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The Bones of Ruin

 



TITLE:
The Bones of Ruin
AUTHOR: Sarah Raughley
PUBLISHER: Simon Pulse
RELEASE DATE: September 
GENRES: YOUNG ADULT FICTION---Historical, Fantasy
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SYNOPSIS:
As an African tightrope dancer in Victorian London, Iris is used to being strange. She is certainly a strange sight for leering British audiences always eager for the spectacle of colonial curiosity. But Iris also has a secret that even “strange” doesn’t capture…​
She cannot die.
Haunted by her unnatural power and with no memories of her past, Iris is obsessed with discovering who she is. But that mission gets more complicated when she meets the dark and alluring Adam Temple, a member of a mysterious order called the Enlightenment Committee. Adam seems to know much more about her than he lets on, and he shares with her a terrifying revelation: the world is ending, and the Committee will decide who lives… and who doesn’t.
To help them choose a leader for the upcoming apocalypse, the Committee is holding the Tournament of Freaks, a macabre competition made up of vicious fighters with fantastical abilities. Adam wants Iris to be his champion, and in return, he promises her the one thing she wants most: the truth about who she really is.
If Iris wants to learn about her shadowy past, she has no choice but to fight. But the further she gets in the grisly tournament, the more she begins to remember—and the more she wonders if the truth is something best left forgotten.

REVIEW

The Bones of Ruin is such a unique and interesting book that I almost find it hard to describe it with the right words. The imagery is pretty fantastic and I did enjoy the plot.


So this story starts off with a bang. When I mean imagery, there are times the story does not hold back at all. The author talks about deaths, the brutality of the era and these intriguing characters. They all have a little darkness in their souls. Nobody is without fault and it’s amazing. I also found the story intriguing. People with different powers fighting in a tournament that has something to do with the end of the world. 


I loved Iris. She is such a strong and powerful person. You know how you sometimes get frustrated with a character because you are like, why are you trusting that person? Not Iris. She has strong instincts and even with her memory loss. She’s very good at navigating the world and believing in herself.


So I was surprised how far into the book the tournament starts but also happy about it. It gave us some time to get to know some of the other characters. Kind of look into what is happening in this world and there is a lot happening. I never felt like there was any kind of info dump or anything along those lines. Also colonialism and different aspects of racism are addressed in a way I feel you don’t often see in YA. I do wish the pacing was a little faster.


So this is a reverse harem. Sarah Raughley mentioned Fushigi Yuugi on Goodreads and I’m like yes I’m there. To be honest it was kind of funny because some of the potential romantic candidates I was kind of like. Should I be liking this person? I really liked the diversity in their personalities. I didn’t feel like I needed any kind of romantic entanglement because Iris is just so cool on her own. I was interested in her particular character, history, etc more than anything else.


I enjoyed The Bones of Ruin. I definitely think it’s a cool story and plot. Maybe we will see more of some of the other characters past in the next book. 



Author
Sarah Raughley grew up in Southern Ontario writing stories about freakish little girls with powers because she secretly wanted to be one. She is a huge fangirl of anything from manga to SF/F TV to Japanese Role Playing Games, but she will swear up and down that she was inspired by ~Jane Austin~ at book signings. On top of being a YA Writer, she is currently completing a PhD in English, because the sight of blood makes her queasy (which crossed Medical School off the list).


She is represented by The Bradford Literary Agency.


So far, you can also find her on Twitter, where work ethic goes to die.


Up for grabs will be TWO (1) finished copies of The Bones of Ruin by Sarah Raughley. This giveaway will be open to U.S. residents only and will run from August 29th to September 13th at 11:59 PM CST. Two winners will be chosen. To enter, click the link below!


Rafflecopter Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1e4a114d49/?





XOXO
Author: Axie Oh
Published: July 13, 2021 by Haperteen

Cello prodigy Jenny has one goal: to get into a prestigious music conservatory. When she meets mysterious, handsome Jaewoo in her uncle’s Los Angeles karaoke bar, it’s clear he’s the kind of boy who would uproot her careful plans. But in a moment of spontaneity, she allows him to pull her out of her comfort zone for one unforgettable night of adventure…before he disappears without a word.

