A Touch of Death | Review // A Post-Apocalyptic Quest

Greetings readers!

It only took me forever to finally put this review together! I would like to send my thank yous to the author for proving me a review copy in exchange for an honest review!

If you guys are looking for a dark read at the end of this spooky month, I definitely recommend checking this out!

A Touch of Death by Rebecca Crunden

A Touch of Death (The Outlands Pentalogy #1)

Pub Date: Feb 23rd, 2017
Goodreads

A thousand years in the future, the last of humanity live inside the walls of the totalitarian Kingdom of Cutta. The rich live in Anais, the capital city of Cutta, sheltered from the famine and disease which ravage the rest of the Kingdom. Yet riches and power only go so far, and even Anaitians can be executed. It is only by the will of the King that Nate Anteros, son of the King’s favourite, is spared from the gallows after openly dissenting. But when he’s released from prison, Nate disappears.

A stark contrast, Catherine Taenia has spent her entire life comfortable and content. The daughter of the King’s Hangman and in love with Thom, Nate’s younger brother, her life has always been easy, ordered and comfortable. That is, where it doesn’t concern Nate. His actions sullied not only his future, but theirs. And unlike Thom, Catherine has never forgiven him.

Two years pass without a word, and then one night Nate returns. But things with Nate are never simple, and when one wrong move turns their lives upside down, the only thing left to do is run where the King’s guards cannot find them – the Outlands. Those wild, untamed lands which stretch around the great walls of the Kingdom, filled with mutants and rabids.


Review

Catherine is someone who thinks she comes off as the quiet docile type, but is actually quite ferocious and I like it. She has bite and opinions and you will hear them! She comes from a very privileged background and reading her fall from grace and seeing her realization of the corruption of the society she was so closely tied to was really interesting!

Nate was interesting if still a little enigmatic throughout the book! A disgraced son and criminal who is wanted by the law and seen the horrors of prison.  He is the tragic rebel who wants to destroy the system that has killed so many! Honestly though I feel like we didn’t get much about him. The author wrote a lot about Catherine’s inner thoughts, but we lacked that depth with Nate.

This post-apocalyptic world was a doozy to wrap my head around at first, but thankfully as the story went on I was able to understand it a lot better! The kingdom we are thrown into is cutthroat and strict from the get-go. Any dissenters are punished and what little freedoms the citizens do have are actually manipulated by the regime in control. I thought it was really well-crafted in the end! And while the details around the Mutants and Outlands were still a little fuzzy, I have a feeling more exploration of those come in the sequels!

The plot itself is quite gritty and evenly paced. As our two main characters are on the run from authority, we are constantly moving and discovering new places and people! I also liked the timer that was put on their lives with the disease that is coursing through their bodies and killing Nate!  I will say though that the beginning sequence is just a whirlwind and I was a confused. It took me a while to understand why they were on the run and what the danger was.  And yet their resolution to their problems is not the greatest or well thought out. *spoiler* calling Nate’s mom is their best bet? Seriously? Not really a great idea *End of Spoiler*

The romance…It took me a while to get comfortable with it, but honestly I think it is well written. It’s complicated and I cannot really say I ship the characters together yet, although I am leaning towards a yes!

The whole ending sequence was WOW! I seriously went through a roller coaster of emotions! It was intense and all that build up finally paid off! Even though the reason they got into the situation was meh, I’ll forgive it for the drama that the last 20% gave me! It was tragic and full of fury! My heart hurt by the end! But I was also full of so much respect for Catherine and the things she went through!

The final-final scene might have not been the most cliff-hangery but the despair and hope that it leaves behind was quite an experience!!


Overall, this book is an experience, but an interesting one! It has grit and it’s dark! Running from a cruel and corrupt regime always makes for a gruelling and entertaining adventure! Mix in some romantic drama and suspense, and you get this great story!

Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars

Recommend: Yes! There is definitely room for some post-apocalyptic fun on your shelves!

Let me know what you think! What post-apocalyptic books do you love? Have you read this story? What do you envision the future to look like?

*Please Share and/or Donate = Link to a master list of how you can help/educate yourself on Black Lives Matter and other humanitarian movements across the globe*

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

A Golden Fury | Blog Tour Excerpt // New Historical Fantasy sure to make our shelves even more magical!

Greetings readers!

Welcome one, welcome all to the blog tour for A GOLDEN FURY by Samantha Cohoe!

This new YA historical fantasy novel brings a new dark magic to our shelves! And I for one am very excited to read this one! Alchemy and magical schools always call for a grand adventure and mystery. Just from reading the synopsis I can tell that this book is going to bring the girl power, high stakes and dark secrets to unravel!

Read on for a sneak peek into this new amazing book!

~ The Book ~

Title: A Golden Fury
Author: Samantha Cohoe
Pub Date: Oct 13, 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books
ISBN: 9781250220400

BUY THE BOOK

Thea Hope longs to be an alchemist out of the shadow of her famous mother. The two of them are close to creating the legendary Philosopher’s Stone—whose properties include immortality and can turn any metal into gold—but just when the promise of the Stone’s riches is in their grasp, Thea’s mother destroys the Stone in a sudden fit of violent madness.

While combing through her mother’s notes, Thea learns that there’s a curse on the Stone that causes anyone who tries to make it to lose their sanity. With the threat of the French Revolution looming, Thea is sent to Oxford for her safety, to live with the father who doesn’t know she exists.

But in Oxford, there are alchemists after the Stone who don’t believe Thea’s warning about the curse—instead, they’ll stop at nothing to steal Thea’s knowledge of how to create the Stone. But Thea can only run for so long, and soon she will have to choose: create the Stone and sacrifice her sanity, or let the people she loves die.

A GOLDEN FURY and the curse of the Philosopher’s Stone will haunt you long after the final page.

*A Nerd Daily YA Debut to Watch Out for in 2020*

“Cohoe transmutes the legend of the Philosopher’s Stone into a dark, intoxicating tale of ambition, obsession, and sacrifice. Prepare for a magic that will consume you.”
– Rosamund Hodge, New York Times bestselling author of Cruel Beauty and Bright Smoke, Cold Fire

~ Author ~

Samantha Cohoe writes historically-inspired young adult fantasy. She was raised in San Luis Obispo, California, where she enjoyed an idyllic childhood of beach trips, omnivorous reading, and writing stories brimming with adverbs. She currently lives in Denver with her family and divides her time among teaching Latin, mothering, writing, reading, and deleting adverbs. A Golden Fury is her debut novel.

