betrothed, Nils—even though a domestic future is all her mother believes she’s suited for, on account of her single-sided deafness, unconventional appearance, and even stranger notions. Asta would rather spend her life performing in the village theater with her friends and fellow outcasts: her best friend Gunnar Fuglestad and his secret boyfriend, wealthy Erlend Fournier.
But the situation takes a dire turn when Nils lashes out in jealousy—gravely injuring Gunnar. Shunning marriage for good, Asta moves with Gunnar and Erlend to their secluded cabin above town. With few ties left with their families, they have one shot at gaining enough kroner to secure their way of life: win the village’s annual horse race.

TW: child abuse, violence, alcoholism, self-harm, suicide ideation, homophobia, sexism, PTSD, xenophobia

Asta Hedstrom has an unconventional appareance and she is deaf from one ear. Her mother believes she’s only suited for a domestic future, disregarding her ideas and feelings, but Asta doesn’t want to marry her odious betrothed, Nils. She wants to perform in the town’s theater with her best friend Gunnar Fuglestad and his secret boyfriend Erlend Fournier. When Gunnar is almost killed by a jealous Nils, Asta decides to shunning her marriage and starts to live with Gunnar and Erlend in a cabin above town. The only way to survive, have their own life, and save the Fuglestad’s deep into debt farm, is to win the village’s annual horse race. Even though they have the whole town against. Or so they think.

I LOVED reading The reckless kind. Set in a small rural town, in Norway 1904, The reckless kind is a wonderful, intense and brilliant story, with complex and well written characters, determined to do anything in their power to live their own lives and protect their loved ones. Told by two POVs, Asta’s and Erlend the story follows how Asta, Erlend and Gunnar defy the restrictions imposed upon them by the society, against family’s expectations, village’s rules, deciding and wainting a different life for them.

It’s a book with outsiders, outcasts, as main characters, people that don’t fit in and the strong bonds they forge. Asta is a queer and disabled young woman, Erlend is the rich son of the theater’s owner and fights everyday with his anxiety disorder and he’s deeply in love with Gunnar, who lost his arm in an accident and can’t walk after a violent aggression. Each of them defy what the town and the sociey expects from them and they are stubborn, brave and brilliant to follow their own paths, choosing themselves and their loved ones again and again, even though it’s not always easy.

Asta is one of the main characters, she lives in a heteropatriarcal society and she fights to be herself, to navigate her sexuality, her asexuality and desire of a platonic relationships. In a society and town where women were expected to act in a certain way, to marry, to have children, to choose a domestic life, mostly if poor, Asta refuses to marry, to be owned, to be without her freedom and fights to help the boys who became her family, to learn a profession, to be free.

Erlend, the other POV, is very different from Asta, but he’s an outcast like her and Gunnar and he struggles against his family’s expectations, to marry a good girl, to have a “proper” life and career. His love for Gunnar is indomitable, able to survive fights, misunderstadings, family’s rage and disappointment. Erlend chooses to leave everything behind, the life he was used to, refusing to lose his love.

Gunnar, the third main character, doesn’t have a POV, but the reader is able to know him and his struggles and pains through Asta and Erlend and with care and sensitivity the author addresses his struggles, his pains, his guilt and doubts, after the spinal injury. Gunnar struggles both with his physical symptoms, being in pain and being forced to adapt himself to a new life and with his guilt because Erlend left everything behind for him.

Carly Heath did an outstanding job with these characters. They are relatable, fierce, human, in their thoughts, struggles, ideas, hopes and dreams. It’s a book about all types of love and their strengths. The reader faces Gunnar’s love for Asta and Erlend, familial and romantic, his depression and dark thoughts, his fighting using sarcasm and irony, Erlend’s fierce love and stubborness to protect his newborn family, Asta’s love for the boys, and her devotion to animal companions. I love their strong bonds, how much they love and would do anything for each other. It’s also really beautiful how the author talked about different kinds of love and how each of them is important.

It was also really interesting reading the historical and medical notes, about Asta’s syndrome and how she, in that time, didn’t have the language to define parts of her identity, like her asexuality, about Gunnar’s spinal injury, the language’s limitations and so on. It was very intriguing and I loved it.

With care and sensitivity the author addresses traumas, violence and young love in a beautiful historical queer tale about love and all his types, like romance, friendship, devotion, about fighting to be themselves, to love who you want and against ignorance and violence.

“It was profoundly intimate, this allowance, knowing how he kept it from others- knowing he wished for me to be the one.”

“I signed my name: Erlend Fuglestad.”

“No wife for me.” Fuglestad would’ve declared. “My heart belong to a boy.”

“I knew I had love in me. My love, though, wasn’t the coniugal kind.”

“I want a life with you. Nothing else matters.”

“And if anything charmed me more than Erlend and Gunnar snuggled together, it was Erlend and Gunnar perfectly lawful together.”

“It means I’m yours. And I’ll always be yours, because you deserve someone who will be as devoted as you are.”

“You will see in this braided ring, a lock of hair from the one I love the most. The heathen custom making us lawful.”