Three months later, when Jenny and her mother arrive in South Korea to take care of her ailing grandmother, she’s shocked to discover that Jaewoo is a student at the same elite arts academy where she’s enrolled for the semester. And he’s not just any student. He’s a member of one of the biggest K-pop bands in the world—and he’s strictly forbidden from dating.

When a relationship means throwing Jenny’s life off the path she’s spent years mapping out, she’ll have to decide once and for all just how much she’s willing to risk for love.

 


REVIEW

I loved loved XOXO. It was the perfect book I needed. Well written and a lot of fun.


So if you have ever seen the K-Drama EXO Nextdoor this reminded me a lot of that. Which made me so incredibly happy, I’ve been looking for something that captures that feeling for a long time. I loved that it’s this fun idea of an idol and regular person (even though she is talented on her own) meeting by chance. Really this needs to be it’s own K-drama.


I loved Jenny. She is a talented cellist who has all the needed technique but has been so focused on it that she has lost her spark. Her Uncle offers a bit of a challenge and she finds herself taking some risk. I really liked seeing her develop from someone who is so focused on their goals that they lost sight of other parts of themselves. To find how she can have all the things, she just needs balance.


There are so many other characters to love and I don’t even want to delve into them too much because it’s fun to get to know them through the story but I loved Jaewoo as well. It was fun to see his character evolve as well as he deals with his own issues of being a Kpop idol. There are just so many great and cute moments. 


It’s always hard to put into words when you love a book sooo much how great you think it is. This book makes me smile when I see the cover. I can’t wait to reread it when I need a pick me up. I just really really really want this as a K-Drama or I would even take a Manwha or maybe both. 


Broken Web by Lori M. Lee


Title: Broken Web
Author: Lori M. Lee
Published: June 15th 2021 by Page Street

The Soulless has woken from his centuries-long imprisonment. Now, he lurks in the Dead Wood recovering his strength, while Sirscha and her allies journey east to the shaman empire of Nuvalyn. Everyone believes she is a soulguide—a savior—but Sirscha knows the truth. She’s a monster, a soulrender like the Soulless, and if anyone discovers the truth, she’ll be executed.

But there’s nothing Sirscha won’t risk to stop the shaman responsible for the rot that’s killing her best friend. While the Soulless is formidable, like all shamans, his magic must be channeled through a familiar. If Sirscha can discover what—or who—that is, she might be able to cut him off from his power.

With Queen Meilyr bent on destroying the magical kingdoms, Sirscha finds herself caught between a war brewing in the east and the Soulless waiting in the west. She should be trying to unite what peoples she can to face their common enemies, but instead, her hunt for clues about the Soulless leads to a grim discovery, forcing Sirscha to question who her enemies really are.



REVIEW



I have such a great love for this series and Broken Web just reiterated that for me. I really enjoy the characters and the plot of the story.


I love Sirscha and how tough as nails she is. I also like that the other characters support her but this is really her story.


I love the friendship between Sirscha and Saengo and how it can not be swayed. No matter what odds are against them, they obviously have one big elephant in the room between them. They still have such faith and trust in each other and know that the other has their back. No questioning, no doubts and I think that's such an important part of the story.


I for some reason thought this series was going to be a duology so I was a little worried with the direction things were going with reveals and such. When I realized it wasn’t everything made a lot more sense. I did need to shake my head around to remember a little more about Ronin. I knew he had kept the Deadwood in check and of course the Soulless but I forgot little things about him. I was not confused though in the story at all. There is also a lot of action and a lot of politics in this installment and it is all setting up for what I’m expecting to be an exciting book three. The reveals were pretty interesting and what the Shamanborn mean to different groups.


I feel like the story just has some great imagery that gives you that dark vibe. Like with the deadwood but just even the towns too. 


