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A Cuban Girls Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey

But I remember we’re both stars Estrellita and Orion a fierce little star and a warrior constellation

A Cuban Girls Guide to Tea and Tomorrow has been not only one of my favorite reads of this year but this book was all about healing for me. In the book our MC has to deal with so much loss but one of those things being the loss of her beloved grandmother, something I had to deal with a while back something that I overcame through this book along side Lila.

Not to mention that as someone who was born in Cuba and raised here in Miami this book warmed my heart in ways that I had no idea I needed. Own voices matter so so much my friends.

I would also like to point out that while reading this book I had SO much cafΓ© cubano and pastelitos so fair warning you will have cravings haha This is a story about pain, this is a story about love, its about growth and healing and it means so so much to me πŸ’–

I also had the please of making a double sided bookmark for Unplugged book box with the designs you see above!

Thank you to Hear our Voices tours for picking me to be part of the tour for this very special book.

But Lila Reyes from Miami was not without ideas and tricks

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Palace of Silver by Hannah West

Palace of Silver by Hannah West quickly became one of my favorite reads of this year, for many reasons of course but one of them being the authors ability to create the world that she has between all three books (Kingdom of Ash and Briars is book one and Realm of Ruins is book two) this series is one that I would definitely recommend to lovers of fantasy and retellings! I was honestly hooked from book one this author has a way of showing you her MC’s heart and it makes you really develop a love for the stories. I also want to mention her ability to intertwine fairy tells in her main plot, now I wouldn’t consider this whole series a retelling of a specific fairytale – you’ll just have to read it for yourself πŸ˜‰

Now, homesickness was not only a wistful pining for distant shores and bygone days, but something far more profound; it was a soul-deep yearning for what could have been and would never be – a need to grasp everything wholesome and beautiful in this world yolked with an acute awareness that it was not mine to grasp.

The history and world building in this is something that I will be talking about for freaking forever honestly. I am so impressed with the web that Hannah West has created within The Nissera Chronicles that I’m a little sad I don’t get to experience this for the first time again. All the way from my love Bristal to Valory to Glisette and Kadri I can’t say that I disliked a single MC or their stories. I also need to mention the political dynamic is so on point and I loooove a good political dialogue in a book about kings and queens. This book and this series hit all of the points for me when it comes to fantasy and I wouldn’t mind it at all if The Nissera Chronicles continued. I’m rating this book 4 stars!! Make sure to check this series out and add it to your quarantine tbr!!

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Crave by Tracy Wolff

Okay so first I just want to Keyboard smash real quick djlwkjhbfkjhwebkugbkrb because THAT is how I feel about Crave – in the absolute best freaking way. This book has made me laugh, made me roll my eyes, I’m pretty sure I even hugged it at one point? Other people hug their books right, or is that just me? Today’s review is part of my tour with Fantastic Flying book club but honestly even if I wasn’t on the tour I would absolutely have to review this and tell everyone to pick this book up! (or I might just throw it at everyone – with love)

I have heard nothing but good things about this book and then yesterday I found out that some people are saying its a Twilight knock off to which I say -fart noise- don’t be a jerk. Crave is the perfect blend of Twilight and Vampire Academy that I didn’t know I needed. It was funny, it was dark, it has a snarky bad ass MC and a mysterious vampire boy, and a giant gothic castle – whats not to love? This 500+ paged beauty was so difficult to put down I think I was awake until about 4 am reading it one night. The story has a way of grabbing on to you and its impossible to let go until you’re done. (Now that I’m Done with Crave I’m like cool now what)

Grace and Jaxon – Jaxon and Grace – I’m just gonna write a whole paragraph with their names, would that make me look crazy? They are one of the main reasons I couldn’t let this book go – not the only reason though because I loved everything about this book – I loved their dynamic but I also love the people around them. Which brings me to Jaxons ‘order’ or should I just say Mekhi? Because he is my absolute favorite!! Okay if I keep talking about this im going to spoil stuff but just freaking read this book. Go right now. Go buy it online. (social distancing and all that) And as for Grace’s cousin Macy -must protect at all costs- She is the perfect best friend for this story and I feel like she was the perfect character to balance out Grace.

The story and world building were incredible I don’t think I would need to convince anyone of that. Everything from the description of the gothic castle which I love love love to the dynamic between the supernatural creatures, the magic, the fight scenes, every puzzle piece in this story was perfectly placed and thought out, even the villain πŸ˜‰ Which of course I am NOT going to spoil – figure it out on your own like everyone else (:

Any and every supernatural/fantasy YA romance can be a little silly and its impossible for people to not say this is a twilight knockoff but they’re just haters don’t listen to them – listen to me when I tell you Crave deserves a chance- and as much as I adore the cover DO NOT judge it by its cover. I honestly give Crave 5 stars for stealing my heart from beginning to end. Remember its now available to go grab your copy!

“Have you ever wanted something so much that you were afraid to take it?”

