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The Beauty of the Moment by Tanaz Bhathena

The Beauty of the Moment
Author: Tanaz Bhathena
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: February 26th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Susan is the new girl—she’s sharp and driven, and strives to meet her parents’ expectations of excellence. Malcolm is the bad boy—he started raising hell at age fifteen, after his mom died of cancer, and has had a reputation ever since.

Susan’s parents are on the verge of divorce. Malcolm’s dad is a known adulterer.

Susan hasn’t told anyone, but she wants to be an artist. Malcolm doesn’t know what he wants—until he meets her.

Love is messy and families are messier, but in spite of their burdens, Susan and Malcolm fall for each other. The ways they drift apart and come back together are testaments to family, culture, and being true to who you are.


I really enjoyed The Beauty of the Moment, it’s a sweet story about relationships and family. Also how culture and religion play into who we are and how we act.

I thought the culture part of the story was so interesting. I realized how little I know about Indian culture and I loved every second of learning about it through the story. I also looked up more about Parsi and Desi. I really thought the tidbits about what it’s like in Saudi Arabia and even Canada. I want to read more books like this. Just even the characters misunderstanding about each other and there is one part where Susan explains her name. I just thought everything was presented in a way that for someone like me who doesn’t know these things could understand.

The family element is so strong in the story. I loved that, I loved that it really shows different types of family dynamics. I might have not been happy that Susan’s parents were deciding her future. I could also see though that they just want her to have a successful life. Especially her mother that gave up things in order to marry and have children. I think that is something that is completely relatable. My mom did the same and she was happy with her choice but she was also insistent about me going to college (I was the first in my family to go to college, I have 3 older brothers). I can tell you my dad wasn’t necessarily happy that I went to a Liberal Arts College for my Journalism degree. Ha ha. So I loved how the book showed that yes we are all made up of different cultures and things but the heart of a family is important to everyone.

I loved the characters!!! Especially Malcolm. He is a such a cool and sweet boy. He’s someone who has had trouble in the past, especially after dealing with his mom’s death but the way he picks himself back up. I love that he stands his ground on things he is trying to improve about himself. He’s just so open and honest it’s hard not to like him.

I also really like Susan. She is shy and reserved at times but can really take care of herself. She’s smart and works hard but also loves her art. I loved seeing her really come out of her shell.

I really loved the story. There are so many things about it that mesh so well together. I love that when the conflict comes up in the romance, there isn’t a magical easy fix. The characters have to really work on themselves to find a way back from it. I thought the book had some really great storytelling!!

I really enjoyed the book and definitely recommend it for you contemporary read list.

Tanaz Bhathena was born in India and raised in Saudi Arabia and Canada. Her critically acclaimed novel A Girl Like That was nominated for the 2019 OLA White Pine Award and named a Best Book of 2018 by The Globe and Mail, CBC, Quill & Quire, Seventeen, PopSugar, and The Times of India among others. Her second novel The Beauty of the Moment releases on Feb 26 2019. Her short stories have appeared in various journals including Blackbird, Witness and Room.

A wanderer at heart, Tanaz can often be found travelling to different countries, learning bits and pieces of a foreign language, and taking way too many photographs. She loves slapstick comedies and any kind of music that makes her dance. She lives in the Toronto area with her family.

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Prize: Win a finished copy of THE BEAUTY OF THE MOMENT by Tanaz Bhathena (US Only)
Start Date: 19th February 2019
Ending Date: 5th March 2019
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Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf

Title: Bring Their Hearts
Author: Sara Wolf
Published: June 5th 2018 by Entangled: Teen

Zera is a Heartless – the immortal, unageing soldier of a witch. Bound to the witch Nightsinger ever since she saved her from the bandits who murdered her family, Zera longs for freedom from the woods they hide in. With her heart in a jar under Nightsinger’s control, she serves the witch unquestioningly.

Until Nightsinger asks Zera for a Prince’s heart in exchange for her own, with one addendum; if she’s discovered infiltrating the court, Nightsinger will destroy her heart rather than see her tortured by the witch-hating nobles.

Crown Prince Lucien d’Malvane hates the royal court as much as it loves him – every tutor too afraid to correct him and every girl jockeying for a place at his darkly handsome side. No one can challenge him – until the arrival of Lady Zera. She’s inelegant, smart-mouthed, carefree, and out for his blood. The Prince’s honor has him quickly aiming for her throat.

