ARC Review: Ravenfall // Spooky, magical, heartfelt

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Title: Ravenfall
Author: Kalyn Josephson
Genre/s and tags: Middle grade, contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, supernatural
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication date: September 6, 2022
Content warnings: parental death, death, murder, violence
Goodreads synopsis: 

Ravenfall by Kalyn Josephson Book Cover

One magical inn, two kids with supernatural powers, and an ancient Celtic creature trying to destroy their world by Halloween night…

Halloweentown meets Supernatural in this spooky middle-grade series from the acclaimed author of the Storm Crow duology!

Thirteen-year-old Annabella Ballinkay has never been normal, even by her psychic family’s standards. Every generation uses their abilities to help run the Ravenfall Inn, a sprawling, magical B&B at the crossroads of the human world and the Otherworld. But it’s hard to contribute when your only power is foreseeing death.

So when fourteen-year-old Colin Pierce arrives at Ravenfall searching for his missing older brother and the supernatural creature who killed their parents, Anna jumps at the chance to help. But the mysteries tied to Colin go much deeper than either of them expects. . . .

As the two team up to find answers, they unearth Colin’s family’s secret past and discover that Colin has powers beyond his imagination. And now the supernatural creature, one with eerie origins in Celtic mythology, is coming after him. If Anna and Colin can’t stop the creature by Halloween night, the veil to the Otherworld could be ripped open–which would spell destruction for their world as they know it.

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A big thank you to the author for sending the e-ARC my way for an honest review!
(This, of course, did not affect my overall opinion of the book.)

Hi book nerds! I don’t know about you, but reading middle grade novels always fun for me. And in this case, Ravenfall is a wonderful middle grade novel that ticked the boxes for me—from the plot, the Supernatural vibes, to the characters, to the setting, and more! So today, I’m sharing it with all of you!

Ravenfall is a spooky and magical middle grade novel you do not want to miss! With Celtic mythology, a sentient inn, psychics, and a family secret, it’s an adventure you’ll love.

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ARC Review: I Kissed Shara Wheeler // A YA romcom debut to look out for

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Title: I Kissed Shara Wheeler
Author: Casey McQuiston
Genre/s and tags: Young adult, contemporary, romance, LGBTQ+, mystery
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication date: May 3, 2022
Content warnings: homophobia, religious trauma
Goodreads synopsis: 

I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston Book Cover

From the New York Times bestselling author of One Last Stop and Red, White & Royal Blue comes a debut YA romantic comedy about chasing down what you want, only to find what you need…

Chloe Green is so close to winning. After her moms moved her from SoCal to Alabama for high school, she’s spent the past four years dodging gossipy classmates and a puritanical administration at Willowgrove Christian Academy. The thing that’s kept her going: winning valedictorian. Her only rival: prom queen Shara Wheeler, the principal’s perfect progeny.

But a month before graduation, Shara kisses Chloe and vanishes.

On a furious hunt for answers, Chloe discovers she’s not the only one Shara kissed. There’s also Smith, Shara’s longtime quarterback sweetheart, and Rory, Shara’s bad boy neighbor with a crush. The three have nothing in common except Shara and the annoyingly cryptic notes she left behind, but together they must untangle Shara’s trail of clues and find her. It’ll be worth it, if Chloe can drag Shara back before graduation to beat her fair-and-square.

Thrown into an unlikely alliance, chasing a ghost through parties, break-ins, puzzles, and secrets revealed on monogrammed stationery, Chloe starts to suspect there might be more to this small town than she thought. And maybe—probably not, but maybe—more to Shara, too.

Fierce, funny, and frank, Casey McQuiston’s I Kissed Shara Wheeler is about breaking the rules, getting messy, and finding love in unexpected places.

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A big thank you to Macmillan International and Fully Booked PH for the e-ARC!
(This, of course, did not affect my overall opinion of the book.)

Hello book nerds! I am back again with another book review. And it seems like another top 2022 read for me. I am talking about I Kissed Shara Wheeler! This is the much anticipated YA debut from Casey McQuiston. Now, because I enjoyed RWRB, I can’t help but be excited for this one as well! I have to say though, I started reading without really knowing much about what I was getting into. I ended up enjoying it way more than I thought I would!

I Kissed Shara Wheeler is a funny and heartfelt journey of queer identity, of finding love, and realizing that there’s more to the people around us. This is a YA romcom debut to look out for!

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ARC Review: Kiss & Tell // Romance, boybands, and queer people in the limelight

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Title: Kiss & Tell
Author: Adib Khorram
Genre/s and tags: Young adult, contemporary, romance, LGBTQ+, music
Publisher: Dial Books/Penguin Teen
Publication date: March 22, 2022
Content warnings: homophobia, leaked privacy/private texts being leaked, slut-shaming, body shaming, racism, sexual content
Goodreads synopsis: 

Kiss & Tell by Adib Khorram Book Cover

A smart, sexy YA novel about a boy band star, his first breakup, his first rebound, and what it means to be queer in the public eye, from award-winning author Adib Khorram

Hunter never expected to be a boy band star, but, well, here he is. He and his band Kiss & Tell are on their first major tour of North America, playing arenas all over the United States and Canada (and getting covered by the gossipy press all over North America as well). Hunter is the only gay member of the band, and he just had a very painful breakup with his first boyfriend–leaked sexts, public heartbreak, and all–and now everyone expects him to play the perfect queer role model for teens.