I really like the dynamics of the different characters. Although we find Sirscha alone quite often or just only with Saengo. We do have interactions with some characters we expected and some new ones. I think Sirscha needed to do some growing on her own though so it worked out.


I’m looking forward to the third installment. I want to see where the reveals, the politics and of course the magic takes us.


Blood Like Magic

Blood Like Magic


A rich, dark urban fantasy debut following a teen witch who is given a horrifying task: sacrificing her first love to save her family’s magic. The problem is, she’s never been in love—she’ll have to find the perfect guy before she can kill him.

After years of waiting for her Calling—a trial every witch must pass in order to come into their powers—the one thing Voya Thomas didn’t expect was to fail. When Voya’s ancestor gives her an unprecedented second chance to complete her Calling, she agrees—and then is horrified when her task is to kill her first love. And this time, failure means every Thomas witch will be stripped of their magic.

Voya is determined to save her family’s magic no matter the cost. The problem is, Voya has never been in love, so for her to succeed, she’ll first have to find the perfect guy—and fast. Fortunately, a genetic matchmaking program has just hit the market. Her plan is to join the program, fall in love, and complete her task before the deadline. What she doesn’t count on is being paired with the infuriating Luc—how can she fall in love with a guy who seemingly wants nothing to do with her?

With mounting pressure from her family, Voya is caught between her morality and her duty to her bloodline. If she wants to save their heritage and Luc, she’ll have to find something her ancestor wants more than blood. And in witchcraft, blood is everything.


REVIEW

Blood Like Magic is this really cool mashup of Sci-Fi, magic and mystery with strong family ties, great characters and a hate to love romance. Yes it has everything. Once you start reading you can’t stop.


So Voya is a great character because I always love a character that is not perfect. That has flaws that anyone can have and I have. She loves her family fiercely and is loyal to a fault but she struggles when it comes to making decisions. When it comes to something she must decide for herself she just gets all wishy washy. I loved seeing her grow in the story. She is so much more than she realizes and I hated when she would get down on herself. 


There are so many great characters. So many. From her cousins Keis, Keisha and Alex who are so supportive but also have their own cool abilities and personalities. I really liked the rest of her family as well as the other Magic families in the community. The story has many different people who drift in and out but it’s never overwhelming and their presence is natural.


I always really liked Luc despite not wanting to like him because of Voya’s task. He’s more of someone you should learn about as you read because I think the progression of getting to know him as a reader is part of the fun.


I love the Sci-fi aspect of the story. It is so cool and so interesting. I felt like it was things that people would want in the future based on society now. Gene modification, the digital ads, and the AI (instead of google, only grannies use google ha ha). It was integrated in a way that you have that little spice of Sci-fi but you wouldn’t feel like it’s too much if you're not a Sci-fi reader.


There is also the magic system. Which at first I wasn’t sure about. It actually gave me a slow start to the book but it also made sense. There are different ways families use magic. Blood is the center of it all but depending on the family it can mean different things. From using your own, to torture and to sarcrifice. With this there are pure and impure families. I liked how so much is tied to your ancestors and in order to gain your magic you have to complete a task one of the ancestors gives you. After that is how your gift is determined. Which is the main part of the story since Voya is at the age where she is given her task. It’s not an easy one.


I also liked the mystery that was interwoven into the story as well. As Voya works on her task she starts to uncover things about her family. This was great because I think it really kept the plot moving.


I kind of feel like I’ve just scratched the surface so you should definitely pick it up and give it a read yourself.


So a great fast moving plot. Check. Great characters with not only the MC but the ones who support her. Check. Hate to Love. Check. Figuring out what love and family truly means. Check.


Hurricane Summer by Asha Bromfield

 




Hurricane Summer

Author: Asha Bromfield

Published: May 4 2021

Buy: Wednesday Books


In this sweeping debut, Asha Bromfield takes readers to the heart of Jamaica, and into the soul of a girl coming to terms with her family, and herself, set against the backdrop of a hurricane.

