Interview: Kalyn Josephson, Author of Ravenfall

Hello book nerds! Last week, I shared my book review of a very exciting middle grade contemporary fantasy coming this September 6th. Ravenfall is spooky, and cozy, and so heartwarming. (The bottom line is I adored it!) Now, I get to share with you an interview with the author, Kalyn Josephson!

For those of you who haven’t read it yet, here’s my review of Ravenfall!

Now, if you’re as excited as me or as intrigued as the other fans, you need to read on.

Kalyn Josephson talks about Celtic mythology, Ravenfall’s inspirations, writing middle grade for the first time, her favorite season, and the sequel—Hollowthorn!

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ARC Review: Blazewrath Games // A fantastic debut fantasy to watch out for

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Title: Blazewrath Games
Author: Amparo Ortiz
Genre/s and tags: Young Adult, Fantasy, Contemporary Fantasy, Adventure, Sports Fiction, LGBTQ+, POC reads, Latinx rep
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Publication date: October 6, 2020
Content warnings: Violence, murder/mentions of murder, manipulation, animal violence (dragons)
Goodreads synopsis: 

How to Train Your Dragon meets Quidditch through the Ages in this debut fantasy, set in an alternate contemporary world, in which dragons and their riders compete in an international sports tournament

Lana Torres has always preferred dragons to people. In a few weeks, sixteen countries will compete in the Blazewrath World Cup, a tournament where dragons and their riders fight for glory in a dangerous relay. Lana longs to represent her native Puerto Rico in their first ever World Cup appearance, and when Puerto Rico’s Runner—the only player without a dragon steed—is kicked off the team, she’s given the chance.

But when she discovers that a former Blazewrath superstar has teamed up with the Sire—a legendary dragon who’s cursed into human form—the safety of the Cup is jeopardized. The pair are burning down dragon sanctuaries around the world and refuse to stop unless the Cup gets cancelled. All Lana wanted was to represent her country. Now, to do that, she’ll have to navigate an international conspiracy that’s deadlier than her beloved sport.

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I received an e-arc from Page Street via NetGalley in exchange
for honest review. Thank you Page Street!

First of all, HAPPY RELEASE DAY TO BLAZEWRATH GAMES! I remember seeing this book the first time on Instagram. I was so excited for it! I mean, dragons? magic? a sports tournament? Hell yes! I already knew it was going to be good, and so it was one of my most anticipated reads for 2020! (It didn’t prepare me for how it was going to play with my emotions though.)

With great character arcs, exciting plot twists, remarkable world-building, and queer rep, Blazewrath Games is a fantastic debut fantasy to watch out for!

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ARC Review: Cemetery Boys

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Title: Cemetery Boys
Author: Aiden Thomas
Genre/s and Tags: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal/Supernatural, Murder Mystery, Latinx rep, Trans rep, Gay rep, OwnVoices
Content Warnings: Transphobia, deadnaming, ostracism, violence
Publication date: September 1, 2020
Goodreads synopsis:

Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.

When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.

However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.

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There comes a time when I get so lucky and I get blessed by the book gods. Winning an ARC of Cemetery Boys is one of those times. This book is one of my most anticipated releases for 2020 and I am over the moon to have finally read it!

Cemetery Boys is all kinds of amazing. From the rich world-building, the lush writing, to the lovable characters, and the nuances and struggles of being transgender, this book will not disappoint.

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ARC Review: The Extraordinaries

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Title: The Extraordinaries
Author: TJ Klune
Genre/s and Tags: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Science Fiction, Comics, Superheroes, Romcom, Bestfriends to lovers trope, pining, M/M romance,
Content Warnings: Violence, anxiety, panic attacks, some vulgar words but none too extreme
Publication date: July 14, 2020
Goodreads synopsis:

Some people are extraordinary. Some are just extra. TJ Klune’s YA debut, The Extraordinaries, is a queer coming-of-age story about a fanboy with ADHD and the heroes he loves.

Nick Bell? Not extraordinary. But being the most popular fanfiction writer in the Extraordinaries fandom is a superpower, right?

After a chance encounter with Shadow Star, Nova City’s mightiest hero (and Nick’s biggest crush), Nick sets out to make himself extraordinary. And he’ll do it with or without the reluctant help of Seth Gray, Nick’s best friend (and maybe the love of his life).

Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl meets Marissa Meyer’s Renegades in TJ Klune’s YA debut.

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I received an e-arc of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much Tor Teen!

I have such high expectations for this book. The cover is beautiful, the synopsis sounds promising, and having read Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea, I have nothing but excitement and faith for it. And after reading it, damn, I am so glad those expectations are met and more.

This funny, wholesome, and unapologetically queer book will make you laugh, break your heart, and lure you into the start of what seems to be a great trilogy.

My thoughts on The Extraordinaries

This book is just perfect. It’s hella funny, it’s poignant, it’s relatable, it’s heartbreaking, it’s shocking, it’s angsty (two boys pining, come on), it’s heartwarming, the plot twists are amazing, it’s wonderfully-written, it’s EVERYTHING.