Visit Samantha: Twitter | Instagram

Visit Wednesday Books: Twitter | Instagram


~ EXCERPT ~

To celebrate the release with you today, I have the pleasure of sharing an excerpt of CHAPTER 1 today! And boy let me tell you is it intriguing! I mean just look at that very first line! I would love to hear your thoughts on it!

My mother was screaming at the Comte. Again.

I slammed the front doors behind me and walked down the carriageway, under the dappled shade of the pop- lars that lined it. A hundred paces away, I still heard her, though at least I could no longer hear the Comte’s frantic endearments and low, rapid pleading. He should know by now that wasn’t the way. Perhaps I should tell him. Adrien was the first of my mother’s patrons I had ever liked, and I did not want to leave Normandy just as spring was break- ing. Just as we were beginning to make progress.

Though perhaps we were not. Mother would not be screaming at the Comte if the work were going well. She would not take the time. Alchemy was a demanding sci- ence, even if some scoffed and called it charlatanry or magic. It required total concentration. If the work were going well, the Comte would scarcely exist to her, nor would I, now that she would not let me be of use. The com- position must have broken again. This was about when it had, last round. I could not be certain, since she had taken away my key to the laboratory. She could hardly have de-vised a worse insult than that if she had tried, and lately she did seem to be trying. The laboratory was mine as much as it was hers. If she did succeed in producing the White Elixir—which turned all metals into silver—then it was only because of my help. She had found Jābir’s text languishing in a Spanish monastery, but it had been I who translated it when her Arabic wasn’t nearly up to the job. I had labored for months over the calcinary furnace to make the philosophic mercury the text took as its starting point. I had the scars on my hands and arms to prove it. And now that success might be close, she wished to shut me out and deny my part, and claim it for herself alone.

But if she was acting ill and cross, it meant she had failed. A low, smug hum of satisfaction warmed me. I didn’t want the work to fail, but I didn’t want her to suc- ceed without me, either.

A distant smashing sound rang out from the chateau. My mother shattering something against the wall, no doubt.

I sighed and shifted my letter box to the crook of my other arm.

I knew what this meant. Another move. Another man. The Comte had lasted longer than the rest. Over two years, long enough that I had begun to hope I would not have to do it all again. I hated the uncertainty of those first weeks, before I knew what was expected of me, whether Mother’s new patron had a temper and what might set it off, whether he liked children to speak or be silent. Though I was no longer a child, and that might bring its own problems. A chill passed over me, despite the warm afternoon sunshine. God only knew what the next one would be like. My mother had already run through so many of them. And with the recent changes in France, there were fewer rich men than ever looking to give patronage to an expensive alchemist, even one as beautiful and famous as Marguerite Hope.

I veered off the carriageway, into the soft spring grass, dotted here and there with the first of the lavender anemo- nes. I sat by the stream, under the plum tree.

There was no screaming here, no pleading, no signs that my life was about to change for the worse. I inhaled the soft, sweet scent of plum blossoms and opened my letter box. If this was to be my last spring in Normandy, I wanted to re- member it like this. Springtime in Normandy was soft and sweet, sun shining brightly and so many things blossoming that the very air was perfumed with promise. Everything was coming extravagantly to life, bursting out of the dead ground and bare trees with so much energy other impos- sible things seemed likely, too. I had always been hopeful in Normandy when it was spring. Especially last spring, when Will was still here. When we sat under this very tree, drank both bottles of champagne he had stolen from the cellars, and spun tales of everything we could achieve.

I took out his last letter, dated two months ago.

Dear Bee,

This is my address now—as you see I’ve left Prussia. It turns out that everything they say about the Prussians is quite true. I’ve never met a more unbending man than my patron there. One day past the appointed date and he tried to throw me in prison for breach of contract! He thinks alchemy can be held to the same strict schedule as his serfs.

Laws against false alchemists were very harsh in Germany, as Will knew full well when he sought patronage there. I had begged him to go somewhere else, though he had few enough choices. He was my mother’s apprentice, with no achievements of his own to make his reputation. His training had been cut abruptly short when Mother found us together under this plum tree, watching the sun- rise with clasped hands and two empty bottles of cham- pagne. She’d seen to it that Will was gone by noon. It was no use telling her that all we’d done was talk through the night, or that the one kiss we’d shared had been our first, and had gone no further. He had behaved with perfect re- spect for me, but she wouldn’t believe it. My mother had imagined a whole path laid before my feet in that moment, and scorched it from the earth with Greek fire.

I turned to the next page.

I blame myself, of course, Bee, for not heeding your advice. I can picture your face now, wondering what I expected. It would almost be worth all the trouble I’ve caused myself if I could come to you and see your expression. You must be the only woman in the world who is never lovelier than when you’ve been proven right.

The keen thrill of pleasure those words had brought me when I first read them had faded now, and left me feeling uncertain. Should I write back knowingly, teasing him for his recklessness? I had tried this, and was sure I sounded like a scold no matter what he said about my loveliness when proven right. I took out my latest draft, which struck a more sincere tone. I read the lines over, saying how I worried for him, how I missed him. I crumpled it in my hand halfway through. Too much emotion. It didn’t do to show such dependence on a man. My mother had shown me that. I didn’t wish to emulate her in everything, but I would be a fool to deny her skill at winning masculine devotion. I tried again.

Dear Will,

I am sitting under the plum tree where we had our last picnic. I know how you feel about nostalgia, but I hope you will forgive me this one instance. I fear this will be our last spring in Normandy—perhaps even in France. Many of my mother’s friends have left already, and though you may well condemn them as reactionaries, the fact remains that there are very few good Republicans with the ready cash to pay for our pursuits.

I sighed again and crumpled the page. Somehow I could never seem to write to him about the Revolution without a touch of irony creeping in. I didn’t want that. Will had put his hopes for a better world in the new order, and even though I was less hopeful than he, I loved him for it. At least he wanted a better world. Most alchemists simply wanted better metals.

I tried to imagine he was here. It wouldn’t be difficult then. He was so good at setting me at ease. His admira- tion was as intoxicating as wine, but unlike wine it sharp- ened my wits instead of dulling them. I was never cleverer than when Will was there to laugh with me.

My chest constricted at the memory of Will’s laugh. I didn’t know anyone who laughed like him. The Parisian aristocrats I had known all had so much consciousness of the sound they made when they did it. The Comte wasn’t like them, but he was a serious man and laughed rarely. My mother didn’t laugh at all.