Tilla has spent her entire life trying to make her father love her. But every six months, he leaves their family and returns to his true home: the island of Jamaica.

When Tilla’s mother tells her she’ll be spending the summer on the island, Tilla dreads the idea of seeing him again, but longs to discover what life in Jamaica has always held for him.

In an unexpected turn of events, Tilla is forced to face the storm that unravels in her own life as she learns about the dark secrets that lie beyond the veil of paradise―all in the midst of an impending hurricane.

Hurricane Summer is a powerful coming of age story that deals with colorism, classism, young love, the father-daughter dynamic―and what it means to discover your own voice in the center of complete destruction.

Excerpt


Review

Trigger Warnings


Hurricane Summer is definitely titled well because the emotional ride through the book. 

I really liked Tilla and also felt for her. I think it’s easy to judge her relationship with her dad and wonder why she doesn’t stand up for herself more with him. But she’s also just a girl who wants a relationship with her dad because she’s missing that part of her life. I could understand why she didn’t want to spend her time fighting with him but it was hard to read the way he treated her. How the whole family treated her. I thought Tilla was pretty amazing the way she pushed through things.She really struggles to find her voice but when she does, she becomes unstoppable. It gives you chills to see her progress and take back her power over her life, her body and everything in between.

The plot itself is a lot about family dynamics but also the treatment of women and how you sexually can be used against you. How to find your strength through all of that. There is lots of this story that is difficult to read but I also liked how it also showed us why the people in it are the way they are. We got some backstory into people’s lives and even though it doesn’t make the way they act right. I liked that it showed understanding. I had an Ex who had a stepmom who acted like Aunt Herma acts and his dad always believed her over him. Even when I would be witness to her lying. So that just gave me the chills. I wanted to crawl into the book and yell at her. There was another part of the plot that bothered me a little because I was concerned it wasn’t dealt with totally. It’s not something I have experienced so I’m also not one to be the judge of that but I worried for the character.

I would consider Hurricane Summer a hard read but also a good read. It’s not meant to be a happy ending but more of a beginning for the character.


Author


Asha Bromfield is an actress, singer, and writer of Afro-Jamaican descent. She is known for her role as Melody Jones, drummer of Josie and the Pussycats in CW’s Riverdale. She also stars as Zadie Wells in Netflix’s hit show, Locke and Key. Asha is a proud ambassador for the Dove Self-Esteem Project, and she currently lives in Toronto where she is pursuing a degree in Communications. In her spare time, she loves studying astrology, wearing crystals, burning sage, and baking vegan desserts. Hurricane Summer is her debut novel.

Twitter: @ashabrom  Instagram: @ashabrom


These Feathered Flames


These Feathered Flames

By Alexandra Overy

On Sale: April 20, 2021

Publisher: INKYARD PRESS

Length: 496 pages


Three Dark Crowns meets Wicked Saints in this queer #ownvoices retelling of “The Firebird,” a Russian folktale, by debut author Alexandra Overy.


When twin heirs are born in Tourin, their fates are decided at a young age. While Izaveta remained at court to learn the skills she’d need as the future queen, Asya was taken away to train with her aunt, the mysterious Firebird, who ensured magic remained balanced in the realm.


But before Asya’s training is completed, the ancient power blooms inside her, which can mean only one thing: the queen is dead, and a new ruler must be crowned.

As the princesses come to understand everything their roles entail, they’ll discover who they can trust, who they can love—and who killed their mother.



Amazon : B&N : IndieBound








Review


I was really excited for These Feathered Flames because I grew up loving Russian Fairy/Folk Tales. I was excited to see how this retelling would take the stories and make its own. I loved the way it was infused together as well as the strong bond between the sisters.


Izaveta and Asya were such great characters. They are twin sisters that have been separated and then reunited. Living in two very different worlds before coming back together. We get to see them struggle with figuring out who they were before and who they are now and how that plays into their lives. I loved the up and downs in their relationship because it felt real.