He nods. “Yes”

“Like its right there, waiting for you to just reach out and grab it, but you’re so terrified of what will happen when you lose it that you never make the reach?”

“Yes” he says again, his voice burrowing inside me.

I tilt my head up until our eyes meet, and I whisper, “What did you do?”

For long seconds he doesn’t say anything. He just stares back at me with a look as scarred and broken as the rest of him. And says, “I decided to take it anyways.”

Then he leans down and presses his lips to mine.

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Thorn by Intisar Khanani

Thorn by Intisar Khanani….Holy character development!! This story has been so far one of my favorite books I’ve read this year. Alyrra is such a special character (and I would 100000% fight for her) This book made me feel so much -and yes I cried. Right from the beginning I knew I would love Alyrra she has the most incredible heart and she always puts others needs before her own in such a tender way and she expects nothing in return. Her growth as an individual throughout this whole story happens so gradually and right before your eyes that at the end you really can’t help but feel a sense of pride for her. Her kindness and compassion makes her such an admirable MC especially after everything she’s dealt with and where she comes from.

The story felt so beautifully put together – all of the characters had their own roles and not one of them was casted aside. I did feel like a couple things were left open ended on purpose and if there ended up being other stories in this same universe I would absolutely read it. Did I have my favorite characters aside from Alyrra? oh absolutely! Falada for one will forever remain one of my favorite companions in a story. All of the holsters – their entire family dynamic makes me so freaking emotional that I’m not gonna keep talking about then or I’ll spoil something. Kestrin…freaking Kestrin I just love him so much!! and of course we can’t forget The Sorceress..even though she’s the worst now that i’ve read and understood just exactly why I can definitely appreciate her as a villain.

The world building, writing and over all flow of the story felt very well done and if you like fantasy and amazing characters – this is the book for you! I’ve giving Thorn 4 stars out of 5 – and like I said if the author wants to write more about this universe I would be so on board with anything she throws at us!! Thorn is now available so go get it!!(We’re all quarantined anyways sooo do yourself a favor)

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Witches of Ash and Ruin By E. Latimer

“Blood and Bone, ash and soot.”

Everyone get ready because I’m going to be throwing this book left and right at everyone!! Witches of Ash and Ruin was honestly everything that I wanted in a book about witches and ancient celtic mythology. No one tell American horror story : Coven but…this book gave me e v e r y t h i n g I’ve ever wanted in a story about a coven of witches. It was also the perfect mixture of murder mystery and spookiness!

I want to first talk about the overall spookiness level of this book – it was um how do you say, spooktacular! If you want a spooky October read this year absolutely add this to your TBR. Between The Butchers murders and the witchcraft/dark magic this book had the hairs on my arms standing a couple times. There was even one scene that had me looking over my shoulder while I was reading alone at night! I haven’t read anything that creeped me out in a very long time (or ever? I can’t remember) so for fans of mystery and spookiness I absolutely recommend this book! If it wasn’t for the current state of the world this would have been such a fast read for me regardless of how long this book actually is to be honest with you.

The characters!!!!!! Gosh I love them all so much…even Cora and The King Witch. The characters in this story are all refreshing and complexly their own person. Dayna my little sunflower witch she deserves so much *insert crying emoji* Meiner effing King…Where do I start with her?! what a freaking badass!! Daynas bestfriend Reagan- everyone needs a best friend like Reagan! I love that she was so -on her side- I’ve read so many books where the best friend is usually an annoying problem (which I absolutely hate that cause I would be nothing without my best friend) Cora Cora Cora all im going to say is – now thats a complex character. Bronagh, Yemi, Faye, Brenna – I love the family bond between all of them and regardless of being background characters they didn’t feel pushed to the side. Harriet mcfreaking King…wow what do I even say about her without giving too much away?! I love the notorious King Witch! All I’m going to say is she gives me the creeps and I love her. Then theres Sam who honestly I have no idea where his life is headed but I really hope he supports Dayna in her future endeavors or we’re gonna fight. and I can’t forget Daynas parents – The reverend and Fiona. I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about the revered but I know his whole ~church camp~ thing freaks me out it reminds me of those crazy church cult stories its hella freaky and Fiona is one of those people that I would not want to be alone in a house with she would probably silently stand behind me in the kitchen and give me a heart attack one I turn around. I really feel like the author took her time with these characters to make sure the reader could feel out each personality and really add depth to the story.

The Butcher – This is the horrible witch killing villain i’ve been waiting for. I felt like his chapters really added that ‘horror’ factor to this book. I don’t want to give away much but just know as a villain he’s cold, ruthless and terrifying!

