A Warm Rainy Day in Tokyo by Kana Wu

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the author. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: A Warm Rainy Day in Tokyo

Author: Kana Wu

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 4.5/5

Smut: 0/5

Diversity: Japanese character, Wheelchair mobility user, congenital heart defect character

Recommended For…: adult readers, contemporary, romance, enemies to lovers, Japanese

Publication Date: March 31, 2022

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Age Relevance: 15+ (language, pregnancy and near miscarriage, violence, alcohol consumption, romance)

Explanation of Above: There is some slight language in the book. There is a scene where pregnancy and near miscarriage is shown with a side character, but nothing bad happens. The book also has slight violence with a slap scene, slight alcohol consumption between adults, and some romance.

Publisher: Indie Published

Pages: 340

Synopsis: Bella Bell lives a perfectly ordinary life with a perfectly ordinary office job in suburban California, where she longs to break free from her perfect sister’s shadow. So when Little Bear Café chooses her to train its new franchisee in Tokyo for the summer, she jumps at the chance.

But even a dream come true can get complicated. From the moment she steps on the plane, she annoys her pompous, handsome seatmate, insults her apartment manager, and gets caught up in her new neighbors’ drama. And everywhere she turns, she keeps running into the arrogant stranger from her flight—and she can’t seem to get him out of her head.

Ryo Yamada is at the top of his game: a high-powered job, no shortage of potential girlfriends. But his life is turned upside down when his family asks him to return to Tokyo for good because of his sister’s failing health. And now he finds himself avoiding his childhood friend whose feelings he doesn’t return. And bumping into the irritating, pretty redhead from his flight—who may not be so bad after all. The last thing he expects is to fall in love.

As the new café opening and the end of Bella’s time in Tokyo draw near, Bella and Ryo grow close—until they discover their circumstances may tear them apart. Can they find their way back to each other for good?

Review: Overall, I really liked this book. I loved the romance for the most part and I loved the story. I love that the author included that the main character had to take education classes in Japanese culture and manners and language before she went to Japan, which is something I think every company and tourist should be doing for any vacation or business trip they’re trying to take. The book is a enemies to lovers romance and it’s overall really sweet. The book has well done character development and world building. The book is also well paced and very well written. The book also is an adult contemporary romance, but there is no smut. The romance only goes to kisses and hand holding. If this is something you like in a book, then this will be perfect for you!

The only issue I had with the book is that I feel like the progression from enemies to lovers was a bit too quick compared to the rest of the book.

Verdict: It was so sweet and cute! Love it!

The Wolves Are Waiting by Natasha Friend

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc, arc, and finished copy from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Wolves Are Waiting

Author: Natasha Friend

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 1/5

Diversity: Chinese character, Haitian character

Recommended For…: I don’t recommend this book AT ALL

Publication Date: March 22, 2022

Genre: YA Contemporary

Age Relevance: 16+ (date rape, attempted sexual assault, rape, sexism, HP mentions, romance, slut shaming, language, drugs)

Explanation of Above: The book revolves around an incident where our MC is given a date rape drug and is almost sexually assaulted. The events are described and rape and other incidents of date rape drugs being used is also mentioned throughout the book. The book also talks a lot about sexism and slut shaming. There is some romance between two characters and there is slight cursing in the book. There are also drugs mentioned occasionally. Unfortunately, there are also 6 HP mentions in the book in a positive manner, one of them being a page and a half long and others being at least a paragraph. The ending also makes an allusion to a scene from HP.

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 370

Synopsis: Before the night of the Frat Fair, 15-year-old Nora Melchionda’s life could have been a Gen-Z John Hughes movie. She had a kind-of boyfriend, a spot on the field hockey team, good grades, and a circle of close friends. Of course there were bumps in the road: she and her lifelong BFF Cam were growing apart and her mother was trying to clone her into wearing sensible khakis instead of showy short skirts. But none of that mattered, because Nora always had her dad, Rhett Melchionda, on her side. Rhett was not only Nora’s hero, but as the Athletic Director of Faber College, he was idolized by everyone she knew.