Carly Heath (she/they) earned her BA from San Francisco State University and her MFA from Chapman University. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Carly teaches design, art, theater, and writing for various colleges and universities. She spends all her time and most her money tending to a menagerie of rescued farm animals. The Reckless Kind is her first novel.
Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads
Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

This is Our Rainbow: 16 Stories of Her, Him, Them, and Us Edited by Katherine Locke and Nicole Melleby- Book tour

Hello and welcome to my stop for This is our rainbow: 16 stories of Her, Him, Them and Us! A huge thanks to Tbr and Beyond Tours for this opportunity!

Genre: Middle Grade Anthology
Publishing date: October 19th, 2021
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indigo | IndieBound

The first LGBTQIA+ anthology for middle-graders featuring stories for every letter of the acronym, including realistic, fantasy, and sci-fi stories by authors like Justina Ireland, Marieke Nijkamp, Alex Gino, and more!

A boyband fandom becomes a conduit to coming out. A former bully becomes a first-kiss prospect. One nonbinary kid searches for an inclusive athletic community after quitting gymnastics. Another nonbinary kid, who happens to be a pirate, makes a wish that comes true–but not how they thought it would. A tween girl navigates a crush on her friend’s mom. A young witch turns herself into a puppy to win over a new neighbor. A trans girl empowers her online bestie to come out.

From wind-breathing dragons to first crushes, This Is Our Rainbow features story after story of joyful, proud LGBTQIA+ representation. You will fall in love with this insightful, poignant anthology of queer fantasy, historical, and contemporary stories from authors including: Eric Bell, Lisa Jenn Bigelow, Ashley Herring Blake, Lisa Bunker, Alex Gino, Justina Ireland, Shing Yin Khor, Katherine Locke, Mariama J. Lockington, Nicole Melleby, Marieke Nijkamp, Claribel A. Ortega, Mark Oshiro, Molly Knox Ostertag, Aisa Salazar, and AJ Sass.

Thank you so much, NetGalley, Random House Children’s and Knopf Books for Young Readers for the chance to read and review this book in exchange of an honest review.

This is Our Rainbow is the LGBTQA+ anthology for middle-graders and I loved every single story! There are 16 stories, a beautiful and intense collection of queer fantasy, contemporary, historical stories. We meet people with magical powers and special letters, a nonbinary pirate who makes a wish to a wind-breathing dragon, a zombie girl with a lovely relationship with her girlfriend, a girl crushing on her friend’s mum, a trans girl empowering her bestie to come out and be herself, a group of friends who are growing up and changing, realizing more and more things about themselves and what they love and like…there’s everything and it’s amazing.

It’s a collection about discovering, accepting and embracing yourself, your queerness, it’s filled with joy and laughter, intense and funny moments, fear, but happy ending. I laughed, cried with happiness, cheering them on and it was so amazing.

It filled my heart with love and hope and it was such an amazing journey through magic, first crushes, zombies, ex bullies, dragons, friendships, loves… These characters are realistic, in their fears, hopes, dreams, fighting, in some stories, against relatives, expectations and what others may think of them. They are brave, scared, eager to be themselves and to love without limits and it’s really empowering.
There are so many stories I loved, so many wonderful and brilliant characters, so skillfully written and I loved exploring with them their feelings, realizing their crushes and who they are. A wonderful collection, a definitely recommended read.

“She looked the way my heart felt sometimes, too loud and too bright, and maybe that meant she would understand what I was feeling lately.”

“You are wonderful and you are perfect, without conditions, just as you are.”

“I know who I am. And it’s time to say.”

I wonder what it would be like to walk out from my hiding place and say who I am, loud and clear. To not hide. To not be afraid of other people. To be…me.”

“It was a name I had been given. A name I had chosen. Didn’t that make it real?”

“Not everything worthwhile is easy.”

Katherine Locke lives and writes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with their feline overlords and their addiction to chai lattes. They are the author of The Girl with the Red Balloon, a 2018 Sydney Taylor Honor Book and 2018 Carolyn W. Field Honor Book, as well as The Spy with the Red Balloon. They are the co-editor and contributor to It’s A Whole Spiel: Love, Latkes and Other Jewish Stories, and a contributor to Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens and the forthcoming Out Now: Queer We Go Again. They are also the author of Bedtime for Superheroes and What are Your Words?. They not-so-secretly believe most stories are fairytales in disguise. They can be found online at KatherineLockeBooks.com and @bibliogato on Twitter and Instagram.

Katherine is represented by Lara Perkins at Andrea Brown Literary Agency.


Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook

Nicole Melleby, a born-and-bread Jersey native, is an award-winning children’s author. Her middle grade books have been Junior Library Guild Gold Standard selections, and have earned the Skipping Stones Honor Award, as well as being a 2020 Kirkus Reviews best book of the year. Her debut novel, Hurricane Season, was a Lambda Literary Award finalist. She currently teaches college literature and creative writing, and spends most of her free time roller skating. She lives with her wife and their cat, whose need for attention oddly aligns with Nicole’s writing schedule.
Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Go check the tour schedule here:

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

That dark infinity by Kate Pentecost- Book tour

Hello and welcome to my stop for That dark infinity by Kate Pentecost! Thank you, Tbr and beyond tours for this opportunity!

