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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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EndGame by Aisha Tritle

Welcome to The Game, Leigh

EndGame…EndFreakingGame – This was one of the absolute coolest stories I have EVER read you guys. Seriously, anyone who loves black mirror would so so enjoy this. EndGame is a fast, read in one sitting, Techno-Thriller story that follows the MC – Leigh – who is a young successful lawyer who just so happens to have been dumped recently. The Game is a virtual reality dating app where Leigh meets Alexei who of course is gorgeous and super into her. Now, here is where it gets wild, from the moment Alexei comes in you’re hooked. Who is this beautiful mysterious man?! Well without giving any spoilers I can only tell you he definitely is not your average guy.

When Leigh finds herself trapped inside The Game stuff gets wild. She’s trapped during a Gatsby-themed gala and forced to get involved in a plot to catch a hacker whose been using the app to set up crimes within the real world. and whats the best part? Alexei might be the death of her. *Wink*

Are you hooked yet? okay cool stop what you’re doing and go read this incredible techno-thriller novelette! I was absolutely stunned with this one. I read it in the car on the way to do my nails! (I wasn’t driving fyi) I couldn’t not put it down I was so intrigued with this story and it certainly did not disappoint. So much so that I finished it and I was trying to scroll for more pages haha I really didn’t want it to end. (Just saying if the author wants to continue this I would have NO problems [: ) I’ve been disappointed by so many big name thrillers recently that it was seriously so refreshing to read a story that left me grasping for more.

Of course the plot isn’t the only thing that hooked me but Aisha Tritles writing and her descriptions were on point and I was able to clearly visualize the real world and the virtual world. I want to thank her for reaching out and sending me an E ARC of this because its definitely a 2020 favorite. Oh and someone please tell Black Mirror to make me an episode of this!! It’s just the perfect length for a 45 minute episode, please please pleeeease.

EndGame is currently available for download and I’ll go ahead and link it here! I can’t say much without spoiling it so read it for yourself! and then come talk to me because wow I NEED to discuss this!! Make sure to read it review it tell your friends tell your fam! It gets 5 out of 5 stars from me!!

After all, The Game is about winning

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Shadow of The Batgirl ( Graphic Novel)

Graphic Novel by Sarah Kuhn

Illustrated by Nicole Goux

Cassandra Cain is the daughter of super-villains and a living weapon trained from birth to be the ultimate assassin. But that doesn’t mean she has to stay that way, right? She’ll have to go through an identity crisis of epic proportions to find out. But how do you figure out who you’re supposed to be when you’ve been trained to become a villain your entire life?

Shadow of the Batgirl was a lot cuter than I was expecting it to be, which is not a bad thing at all!
It’s targeted towards young adults and I felt like it was a very juvenile take on Cassandra Cain. I’m assuming she’s about 15? maybe 16? and If I was that age now I would have been obsessed with this!
The art was fun and cute, different from the other DC YA graphic novels but it still fits in well with the others.

I am Cassandra Cain. And I am here to hero you!

Er, do hero things?

Hero it up?

Whatever.

Her character development was obvious and well planned out for a comic, and I love that it still had fighting and action without being as brutal as regular comics. I would definitely buy all these for my nephew. This one has to be one of my favorites form the Ya graphic novels and of course I love the tiny snippets of Barbara Gordon/ Oracle and Gotham city.

This was a super fun read and I flew through it in one sitting I would definitely recommend to older and younger readers alike! 4/5 stars from me! Also check out this super cute costume creating montage, who doesn’t love those?!

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Wonder Woman : Warbringer (Graphic Novel)

I received an eARC of Wonder Woman : Warbringer Via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

When I found out that they were turning the DC YA novels into comics I was absolutely thriller! I couldn’t wait to see some of my favorite books come to life. Well, its safe to say, I loved this as much as the book. The original book is written by Leigh Bardugo (one of my all time favorite authors) and I feel like Louise Simonson’s adaptation of it matches the book and the pace of the story perfectly.

I also very much enjoyed the art style in this graphic novel. I felt like it wasn’t too cartoony for this type of story and all the characters felt accurately portrayed. It was still action packed, funny, heartfelt, and YA appropriate. When I had first read the book I tested it out to see how accurate the feel of the book would be to Diana so naturally I played the soundtrack from the movie (I know im a dweeb haha) and it was perfect! I of course had to do that with the graphic novel and , no surprise there, it made it just as fun! Fun fact : I pair up almost everything I read with music.

I also need to mention that previous to this I read Batman: Nightwalker (Graphic Novel) and once again they’ve made it all flow correctly – I can totally seen a Diana/Bruce cross over – These Graphic novels have been such a genuinely fun reading experience for me and I can’t wait to see what other ones come out!

Wonder Woman : Warbringer Graphic Novel gets 5 out of 5 stars from me! This Graphic novel came out January 7th 2020 so make sure to get yourself a copy!