Now, Nora would give anything to go back to that life. The life before whatever happened on the golf course.

She doesn’t want to talk about it—not that she could, because she doesn’t remember anything—and insists that whatever happened was nothing. Cam, though, tries to convince Nora to look for evidence and report the incident to the police. And then there’s Adam Xu, who found Nora on the golf course and saw her at her most vulnerable. She ignores it all, hoping it will all go away. But when your silence might hurt other people, hiding is no longer an option.

The Wolves Are Waiting begins in the aftermath of an attempted assault, but reaches farther than a story about one single night or one single incident. What Nora and her friends will uncover is a story that spans generations. But it doesn’t have to anymore.

Review: This will not be a happy review. While I thought that the base story was good and there were some good parts about it that young girls should read, especially revolving around how slut shaming and sexism are not okay and how some frats can be unsafe spaces, I was extremely disappointed in the book for numerous reasons. The biggest reason is the inclusion of HP in the book. I don’t have any idea why the author, in this day and age, thought the inclusion of HP was a good idea. The mentions are not just one and done, there’s at least one that’s a page and a half of text and the ending includes an allusion to what’s going on to a scene from the HP books. Writing a book that’s pro-female is great except when you exclude trans women from your book and the inclusion of the amount of HP references makes me think that the author wanted to exclude trans women. There’s also not any trans women, queer women, or hardly any women of color in the book with the exception of one Haitian character, and again you can’t talk about feminism and you can’t be pro-female unless you include ALL females. The HP issues alone caused me to knock the book down to a 1 star due to my review policy, but there are further issues in the book that are equally as troubling. There’s a character that is pro-female but doesn’t call out the sexist and misogynistic jokes and comments her own boyfriend makes until much later. The boyfriend had been making these comments for a very long time in the text, before they got together, and I’m confused as to why she would even want to get with someone like that. The book also has a moment between the MC who had been date raped and a character who was found to be a big part of the ongoing issues in the book. After one event where the character brings tiki torches and makes a sort of apology, the MC and others accept that character back into the fold. It’s extremely troubling that some of the male characters in the book are almost infantilized in the text, that they do the bare minimum and get accepted back to where they previously were. Even when the male characters are asked to be held responsible, the book doesn’t offer any real conclusion on if they were or not and the issue becomes null when the book and author pick and choose who it will punish and who it won’t when all actors made equally as horrifying choices. This fact troubled me greatly while reading this book. The book was also very fast paced and had a few continuity errors, where stuff was brought up multiple times. I also thought the characters weren’t developed, especially the MC past her trauma which is a whole other issue I had with the book, and  the world building was way too simple.

Verdict: I don’t recommend this book at all. There are better ones that talk about the issues this book tries to talk about in a better and more inclusive manner.

A Forgery of Roses by Jessica S. Olson

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book:  A Forgery of Roses

Author: Jessica S. Olson

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 3/5

Recommended For…: young adult readers, fantasy, retelling, romance, mystery, thriller

Publication Date: March 29, 2022

Genre: YA Fantasy

Age Relevance: 14+ (death, gore, romance, violence, animal injury)

Explanation of Above: The book has a theme of death and does feature some gore and violence. There is also some slight romance. There is some small mention of animal injury as well, but it is quickly fixed.

Publisher: Inkyard Press

Pages: 368

Synopsis: She’s an artist whose portraits alter people’s real-life bodies, a talent she must hide from those who would kidnap, blackmail, and worse in order to control it. Guarding that secret is the only way to keep her younger sister safe now that their parents are gone.

But one frigid night, the governor’s wife discovers the truth and threatens to expose Myra if she does not complete a special portrait that would resurrect the governor’s dead son. Desperate, Myra ventures to his legendary stone mansion.

Once she arrives, however, it becomes clear the boy’s death was no accident. Someone dangerous lurks within these glittering halls. Someone harboring a disturbing obsession with portrait magic.

