Wandering in Wonderland by Aislinn Honeycutt

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

 

Book: Wandering in Wonderland

 

Author: Aislinn Honeycutt

 

Book Series: Wandering in Wonderland Book 1

 

Rating: 1/5

 

Diversity: LGBT friendly

 

Publication Date: June 4, 2019

 

Genre: YA Dark Fantasy

 

Recommended Age: Can’t recommend, DNF-ed

 

Publisher: The Parliament House

 

Pages: 195

 

Amazon Link

 

Synopsis: “Lewis Carroll didn’t get it right?”
“No, my dear. I don’t think anyone truly will.”

Far away and down a rabbit hole sits the magical world known as Wonderland. A safe haven for the souls who lived less than ideal lives in the waking world get to experience peace in their afterlife. Jessica is the newest member of this enchanted land, but after eating a cookie that took away her memories of who she was, she doubts herself at every turn.

Jessica participates in The Looking Glass Ceremony to find her new role in the afterlife, but fate has different plans. As the Queen of Hearts takes Jessica under her royal wing, plots of regicide bubble up from the depths of Wonderland. With the help of new and eccentric friends, Jessica might be able to stop the treasonous threats and bring true peace to Wonderland. But only if she heeds the cryptic words of the Caterpillar.

Familiar faces take on new roles in this fantasy retelling with a dark and romantic LGBT twist This isn’t the Wonderland you’ve experienced before, and you definitely don’t want to be late for it.

 

Review: I had to DNF this book. While I thought it was interesting and had a good premise, the writing is disjointed and the way that it’s told with the time skips really throw me off. There’s so much going on in these, but it’s not in the story. The story lacks substance in my opinion.

 

Verdict: Not for me.

Everything’s Not Fine by Sarah J. Carlson

BANNER (1)

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

Book: Everything’s Not Fine

Author: Sarah Carlson

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 5/5

Publication Date: May 26, 2020

Genre: YA Contemporary

Recommended Age: 16+ (drug use, addiction, near death)

Publisher: Turner

Pages: 304

Amazon Link

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Rose Hemmersbach aspires to break out of small town Sparta, Wisconsin and achieve her artistic dreams at Belwyn School for the Arts after she graduates. Painting is Rose’s escape from her annoying younger siblings and her family’s one rule: ignore the elephant in the room, because talking about it makes it real. That is, until the day Rose finds her mother dying on the kitchen floor of a heroin overdose. Kneeling beside her, Rose pleads with the universe to find a heartbeat. She does – but when her mother is taken to the hospital, the troubles are just beginning. Rose and her dad are left to pick up the pieces. Now all that matters are her siblings. Rose doesn’t have room to do her schoolwork, let alone pick up a paintbrush. Until Rose is forced to do the homecoming mural with Rafa, a new senior at Sparta High. Rose and Rafa don’t have an ounce of school spirit between them, but Rose discovers her brain still has room to paint. As Rose fights to hold everything together, and her dreams of the future start to slip from her grasp, she must face the question of what happens when – if – her mom comes home again. And if, deep down, if Rose even wants her to.

Review: What I think really will stick with me about this book is that this book wasn’t afraid to show the rawness about how drug abuse and addiction really is, much like Ellen Hopkins poetic books do. The book showed the before, the during, and the after and it did so without backing down. The book had amazing characters who were all wonderfully developed and the world building was marvelous. I really liked this book and I think the book can help kids and adults alike.

The only issue I had with the book was that I felt that the book was a bit too happy in the end and that the book had a slow pace.

Verdict: Worth the read!

18144557

The Giveaway is: 1 copy of EVERYTHING’S NOT FINE by Sarah Carlson
US Only
Please let your blog visitors know that delays due to COVID-19 may occur on the shipping of the prizes.
Code: <a class=”rcptr” href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d9681b86503/” rel=”nofollow” data-raflid=”d9681b86503″ data-theme=”classic” data-template=”” id=”rcwidget_xow5f82i”>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>
http://a%20href=

Camp by Lev A.C. Rosen

TOUR BANNER (27)

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

 

Book: Camp

 

Author: Lev A.C. Rosen

 

Book Series: Standalone

 

Rating: 4/5

 

Diversity: LGBT friendly! Gay, demi, trans, lesbian, non-bininary, Korean, Jewish, Middle Eastern, Black Brazillian, Black, etc.