Izaveta seems to be the stronger willed and confident of the two. Yet she is trying to find her way around what it means to suddenly be Queen. She is still young and not perfect. The court is a complicated place. I think I felt mixed feelings about her, on if I like her or not. Which made me enjoy her character.


Asya on the other hand had that quality about her that makes you like her right away. She is less confident than Izaveta but also seems to lay her feelings out more. She is not good at putting on the emotional blank mask. Which makes her feel like it leads her to failure but also proves that she is more than just the Firebird. I really liked how she feared her fate at first but found ways to understand it and move towards embracing it.


My Grandma immigrated from Russia and my Grandfather immigrated from Lithuania and I love anything that infuses some of their culture.I have many lacquered boxes and golden images with that Firebird on them. I also love that Asya bears' name is Mishka, ha ha. It made me chuckle when I first read it. I like how this plot took parts of the original story and gave it that nod of appreciation but also crafted this into it’s own thing. It felt like I had stepped through a painting of the Firebird and found the real world behind it. I enjoyed and I love that the plot had an air of mystery and murder to it as well. There were twist that I was like ya okay but there were some good ones that had me thinking. Okay wait, what? So I liked that. I forgot it’s not a standalone so at the ending I was like. Um wait wait I need to know what’s happening here where are you going!!


The romance was great because it did not overpower the rest of the story. It happened so organically that I loved it. I didn’t need it, the plot would have moved forward fine without it but I think it gave the characters themselves a little more depth with their feelings. I was glad it did not take away from the importance of the sisters evolving relationship.


I really liked this and I thought it was a great retelling. I also really like the pronunciation guide at the end and was grateful that pelmeni was mentioned at one the feast because it’s one of my favorite foods. Lol.






About the Author



ALEXANDRA OVERY
was born in London, England. Ever since she was little she has loved being able to escape into another world through books. She currently lives in Los Angeles, and is completing her MFA in Screenwriting at UCLA. When she's not working on a new manuscript or procrastinating on doing homework, she can be found obsessing over Netflix shows, or eating all the ice cream she can.


Website : Twitter : Instagram : Goodreads





The Iron Raven by Julie Kagawa


THE IRON RAVEN
Author: Julie Kagawa 
Published: February 9, 2021
Publisher: INKYARD PRESS
Teen & Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy; Folklore and Fairytale; Paranormal romance
336 pages

About the Book

 Wicked faeries and fantastic danger... Welcome to book one of the new trilogy in New York Times bestselling author Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey fantasy series, as infamous prankster Puck finally has a chance to tell his story and stand with allies new and old to save Faery and the world. 

 "YOU MAY HAVE HEARD OF ME..."

 Robin Goodfellow. Puck. Prankster, joker, raven, fool... King Oberon's right-hand jester from A Midsummer Night's Dream. The legends are many, but the truth will now be known as never before, as Puck finally tells his own story and faces a threat to the lands of Faery and the human world unlike any before.

 With the Iron Queen Meghan Chase and her prince consort, Puck's longtime rival Ash, and allies old and new by his side, Puck begins a fantastical and dangerous adventure not to be missed or forgotten. Filled with myths and faery lore, romance and unfathomable dangers, The Iron Raven is book one of a new epic fantasy trilogy set in the world of The Iron Fey.

 Amazon : B&N : IndieBound

 

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The Iron Raven is everything I want in the continuation of The Iron Fey series. I was actually never a super big Puck fan, but I love him in this book. Plus new characters? Yes, please.

Okay so the character I love the most in this story is not Puck. Poor Puck. I do like him. I just don’t love him the way I did some other characters. Nyx, however, I love her. The Forgotten assassin who is mysterious and cool. Lol. She’s not broody though, just quiet and intelligent. You can tell she is a people watcher. I’m excited to hopefully find out more about her story and see how her character develops.

So yes Puck. I did like Puck. He’s funny and of course powerful. I really like his story arc. The way his character develops due to some unforeseen circumstances is great. He has to deal with things that might have been glossed over before. 