But Will. He laughed like it came from the loud, bursting core of him. Like he couldn’t have kept it in if he wanted to, and why would he want to? And when he was done laughing, he would look at me like no one else ever had. Like he saw only me, not as an accessory to my mother, but as myself. And not as an odd girl whose sharp edges would need to be softened. Will liked the edges. The sharper they cut, the more they delighted him.

“Thea!”

I threw my letters into the letter box and snapped it shut. I looked around for somewhere to hide the box, and noticed too late that one of my crumpled drafts had blown toward the stream. My mother appeared on the hill above me, the late afternoon sun lighting up her golden hair like an unearned halo. She walked down the hill with measured steps and stopped a few yards above me, I assumed because she wished to enjoy the experience of being taller than me again for a few moments. Her eye moved to the crumpled paper. I ran to it and stuffed it into my pocket before she could take it, though my haste in hiding the failed letter told her all I didn’t wish her to know.

“Oh dear,” said my mother. “I do hope you haven’t been wasting your afternoon trying to find the right words to say to that boy.”

My mother was tolerant of my letter writing these days, perhaps because she was confident I would never see Will again. She had smiled when she heard of Will’s contract in Prussia. He won’t find it so easy to charm his way past the Prussian alchemy laws. In Germany, one must deliver results, not pretty smiles, or end in prison.

“I wouldn’t have an afternoon to waste if you would let me into the laboratory,” I said.

“Don’t be pitiful, Thea,” said my mother. “Surely you can think of something worthwhile to do when I don’t happen to need your assistance.”

I clenched my teeth so tight that my jaw ached. Shut- ting me out of the laboratory, our laboratory, was the great- est injustice she had ever committed against me. Worse than all the moving about, worse than sending Will away, worse than any insult she could think to level at me. Before she had done that, I believed we were together in alchemy at least, even if nothing else. That she had raised and trained me not simply to be of use to her, but to be her partner. Her equal, one day. Throwing me out of the lab- oratory just when we might achieve what we had worked for told me that Will was right. She would never let me claim credit for my part of the work. She would never ac- cept me as an alchemist in my own right.

And yet she described it as though she had simply let me off my chores. As if I were no more necessary than a servant. There was no point in arguing with her, but even so I could not let it stand.

“I am not your assistant,” I said.

“Oh?” she asked. “Do you have news, then? Have you found a patron on your own merits? Do you intend to strike out on your own?”

“Perhaps I will,” I said, my face growing hot. “Perhaps I will stay here when you are finally finished tormenting the poor Comte.”

My mother had a perfect, deceptively sweet beauty: golden blond and blue-eyed with a round, doll-like face. It made the venom that sometimes twisted her expression hard to quite believe in. Many men simply didn’t. They preferred to ignore the evidence of their minds for the evidence of their senses. I, of course, knew her better than they did. I tensed, preparing.

But instead of lashing out, my mother turned aside, a hand to her chest. A tremor passed over her; she bowed her head against it.

Mother had been strangely unwell for weeks. At first I responded to her illness as she had taught me to, with distaste and disapproval, as though falling sick were an ill-considered pastime of those with insufficient moral for- titude. But if she noticed how unpleasant it was to receive so little sympathy when unwell, she did not show it. She had locked herself away in the laboratory every day until late at night, ignoring my silence as much as she ignored the Comte’s pleas that she rest. I had not thought much of it until this moment. Any pain great enough to turn her from chastising me for thinking I could do alchemy with- out her must be serious indeed.

“Mother?” I asked.

“You will go where I tell you.” Her voice was low and breathless, almost a gasp. “For now, that is to dinner. Wear the green taffeta.”

“The robe à la française?” I asked, perplexed. I hadn’t worn that dress since before the Estates General met. Its style was the hallmark of the ancien régime: wide pan- niered hips, structured bodice, and elaborate flounces. “But it’s out of fashion.”

“So is our guest,” said my mother.

She went up the hill again, then turned back to me at the top.

“Thea,” she said, all the sharpness gone from her voice. “I know you do not believe it any longer, but everything I do is for you.”

It was the sort of thing she always said. Before this year, I had always believed it, more or less. At least, everything she did was for the both of us. She had considered me an extension of herself, so that doing things for me was no different than doing them for herself. Why else take so much care to train me, to see to it that I had the tutors I needed to learn every language necessary—more even than she knew? To take me with her in all her travels to seek out manuscripts? She was an impatient teacher at times, but a good one. A thorough one. And in turn I was a good student. The best.

Until we were close to our goal. Then, suddenly, I was a rival. And my mother did not tolerate rivals.

“You are right, Mother,” I said. “I don’t believe that any longer.”


Let me know what you think! Would you continue reading this book? Are you looking forward to reading this book? What are some of your favourite Historical fiction/fantasy books? If you had access to a secret dangerous power, would you destroy it or keep it for yourself?

Many thanks to Wednesday Books for inviting me to be a part of this tour!

*Please Share and/or Donate = Link to a master list of how you can help/educate yourself on Black Lives Matter and other humanitarian movements across the globe*

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Furia | Review // How to articulate my love for this book?

I want to say in advance that this is one of those times where I feel like my words cannot accurately express my feelings for a book. There is just so much I want to say and I feel like the words I have don’t quite convey that love taking up my thoughts!

So please bear with my scrambled words and just know that I love this books with every fiber of my being!

Many thanks to Thomas Allen & Son for sending me an ARC!

Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez

Furia
via Goodreads

Pub Date: Sept 15th, 2020
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Goodreads

An #ownvoices contemporary YA set in Argentina, about a rising soccer star who must put everything on the line—even her blooming love story—to follow her dreams.

In Rosario, Argentina, Camila Hassan lives a double life.

At home, she is a careful daughter, living within her mother’s narrow expectations, in her rising-soccer-star brother’s shadow, and under the abusive rule of her short-tempered father.

On the field, she is La Furia, a powerhouse of skill and talent. When her team qualifies for the South American tournament, Camila gets the chance to see just how far those talents can take her. In her wildest dreams, she’d get an athletic scholarship to a North American university.

But the path ahead isn’t easy. Her parents don’t know about her passion. They wouldn’t allow a girl to play fútbol—and she needs their permission to go any farther. And the boy she once loved is back in town. Since he left, Diego has become an international star, playing in Italy for the renowned team Juventus. Camila doesn’t have time to be distracted by her feelings for him. Things aren’t the same as when he left: she has her own passions and ambitions now, and La Furia cannot be denied. As her life becomes more complicated, Camila is forced to face her secrets and make her way in a world with no place for the dreams and ambition of a girl like her.


I loved everything!

How do I even begin to express my love for this book? I knew going in I was going to get the fútbol, Argentina, and girl power greatness. What I didn’t know was that I would be absolutely gobsmacked by my emotions.