Despite this book having about 75 chapters I really felt like it was well put together and the pace of this book was not slow for a second! 75 chapters of pure genius honestly. I didn’t have any issues with the writing style and I actually really liked the way it was done and how there was more than one point of view. (Meiner was probably my favorite just saying) This was a really fun read for me I had been looking for something mystery/horror related and the fact that witches were involved was just a plus! I’m finding it so difficult to express my love for this book without giving to much away so I’m just gonna tell you to pleaseeee read it!! my rating for this book is 4.5 out of 5 stars and it definitely left me wanting more! (book 2 please and thanks)

Witches of Ash and Ruin is out now and I’ll go ahead and link it here! Make sure to add it to your goodreads and its available on amazon and Barnes and Noble

“Thats the way with magic. Especially dark Magic.”

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The Oracle Code by Marieke Nijkamp

DC does it again! I'm having so much fun reading all of these DC YA graphic novels! 
The Oracle Code was definitely a favorite and of all of them it feels the most concrete one. 
The story does not feel rushed at all and its actually pretty detail oriented for a comic. This graphic novel follows Barbara Gordon after getting shot and having to go through recovery from her physical disabilities but also her emotional ones. She feels like shes lost her life and her friends and I feel like she was perfectly portrayed in this story. I will say that this one did have a creepier feel than the rest of the YA graphic novels and I absolutely loved it. The art style is another thing I loved! There are different styles in this one so be ready for a pleasant surprise.
 

I would absolutely recommend The Oracle Code! 5/5 stars from me!

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The June Boys by Court Stevens

πšƒπš‘πšŽ π™ΆπšŽπš–πš’πš—πš’ πšƒπš‘πš’πšŽπš πšŒπš˜πšžπš•πš πš‹πšŽ πšŠπš—πš’πš˜πš—πšŽ. πšˆπš˜πšžπš› πšπšŠπšπš‘πšŽπš›, πš’πš˜πšžπš› πš–πš˜πšπš‘πšŽπš›, πš’πš˜πšžπš› πš‹πšŽπšœπšπšπš›πš’πšŽπš—πšβ€™πšœ πšŒπš›πšŠπš£πš’ πšžπš—πšŒπš•πšŽ. πš‚πš˜πš–πšŽ πšŒπš˜πšžπš—πšπš›πš’ πš–πšžπšœπš’πšŒ πšœπšπšŠπš›πšœ πšπšŽπš›πšŠπš—πšπšŽπš πšœπš’πšœπšπšŽπš›. π™°πš—πš’πš˜πš—πšŽ.

Guys!!! The June Boys has absolutely captivated me!! I’m currently reading it and I already have so many questions! I’m breezing through this book and I am so excited to finish it and excitedly tell you all about it!! The June Boys us out now so make sure to add it to your goodreads and get yourself a copy!Β I’ll Link it below! –

Barnes & Noble | Amazon

The Gemini Thief is a serial kidnapper, who takes three boys and holds them captive from June 1st to June 30th of the following year. The June Boys endure thirteen months of being stolen, hidden, observed, and fed before they are released, unharmed, by their masked captor. The Thief is a pro, having eluded authorities for nearly a decade and taken at least twelve boys.

Now Thea Delacroix has reason to believe the Gemini Thief has taken a thirteenth victim: her cousin, Aulus McClaghen.

But the game changes when one of the kidnapped boys turns up dead. Together with her boyfriend Nick and her best friends, Thea is determined to find the Gemini Thief and the remaining boys before it’s too late. Only she’s beginning to wonder something sinister, something repulsive, something unbelievable, and yet, not impossible:

What if her father is the Gemini Thief?

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Meet the Reader

Hello there! Welcome to the millionth time I’ve restarted my blog! Okay no but for real welcome to & She reads! My name is Solange I’m 26 years old and I live in the (sometimes) Sunny city of Miami, FL. Home of ‘no artists come here for concerts ever’ and that one time we had a zombie, well he wasn’t really a zombie but if you google it you’ll see what I mean (it was kinda really crazy). BUT ANYWAYS, Hi! This is me and as usual I was caught looking away from the camera πŸ™‚

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I’m generally grumpy in public places unless they happen to be a bookstore or coffee shop, and I always drive myself crazy by reading more then one book at a time. Most recently my favorite genre has to be fantasy but I do love me a good Scifi or Mystery every now and then, and when I really need a break from the craziness I’ll pick up a nice contemporary. I honestly don’t know how to stay still do i’ll have three books pending and then i’ll volunteer to be a beta reader while also reviewing ARC’s on the side AND working a 9-5 ANDD volunteering at church. In my defense though if I did stay still I would probably go crazy (apparently I’m not already right).

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I have firey red hair by the way since you couldn’t see it in the other picture, it honestly feels like its just my hair color at this point. If you’re wondering, yes, my favorite Disney princess is Ariel. I can quote the entire little mermaid movie don’t fight me on this. For real though, I have such a strong passion for reading its something very dear to me and whenever someone tells me I inspired them to read it warms my heart. I hope you guys made it this far into the post after all that ridiculousness. Feel free to message me! Have a book you want me to read for you? Message me! I can’t wait to hear from all of you!.

With Love,

Solange – & She Reads