It’s always fun to see former characters. Although Kierran. My heart still breaks about Kierran. Meghan and Ash have a little part as well and although we are missing Ironheart, his herd is still a part of the story. Of course there is also Grimalkin.

I love the plot. I’m always a fan of adventure stories that involve a group of characters. Maybe because I’m such a rpg game player. I have no idea but I also love the depth that multiple characters bring. Puck falls into this adventure with the merry band by chance but he is in some respects sort of the leader. Not only are they journeying to fight this new evil there are a lot of Puck’s memories that come up and of course the mysteries of Nyx. It incorporates new and old seamlessly.

Another great addition to The Iron Fey series. I’m so excited for what happens next.


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About the Authors

 JULIE KAGAWA is the New York Times, USA TODAY and internationally bestselling author of The Iron Fey, Blood of Eden, The Talon Saga and the Shadow of the Fox series. Born in Sacramento, she has been a bookseller and an animal trainer and enjoys reading, painting, playing in her garden and training in martial arts. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and a plethora of pets. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 Website : Twitter : Instagram : Facebook : Goodreads

 

 


Love Spells and Other Disasters by Angie Barrett





Love Spells and Other Disasters by Angie Barrett

Publication Date: February 1, 2021

Publisher:  Entangled Teen


I didn’t know when I wrote the first love spell that it would actually make things happen. Like, actually make people fall in love with each other…


How could I have known something like that? I mean, magic isn’t real, right?


But here’s the thing—the spell does work and so does the next one and the next one...and suddenly I’m getting a whole lot of attention from everyone at my high school. Me, Blend-into-the-Walls, Please-Let-Me-Introvert-in-Peace Rowan Marshall. And not only that, but I’ve also caught the attention of Luca Russo, a godlike, football-playing hottie who claims he likes me just the way I am. Ummm...


But as I’m about to learn, playing around with things you don’t understand means when things go wrong—like really, very awfully wrong—you don’t know how to fix them.



Google Play | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks 


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Love Spells and Other Disasters is such a cute and fun story. I really enjoyed it and it was the perfect mix of a contemporary story with a little realistic magic mixed in. 


After the unlikely duo of Rowan and Abby are partnered for a marketing project, they come up with a booth that sells crush spells. Things start getting a little weird when the spells Rowan writes actually work. 


I really liked Rowan. She is so comfortable with herself and that’s not saying she doesn’t have some insecurities. I think it’s the little things she doesn’t even realize. Like if she does a makeover she isn’t going to cut her hair because she likes it. She might dress differently for a party but she doesn’t throw out all her comfy clothes. Even as her friends and life might change a bit, she’s still Rowan.


I loved that Rowan’s mom is a ghost hunter. My FIL was actually a ghost hunter before he passed. He was part of a group that would go to houses for free to help ghosts move on. So I enjoyed having that be a part of her mom’s life. I also liked that they seemed to have a solid relationship. No relationship is perfect but even though Rowan is not a fan of her mother’s activities, she still supports her. 


I also love her relationship with her best friend, Ethan. I love a story that has some strong relationships already established. I think he reminds me of friends I had in high school so I had a fondness for him. 


I loved the plot! It’s one of those ones where you keep reading because, first you know things are going to go bad somehow and you want to know how. Then you keep reading because you want to know how they are going to get out of the situation. It is such a cute and unique idea as well. It is fast paced and engaging.


So if you are looking for something light and fun. This is a great read. Gives you those good vibes.


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Author Angie Barrett lives in a small town in Ontario, Canada in an old century home that is also known as the “cat house” because, well, Angie likes cats. A lot. She also likes shopping for books, or for anything really, and spending time RVing in the summer with her family. She has worked for sixteen years as a high school English teacher and Librarian and is currently a Curriculum Consultant for new teachers. Angie has always dreamed of being a published author and strives to create worlds where there are strong, relatable characters who maybe are not always perfect but who understand the meaning of friendship and loyalty and who will use their collective strengths to overcome adversity.


Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads







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