This book has a lot, but it starts and ends with the amazing Camila Hassan. She was incredible. Wow. From her passion for soccer to her complicated love for her family to her dreams of success, Camila was a force in this story. She’s burdened with the weight of so many secrets and expectations that life gets way complicated for her. She falls hard for her childhood best friend but she doesn’t dare risk her dreams for it AND THAT’S WHAT I LOVED ABOUT HER. Yes, she’s makes mistakes along and she doubts herself at times, but it just made her story all the more compelling!

The family life is complicated on so many levels in this book. We have Pablo, the superstar brother who is not superstar enough, Camila’s hardworking mother who feels like she in general is never enough and her father who…who is stuck thinking about what could have been and that he can never have enough. It’s a family of very complex and toxic relationships on so many ends, with so many secrets and they make this story a wild and emotional journey. Then Diego walks on to the page trying to be all perfect and he is something alright. No spoilers here. But wow. OKAY THEN. I can’t say too much about him because I will spoil things! XD

This book is a lot more than just Camila playing soccer, it’s about her journey to proving that her dreams and aspirations are just as valid and achievable as her brothers, boyfriend’s or any other male athlete. And let me tell you this book is AN EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER! It had me feeling soft one moment and absolutely raging the next moment! The amount of opposition and disapproval that Camila faces from those closest to her is hard to read about, but also made me root for her even more.

This book takes machismo and wrings it by its neck. YSM doesn’t shy away from exposing the violence against women and toxic masculinity that have plagued this society. No, these problems aren’t solved in this book, but they are key reasons that lead Camila to fight back. This book screams girl power, that is not always easy to wield when faced with so much opposition, but something that is liberating and empowering all the same. Yes, this book is feminist af and brings to light the Ni Una Menos movement that is roaming its way through Argentina and the rest of Latin America, fighting for to end femicide and establish rights for women.

It’s a book about a teen being a teen in a little barrio called Rosario in Argentina. We get music references to Maluma and J Balvin, like YES AMAZING. Homework and menstrual cycles are part of this girl’s life, as they should be! Friendship and first love and all the complexities that come with navigating life at an age where huge decisions about the future make this book remarkable and intriguing at every turn of the page. Not to mention the Argentinian daily life and food and culture woven into every action characters make! (Every time alfajores were mentioned my mouth started salivating! *sobs*)

And the beautiful game. I haven’t played soccer in oh god YEARS, but this book brought me back to the pitch. It made my lungs burn, it made my heart race, my hamstrings tighten. It brought up the feelings of team-love, team-pressure and the thrill of competition! It brought joy and sadness! Just that feeling of being in a field chasing the ball and cheering and yelling for a pass! I—omg why am I getting emotional writing this?—Yes, soccer is an central aspect of this story, but more than anything the pitch is where we see Furia come alive and become the dreamer that she is.

So yes. I did tear up at the end. It was a culmination of so many big changes that happened in Camila’s life that brought both joy and sadness. It was a beautiful ending, one that gives mighty hope and vision for girls chasing their dreams against all odds.

And there was a Narnia reference. 🙂 Books always win when they have a reference to Narnia. 🙂


Overall, this book completely swept me off my feet! I can with absolute surety say that this book will be on my top 10 list at the end of the year! This book is a fierce tale of a girl pushing back against every barrier to achieve her dream. It’s a story about first love and the complexities of family. Your emotions will be kicked around from player to player until finally with the last turn of the page you can’t help but scream GOLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!

Rating: 5 / 5 Stars

Recommend: YES! PLEASE! EVERYONE! READ! THIS!

Let me know what you think! Have you read this? Are you looking forward to reading it? Did you ever or do you still play a spot?

*Please Share and/or Donate = Link to a master list of how you can help/educate yourself on Black Lives Matter and other humanitarian movements across the globe*

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Latinx Food in Books | I don’t cook, I don’t clean, but let me tell you…all about these delicious books!

Greetings readers!

Full discretion: I can’t cook, but I can clean. I said what I said to create a snazzy tagline line and get your attention here, so forgive my dishonesty. Although if you ask my mother I can’t really do both to her standards.

Welcome one, welcome all to a post that is sure to get those salivary glands working! Today’s Latinx Heritage Month Book Fest challenge is to talk about Latinx food in books! I have been blessed to read some very delicious books so I am here to share them with you today!

A Note: Obviously I wanted to include photos of what the food looks like, but I’ll be honest I didn’t have the time to find the right photos and be sure I got the right permissions, so instead I linked to some very delicious recipes! You can visit these sites or just do a google search to see what the food looks like!

Lobizona by Romina Garber – Choripan

I don’t think I’ve ever really had Argentinian food. I cannot recall a time, but having read Lobizona I definitely want to try choripan. My mouth is SALIVATING at the thought of it friends! It looks simple enough to make, which is a plus because I suck at cooking, but also quite elegant! All in all I’d gobble this up! Lobizona has lots of references to Argentinian foods, but this dish is definitely the one that caught my eye!

via Goodreads

I found this great recipe on Taste.com!


With the Fire of High by Elizabeth Acevedo – Lemon Verbena Templeque

With the Fire on High
via Goodreads

First of all, this whole book made me feel inadequate about my cooking skills. I felt attacked. Second of all, I loved this book. Emoni’s journey and pursuing her culinary passion despite juggling so many other things in her life was a heartfelt and stunning to read about. I loved that each section of the book started off with a recipe and the Puerto Rican Lemon Verbena Templeque caught my eye right away. I didn’t know what it was so I googled and was quite intrigued. It sounds delicious. I mean coconut, lemon and vanilla sound like a delightful mix in my head!

While googling I stumbled across a post by Eating Books where they actually made LVT (And took some really STUNNING photos)! I highly recommend reading their post!

Emoni’s Lemon Verbena Tembleque @ Eating Books


A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano – Conchas

Every time autumn rolls around, my Mexican Bookstagrammer friends start showing off their books and bread posts and I get hungry. The most famous of all the bread pieces obviously being the concha, which if you didn’t know is sweet bread shaped like a sea shell (or concha)! When I read A Dash of Trouble, which is about a Mexican family and their bakery (of magic), I instantly fell in love and wanted to try all their sweets, especially conchas. I know what you’re thinking: “Rendz, it’s bread.” YEAH. IT’S BREAD and I want to try it. I’m a picky eater, but bread is one of the few foods that I’m a little more adventurous in trying. AND JUST LOOK AT THE SHAPE! It’s an experience eating this bread and I want to live it!