So begins a game of cat and mouse between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all.

Winner takes the loser’s heart.

Literally.



I heart this book a million times over. Get it? Ha. Bring Me Their Hearts is one of those great books that you find and wish more people were reading. The story is unique and the writing is flawless. Also I adore every character.

The setting and the plot are all great but the true heart (ya I’m making too many puns) of the story is about the relationships. I’m not just talking about the developing romance between Lucian and Zera but also her interactions with other characters. Y’shennria and Zera in particular is one of my favorites. Y’shennria is such a complex person with such a complex past. The way Zera and her find each other is such a sweet and endearing part to the story. Neither of them wants to be in the situation they are in but they find themselves going through it together. I also really love Lucien and Malachite and how much the two of them care for each other. Being that Lucien’s father has pretty much shut down since losing Vera. Of course there is also Fionne and Reginall, so many characters that have their own impact but not in a overwhelming way.

I love Zera!!! She is so funny and quick witted. Also skilled with a sword to hold her own. I wasn’t actually sure how I felt about Lucien but I love love the witty banter between the two of them. It’s such a perfect slow burning romance. As much as I wanted them to get together, I was also really content with their friendship that gets established first.

The story is so unique and cool. The world building as well. It doesn’t necessarily happen in many different settings but the whole role that magic takes. From the witches who once were allies and then became enemies. To the Beneathers who have their own mystical powers. From the polymaths and their inventions. It was just so interesting!

The pacing of the story is perfect. You never feel like things are getting too slow or bored. Part of me did not want to finish the book because I was like nooooo I don’t want to wait for the next one. Which I still feel that way. Noooooo I don’t want to wait for the next one.

Love love this book and I hope people who are fans of YA and Fantasy read it!

Dark of the West by Joanna Hathaway

Title: Dark of the West (Glass Alliance #1)
Author: Joanna Hathaway
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: February 5th 2019
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

He was raised in revolution. She was raised in a palace. Can their love stop a war? Code Name Verity meets The Winner's Cursein Joanna Hathaway's Dark of the West, a breathtaking YA fantasy debut.

Aurelia Isendare is a princess of a small kingdom in the North, raised in privilege but shielded from politics as her brother prepares to step up to the throne. Halfway around the world, Athan Dakar, the youngest son of a ruthless general, is a fighter pilot longing for a life away from the front lines. When Athan’s mother is shot and killed, his father is convinced it’s the work of his old rival, the Queen of Etania—Aurelia’s mother. Determined to avenge his wife’s murder, he devises a plot to overthrow the Queen, a plot which sends Athan undercover to Etania to gain intel from her children.

Athan’s mission becomes complicated when he finds himself falling for the girl he’s been tasked with spying upon. Aurelia feels the same attraction, all the while desperately seeking to stop the war threatening to break between the Southern territory and the old Northern kingdoms that control it—a war in which Athan’s father is determined to play a role. As diplomatic ties manage to just barely hold, the two teens struggle to remain loyal to their families and each other as they learn that war is not as black and white as they’ve been raised to believe.


For some reason when I started reading Dark of the West, I was picturing it in my head as a Ghibili style anime.

Dark of the West has quite the expansive political element as well as a Romeo and Juliet style love story. There are twist and turns at every possible juncture and it keeps things moving.

The plot is definitely expansive in not just the world building but the building of the politics for each nation. There were times I struggled to keep a grasp on who was doing what. I also kept mixing up who was Southern and was Northern. It’s one of those you need to consult a map for reference. It’s a story where you don’t really know who your enemy is. All you can do is trust the main POV’s that you know because you are at least seeing inside their heads. I thought this made all the characters really interesting. The most being the General and Sinora. I felt like they were playing their own separate skilled chess game. Moving their pieces long before anyone around them knew what was happening. As far as what’s going to happen next the story really keeps you on your toes.

I loved loved Athan and Aurelia’s love story. They are probably one of my favorite couples now. The interactions and chemistry between them is the best thing ever. Plus everything just happens so naturally. The first part of the book gives a lot of their individual backstory before they actually meet. So you get the sense of where they are coming from when they finally do cross path. It’s largely them being underestimated by their families and trying to stay out of war that they really have no choice to be a part of.