Myra cannot do the painting until she knows what really happened, so she turns to the governor’s older son, a captivating redheaded poet. Together, they delve into the family’s most shadowed affairs, racing to uncover the truth before the secret Myra spent her life concealing makes her the killer’s next victim.

Review: This book has an interesting premise and Magic system. I think the most promising thing about this book is the promise of the book and how well it could become. The book had well done atmosphere and the world building was ok. The book also has fairly good character development. The book is also a slight retelling of The Picture of Dorian Grey.

However this book is just downright confusing as hell. The book immediately jumps into the story and doesn’t really explain anything about what’s going on. The book does require you to read the synopsis in order to know the basics of what is happening. The pacing is very slow and the characters are not very well developed at all. And a lot of stuff just happened but without any lead up to it. There’s also something that is entirely missing from the book and I think that missing detail are the details. The book gives great atmosphere it’s very Gothic and gory and twisty, but without any details there is no impact for the reader in this book.

Verdict: It’s ok, but it wasn’t for me.

A FORGERY OF ROSES by Jessica S. Olson

On sale: March 29, 2022

ISBN: 9781335418661 

Inkyard Press

Teen & Young Adult; Fantasy; Romance

$19.99 / $24.99 CAN

384 Pages

ABOUT THE BOOK:

From the author of Sing Me Forgotten comes a lush new fantasy novel with an art-based magic system, romance, and murder…

Myra has a gift many would kidnap, blackmail, and worse to control: she’s a portrait artist whose paintings alter people’s bodies. Guarding that secret is the only way to keep her younger sister safe now that their parents are gone. But one frigid night, the governor’s wife discovers the truth and threatens to expose Myra if she does not complete a special portrait that would resurrect the governor’s dead son.

Once she arrives at the legendary stone mansion, however, it becomes clear the boy’s death was no accident. A killer stalks these halls–one disturbingly obsessed with portrait magic. Desperate to get out of the manor as quickly as possible, Myra turns to the governor’s older son for help completing the painting before the secret she spent her life concealing makes her the killer’s next victim.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jessica S. Olson claims New Hampshire as her home but has somehow found herself in Texas, where she spends most of her time singing praises to the inventor of the air conditioner. When she’s not hiding from the heat, she’s corralling her four wild—but adorable—children, dreaming up stories about kissing and murder and magic, and eating peanut butter by the spoonful straight from the jar. She earned a bachelor’s in English with minors in editing and French, which essentially means she spent all of her university time reading and eating French pastries. She is the author of Sing Me Forgotten (2021) and A Forgery of Roses (2022).

Social Links:

Author website: https://www.jessicasolson.com/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jessicaolson123 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jessicaolson123/?hl=en 

Facebook: n/a

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19475731.Jessica_S_Olson 

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Forgery-Roses-Jessica-S-Olson/dp/1335418660/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=a+forgery+of+roses&qid=1623101290&sr=8-1 

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-forgery-of-roses-jessica-s-olson/1139262918?ean=9781335418661 

Books a Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/Forgery-Roses/Jessica-S-Olson/9781335418661?id=8204964585173&_ga=2.90833818.1403488793.1623101537-16582771.1620496473 

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335418661 

BookShop.org: https://bookshop.org/books/a-forgery-of-roses/9781335418661 

AppleBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/a-forgery-of-roses/id1563211626 

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/A_Forgery_of_Roses?id=qZIpEAAAQBAJ&hl=en_US&gl=US 

Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves by Meg Long

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves

Author: Meg Long

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 5/5

Diversity: f/f romance mentioned

Recommended For…: young adult readers, sci-fi, dystopian, survival

Publication Date: January 11, 2022

Genre: Young Adult Dystopian

Age Relevance: 16+ (animal gore, animal fighting, animal death, language, violence, gore, death)

Explanation of Above: There is a lot of animal gore in the book and mentions of animal fighting. There are also a few animal deaths. There is cursing throughout the book. There is also violence, including gun violence, gore with blood and other injuries, and death mentioned and one gruesome death shown.