Here is a recipe I found by a Mexican home cook and food blogger, Mely Martinez!

Concha Recipe @ Mexico in My Kitchen


Let me know what you think! What books make you hungry? Have you ever tried to make a recipe from book? What are some of your favourite cuisines?

*Please Share and/or Donate = Link to a master list of how you can help/educate yourself on Black Lives Matter and other humanitarian movements across the globe*

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

Would You Rather Book Tag | Answering the hard questions

Greetings readers!

I’ve been in a creative blog slump as of late because I’ve been busy enjoying my reading and doing other things. Not to mention some big things I’m preparing for a certain celebratory month that is coming up soon (more on that later!)

I found this tag on Kaya @ A Fictional Bookworm’s blog! I had so much fun reading through her answers that I decided to have a go at it myself!

Would you rather only read ebooks or audiobooks?

Where Dreams Descend | Review // Only sparks when I wanted to be burned!

Greetings readers!

Here I go again being unfamiliar with popular culture things and still reading books based on them anyways! That’s right, I’m doing it again. To be fair though, I know the absolute bare minimum details of the two comp titles used to promote this book, so I didn’t feel as lost as other times.

And yet even if I hadn’t been exposed to The Phantom of the Opera and Moulin Rouge before reading this I would 10/10 want to know all about them afterwards!

Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles

Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards, #1)
via Goodreads

Pub Date: August 25th, 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Goodreads

In a city covered in ice and ruin, a group of magicians face off in a daring game of magical feats to find the next headliner of the Conquering Circus, only to find themselves under the threat of an unseen danger striking behind the scenes.

As each act becomes more and more risky and the number of missing magicians piles up, three are forced to reckon with their secrets before the darkness comes for them next.

The Star: Kallia, a powerful showgirl out to prove she’s the best no matter the cost

The Master: Jack, the enigmatic keeper of the club, and more than one lie told

The Magician: Demarco, the brooding judge with a dark past he can no longer hide

Where Dreams Descend is the startling and romantic first book in Janella Angeles’ debut Kingdom of Cards fantasy duology where magic is both celebrated and feared, and no heart is left unscathed.

The Likes:

Kallia is *chef’s kiss* phenomenal! A powerhouse is the best description for her. She was fierce and unapologetic all the time. She had dreams and a goal and boy did she risk it all for to get what she wanted! She has been living in the cage all her life and I love that she takes her chance at freedom despite the fact that she might be headed into more danger. She got bite and she not afraid to use it!

Demarco was your broodster and I liked him well enough. He was more reserved for *reasons* He was not running from his past, but more trying to do penance for tragedy that stopped him from performing. I liked how much he overthought things. Quite opposite from our dear Kallia who went in head first and damned the consequences.

Jack is most mysterious of all the characters and I liked that we got to circle back to him every once in a while. I liked the intrigue and danger that surrounded him and his club that was in the middle of the woods. He’s not a villain per see, but I can definitely tell he is not everything that he seems!

Aaros is my favourite character. Gosh I loved him. He was charming and silly and complemented Kallia perfectly as her assistant (no toxic masculinity here), I don’t know why I always fall for the side characters, but I did and I love him! His platonic relationship with Kallia was so great! We love to see it!

The world building…oh I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but this world is quite intriguing! I raged at the patriarchal society that tries to squash Kallia, but I gotta say I loved to see her break every barrier and overcome their fragile gender ideals! That being said there is some mystery deeply engraved in this world. The dynamics between the magicians and non-magicians were interesting because the people with power were both revered and feared! Then we throw in a circus and things just get way more fabulous! I loved the Conqueror ladies and I would 10/10 read a book solely based on them! And finally put in a deceptive and dangerous forest that isolates this city and you are fully immersed in this world of wonder and magic!

Spectaculore was exciting! I’m always a sucker for competitions in books! As I said before, Kallia had to break through several hurdles set in her path because she was a female magician performing on stage as herself and not an assistant or showgirl. This competition had high stakes and always held a surprise. Personally, I loved reading about Kallia excel in this craft! I loved reading about the shows she put on and the magic she made happened.

The romance was triangular and yet…was not. I can definitely see The Phantom of the Opera influences when it comes to the romance. I liked the hate-to-love thing going on between Kallia and Demarco! It kept things interesting. I liked Jack’s secret visitations to Kallia, even though they bordered stalker creepiness! It just kept things interesting. And I hesitate to call this a true triangle because I’m not sure if Kallia can truly be interested in Jack after having kept her trapped for so long.

The ending was quite quite QUITE fascinating and cliff-hangery. I’m into it.

The Questionable

Alongside the competition plot is also this mystery that well stays a mystery XD It digs into every corner of the story and it brought some thrill which I liked, but in the end it’s just a series of bad things that happen. It hooked me in the moment, but then we quickly forgot about it so I didn’t find it all that compelling in the end. 

This story is a slow burn, it was a lot of build-up as these characters danced around revealing their secrets to each other and to the readers! I like the slow burn, but this one led to some not really jaw-dropping reveals. Like I wasn’t shocked when the revelation happens. It was a little underwhelming really. I had hoped for something more. Something big and explosive, but I felt only a little glimmer of “Oh!” I was just not that surprised or shocked by the secrets that get revealed.

The magic is just magic. I didn’t really identify any origins other than some are born magical and some acquire it. I was left with several questions of what exactly this magic is to a person, born or acquired. Like what do they feel? Is it a force they pull from within? How does magic vary from person to person? What makes one stronger than the other? It was a book full of magic, and yet I felt like it was the least explained part of the novel.

I wanted to see more of Jack and Kallia and Hellfire House’s past to feel that emotional intensity. I get that Kallia was supposed to be really attached to Jack and the house, but I just didn’t feel it. I think more time should have been spent in Hellfire House before we left for Glorian. The former had thrill and was such a big part of Kallia’s life, but we spend so little time there. Like we are told that her connections to this house are big, but we hardly spend enough time there to feel that same pull ourselves. It’s simply a place I would have liked to spend more time in, even though I understand the bigger part of the story happens in Glorian.


Overall, this book was a magical experience that sparked but didn’t catch fire. It is long and you have to be patient with the slow burn, but I think that it was pretty entertaining overall. I’m sure big fans of The Phantom of the Opera and Moulin Rouge will find little Easter eggs and nuggets to enjoy. I, myself, found this book enjoyable but not astounding. It has magic, but the mystery of the unexplained bad thing kept me from truly being swept off my feet. I think even a tiny more information about it could have helped. I think the characters and the circling perspectives were the greatest assets of the story. This book might have not met the shock I had hoped for, but I would be willing to read book two!

Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars

Recommend: I’d say yes for the slow-burn lovers!

Let me know what you think! Have you read this? Are you looking forward to reading this? Are you fans of the musicals?

*Please Share and/or Donate = Link to a master list of how you can help/educate yourself on Black Lives Matter and other humanitarian movements across the globe*

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From | Review // Happy Book Birthday to this amazing book ft. a half-Salvi MC — I’M LIVING.

Greetings readers!

I am so pleased to be bringing you a review for a book that releases today!

When I first heard about this book, I was intrigued because hello I’m in for any and all Latinx books. And then I heard whispers that the MC was actually half-Salvadorian and I couldn’t press request faster when the publisher sent out the request list!

Do you guys know how hard it to find Salvadorian characters in YA books? It’s hard! But I’ve been given a gift with this book, and I’m so glad to say that it was quite a success for me! I hope that my review makes even just a smidgen of sense as I tell you how much I enjoyed it!

*Many thanks to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with an ARC*

Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From by Jennifer De Leon

Don't Ask Me Where I'm From
via Goodreads

Pub Date: August 18th, 2020
Publisher: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
Goodreads

First-generation American LatinX Liliana Cruz does what it takes to fit in at her new nearly all-white school. But when family secrets spill out and racism at school ramps up, she must decide what she believes in and take a stand.

Fifteen-year-old Liliana is fine, thank you very much. It’s fine that her best friend, Jade, is all caught up in her new boyfriend lately. It’s fine that her inner-city high school is disorganized and underfunded. It’s fine that her father took off again—okay, maybe that isn’t fine, but what is Liliana supposed to do? She’s fifteen! Being left with her increasingly crazy mom? Fine. Her heathen little brothers? Fine, fine, fine. But it turns out Dad did leave one thing behind besides her crazy family. Before he left, he signed Liliana up for a school desegregation program called METCO. And she’s been accepted.

Being accepted into METCO, however, isn’t the same as being accepted at her new school. In her old school, Liliana—half-Guatemalan and half-Salvadorian—was part of the majority where almost everyone was a person of color. But now at Westburg, where almost everyone is white, the struggles of being a minority are unavoidable. It becomes clear that the only way to survive is to lighten up—whiten up. And if Dad signed her up for this program, he wouldn’t have just wanted Liliana to survive, he would have wanted her to thrive. So what if Liliana is now going by Lili? So what if she’s acting like she thinks she’s better than her old friends? It’s not a big deal. It’s fine.

But then she discovers the gutting truth about her father: He’s not on one of his side trips. And it isn’t that he doesn’t want to come home…he can’t. He’s undocumented and he’s been deported back to Guatemala. Soon, nothing is fine, and Lili has to make a choice: She’s done trying to make her white classmates and teachers feel more comfortable. Done changing who she is, denying her culture and where she came from. They want to know where she’s from, what she’s about? Liliana is ready to tell them.


The Likes:

At the centre and forefront of this novel is the incredible and very authentic voice. I can already see the complaints of people calling the writing juvenile and hard to understand because of the slang and can I just tell these people to shove off already? This story is being told by a 15 year old-girl, do you think that she always thinks in full sentences and with the vocabulary of a university professor!? No. I personally loved the writing style and voice! It really gave off the vibes of being in this teenager’s mind. The reader is put into her head so wonderfully, an effect that I think is best achieved when the vernacular of the text caters to the voice of the character. I mean did I understand every term used? No, but that’s what Urban Dictionary is for.

Liliana was a phenomenal character and I resonated a lot with her. She starts off this story your average teen living the high school life in Boston. She’s kind of moody, having to deal with her little brothers and her dad’s sudden disappearance, it doesn’t help that her mom isn’t letting up any details. Then things change, big time. She is accepted into the METCO program at a predominately white school in wealthy neighbourhood. She’s apprehensive about the move, but does it to make her parents happy. Then things get more intense as she discovers her father has actually been deported and that her mother is also an undocumented immigrant. These are not the most welcome experiences for her and she reacts in a very understandable way. She was angry and scared and most of all confused. Is she flawed? Oh yeah. And yet I loved her desire to learn more. To find the answers for her questions and find the voice to fight for herself. 

As she learns to navigate the halls of her new school she finds herself changing and is unsure how to feel about it. She begins to feel like she is losing herself as she is confronted with two very different worlds, neither of which seem to claim her entirely.  The trials of friendship both of maintaining connections you already have and creating new ones is a bug hurdle for her. There were so many different factors she had to balance at once. I was only ever the new-kid once, but this book does a great job of showing how difficult it is to navigate new waters especially in a school where there is so much division!

Reading about Liliana’s eventual awakening to the reality of her family’s story was so relatable for me. In my Latinx experience, it is very common that family stories and family secrets stay sealed among the adults. It’s when you reach a certain age, like Liliana’s 15 years, when you finally start to be trusted with the secrets. And sometimes these revelations weigh you down. I can only imagine the kind of hurt and confusion that Liliana felt about her parents and the idea that her dad might never come back to their family. Reading about how she dealt with this weight was poignant and really eye-opening.

Identity and knowing who you are is probably the biggest theme in this book. As someone who is both half-Salvadorian and half-Guatemalan, Liliana finds herself knowing very little about the countries from whence her parents hail. (And again so relatable) I loved that she took it upon herself to google, read books and ask questions to know more! Questions she asks her older family members that aren’t always answered in a direct manner (like is this my life?? I’ve done these very same things SO many times). She embarks on her own research about Guatemala and the hardships of immigration which was really admirable!

I don’t know much about the American school system, but reading this book was again very insightful. The complexities of the METCO program and navigating a school where you are constantly othered is scary. The amount of microaggressions and blatant racism that Liliana and the other POC characters face in the book is not shocking but pretty despicable. This book made a powerful statement on what it means to be open to diversity, navigating white fragility and the dangers of relying on BIPOC to “teach” people how to not be racist. It made me honestly reflect about my own experience in school. To be fair, my high school was not predominately white, but I still faced some of these very things from my own classmates. Some of these microaggressions I’ve done myself. I used to say–and sometimes still say–that I am “Spanish” when I am most certainly not. I was just so wowed by the truth after truth that this book spit out.