 

Publication Date: May 26, 2020

 

Genre: YA Contemporary

 

Recommended Age: 16+ (sexual content, mental health, toxic masculinity)

 

Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers

 

Pages: 384

 

Amazon Link

 

Synopsis:  Sixteen-year-old Randy Kapplehoff loves spending the summer at Camp Outland, a camp for queer teens. It’s where he met his best friends. It’s where he takes to the stage in the big musical. And it’s where he fell for Hudson Aaronson-Lim – who’s only into straight-acting guys and barely knows not-at-all-straight-acting Randy even exists.

This year, though, it’s going to be different. Randy has reinvented himself as ‘Del’ – buff, masculine, and on the market. Even if it means giving up show tunes, nail polish, and his unicorn bedsheets, he’s determined to get Hudson to fall for him.

But as he and Hudson grow closer, Randy has to ask himself how much is he willing to change for love. And is it really love anyway, if Hudson doesn’t know who he truly is?

 

Review: I was definitely worried about the book based on the blurb, but after reading it I thought it was handled excellently and the book was pretty good! The book had well developed characters with well done world building. The book also tackled the tough topics well and was very sex-positive!

 

My only issue is that the books pacing waned here and there. It was slow in a lot of places and it really took a bit for the book to pick up in my opinion.

 

Verdict: Definitely recommend!

BOOK INFORMATION

Camp

by Lev A.C. Rosen
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 26th 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, Queer

 

Synopsis:

 

From the author of the acclaimed Jack of Hearts (and other parts) comes a sweet and sharp screwball comedy that critiques the culture of toxic masculinity within the queer community.

 

Sixteen-year-old Randy Kapplehoff loves spending the summer at Camp Outland, a camp for queer teens. It’s where he met his best friends. It’s where he takes to the stage in the big musical. And it’s where he fell for Hudson Aaronson-Lim – who’s only into straight-acting guys and barely knows not-at-all-straight-acting Randy even exists.

 

This year, though, it’s going to be different. Randy has reinvented himself as ‘Del’ – buff, masculine, and on the market. Even if it means giving up show tunes, nail polish, and his unicorn bedsheets, he’s determined to get Hudson to fall for him.

 

But as he and Hudson grow closer, Randy has to ask himself how much is he willing to change for love. And is it really love anyway, if Hudson doesn’t know who he truly is?

 

BOOK LINKS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

author (14)

 

AUTHOR INFORMATION

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

 

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

 

AUTHOR LINKS

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4731557.Lev_A_C_Rosen

Website: https://www.levacrosen.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LevACRosen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LevRosen/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/levacrosen/

 

Killer Domes and the Chosen One by Gibbo Gibbs

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

Book: Killer Domes and the Chosen One

Author: Gibbo Gibbs

Book Series: Standalone so far

Rating: 3/5

Publication Date: July 5, 2019

Publisher: Indie Published

Pages: 138

Recommended Age: 15+ (violence and weird humor and mature scenes)

Synopsis: As the old world burned, the elite departed to colonise space in search of a new home. Most of the human species perished on earth’s surface, but a protected few remained. Many generations passed without question, but now suspicions are starting to rise.

Follow the story of Maz and her best friend Hap, as a chance encounter with a stranger lures them into a mission to decide the future of humankind.

Review: I felt that this book had an interesting premise and the book was intriguing from start to finish. The world was also well done for a novella.

However, I felt like the book had very underdeveloped characters and the writing is kinda funky. It tries to be quirky but in my opinion it’s kinda forced and weird.

Verdict: It’s a good novella, just wasn’t for me.

Songs of Thalassa by Brian N. Tissot

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

Book: Songs of Thalassa

Author: Brian N. Tissot

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 4/5

Diversity: Hawaiian main character, but not ownvoice

Publication Date: April 1, 2020

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Recommended Age: 15+ (parental death, self-discovery, slight violence and gore)

Publisher: BookBaby

Pages: 320

Amazon Link

Synopsis: In a future where sporting competitions take place on distant planets, a Hawaiian surfer seeks to reclaim her fame and followers while defeating her nemesis once and for all.After a surfing accident claims her career and nearly takes her life, surfer Sage Thompson is at a crossroads. Still mourning her astronaut father’s death on a mission to ocean planet Thalassa, a tragedy she might be able to put behind her with the help of her fans—if they still believed in her—she’s not sure what to do, where to go, or how to move on. But when Milo challenges her to a contest on the ocean planet Thalassa, the asteroid- and tsunami-ravaged world that stole her father, she’ll discover that she not only still has what it takes to win, but once she hears the songs of Thalassa, winning might not be the most important thing.Songs of Thalassa will appeal to fans of Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Martian, and Contact, and features a young woman on a journey of self-discovery struggling to develop a sense of place and connections between herself, her culture, and the universe on a virgin ocean planet.