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Pages: 368

Synopsis: After angering a local gangster, seventeen-year-old Sena Korhosen must flee with her prize fighting wolf, Iska, in tow. A team of scientists offer to pay her way off her frozen planet on one condition: she gets them to the finish line of the planet’s infamous sled race. Though Sena always swore she’d never race after it claimed both her mothers’ lives, it’s now her only option.

But the tundra is a treacherous place, and as the race unfolds and their lives are threatened at every turn, Sena starts to question her own abilities. She must discover whether she’s strong enough to survive the wild – whether she and Iska together are strong enough to get them all out alive.

Review: Overall, this book was really good. The book is full of action and adventure. The story is compelling and I really loved Sena as a character. The book has an Iditarod race feel to it and I really liked that. The character development was well done, as was the world building, and overall it’s a good story.

However, I did really hate all of the animal violence scenes and I was confused at some points during the book, especially with a lot of the back and forth.

Verdict: It was good!

Scorpica by G.R. Macallister

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Scorpica

Author: G.R. Macallister

Book Series: The Five Queendoms Book 1

Rating: 2/5

Recommended For…: can’t recommend, DNFed

Publication Date: February 22, 2022

Genre: Fantasy

Age Relevance: Can’t recommend, DNFed

Publisher: Saga Press

Pages: 448

Synopsis: A centuries-long peace is shattered in a matriarchal society when a decade passes without a single girl being born in this sweeping epic fantasy that’s perfect for fans of Robin Hobb and Circe.

Five hundred years of peace between queendoms shatters when girls inexplicably stop being born. As the Drought of Girls stretches across a generation, it sets off a cascade of political and personal consequences across all five queendoms of the known world, throwing long-standing alliances into disarray as each queendom begins to turn on each other—and new threats to each nation rise from within.

Uniting the stories of women from across the queendoms, this propulsive, gripping epic fantasy follows a warrior queen who must rise from childbirth bed to fight for her life and her throne, a healer in hiding desperate to protect the secret of her daughter’s explosive power, a queen whose desperation to retain control leads her to risk using the darkest magic, a near-immortal sorcerer demigod powerful enough to remake the world for her own ends—and the generation of lastborn girls, the ones born just before the Drought, who must bear the hopes and traditions of their nations if the queendoms are to survive.

Review: I had to DNF this read at 24% in. I couldn’t make it through the book. I thought it was incredibly slow and confusing. The book wasn’t striking any interest in me and while I do love the premise of a matriarchal society and I felt like the strong narrative will make for a striking book, this is something I can’t devote time to at the moment.

Verdict: It was not for me but maybe for you!

Author Interview with PD Alleva!

1. What’s your books about?

The Rose series is about a species of alien vampires living in hollow earth who have conspired with elite humans and alien greys to subjugate the human population after WW3 by using a pharmaceutical that destroys grey matter in the brain, essentially turning the human population into easily controlled zombies. Ninety percent of Vol 1 takes place in an underground medical compound where the aliens are performing genetic experiments on humans and developing the necessary pharmaceutical. Only problem with the drug is that the c hemist uses an opiate-based chemistry in the pills that turns the alien vampires into raging addicted monsters. Also, in Vol 1, humans still are not aware that aliens exist with the exception of the underground rebellion who have been fighting the human elite and the aliens for thousands of years. Vol 1 is action packed, with battle after battle following the rebel freedom fighter, Phil, whose mission is to deliver an unsuspecting human, Sandy, to the rebellion compound to meet with the leader of the rebellion, a man named Robyn Winter.

Vol 2 is where the depth comes in. More alien conspiracies, a trip into hollow earth to Drac City (where the alien vampires live), across war torn America and beneath the ocean. Vol 2 offered the opportunity to expand on the story and the history of humans and aliens. I got to play around with some fantastic alien concepts and theories as well as science of mind concepts, interstellar travel, multiple dimensions, parallel universes, and philosophical concepts. Plus, it was damn good fun and I am absolutely astounded by Sanos’ performance. Sanos is the main alien vampire, antagonist and over all supreme villain in the series.