At heart this is a story about family. It was gut-wrenching at times because there is just so much heartbreak. This is not really a story about migration, although the dangers of crossing the US-Mexican border is a prominent worry for Liliana and her family. (Not mention the president that wants to build a wall.) And I really liked how the author approached it.  I feel like this book is for first-generation kids. The children of immigrants that are both of the nation they were born in be it American or Canadian (in my case) and that nations from which their parents come from. It’s about embracing that your identity is not limited to one single place, one single way of seeing the world. I might have cried just a little bit because this story resonated so much with me. In no ways is my life identical to Liliana’s, but just some of the things she thinks about and questions she asks reflect my experience too.

Nonetheless, this book leaves us all on a note of hope. It calls for holding yourself and your friends accountable.  It calls for us to never judge on first appearance and be open to everyone’s intersectionality. It calls for asking questions and being open to learning about the struggles everyone faces. It’s about facing that fear even in the face of rejection and embracing that each and every one of us is a complex human being worthy of going for gold to reach our dreams.


Overall, this book was a really amazing read. It grabbed me every time I opened the page and let me tell you that second half had me clutched by the collar, I couldn’t put it down! Centered around themes of identity, social justice and family, this book is sure to draw you in with its unique character voice and drama. It’s a compelling read and very relevant!

Rating: 5 / 5 Stars

Recommend: Oh yes!

Let me know what you think! Have you ever read a book with a character that shares your culture? Are you looking forward to reading this? What books about family and/or social justice do you love?

*Lebanon Needs You – Please Share and/or Donate + Link to a master list of how you can help/educate yourself on Black Lives Matter and other humanitarian movements across the globe*

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

 

The Bookish Feels | Books That Give Me Wanderlust // We’re going on a trip…

Greetings readers!

Books are really the only way to travel these days. At least for me.

I’m not really up to going that far, except a park or two. That being said, I thought I’d celebrate some of the books that give me wanderlust.

The desire to get up and go somewhere doesn’t hit me often, but when it does it comes in full force and I am left feeling on edge. Which is why I often turn to books to fill in that need!

So what book worlds would I want to visit?

Real World Roaming

The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall

The Penderwicks at Point Mouette (The Penderwicks, #3)
via Goodreads

This book gave me the urge to go to a cottage in Maine. Like what? I don’t know a single thing about Maine. For that matter, I’m not even sure if Maine is where they end up going!! The bigger picture is that I want to go to a rustic cottage by the sea!

Island Affair by Priscilla Oliveras

Island Affair (Keys to Love, #1)
via Goodreads

Oh to be lying and chilling on a beach right now. I read this book when it was still cold out and it gave me major beach nostalgia. Who knew I wouldn’t be able to fulfill that wish once summer arrived? *sigh* Alas, this book is like a ray of sunshine and a warm breeze all in one!


Take Me Back to the Magical Ole Days

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

gojas

Roaming around 1920s Mexico with a Mayan god of Death??? Yes. Sign me up. I want the glitz and glam of it all! To visit the pueblos and Mexico city and even step into the dangerous roads of Xibalba, I’m all for it! I’m ready!

The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

KOB

Touring with the Mozart siblings and visiting magical music worlds too? Sounds like an adventure and I am all for it! Not only that, I would also get to see Europe  in the late 18th century with all this glam! YES.


Whimsical Wayfaring

Curse of the Night Witch by Alex Aster

night witch

This book was positively magical. It’s a world full of different magical creatures and life. It was dangerous yet whimsical all in one. And above all else there was so much colour. The vibrancy of the words on the page enticed me into the grips of that story so wonderfully!

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)
via Goodreads

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: This book was weird but in a very magical and whimsical way. It’s a world that I would love to see for myself. From the ruins of the gods to the beasts that roam far and wide. Taylor painted quite a picture and I would love to see it for myself!


Let me know what you think! What books have given you wanderlust? Have you ever visited a place because of a book? What wanderlust-inducing type books would you recommend?

*Lebanon Needs You – Please Share and/or Donate + Link to a master list of how you can help Black Lives Matter and other humanitarian movements across the globe*

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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The Gilded Wolves | Review // This Street Team Member is FINALLY in on the epicness!

Greetings readers!

Have you ever uhhh been a part of a street team to promote a book and never actually read the book??? Yeah. I know. It’s a bad look.

But hey I don’t have that problem anymore because I HAVE FINALLY READ THE BOOK I’VE BEEN MEANING TO READ!

Round of applause for me for having done the absolute bare minimum! *claps for self*

In all seriousness though, I am very excited to be presenting this review for you today! I have been anticipating this book for a while and I am glad I have finally had the chance to read it!

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)

Pub Date: Jan 15th, 2019
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Goodreads

No one believes in them. But soon no one will forget them.

It’s 1889. The city is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. Here, no one keeps tabs on dark truths better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. When the elite, ever-powerful Order of Babel coerces him to help them on a mission, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To hunt down the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin calls upon a band of unlikely experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian banished from his home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in arms if not blood.

Together, they will join Séverin as he explores the dark, glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the course of history–but only if they can stay alive.


The Likes

These Snarky Bantery Characters are to die for! We love a found family trope!

I love Laila. We can only stan a mom friend who is also sassy and loves some scandal. I adored her. Her compassion and loving kindness was unconditional. We love to see it.

I love Séverin. Mysterious and suave. He is all angst. He loves his brother and his friend-family! He tries so hard not to thirst, but my man is thirsty for ^ for 90% of this novel. XD And honestly we love to see it.

I love Enrique. A historian with wit sharp like a knife. He was unapologetically himself all the time even though he also struggled with his identity and figuring out his place in the world. He was charming and witty and we love to see it.

I love Zofia. Her chapters brought me back to my calculus days and while it was a little triggering, her chapters were always wildly interesting! I wish I could be half as intelligent and caring as she is! I loved that knew her boundaries and drew her lines, but was still brave enough to step out her comfort zone every now and then. We love to see it.

I love Tristan. So soft. So sweet. He was 16 but I felt like he read a little younger (then again it only added to his softness so I’m not really complaining) He was not as present in the book for reasons, but whenever he did show up on the page he was cheeky and sweet and yes, we love to see it!

And Hypnos. You know I suspected him for a bit, but I did ended up loving him. If you think Enrique was a charmer, Hypnos was The Charmer. Always had something suave to say and flirting is his first language. He added the fun and quips and we love to see it!

This world building was amazing! Set in 1889 Paris, on the eve of the opening of the Exposition Universelle, this book is chock full of history. You can tell Chokshi did her research and dug deep into what this world would be like. This was the age of invention and discovery for some, while it was also full of destruction. I loved that this book put the disastrous effects of colonialism front and centre. That it paints an authentic picture of what Paris would have been like for these characters of colour and other marginalized backgrounds.

