Reign of Mist, by Helen Scheuerer || The future of YA fantasy is unapologetically female (& a giveaway)


Title: Reign of Mist
Author: Helen Scheuerer
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Copy: Paperback
Rating:

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Synopsis:

The realm’s darkest secret is out.

The cruelty of the capital and the power-hungry King Arden have scattered Bleak and her companions across the continents.

On the run in a foreign land, Bleak finds herself tied to some unexpected strangers. When the answers she yearns for are finally within reach, she must face the hard truths of her past, and take her fate into her own hands before it’s too late.

Meanwhile, secrets and magic unravel as a dark power corrupts the realm. Bleak’s friends are forced to decide where their loyalties lie, and who, if anyone, they can trust.

But one thing is certain: war is coming, and they must all be ready when it does.

Review:

Recently, I wrote about 10 things a reader can expect from Helen Scheuerer’s highly anticipated release, Reign of Mist, which is the second installment in The Oremere Chronicles. It really isn’t a secret that I’m a huge, huge fan of the world and the characters that Helen has created – especially if we take into consideration the frequency and intensity at which I recommend this high fantasy series (i.e. all the time and ALWAYS IN ALL CAPS).

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Your Destination Is on the Left, by Lauren Spieller || Art & traveling: what makes a spellbinding contemporary


Title: Your Destination Is on the Left
Author: Lauren Spieller
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Copy: Digital ARC
Rating:

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Synopsis:

Dessa Rhodes is a modern-day nomad. Her family travels in an RV, their lives defined by state lines, exit signs, and the small communal caravan they call home. Among them is Cyrus, her best friend and long-time crush, whom she knows she can never be with. When your families are perpetually linked, it’s too dangerous to take a risk on romance.

Instead, Dessa looks to the future. She wants to be a real artist and going to art school is her ticket to success and a new life. There’s just one problem: she hasn’t been accepted…anywhere. Suddenly her future is wide open, and it looks like she’s going to be stuck traveling forever.

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Mini Reviews || 5 poetry books from female voices that need to be heard!

Hey, everyone! It feels like forever since I last did mini reviews by batch. I have never really been great at writing concisely, so I’m generally more comfortable with longer and more comprehensive reviews. However, with a total of 54 read-but-unreviewed titles, my review backlog has gotten pretty daunting and overwhelming – hashtag the struggle is real.

For this batch of mini-reviews, I’ll be sharing five poetry collections from female voices that definitely need to be heard by more people! Four of these poetry books were written by women of color, namely, Blue Bird by Magda Ayuk, milk and honey by Rupi Kaur, Women of Resistance by multiple authors, and Sisters’ Entrance by Emtithal “Emi” Mahmoud. Unfortunately, I decided against finishing Women of Resistance, which was definitely one of my more anticipated poetry titles in this batch. The details of my reading experience with it will be elaborated later in my review. Here we go!



Title: Sisters’ Entrance
Author: Emtithal Mahmoud
Genre: Poetry
Copy: Digital ARC
Rating:

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Synopsis:
2015 World Poetry Slam Champion and Woman of the World co-Champion Emtithal “Emi” Mahmoud presents her hauntingly beautiful debut poetry collection.

Brimming with rage, sorrow, and resilience, this collection traverses an expansive terrain: genocide; diaspora; the guilt of surviving; racism and Islamophobia; the burdens of girlhood; the solace of sisterhood; the innocence of a first kiss. Heart-wrenching and raw, defiant and empowering, Sisters’ Entrance explores how to speak the unspeakable.

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Review (and author interview + giveaway!) || The Heart Forger, by Rin Chupeco


Title: The Heart Forger
Author: Rin Chupeco
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Copy: Digital
Rating:

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Synopsis:
In The Bone Witch, Tea mastered resurrection―now she’s after revenge…

No one knows death like Tea. A bone witch who can resurrect the dead, she has the power to take life…and return it. And she is done with her self-imposed exile. Her heart is set on vengeance, and she now possesses all she needs to command the mighty daeva. With the help of these terrifying beasts, she can finally enact revenge against the royals who wronged her―and took the life of her one true love.

But there are those who plot against her, those who would use Tea’s dark power for their own nefarious ends. Because you can’t kill someone who can never die…

War is brewing among the kingdoms, and when dark magic is at play, no one is safe.

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Review || You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone


Title: You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone
Author: Rachel Lynn Solomon
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Copy: Digital
Rating:

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With their Israeli mother falling victim to the rare, gradually deteriorative Huntington’s disease, 18-year-old fraternal twin sisters Adina and Tovah – who share practically nothing but the same DNA – take a genetic test to determine whether they’ve inherited it. Two results come back – one negative for Huntington’s, the other being positive. This turn of events creates additional tension on their already strained relationship as both twins face their own set of internal struggles and fears of the unknown.

You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone is a heartbreaking, poignantly written tale that touches familial relationships, Jewish culture and religious practices, and the exhilarating thrill of first loves, while simultaneously addressing physical illnesses and mental health. It should be noted, however, that the novel also contains heavy content such as self-harm and suicidal ideation. A trigger warning has been provided by the author herself.

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Review || Heart of Mist


Title: Heart of Mist
Author: Helen Scheuerer
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Copy: Digital
Rating:

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Before anything else, I received a digital Advanced Reader’s Copy (ARC) of this book from the author herself. Many, many thanks to Helen Scheuerer for the incredible opportunity! She’s an absolute blessing.

Heart of Mist is a fast-paced fantasy epic that’s set in a magical realm (where magic is forbidden!) composed of four continents: Ellest, Battalon, Havennesse, and Qatrola. Their borders are shrouded in a deadly mist, which threatens to kill more and more civilians as it continues to consume lands while gradually inching towards the kingdoms.

The story largely follows the struggles of Bleak, an orphaned gutter rat from the coastal village of Angove. Cursed with magical abilities that plague her everyday life, she desperately scours the kingdoms for a cure and self-medicates with alcohol. In her fruitless search for healing, she finds something else entirely: trouble. As well as an inevitable battle of power and politics she wants no part in.

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Review || Better At Weddings Than You


Title: Better At Weddings Than You
Author: Mina V. Esguerra
Genre: Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Copy: Digital
Rating:

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Synopsis:

Daphne Cardenas is the best wedding planner around, and everyone knows it. That’s why her friend Greg hired her as an emergency replacement one month before his wedding—because he fears his fiancĂ©e Helen is falling for the guy they first hired for the job.

Aaron Trinidad is new to the wedding industry but years of conference planning and loads of charm make him good at it. Really good at it. Planning the wedding of his friend Helen should be easy, and it is. To be unceremoniously fired isn’t good for his new career, but the chance to learn from the best might be the silver lining.

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