2. Who was your favorite character to write?

Sanos, the main alien vampire in the series has been my favorite to write. Yes he is the villain in the series, quite the diabolical one too. I enjoy writing villains more than any character, and that goes for all my books. My opinion is that there’s no better character than the villain, think about what The Silence of the Lambs would have been like without Hannibal the Cannibal. I take my villains seriously with the plan to outdo myself every time.

3. Who was your most difficult character to write?

Mono, the grey alien in charge of genetic manipulation in the underground medical compound in Vol 1, was probably the most difficult to write, although not too difficult at all really (I don’t have too many characters I find difficult to write). I think that what happened with Mono is that she jumped out at me by surprise. I had a different plan for her character but it appears she did not agree with how she was being portrayed, smacking me on the back of the head every time I attempted to push her along the timeline I expected. Sometimes characters do that.

4. What does your writing routine look like?

I enjoy writing in the morning, way before the sun comes up. Once I begin writing I start with the first line and then allow the book to develop on its own. I always have the ending in mind as well as additional scenes I’m excited to write about, but how the characters end up in those pivotal scenes is something I do not know.

5. What is the best writing advice you’ve gotten?

Read and study the craft while reading.

6. Where would you like to set your next book?

I just started writing Vol 3 which will take place primarily in the silver city in hollow earth where the alien vampires reside (featured in Vol 2), however, after Vol 3 is completed I’ll be venturing back into writing horror with a yet to be titled Jekyll and Hyde type of horror novel that I’m all too excited to begin writing since it is set in Sleepy Hollow, NY. I grew up in Westchester County New York and lived in Sleepy Hollow, which still remains one of my favorite places.

7. What made you decide to write sci-fi and horror stories?

I love the genre and some of my favorite childhood movies were scifi horror movies. Think Alien, The Thing, Predator, or The Fly (I love Jeff Goldblum). Also scifi and horror are my two favorite genres to read plus I have a taste for action adventure reads, so why not combine everything and turn it into one hell of an awesome ride.

8. What’s a genre you’d love to write in?

I started writing what I thought at the time was going to be an urban fantasy novella series titled Girl on a Mission, but as I kept writing the story unfolded more along the lines of a horror thriller, so I guess I’ll have to scratch the other genres for now, seems my brain is all about the scares and gore for the time being, although I do have an urban fantasy series idea I’ve been thinking about over the last few years titled, Witches and Gypsies but only time will tell.

9. What’s something you would like to tell future authors?

Keep reading, keep writing, and hone your craft. As for all this marketing stuff goes, do your research and find out what works best for you.

10. When will your next book be released?

Ok, so I write scifi books and horror books. The Rose Vol 2 was published in Dec 2021 and Golem, my psychological horror novel, was published in October 2021. I just started writing Vol 3 and I am currently editing my next horror novel, Jigglyspot and the Zero Intellect, a book I refer to as my satirical cosmic grindhouse horror fantasy thriller novel. I anticipate both books will be published in 2023. I like to take my time with each novel, giving supreme focus to the writing, editing, and design that comes along with the craft, so we will be waiting for the newbies to see the light of day, however, I’ll have ARC copies available way before publication. Best way to stay up to date on all things PD Alleva (and grab and ARC), is to head over to my website and join my mailing list. I don’t like spam so I don’t do it; I usually send the newsletter once a month and sometimes once a quarter. It all depends on what’s happening out there in PD Land. Website: https://pdalleva.com

Scorpica Spotlight!

A centuries-long peace is shattered in a matriarchal society when a decade passes without a single girl being born in this sweeping epic fantasy that’s perfect for fans of Robin Hobb and Circe.

Five hundred years of peace between queendoms shatters when girls inexplicably stop being born. As the Drought of Girls stretches across a generation, it sets off a cascade of political and personal consequences across all five queendoms of the known world, throwing long-standing alliances into disarray as each queendom begins to turn on each other—and new threats to each nation rise from within.