Review: For the most part I enjoyed the book. I felt it was a well researched and intelligent book. The book is full of information about environmentalism and oceanography. The book is well written and the characters are well developed. I loved the world building as well and I loved how the author envisioned the future!

However, I did feel like the book was a bit too slow for me. The book was good, but very slow and I felt like it just dragged for about 40% of the novel.

Verdict: A great novel, highly recommend if you are looking for a book that touches on environmentalism.

How to Survive a Horror Movie by Seth Grahame-Smith

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

Book: How to Survive A Horror Movie

Author: Seth Grahame-Smith

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 5/5

Publication Date: September 24, 2019

Publisher: Quirk Books

Pages: 176

Recommended Age: 15+ (violence, gore, horror movie tropes)

Synopsis: Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

From ghosts, vampires, and zombies to serial killers, cannibalistic hillbillies, and haunted Japanese videocassettes, How to Survive a Horror Movie shows how to defeat every obstacle found in scary films. Readers will discover:

– How to Perform an Exorcism
– What to Do If You Did Something Last Summer
– How to Persuade the Skeptical Local Sheriff
– How to Vanquish a Murderous Doll
– How to Survive an Alien Invasion
– How to Tell If You’ve Been Dead Since the Beginning of the Movie

and much, much more. Complete with useful instructions, insane illustrations, and a list of 100 important films to study, How to Survive a Horror Movie is essential reading for prom queens, jocks, teenage babysitters, and anyone employed by a summer camp.

Review: This is a weird book but all book by Seth are and that’s why I love them so much. This was basically a love story to all horror lovers. I loved how it was tongue and cheek as well.

My only issue is that I wished it ended better. It didn’t feel wrapped up fully.

Verdict: If you love horror, you’ll love this.

Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco

Disclaimer: I bought this book. Support your authors!

 

Book: Wicked As You Wish

 

Author: Rin Chupeco

 

Book Series: A Hundred Names for Magic Book 1

 

Rating: 2/5

 

Diversity: Filipino main character and LGBT side character

 

Publication Date: March 3, 2020

 

Genre: YA Fantasy

 

Recommended Age: can’t recommend, dnf-ed

 

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

 

Pages: 432

 

Amazon Link

 

Synopsis: Many years ago, the magical Kingdom of Avalon was left desolate and encased in ice when the evil Snow Queen waged war on the powerful country. Its former citizens are now refugees in a world mostly devoid of magic. Which is why the crown prince and his protectors are stuck in…Arizona.
Prince Alexei, the sole survivor of the Avalon royal family, is in hiding in a town so boring, magic doesn’t even work there. Few know his secret identity, but his friend Tala is one of them. Tala doesn’t mind—she has secrets of her own. Namely, that she’s a spellbreaker, someone who negates magic.
Then hope for their abandoned homeland reignites when a famous creature of legend, and Avalon’s most powerful weapon, the Firebird, appears for the first time in decades. Alex and Tala unite with a ragtag group of new friends to journey back to Avalon for a showdown that will change the world as they know it.

 

Review: I had to DNF this book unfortunately. The book is so confusing. The world building is non existent and there are many different things happening at once. The pacing is lightening speed and it feels more like bad fan fiction then a book. It’s not all the way bad but damn it needed a few more rounds of revision and it needed to be cut in half and slowed way down.

 

Verdict: Not for me, but maybe it’s for you.

Keyflame by Tallulah Lucy

Tour Schedule:
May 18 – Paige @popthebutterfly  
May 19 – JP @mr.pink.ink
May 20 – Stacie @borenbooks
May 21 – Vicki @ya_lover_and_reader
May 22 – Jasmine @thefreckledmind
May 23 – Laura @laurathebookunicorn
May 24 – Nikki @thereadingrebel  
book blurb: 
Lilah’s father taught her to be afraid of the world, but now he’s sending her to Grahamstown, a full day’s drive from home, to study.
Then he gets into legal trouble and she’s left stranded without a cent.Her classmate, Kalin, steps in to help. He’s argumentative, brooding and just mysterious enough to be attractive. When they’re ensconced in his study surrounded by old books and strange talismans, it’s easy to forget how many times she’s been warned that he’s bad news.The longer she stays in Grahamstown, and with Kalin, the more she doubts her sanity. Is the town haunted? Are leylines real? And what about the vivid dreams she keeps having of a fantasy world she thought she’d made up?Everyone is keeping secrets, and Lilah’s father may have had good reason for being so overprotective.Who is Kalin really, and what will loving him cost her?
About the author:
Tallulah studied journalism at Rhodes University in Grahamstown and has recurring dreams of returning to that strange and magical place. While working as a technology journalist in Johannesburg, she met a man at a gaming convention and followed him home to Cape Town, where they now live in a small apartment that’s completely overrun with books. If Tallulah ever retired from her career as a social media manager, she would spend her days going to art classes and taking online courses in rare and specific skills so she could bore more people at parties. 

