Blog Tour & ARC Review: Sofa Surfer by Malcolm Duffy

Sofa Surfer by Malcolm Duffy

Published 06 February 2020 by Zephyr / Head of Zeus

‘A story with great heart, and wisdom, which shows the healing power of true friendship’ Ele Fountain, author of Boy 87.
Written with humour and heart, Sofa Surfer looks at what it means to be homeless.

Malcolm Duffy’s debut novel Me Mam. Me Dad. Me., about domestic violence, won the YA category of the Sheffield Children’s Book Award 2019, the Redbridge Children’s Book Award 2019, was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Prize 2019 and selected for World Book Night.

15-year-old Tyler’s teenage angst turns to outright rebellion when his family leave London for a new life in Yorkshire. He’s angry with his parents about the upheaval and furious at losing his home. With only the dog to confide in, Tyler has no idea that a chance meeting with a skinny girl called Spider will lead him into a world he never even knew existed. Spider is sofa surfing and Tyler finds himself spinning a tangled web of lies in his efforts to help her escape her world of fear and insecurity.

Sofa Surfer shows how empathy and action can help those without a home to go to. As with his widely praised debut Me Mam. Me Dad. Me., Malcolm Duffy finds humour and heart even in dire situations. Relevant, warm and rewarding Sofa Surfer is about what happens when going home isn’t an option.

*ARC kindly provided by Zephyr/Head of Zeus in exchange for an honest review*

“I’d thought it would be the most forgettable summer ever, but it turned into the most memorable.”

My first book by Malcolm Duffy and it surpassed my expectations! I so loved it! Sofa Surfer is one of the easiest and probably the quickest book I’ve read (so far) this year. I feel like it was just a breeze reading this book.

“But I didn’t want to give Yorkshire a chance. I didn’t want to give anywhere a chance.”

To say that Tyler was furious to leave his friends and home in London is an understatement. He’s manic, he’s angry. How could his parents decide to leave the bustling city and move to Yorkshire, an almost unknown place? Tyler had a hard time making friends and there really isn’t much that you can do on this new city. Until he met Spider. A girl at the local lido (this is like a community pool) who wanted to learn how to swim.

“It was a though Spider has taken her sleeping bag and moved in my head. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t get rid of her.”

Things get a bit complicated when Tyler found out that Spider was thrown out of her cousin’s house where she is couch surfing. Tyler did his best to help Spider by bringing her food, some other supplies and even extending a place for her to stay at temporarily.

Sofa Surfer mainly tackles about the topic of homelessness. I will not bore you guys by giving statistics and such, but we are all aware that a number of people everywhere in the world in homeless. I believe that this book conveys such a good message that empathy and action goes hand in hand especially in helping people. Without the other, things would just not work out properly.

For such a heavy topic, homelessness was handled in such a light, poignant and thoughtful way. I especially like the lack of overdramatic effects! It was just light and touching. Simple as that. Especially viewed in the young eyes of the lead character Tyler. Reading this from his point of view has made a huge difference because everything feels simple but real. At such a young age, Tyler already has the heart to help. I like how he really stood up to his parents especially in helping Spider.  Spider on the other hand is such a strange character. I’m honestly hesitant about her character on the first few chapters of the book but at the end I kind of felt for her. For such a young age as well, she was given one of the hardest things to deal with – homelessness. I would’ve loved to know more of her backstory, I guess. It feels that there is the loss connection with her.

Overall, Sofa Surfer is such a relevant and great book! Definitely recommended for everyone!

4/5 Flower Rating

Have you heard about Sofa Surfer? I definitely recommend this book so please add it up on your tbr!  💚

Anticipated Releases for February 2020

January seems to drag upon us but alas February finally came! New month means new things to look forward to. And what gets me more excited is that this also means new books titles to be released!!!  I’ve narrowed down below a list of books that I’m excited for…

PS. This post was supposed to be drafted and published on the first day of the month but I’ve been sooooo busy with life stuff that I didn’t remember it until earlier this week. Please forgive me! 😅

All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth, #1) by Adalyn Grace
Release Date: 04 February 2020

A fantasy sea world with mermaids and pirates? Uhm, yes please! Amora spent her entire life training to be High Animancer—the master of souls. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic. When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic. Do you smell a lingering connection between these two? I’m just excited to get my hands on this book!

Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed
Release Date: 04 February 2020

Going door to door isn’t exactly glamorous, but maybe it’s not the worst thing in the world. After all, the polls are getting closer—and so are Maya and Jamie. Mastering local activism is one thing. Navigating the cross-cultural romance of the century is another thing entirely.

Can I get this book now? 🤗 I’m just so excited to read a new book from Becky Albertalli and the whole plot of this book just excites me. I’m ecstatic to meet Maya and Jamie!

Ink in the Blood (Ink in The Blood, #1) by Kim Smejkal
Release Date: 11 February 2020

I’ve already finished this book earlier last week and ended up liking it.  If you are interested to read about Magical Tattoos, Eccentric Theater and a religion where tattoos are of great importance – you will surely love this book.



