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.
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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.


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



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

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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.
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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
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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.

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One last thing!

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

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

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Follow your arrow by Jessica Verdi- Book Tour

Hello and welcome to my stop for “Follow your arrow” by Jessica Verdi book tour, organized by Tbr and Beyond Tours! A huge thanks to Tbr and Beyond Tours, Edelweiss and the publisher for the chance to read and review this book!

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publishing date: March 2nd, 2021
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For fans of Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera, this is a riveting and irresistible take on love, life, and identity — both online and off.

CeCe Ross is kind of a big deal. She and her girlfriend, Silvie, are social media influencers with zillions of fans and followers, known for their cute outfits and being #relationshipgoals.

So when Silvie breaks up with her, CeCe is devastated. She’s lost her first love, and now she can’t help but wonder if she’ll lose her followers as well.

Things get even messier when CeCe meets Josh, a new boy in town who is very much Not Online. CeCe isn’t surprised to be falling for a guy; she’s always known she’s bi. And Josh is sweet and smart and has excellent taste in donuts… but he has no idea that CeCe is internet-famous. And CeCe sort of wants to keep it that way.

But when CeCe’s secrets catch up to her, she finds herself in the middle of an online storm, where she’ll have to confront the blurriness of public vs. private life, and figure out what it really means to speak her truth. 

CeCe and her girlfriend, Sylvie, are social media influencer, with millions of fans and followers and partnerships, but when Sylvie breaks up with her, CeCe loses a piece of her. And she’s afraid to lose her followers, too, so invested in their relationship, so much they created an hastag with their names combined: Cevie. CeCe is forced to figure out who is she without Sylvie and CeCe, while navigating her heartbreak and keeping up her profile. Meeting Josh, funny, smart and Not Online isn’t something she was expecting, but slowly CeCe starts to have feelings for him, determined to keep him away from knowing how famous she is. But when secrets are revealed, CeCe has to face an online and personal crisis and she will have to decide who she wants to be. If she wants to speak her truth or keep the facade on and off line.

Follow your arrow is a captivating and interesting story, with a compelling main character. CeCe is both an Influencer, with an apparently perfect life on social medias, and a teenager, dealing with friends, relationships, romantic and familial, school and so on. Told in first person by CeCe, the story follows her through heartbreak, new relationships, friends, both on and off line, her thoughts, her rage, fears, pain and memories. The reader gets to know a brilliant main character, weighed down by her complex and painful relationship with her conservative father, her passion for politics and queer rights, the enviroment and, at the same time, her fear of being herself, of losing followers, of being forgotten if she decided to be outspoken and truthful to her beliefs. Through CeCe’s eyes, the reader is able to see how dangerous and obsessive social medias can be, how fake is the life many show the world, how difficult and draining can be keeping up a facade in front of everything. At the same time, though, the author shows how important Internet can be, the support and love and understanding people can get through it, the bonds it can create, the news it can share.

Between social media posts, messages and emoticons, partnerships posts, the reader follows CeCe in her journey and growth into being more confident of herself, her beliefs and identity, realizing the importance of being surrounded by people who loves her exactly for what and who she is and not from what other see on social medias.

I really appreciated how the author tackles the complexity of social medias, Internet hate and bullying and the conversation and definition of being bisexual, how CeCe isn’t less bisexual or queer if she dates a cisgender male, how there are infinite choice and not just two, how:

“Yes,” I say, turning another page “the labels, the letters in the initialism- LBTQIAP- are important. Owning your identity is powerful, and something to be proud of. But sometimes the letters also box people in, put margins and rules on what does and doesn’t qualify, and who is and isn’t welcome, and what someone who IDs a certain way is and isn’t allowed to do.” (quotes from the earc, so they can be subject to changes)

I really enjoyed reading this book. There were some predictable moments, but the story is very captivating, the characters are well written and relatable and I loved realizing how much CeCe grew through the story, becoming more confident, stronger and less focused on what other people think.

I definitely recommend this book. It’s funny, it tackles many important themes, like sexuality, being oneself, bullying, the good and bad part of social media, love, family and frienships.

Jessica Verdi is an author of books for kids and teens about identity, family, acceptance, and love.

Though she’s always been a bookworm (her childhood was basically defined by the philosophy that working your way through giant stacks of library books is far superior to playing outside), she remained convinced throughout high school and college that theatre and music were meant to be her creative outlets. After nearly ten years in the NYC theatre world, she got an idea for a novel. While that first attempt at a “book” will never see the light of day—nope, don’t ask—it was the book that started her love affair with writing. Now she can’t imagine doing anything else.

Jess received her MFA in Writing for Children from The New School and is a freelance editor of romance and women’s fiction. She lives in New York with her family.

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