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publishing date: October 19th, 2021
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By night, the Ankou is a legendary, permanently young mercenary. By day, a witch’s curse leaves him no more than bones. Caught in an unending cycle of death and resurrection, the Ankou wants only to find the death that has been prophesied for him, especially once he begins to rot while he’s still alive….
After the kingdom of Kaer-Ise is sacked, Flora, loyal handmaiden to the princess, is assaulted and left for dead. As the sole survivor of the massacre, Flora wants desperately to find the princess she served. When the Ankou agrees to help her find the princess, and to train her in exchange for her help in breaking his curse, she accepts. But how can she kill an immortal? Especially one whom she is slowly growing to understand—and maybe even to love?
Together, they will solve mysteries, battle monsters, break curses, and race not only against time, but against fate itself.

TW: rape (off screen), PTSD, death, blood

The Ankou is a young mercenary, cursed to never die. By night he’s able to fight against demons, witches, kelpies and all kind of monsters, but, by day, he becomes bones and he’s trapped, between life and death, unable to move on and to find peace. Flora is the only survivor of the kingdom of Kaer-Ise. Assaulted and left for dead, she’s saved by the Ankou and desperate to find the princess she served and loved, they strike a deal. The Ankou will help her find the princess and train her in combat and Flora will aid him in breaking his curse, following a strange prophecy. But nothing is simple and they will face battle, eagles, solve mysteries and illnesses, while their bond strengthen and threaten everything.

I absolutely LOVED reading That dark infinity! The story is very original and it captured my attention right away. The book is a wonderful and thrilling fantasy, mixing witches and curses, all kind of monsters, political battles, PTSD, falling in love, family’s expectations, society’s expectations and so much more. The characterization is very good, the book is focused on three characters: the Ankou, Flora and Atonais, the prophecy’s protagonists and each of them is facing struggles, expectations, personal journeys.

The Ankou is a brilliant character, weighed down by his past, traumas and loves and his inability to actually die and find peace. His meeting with Flora gives him hope to find a real solution, even though it brings more that he and Flora expected, when he starts to rot while awake and alive. Flora, on the other hand, lived all her life believing in her goddess, in virtue and purity, serving and loving his princess, but when her kingdom is attacked and destroyed and she’s assaulted, she struggles with her traumas, fears and lost hopes. Travelling with the Ankou gives her a new purpose, battling monsters, looking for a way to save him, helping Atonais, all while still looking for her lost princess, hoping for the best. Atonais is a lightning mage, shunned by his family because different, by the other magicians, because he mixes magic and sciences and he’s the third member of this weird group. In their journey, looking for answers, a cure and a lost temple, the Ankou, then called Lazarus, Flora and Atonais grow, change and becoming more and more confident of themselves, creating a peculiar bond with each other, made of loyalty, love and adventure.

The worldbuilding is fascinating, a world where curses and monsters exist, where people call a mercenary to help them fight monsters and diseases, where unicorns and maidens share a bond, ghouls wander, lost temples and gods live and where love can save and complicate everything. It’s a book about sacrifice, love, loyalty and healing, it’s a journey Lazarus, Flora and Atonais have to take, while healing, finding and embracing themselves and each other. I liked how the author talked about traumas and losses, how her characters face and learn, with time, to accept them and not to let their traumas define them. I also loved the slow burn, friends to lovers and the way it didn’t slow or weigh down the story, it was really well integrated and spontaneous. The relationships between characters, both between the main ones and with the side ones, are well written and realistic.

The plot is full of twists, discoveries, battles, monsters and I loved everything. In a race against time and fate, these characters are brilliant, clever and brave. I devoured this book and I absolutely loved it. I definitely recommend it to everyone!

Kate Pentecost was born and raised on the Texas/Louisiana border, where ghosts and rural legends lurk in the pines and nothing is completely as it seems.
She holds an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She was recently nominated for a Rhysling award for her poem “Small Town Witches.”
Her debut novel, Elysium Girls, is forthcoming from Disney Hyperion in 2020 in print and audio formats.
She is obsessed with the Romantic Poets and can be identified by the enormous tattoo of Percy Bysshe Shelley on her arm. She lives in Houston.
Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook

Go check the tour schedule here:

https://tbrandbeyondtours.com/2021/09/26/tour-schedule-that-dark-infinity-by-kate-pentecost/

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Jade Fire Gold by June CL Tan- Book Tour

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


“History is never written by its victims”

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

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

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

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

Forgiveness is not weakness.”

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



https://tbrandbeyondtours.com/2021/09/18/tour-schedule-jade-fire-gold-by-june-cl-tan/

US ONLY

You can partecipate to the giveaway, too!

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

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

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Lakesedge by Lyndall Clipstone Book tour

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

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

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

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

“The shadows are only dreams”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

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

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

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

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

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

TW: bullying, death

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook

One last thing!

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

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