I also really love Athan and Cyar’s friendship. I really want to hang out with them.

I really enjoyed the Dark of the West. Although the political parts could be confusing, I also think that’s what made them interesting. I loved the love story so much and worry for them in future books. Especially with the prologue but it will be interesting to see.


Joanna was born in MontrĂ©al and is an avid storyteller who was inspired to write after reading her great-grandfather’s memoirs of the First World War. A lifelong history buff, she now has shelves filled with biographies and historical accounts, and perhaps one too many books about pilots. She can often be found reading, traveling, or riding horses.

Her debut novel, DARK OF THE WEST (Tor Teen, February 5th, 2019), is the first in a WWII-infused fantasy series of forbidden love and deadly revenge.

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GIVEAWAY
Prize: Win (1) of (10) physical copies of DARK OF THE WEST by Joanna Hathaway (US Only)
Giveaway Starts: February 5th, 2019
Giveaway Ends: February 18th, 2019
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The Antidote by Shelley Sackier

Title: The Antidote
Author: Shelley Sackier
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 5th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Magic is not allowed, under any circumstances — even if it could save someone’s life. Instead, there are herbal remedies and traditional techniques that have been painstakingly recorded in lieu of using the mystical arts. Fee knows this, so she keeps her magic a secret.

Except her best friend, Xavi, is deathly ill. He’s also the crown prince. Saving him is important, not only for her, but for the entire kingdom.

Fee’s desperation to save her friend means she can barely contain the magic inside her. And after the tiniest of slips, Fee is thrust into a dark and secretive world that is as alluring as it is dangerous.

If she gives in, it could mean she can save Xavi. But it also means that those who wish to snuff out magic might just snuff her out in the process.

Read an Excerpt : Check out the Pinterest Inspiration Board




The Antidote started off a little slow for me. Although it was interesting to get the backstory on Ophelia (Fee) because as a character, I instantly loved her. She is fiesty, stubborn and not afraid of her magic. I think I felt the slowness more due to Savva’s cryptic ways. Like just say what you mean lady. Maybe I was just channeling my inner Fee.

Once the story picked it up, I found myself absorbed. There were definitely some things that still confused me. Like the mixing bloodlines and how important the stones are. Like maybe there wasn’t enough time to develop everything. I was really caught up in the suspense of figuring out who was the mastermind behind Xavi’s troubles as well as seeing the different characters develop.

I really did love Fee. She is such a fierce character, that is super loyal and protective of the ones she loves. Willing to do anything and fight anyone. I also really loved her friendship with Xavi and how they are so close but there is no romantic involvement. They truly love one another like they are family. I also liked her magic and how nature based it is.

So Kye was interesting. He’s changed over the years they have been a part but I did actually really like the romance between them. It was subtle but it was also sweet. Since Kye had been in love with Fee when they were little. Despite the fact he is kind of an idiot when he first comes back. I liked the lightness to their relationship.

I liked all the supporting characters from Quinn, Savva and the healers.

Despite the slow start, I did enjoy the story. It had enough to keep me intrigued until the end.


Shelley Sackier grew up in a small farming community in Northern Wisconsin continually searching for ways to grow warm. Realizing she would never be able to enjoy ice cream like real people should, she left the state and lived the blissful life of a traveling musician. Discovering her stories needed more space than two verses a bridge and a chorus could provide, she began storytelling in earnest. And then in Virginia. Which is where she lives now and continues to write.
Her first novel, DEAR OPL (Sourcebooks 2015), is a tale about a snarky, overweight thirteen-year-old, who suffers from loss everywhere in her life except on her body.
Her next novel, The Freemason's Daughter (HarperCollins, 2017) is a story about a 16 yr old Scottish girl living in 1715 who's raised entirely by six burly Scotsman--and they're all smugglers. The Antidote (HarperCollins February 2019) is a YA novel about magic and medicine, and the witches who wield them both.
To learn more about Shelley, visit shelleysackier.com where she blogs weekly about living on a small farm atop a mountain in the Blue Ridge and how it’s easiest to handle most of it with homegrown food, a breathless adoration for tractors, and a large dose of single malt scotch.

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GIVEAWAY
Prize: Win (1) physical copy of THE ANTIDOTE by Shelley Sackier (US Only)

Giveaway Starts: January 28th, 2019
Giveaway Ends: February 11th, 2019

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