What’s more is that this world is magic, for history is boring if you don’t twist and add some kick to it. The story of the Tower of Babel plays kind of a big part in the book, but it is explained so no need for any biblical knowledge really. I love how Chokshi created different houses that people belonged to (House Kore member here 😉 ). The seven deadly sins also play a really big part of this and I liked how she incorporated them. The Magical Society was super intriguing. It’s courts and politics messy. And yet it was glamorous. This was a world of opulence and finding rare and precious objects. AND YET it is also tied to colonialism and the theft of sacred cultural objects and people!

In terms of overall plot, I love me some heist stories. It packs in both the suspense and the mystery. It had action and analytics. You can definitely see the inspiration Chokshi took from National Treasure, as the characters search for artifacts and try to piece together a puzzle of riddles. The chase never lets up and just when you think the calm has settled, the storm comes crashing down once again!

The romance. This was a book of yearning. Lots of romantic and sexual tension. Some characters were more thirsty than others is all I have to say! There may even be a triangle of sorts going on…I’m not really sure how this will end up playing out, but I’m actually into this.

The Ending. I’m sitting there all happy and then BAM. Tragedy strikes and my heart literally breaks. The last 40 pages of this novel just brings down the hatchet on everyone’s neck! Seriously, Rosh wasn’t playing around!

The Questionable

I think I was just overwhelmed sometimes with information. I usually like when we get snippets of “direct sources” but for some reason the snippets we got in this book just confused me. I think they might have been a little too abstract for me and trying to find the connections to the actual story occupied my mind to much.


Overall, I very much enjoyed this book! I feel much better as a street team member now that I have read it and I don’t have to avoid spoilers like the plague! This book promised high stakes, treasure hunting, romance and suspense and it delivers! I cannot wait to see what happens in book 2 as every character has to face the choices they made in the end of book one!

Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

Recommend?: Yes!

Let me know what you think! Have you read this? Are you looking forward to the sequel? Who is your favourite character?

*Lebanon Needs You – Please Share and/or Donate + Link to a master list of how you can help Black Lives Matter and other humanitarian movements across the globe*

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

July Wrap-Up & August TBR | Happy Book Lovers Day!

Greetings readers!

How have my wonderful book lovers been on this our day to celebrate us? To be honest I didn’t know today was a thing, but I’m into it!

I’m coming at you a little late with this monthly wrap-up and haul, but better late than ever am I right? July was a month, in that I had school and not much else going on.

I wouldn’t say I’m suffering from cabin fever, but being in the house studying is getting quite boring, and yet the thought of going to other places is not so attractive either ugh. It’s a tricky situation but I’m managing.

So I’ve set myself up with quite the ambitious TBR this month even though we’re a third of the way in and I am failing so so so hard rn.

wrap-up-3

What Rendz Read

Heartstopper: Volume One by Alice Oseman e-📘  (4/5) Review
Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim (4/5) My Review

Unravel the Dusk

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova 🎧 (3/5) Review
Awk-Weird by Avery Flynn e-📘 (5/5) Review
The Penderwicks at Last by Jeanne Birdsall 🎧 (3/5) Review
A Songs of Wrath and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown e-📘  (5/5) My Review

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin

The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory  🎧 (4/5) Review
Lobizona by Romina Garber e-📘  [ARC] (4/5) Review

LOBIZONA

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo e-📘 (4.5/5) Review
Check, Please! Book 1: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu e-📘 (5/5) Review
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno Garcia (5/5) My Review

MGR

11 books in total! Not too shabby might I add. I really enjoyed my reads this month as you can see there aren’t really any low ratings!

Highlight Book(s): A Songs of Wrath and Ruin, Awk-Weird and Check, Please! were definitely at the top. But Mexican Gothic….y’all MEXICAN GOTHIC…I—I—

celine dion im in love GIF
via giphy.com

Lowliest Book(s): Labyrinth Lost wasn’t a very low book, but it was a 3 stars for me. I was hoping for a lot more, but I just did not find myself liking the characters much.

The Haul

Giveaway Wins!

The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow
Cry of Metal and Bone by L. Penelope

Purchases

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

ARCs

Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz (I’m part of the Caffeine Book Tour!)

Other Going-Ons

I celebrated Mexican Gothic Week / I waited 27 Days for this book

I went on an Instagram hype spree and posted a bunch of pictures in honour of Mexican Gothic’s release. I basically featured different books Silvia Moreno-Garcia has published up to date! I even featured the special announcement that Certain Dark Things and The Beautiful Ones are going to be reprinted in 2021! Then after waiting very patiently, although complaining on social media every week, I finally got my copy in the mail! I made use of IG musics feature to really show how I was feeling that day!

smg

More Silvia Moreno-Garcia Books are on the way!

I had been celebrating SMG books practically the entire month and then 2 days after I get my copy of Mexican Gothic, it is announced that SMG has sold three more books! I just keep winning these days with all this amazing news! Check out the announcement below!

Image

I have nothing else exciting to report. Other than I celebrated my birthday (teehee) and I finished another chunk of summer school. All that’s left is one exam and while the semester took a bit of a down turn, I’ll be accepting any and all good vibes my way!

Posts Of the Month

The Stuck at Home Book Tag | Because we should all mostly be staying at home!

BOOK TAG!

Romance Reading Round Up | Pt. 4 // We Hit a Bit of a Slow Down these Past Months

Romance Reading Round Up

Indigenous Reads to Add to Our TBRs!

indig recs

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

BOOK TAG!

Tune & Title Tuesday Round Up

Tune & Title Tuesdays

July 7, 2020
July 14, 2020
July 21, 2020
July 28, 2020

TBR

TBR

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
The Sky Weaver by Kristin Ciccarelli

tgw

ARC AUGUST CHALLENGE!

The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K.S. Villoso (a reread for @Bitchreadathon)
Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles
Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz
Category Five by Ann Davila Cardinal
Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From by Jennifer De Leon
The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson
The Faithless Hawk by Margaret Owen
Song of the Crimson Flower by Julie C. Dao
A River of Royal Blood by Amanda Joy

Plus like a ton of digital library books that I keep borrowing!!!

I already know that I won’t be able to complete everything since I’m still working my way through TGW. But I did up my reading to three books at once, so I’m hoping to blast through much of these reads once I get out of school. It might not happen but a girl has got to tryyyy!


Let me know what you think! What have you read this month? What books did you get? What books are you looking forward to reading!

*Lebanon Needs You – Please Share and/or Donate + Link to a master list of how you can help Black Lives Matter and other humanitarian movements across the globe*

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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