Dominik (Arizona Vengeance, #6) by Sawyer Bennett
Release Date: 18 February 2020

This is probably my most anticipated romance book this month. I’ve waited so long for Dominik’s story and its finally here!!

Dominik and Willow’s interaction from the previous books of this series have left me wanting for more. I know there is so much more than meets the eye with Dominik. 😉

“I’ve decided to approach my desire for Willow like I’ve approached much of my life; with persistence, determination, and a whole lot of that Dominik Carlson alpha charm.”


I’m honestly not a big reader of suspense or crime books but this one just called me. A YA-Contemporary book with revenge as its main plot? I’m all up for that!

Elle and her friends Mads, Jenny, and Summer rule their glittering LA circle.  Until the night of Elle’s sweet sixteen, when they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. The night the golden boys choose Elle as their next target. They picked the wrong girl. Sworn to vengeance, Elle transfers to St. Andrew’s. She plots to destroy each boy, one by one. She’ll take their power, their lives, and their control of the prep school’s hierarchy.  Foul is Fair is a bloody, thrilling revenge fantasy for the girls who have had enough. Golden boys beware: something wicked this way comes.

Miss You Love You Hate You Bye by Abby Sher
Release Date: 18 February 2020

Zoe and Hank (short for Hannah) have been inseparable since they met in elementary school.  Zoe is effortlessly popular while Hank hides comfortably in her shadow. But when Zoe’s parents unexpectedly divorce, Zoe’s perfect facade starts cracking little by little. Sinking under the weight of her broken family, Zoe develops an eating disorder. Now she must rely on Hank for help. Hank struggles to help Zoe; after all, she is used to agreeing, not leading. How can she help her best friend get better before it’s too late?

Of Curses and Kisses (St. Rosetta’s Academy, #1) by Sandhya Menon
Release Date: 18 February 2020

A boarding school romance!!! OMG Yes Please! Two students coming from two different historical clans who have once been at war with each other have cross-paths at Rosetta’s International Academy. One is after the revenge while the other one was just existing waiting for him dooms day aka the time he turned eighteen.  As the stars conspire to keep them apart,  they grapple with questions of love, loyalty, and whether it’s possible to write your own happy ending.

The Upside of Falling by Alex Light
Release Date: 18 February 2020

Becca has been teased by her former friend for not having a boyfriend at seventeen. When she finally had it, she impulsively tells her former friend that she has been secretly seeing someone. When football captain Brett overheard this, he decided to step in and be Becca’s mystery guy.

Since February is the love month, I’m really up for stories with romance and lovey-dovey parts on it. One of my “kinda” favorite trope is the pretend girl/boyfriend and The Upside of Falling is about to give me that.

Just One Year by Penelope Ward
Release Date: 24 February 2020

Penelope Ward is one of my auto-read authors. I just cannot pass up any new book she writes because each one of them was unique and interesting on their own. Entice yourself more with the synopsis below:

He eventually grew on me, and Caleb soon became one of my best friends that year. Too bad he was headed back to England soon, so nothing could happen between us—for so many reasons. I definitely couldn’t fall in love with him, especially since all we had was just one year.

Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore
Release Date: 24 February 2020

I’ve always been a fan of movies/shows that goes back in time – 17 Again, 13 Going on 30, Russian Doll, etc. I guess this will be the first time that I’ll be reading a book that has a similar vibe/flow to the movies/show that I have mentioned. Oona Lockhart has her whole life before her. As the countdown to the New Year begins, Oona faints and awakens thirty-two years in the future in her fifty-one-year-old body. Greeted by a friendly stranger in a beautiful house she’s told is her own, Oona learns that with each passing year she will leap to another age at random. And so begins Oona Out of Order…

What are your anticipated titles this month? Do we have similar books from my list? 

Don’t hesitate to comment and share yours below. 💚

Blog Tour & ARC Review + Giveaway: Ink in the Blood(Ink in The Blood #1)by Kim Smejkal

(Full Blog Tour Schedule here.)

Ink in the Blood(Ink in The Blood #1)by Kim Smejkal

Published 11 February 2020 by HMH Books for Young Readers

A lush, dark YA fantasy debut that weaves together tattoo magic, faith, and eccentric theater in a world where lies are currency and ink is a weapon, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Kendare Blake.

Celia Sand and her best friend, Anya Burtoni, are inklings for the esteemed religion of Profeta. Using magic, they tattoo followers with beautiful images that represent the Divine’s will and guide the actions of the recipients. It’s considered a noble calling, but ten years into their servitude Celia and Anya know the truth: Profeta is built on lies, the tattooed orders strip away freedom, and the revered temple is actually a brutal, torturous prison.

Their opportunity to escape arrives with the Rabble Mob, a traveling theater troupe. Using their inkling abilities for performance instead of propaganda, Celia and Anya are content for the first time . . . until they realize who followed them. The Divine they never believed in is very real, very angry, and determined to use Celia, Anya, and the Rabble Mob’s now-infamous stage to spread her deceitful influence even further.

To protect their new family from the wrath of a malicious deity and the zealots who work in her name, Celia and Anya must unmask the biggest lie of all—Profeta itself.