The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar for Fantastic Flying Book Club

Disclaimer: I received an arc of this novel from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Henna Wars

Author: Adiba Jaigirdar

Book Series: Standalone

Diversity: Bangladeshi characters, Black Brazilian love interest, Queer Bangladeshi main character, Korean side character

Rating: 5/5

Publication Date: May 12, 2020

Publisher: Page Street Kids

Pages: 405

Recommended Age: 14+ (romance, racism, homophobia, language, and getting outted TW)

Synopsis: Nishat doesn’t want to lose her family, but she also doesn’t want to hide who she is, and it only gets harder once a childhood friend walks back into her life. Flávia is beautiful and charismatic, and Nishat falls for her instantly. But when a school competition invites students to create their own businesses, both Flávia and Nishat decide to showcase their talent as henna artists. In a fight to prove who is the best, their lives become more tangled—but Nishat can’t quite get rid of her crush, especially since Flávia seems to like her back.

As the competition heats up, Nishat has a decision to make: stay in the closet for her family, or put aside her differences with Flávia and give their relationship a chance.

Review: I really enjoyed this book! I thought the characters were intriguing and well developed. The romance was cute and I was here for it! I loved the world building and I loved how the book was written. It was an amazing read and it was so swoon-worthy! I loved that the author wrote this as well! You don’t see a lot of queer representation with POC and Bangladeshi and Brazilian are both those I’ve never read before to my knowledge. I hope that the tides will change in publishing were we get more stories and more ownvoice from POC and minority writers. The book also does well to talk about the importance of culture and how certain things/activities (like henna) are very important to a culture. The book did well to show how ignorance can make someone accidentally culturally appropriate something, but also didn’t shy away from showing that some people are just blatantly racist and/or homophobic.

My only issue is that I wish some of the words were explained. I got the gist of most of them, especially the terms of relationship and endearment used in the main characters own language, but there was a scene where our main and her love interest speak French to each other and I wish that was explained, but again I got like 60% of what was said. I’d also to have liked to see the person who outted our main character get punished, but the unfortunate reality of our current lives is that some people get away with their actions because it causes more harm on the victim to come forward than to not. This definitely needs to change, but then again I think people’s closed mindedness needs to change as well.

Verdict: Definitely worth the read!!

Outrun the Wind by Elizabeth Tammi

Disclaimer: I received an e-arc from the publisher and then bought my own copy. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

 

Book: Outrun the Wind

 

Author: Elizabeth Tammi

 

Book Series: Standalone

 

Rating: 3/5

 

Diversity: LGBT characters!

 

Publication Date: November 27, 2018

 

Genre: YA Fantasy

 

Recommended Age: 15+ (murder, violence, gore, animal death)

 

Publisher: Flux

 

Pages: 302

 

Amazon Link

 

Synopsis: The Huntresses of Artemis must obey two rules: never disobey the goddess, and never fall in love. After being rescued from a harrowing life as an Oracle of Delphi, Kahina is glad to be a part of the Hunt; living among a group of female warriors gives her a chance to reclaim her strength, even while her prophetic powers linger. But when a routine mission goes awry, Kahina breaks the first rule in order to save the legendary huntress Atalanta.

To earn back Artemis’s favor, Kahina must complete a dangerous task in the kingdom of Arkadia— where the king’s daughter is revealed to be none other than Atalanta. Still reeling from her disastrous quest and her father’s insistence on marriage, Atalanta isn’t sure what to make of Kahina. As her connection to Atalanta deepens, Kahina finds herself in danger of breaking Artemis’ second rule.

She helps Atalanta devise a dangerous game to avoid marriage, and word spreads throughout Greece, attracting suitors willing to tempt fate to go up against Atalanta in a race for her hand. But when the men responsible for both the girls’ dark pasts arrive, the game turns deadly.

 

Review: Overall I thought this book was really good. If you’re into Greek Mythology then this book will be amazing for you. The characters are developed and the plot is intriguing. The book is also well written and I just felt so absorbed by it.

 

However, the book does drop you off in the middle of everything and it’s very hard to follow throughout. The book is too fast paced in my opinion and there is a lot going on in the beginning and throughout the book. If the book had just slowed down it could have easily been a trilogy with the amount of events that happen in this book.

 

Verdict: It was good, but could have been less chaotic.