But let’s start with the writing style. Klune knows how to tell a story. Yes, he does. The book opens up with a fanfic (a freaking FANFIC, formatted just like in AO3) and I knew this is going to be one hell of a ride. It was funny all throughout, but there were heartbreaking and heartstopping moments as well.

Being neurodiverse himself, I feel like Klune managed to encapsulate Nick’s ADHD onto the pages perfectly. There were times when I just wanted to give Nick a hug, and tell him it’s going to be okay. (This is obviously a clear sign that I got invested with the characters AGAIN) Speaking of characters, I loved that everyone in this book had a part. The minor characters weren’t just there for the sake of it. Instead, they added their own flair and stories, they helped Nick, they helped the plot, they made the story alive, and I loved that.

As for the romance, oh boy. Get ready for a lot of pining and cluelessness and angst. But also, get ready for the fluff and the wholesomeness. Best friends to lovers is one of my favorite romance tropes, and the author wrote that well.

When it comes to the plot of The Extraordinaries, it was definitely entertaining. Nick decides he wants to become an Extraordinary and starts all these crazy methods, and then some…other things happen (which I will not spoil, of course!). I liked that the author knows how to build up a plot twist or revelation. He does that really well all throughout the book using flashbacks, a number of foreshadowing, and more. And though, I already had a hunch early on about a specific big plot twist, it was still so exciting and thrilling to read the book.

The world-building, I feel like it can use a little more polishing. However, this is just the first book, and I have faith that we’ll get to know more about the origin of these Extraordinaries in the next installments.

Overall, The Extraordinaries is such an amazing journey of self-discovery, self-love, the beauty of friendship and family, and challenging the very trope that is “superhero versus villain”.

Quotes from the book 

​“It’s good to talk about how you’re feeling. But it’s even better to fight for the things you believe in.”

​​He thought he was going to cry again, but since he’d done it twice in as many days, he decided it was probably best if he tried to be a man for a little while. Then he thought that was sexist, so he allowed another tear to spill onto his cheek.

“This sucks. Not only am I the comedic relief/ love interest, I’m also the clueless comedic relief/ love interest who is a pawn in a game I didn’t even realize was being played. God, my life is so cliché.”

*Note that these quotes were taken from an advance reader’s copy and may differ from the final copy.


Buy The Extraordinaries

Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Book Depository | Bookshop


This book was my first read for Pride Month and for #spectrumreads and it looks like I’m off to a great start! How are your Pride Month reads?

Also, is this book on your radar already? Tell me in the comments!

Book Review: Magic

Title: Magic
Author: Mike Russell
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐ 💫
Genre/s and tags: Adult, Contemporary, Fantasy/Supernatural, Magic Realism
Content warnings: Graphic depictions of violence/murder (one scene depicts a woman being sawed in half), mentions of child abuse, mentions of domestic violence, mentions of suicide, mentions of genocide
Goodreads synopsis: 

Does magic exist? Charlie Watson thinks it does and he wants to tell you all about it. Before he was famous, Charlie Watson decided to write a book to share with the world everything he knew about magic. This is that book. You will discover why Charlie always wears a top hat, why his house is full of rabbits, how magic wands are made, how the universe began, and much, much more. Plus, for the first time, Charlie tells of the strange events that led him from England to the Arctic, to perform the extraordinary feat that made him famous, and he finally reveals whether that extraordinary feat was magic or whether it was just a trick. 

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher
in exchange for an honest review! 

I’ve read Strange Secrets by Mike Russell last year and I enjoyed it a lot. So when I was asked to review a new book from him, I was excited to dive in!

Magic is a strange yet funny and heartwarming story that will make you think about magic and the world, and will make you wonder just how real magic is.

My thoughts on Magic

magic-by-mike-russell-front-coverWhat you need to know, first of all, is that this book is sort of a personal account of Charlie Watson and his strange journey with magic. Charlie, our protagonist, is directly talking to the readers and telling us about his  various encounters with different people, telling us about his thoughts and feelings. As a result, I was able to fully connect and understand Charlie as a character. He’s kind, innocent and childlike, and although that can be a little annoying at first, it’s impossible to hate him. He goes through many changes and the readers are right there with him. At the end of the book, I loved his character arc!

The plot is truly strange and interesting, and yet it has a heartwarming touch to it. I felt like it was a little bit dragging at the first few parts, but once the conflict has been introduced, it has been an exciting turn of events. Charlie met a lot of people who made him realize different things, people who made him question whether magic is real or not, and people who made him think about the existence of everything.

There are also a couple of issues talked about in the book. Bullying was a recurring theme and I love the subtlety of various characters overcoming it. Suicide/depression was also talked about in the story, but I feel like the author could have expounded more on that.

Overall, this was quite a nice read and I recommend it to those who are looking for a little magic!

Quotes from the book

You have to be brave if you want to know the truth. You have to risk being disappointed. 

First of all, this book was about how magic exists. Then it changed into a book about how magic doesn’t exist. Now I don’t know if magic exists or if it doesn’t exist, but I really want to find out. 

She’d had enough of men being in charge of her. She wanted to be independent. 

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Have you guys read this book yet? What did you think? Tell me in the comments!

Catch my interview with author Mike Russell later this week!