Uniting the stories of women from across the queendoms, this propulsive, gripping epic fantasy follows a warrior queen who must rise from childbirth bed to fight for her life and her throne, a healer in hiding desperate to protect the secret of her daughter’s explosive power, a queen whose desperation to retain control leads her to risk using the darkest magic, a near-immortal sorcerer demigod powerful enough to remake the world for her own ends—and the generation of lastborn girls, the ones born just before the Drought, who must bear the hopes and traditions of their nations if the queendoms are to survive.

G.R. Macallister, author of the Five Queendoms series, also writes bestselling historical fiction as Greer Macallister. Her novels have been named Indie Next, LibraryReads, and Amazon Best Book of the Month picks and optioned for film and television. A regular contributor to Writer Unboxed and the Chicago Review of Books, she lives with her family in Washington, DC. Scorpica is her epic fantasy debut.

Purchase the book here

However Long the Day by Justin Reed

Disclaimer: I received this arc and e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: However Long the Day

Author: Justin Reed

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 4/5

Recommended For…: historical fiction, prince and the pauper retelling, 1920s era

Publication Date: February 15, 2022

Genre: Historical Fiction

Age Relevance: 16+ (xenophobia, racism, sexism, sickness, war, alcohol consumption, violence, gore)

Explanation of Above: There is xenophobia, racism, and sexism mentioned and shown in the book, especially towards one of the characters. This is set in a post-war world, so war is brought up and mentioned occasionally. Sickness in the form of Spanish Flu (which was COVID like) is mentioned as well as mask wearing and mandates. Alcohol consumption is mentioned, especially since this is set during the prohibition era. There is also some violence and gore in the book.

Publisher: Bulrush Press LLC

Pages: 401

Synopsis: However Long the Day is the tale of two strangers—Niall Donovan, a poor immigrant from Ireland, and Frederick Philips, a rich ne’er-do-well from New York’s Upper East Side—who discover they look so similar they could be twins. Frederick, desperate to avoid a lecture from his father, bribes Niall to switch places for the evening. Niall finds there’s more to the story than Frederick let on, and is dragged through the turbulence created by World War I, the Spanish Flu, and social upheaval, and into the corrupt belly of Manhattan on the cusp of Prohibition.

As Niall and Frederick hurtle through the next twenty-four hours, will either get what they bargained for?

Review: For the most part this was a fun book. It’s a Prince and the Pauper retelling set during the 1920s. The book has an okay premise, but the story is very well done. The characters are well developed and the world building is spectacular. The writing is also well done and I highly enjoyed this read overall.

The only issue I had with the book is that it’s very fast paced for a 400 page book. There’s a lot that goes on and sometimes it gets confusing, especially in the beginning of the book. I highly enjoyed it, but it took me a bit to get into.

Verdict: It was well done!

90s Movie Challenge Tag!

Hey Bookies! I’m doing the 90s Movie Challenge Tag, which was created by A Book Lover’s Playlist (thank you so much!). If you’re reading this I challenge you to do it as well!

She’s All That

NAME A BOOK COUPLE THAT ARE AN ODD PAIRING BUT THEY STILL FIT PERFECTLY

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Look, I get Sarah was going for the good girl/bad guy combo, but she had a lot of issues and her family was shit and the guy just kept taking hit after hit. Like… I felt icky that it fell on him to completely help her out, but personality wise they do match well.

10 Things I Hate About You

A BOOK/SERIES THAT YOU HAVE A LOVE/HATE RELATIONSHIP WITH

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

I love this series, but Audrey became a completely different person in Book 3 and in Book 2 it was just wild. Like… it jumped the shark a bit.

Clueless

A CHARACTER THAT IS TOTALLY CLUELESS BUT YOU LOVE THEM ANYWAY

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

David has a piece of my heart. He’s got a good heart and has effin balls bigger than the biggest lifted trucks, but while he does have his smart moments sometimes he’s completely clueless. It’s adorable and you wanna pat his head and say “it’s ok”.

Titanic

NAME A BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY.

