Series Review + Reactions: All for the Game by Nora Sakavic

Hi book nerds! Today’s post is a little different. Instead of a book review, I came up with a series review of my own.

Why series review? Two reasons:

1) After reading the first book of this series, I immediately devoured the next one. As a result, I had no time to make a book review for the first.

2) I realized I had a lot more to talk about and share with you guys. Not only about the first book, but the second one as well. And so, I decided to just binge read the rest of the series and make a series review.

Alright, I’ll go ahead and start. I’ll try hard not to spoil anything! (And since I feel like this is too long, there is tl;dr at the bottom!)

Discovering All for the Game

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Series: All for the Game
Author: Nora Sakavic
Genres: Contemporary, Sports Fiction, LGBTQ+

I’ve had several people suggest The Foxhole Court to me as a book for my Pride Month TBR. But before that, I’ve already seen them in a few photos in bookstagram, so I’m already familiar with the book covers. Since it was free on Kindle, I went ahead and downloaded it. I started the first book with very little expectations and a bit of hesitation (I saw some mixed reviews and low ratings), but now, it’s safe to say that this trilogy is one of my fave reads this 2019.

This series took my breath away, surprised me in every way possible, and made me fall in love with the characters and their stories. It’s truly amazing in its own way.

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Book Review: Darius the Great is Not Okay

Title: Darius the Great is Not Okay

Author: Adib Khorram

Genre/s: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

My rating: 5/5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

Darius doesn’t think he’ll ever be enough, in America or in Iran.

Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He’s about to take his first-ever trip to Iran, and it’s pretty overwhelming–especially when he’s also dealing with clinical depression, a disapproving dad, and a chronically anemic social life. In Iran, he gets to know his ailing but still formidable grandfather, his loving grandmother, and the rest of his mom’s family for the first time. And he meets Sohrab, the boy next door who changes everything.

Sohrab makes sure people speak English so Darius can understand what’s going on. He gets Darius an Iranian National Football Team jersey that makes him feel like a True Persian for the first time. And he understands that sometimes, best friends don’t have to talk. Darius has never had a true friend before, but now he’s spending his days with Sohrab playing soccer, eating rosewater ice cream, and sitting together for hours in their special place, a rooftop overlooking the Yazdi skyline.

Sohrab calls him Darioush–the original Persian version of his name–and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he’s Darioush to Sohrab. When it’s time to go home to America, he’ll have to find a way to be Darioush on his own.

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My heart is bursting with both sadness and joy because of this book. It was so well-written, so heartbreaking, and yet so heartwarming at the same time. So many people have recommended this to me, so many people have said a lot of good things about it, and they were absolutely right. I can say that Darius the Great is Not Okay is now one of my top 2019 reads.

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Book Review: A Darker Shade of Magic

Title: A Darker Shade of Magic

Author: V.E. Schwab

Series: Shades of Magic #1

Genre/s: Adult, Fantasy, High fantasy, Magic, Adventure

My rating: 4/5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

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I have been wanting to read something from Schwab for quite some time now, and I finally got my hands on A Darker Shade of Magic! So many of my friends from Instagram keep hyping me up about it, and so many readers are in the fandom. The exclusive collector’s edition looks gorgeous—fitting for such a great story!

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Book Review: Puddin’

Title: Puddin’

Author: Julie Murphy

Series: Dumplin’ #2

Genre/s: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

My rating: 5/5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

It is a companion novel to Dumplin’, which follows supporting characters from the first book in the months after Willowdean’s star turn in the Clover City pageant.

Millie Michalchuk has gone to fat camp every year since she was a girl. Not this year. This year she has new plans to chase her secret dream—and to kiss her crush. Callie Reyes is the pretty girl who is next in line for dance team captain and has the popular boyfriend. But when it comes to other girls, she’s more frenemy than friend. When circumstances bring the girls together over the course of a semester, they will surprise everyone (especially themselves) by realizing they might have more in common than they ever imagined.

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This book has been sitting on my shelf for almost a year now and it’s only this week that I decided to read it AAAAAHHHHH. I liked Dumplin’. It was okay for me, it definitely has a special place in my heart but it didn’t blow me away. Puddin’, however, blew my mind and captured my heart. This book is all sorts of amazing.

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Book Review: The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One

Title: The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One

Author: Amanda Lovelace

Series: Women are some kind of magic

Genre/s: Poetry

My rating: 5/5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

The witch: supernaturally powerful, inscrutably independent, and now—indestructible. These moving, relatable poems encourage resilience and embolden women to take control of their own stories. Enemies try to judge, oppress, and marginalize her, but the witch doesn’t burn in this one.

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At the end of last year, I made sort of a vow to myself that I would try to read more poetry books. I wanted to discover this new genre of books. And also because I found it personally weird that I used to be a literary writer and editor in college, but I have never read a poetry book like this! Hahaha!

This book was a rare find. I’ve had my eyes on this book for a while (the whole series/ poetry collection of Amanda Lovelace, to be honest), but our local bookstores do not have stocks of it. But then, I did find one! A single copy. I was so, so thankful! It was unfortunate that I only found the second book in the series, but I was still so happy.

Last week, I finally read it, and fellow book nerds, I am amazed! This book is fierce, provoking, and oh so lovely in every way.

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