But Hunter isn’t really sure what being the perfect queer kid even means. Does it mean dressing up in whatever The Label tells him to wear for photo shoots and pretending never to have sex? (Unfortunately, yes.) Does it mean finding community among the queer kids at the meet-and-greets after K&T’s shows? (Fortunately, yes.) Does it include a new relationship with Kaivan, the star of the band opening for K&T on tour? (He hopes so.) But when The Label finds out about Hunter and Kaivan, it spells trouble—for their relationship, for the perfect gay boy Hunter plays for the cameras, and, most importantly, for Hunter himself.

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A big thank you to Dial Books/Penguin Teen for the e-ARC!
(This, of course, did not affect my overall opinion of the book.)

Hello book nerds! I feel like it has been a while! I’ve been struggling with some reads recently. However, I’ve still been blessed with great reads. This book? It’s one of them!

Kiss & Tell is another novel from Adib Khorram everyone should look out for. Romantic, inspiring, and socially-conscious, this book is a journey of queer love, identity, and pressure under the limelight.

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ARC Review: The One True Me and You // Fandom, community, and queer identity

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Title: The One True Me and You
Author: Remi K. England
Genre/s and tags: Young adult, contemporary, romance, LGBTQ+, fandom
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication date: March 1, 2022
Content warnings: homophobia/lesbophobia, bullying, outing of nonbinary and lesbian characters
Goodreads synopsis: 

One small fandom convention. One teen beauty pageant.
One meet cute waiting to happen.

Up and coming fanfic author Kaylee Beaumont is internally screaming at the chance to finally meet her fandom friends in real life and spend a weekend at GreatCon. She also has a side quest for the weekend:

Try out they/them pronouns to see how it feels
Wear more masculine-presenting cosplay
Kiss a girl for the first time

It’s… a lot, and Kay mostly wants to lie face down on the hotel floor. Especially when her hometown bully, Miss North Carolina, shows up in the very same hotel. But there’s this con-sponsored publishing contest, and the chance to meet her fandom idols… and then, there’s Teagan.

Pageant queen Teagan Miller (Miss Virginia) has her eye on the much-needed prize: the $25,000 scholarship awarded to the winner of the Miss Cosmic Teen USA pageant. She also has secrets:

She loves the dresses but hates the tiaras
She’s a giant nerd for everything GreatCon
She’s gay af

If Teagan can just keep herself wrapped up tight for one more weekend, she can claim the scholarship and go off to college out and proud. If she’s caught, she could lose everything she’s worked for. If her rival, Miss North Carolina, has anything to do with it, that’s exactly how it’ll go down.

When Teagan and Kay bump into one another the first night, sparks fly. Their connection is intense—as is their shared enemy. If they’re spotted, the safe space of the con will be shattered, and all their secrets will follow them home. The risks are great… but could the reward of embracing their true selves be worth it?

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A big thank you to Wednesday Books for sending an e-ARC my way!
(This, of course, did not affect my overall opinion of the book.)

Hello book nerds! Today I’m sharing my review for one of my most anticipated releases this year! Now I’ve already heard some positive reviews prior to reading it, but no one could have prepared me for how much I was going to love this book.

The One True Me and You is simply heartwarming. It perfectly captures what it means to be in a fandom, the beauty of community, and exploring and owning your queer identity.

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Book Review: Kingston and the Echoes of Magic // Bigger and bolder

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Title: Kingston and the Echoes of Magic
Author: Rucker Moses, Theo Gangi
Genre/s and tags: Middle Grade, Urban Fantasy, Mystery, Magic, Mythology, BIPOC Lead
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication date: October 12, 2021
Content warnings: Violence (mild), loss of a parent
Goodreads synopsis: 

In this duology’s finale, Kingston travels back in time and uses his growing magic to save the world.

Kingston might have saved Echo City but the victory is bittersweet without his pops by his side. The holidays are approaching and if Kingston could have one wish, it would be to have his father, who is trapped in the Realm, come home. But as new problems arise and blackouts blanket the city, Kingston begins to have a persistent feeling of deja vu, as if he’s lived this same day before–and he has. Echo City living up to its name, is caught in a repeating time loop.

Maestro, his father’s old rival, has found a way to overwrite reality with an alternate timeline where he rules over all. It will be up to Kingston, Too Tall, and V to find a way to enter the Realm and travel back through time to stop him. But with a magic he still barely understands, Kingston will needs his friends’ smarts and their collective courage to figure out the mystery and find Maestro before Brooklyn as they know it is erased for good.

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A big thank you to Megan Beatie Communications for sending me a finished copy!
(This, of course, did not affect my overall opinion of the book.)

Hello book nerds! Coming at you with another book review this week! Although, just to be transparent, this book is actually my last read of 2021! I have been reading and enjoying middle grade novels lately, and this book was another great journey.

Bigger and bolder, and yet still full of heart, Kingston and the Echoes of Magic is a finale that will keep you on your toes!

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