Lemon Drop Falls by Heather Clark

I’ve not been mentally well in February, so when this little girl had to watch her mom die and became consumed with anxiety that I was so acutely aware that I was also dealing with… it was too much.

American Pie

A BOOK THAT MAKES YOU LAUGH

A Brush With Love by Mazey Eddings

Sexual innuendos and bodily function jokes never get old with me.

Can’t Hardly Wait

A BOOK WITH A CRAZY PARTY

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

I’m pretty sure Zelie and the group could have solved all of their issues in the span of one book, but a party is a party and that helps to seal their fate. Gotta love flawed characters, especially teens!

Cruel Intentions

NAME A CHARACTER YOU CAN NEVER FULLY TRUST

Castles in their Bones by Laura Sebastian

Everyone is a villain and I don’t know who to trust or who’s a good guy and it’s so good *cry*

Drive Me Crazy

NAME YOUR FAVORITE “BOY NEXT DOOR” OR “GIRL NEXT DOOR” COUPLE.

Mazie by Melanie Crowder

While I don’t think Mazie deserved Jesse, they’re pretty good together and he’s so supportive of her dreams and wants, as she is for his.

Scream

A BOOK WITH A MEMORABLE VILLAIN.

Horror Hotel by Victoria Fulton and Faith McClaren

No spoilers, but I’ll never forget the twist at the end and how the book did a second twist to kill the first twist. It was great!

The Craft

NAME A BOOK WITH WITCHES.

Broken Wish by Julie C. Dao

A witch starts a family curse, but by the end you’re kinda rooting for her.

The Magical Girl’s Guide by Jacque Aye

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Magical Girl’s Guide to Life

Author: Jacque Aye

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 5/5

Diversity: Nigerian American narrator

Recommended For…: self-help, self-care, anime, nonfiction, self-growth

Publication Date: December 21, 2021

Genre: Self-Help

Age Relevance: 13+ (social anxiety, COVID, the murder of George Floyd and Brianna Taylor, suicidal ideation, weight loss, dieting)

Explanation of Above: Social anxiety is discussed a bit throughout the book and so are methods that one could use to perform self-care afterwards. There is a mention of COVID and the murders of George Floyd and Brianna Taylor. There’s also a mention of suicidal ideation. There’s a little section mentioning weight loss and dieting, but nothing that promotes it.

Publisher: Ulysses Press

Pages: 192

Synopsis: Inspired by the wand-wielding, crime-fighting magical girls in your favorite animes and mangas, The Magical Girl’s Guide to Life teaches you how your self-care journey starts by uncovering the magical girl within.

With fun exercises, journal prompts, and personality tests, you’ll quickly learn everything you need to know about your magical girl self, including your magical girl name, what type of power you possess, and what cute companion will perfectly complement your magical girl journey. Once your magical girl identity is locked in, you’ll learn how to take on the world and continue your self-growth by:
Discovering your magical girl gang Punching fear in the face/defining your monster Developing your magical girl beauty routine Finding love after fighting crime And more!

With gorgeous illustrations and entertaining animated characters, The Magical Girl’s Guide to Life reveals how self-love, sisterhood, and magic go together. Perfect for fans of anime and manga like Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura, and more!

Review: Overall, I really loved this book. I thought that the premise was well done and I was hooked from beginning to end. I loved how the book was relatable to me, but also could be to anyone who is way younger than me as well. The book is also targeted to girls, but I feel like anyone would find comfort in this read. The book mainly focuses on uplifting the people who read the book and details a lot of self-care options in it, which I really enjoyed since the pandemic has left me with a lot of anxiety. I also really enjoyed how the author used Magical Girls in media to help convey her messages. And the artwork was just adorable as hell.

The only issue I had with the book is that it’s really short and I felt like there could be more said. I’d love to see this book expanded and have more artwork and/or more in it in general. It was just so good! Also, I find it a crime Totally Spies wasn’t mentioned that much (after Cardcaptor and Sailor Moon, this was a fave of mine!) but I did love seeing the compact they used in the cartoon.

Verdict: Highly recommend!