*ARC Kindly provided by HMH Books thru FFBC in exchange for an honest review*

Since I’ve reached my 20’s getting a tattoo has always been on my “what-if” list and getting one is still something that I haven’t ticked off from that list. (lol) Now, getting a tattoo without really feeling the pain of it – uhm – yes please, right? Magical Tattoos, Eccentric Theater and a religion where tattoos are of great importance – these are just some of the words that really got me interested and intrigued with Ink In The Blood.

“But the child didn’t leave. Not really. She transformed into the Divine, still guiding us with her ink from afar.”

Ink In The Blood’s story focuses on Celia and Anya. People or what they call Inklings of a religion called Profeta. This religion uses tattoo to represent their Divine’s will. The followers receive this magical tattoo and guides them on whatever life circumstance they are facing at that moment. These two Inklings has been serving Profeta for ten years and they are witnesses that everything that this religion has been preaching is built in lies and the magical tattoos that they have been giving? Instead of guiding the followers, it strips away their freedom. How hard or easy would it be to strip away the beliefs that you have built for more than half of your life?

“With her black everything – short hair, suspenders, tie, top hat, attitude – Celia stuck out like a monochrome stain amid all the color and life.”

Celia is the feisty protagonist. Actions without much thinking. Ruled by alcohol and hate. Determined and strong-willed. She aspires to simply be free. I came to like her character at around 60% of the book because for some reason, I really cannot connect with her. I find Celia to be a pretty complex character because I really had a hard time reading her. I cannot anticipate what her next move would be.

Anya, on the other hand, is the voice of reason on this duo. She thinks things through, and I get this vibe that she’s very modest and gentle. A total opposite of Celia. Maybe that’s why they are best friends, right?

“The Rabble Mob of Minos is nick-named as Citizens of Everywhere and living apart from regular society and opened their gates to sell revelry and illusion. You were born into it or you stood in the audience – in-between didn’t exist.”

Celia and Anya were able to find their escape from Profeta thru the Rovers aka The Rabble Mob of Minos. They are travelling a theater-folk who performed the traditional Commedia Follia. Kinda similar to a circus group. I really didn’t have an idea how would Celia and Anya be a part of the Rovers as they were a fiercely tight-knit group. Impenetrable. But that first performance/audition they did deserve a standing ovation! The performance was exciting and thrilling!

“Perhaps she started out good, but for all her desire to help, her own people had killed her twice. It was enough to change anyone from philanthropist to manipulator. It was clear that she held some grudges.”

Just when Celia and Anya are adjusting to the troupe life someone, they never expected followed them – The Divine suddenly made an appearance. Now, this is where things got a bit confusing to me. Because a LOT happened when The Divine showed up! I honestly got lost and I was not able to fully grasp the scenes that happened. I just find myself skimming thru some pages.

But despite that, I find the story good in overall. It had its ups and down and it took me sometime to get used to the flowery writing, but the solid magical system and world building carry me thru some of the mishaps I have encountered while reading. Plus, the story is original, unique and really intriguing. I can definitely see myself anticipating for the next book!

3/5 Flower Rating

Another question mark bloomed on Celia’s forearm, bigger and bolder than the others. The ink unfurled in an oily black stretched-out tentacle, wrist to elbow, the dot on the bottom a furious splatter. An hour ago Celia had still tried to hide Anya’s messages by tugging her shirtsleeve down. An hour ago she’d still cared that she was in a busy shisha lounge, surrounded by people who might notice the strangeness of Divine tattoos appearing, then vanishing, on her skin.

But lovely absinthe made cares like that disappear.

Celia pressed her finger to the angry splotch on the bottom. I’d tell you where I am, Anny, if only I knew! Her gaze drifted over the haphazard collection of empty glasses on the table in front of her. “Huzzah, absinthe.”

The rest of the room was alive with clusters of pretty people doing flirty things: enjoying their drinks and smoke, unwinding after a long day of doing whatever it was normal people did all day. Shimmering tenors, as individual as fingerprints and much more visible, shone around each body. Tenors were usually the boldest thing about a person’s look, but there in the lounge their glint and vibrancy blended in the fog of shisha smoke that swirled from the colorful hookahs. Glasses clinked, laughter swelled, and everything fluttered: colorful sleeves, loose pants, long hair, light from a hundred candles, jingly jewelry hanging from ears and wrists and necks.

With her black everything— short hair, suspenders, tie, top hat, attitude— Celia stuck out like a monochrome stain amid all the color and life. Judging by the lounge owner’s fluency in scowls, they’d finally noticed.

Not bothering to right her awkward sprawl, Celia smiled as they approached.

Or maybe it wasn’t a smile, but a frown.

Whichever way was up. Whichever way was down.

“Time to move on,” they said, their voice a deep baritone.

No, time to take a hostage. Pulling the hookah to the floor, Celia clamped the large bowl between her legs and hugged tight around its neck. They wouldn’t muscle her out with so much expensive blown glass at risk. “A few more blasts, good soul,” she said, jiggling the mouthpiece in her hand and then putting it to her lips.

The smoke trapped in the bowl tasted like all the people who’d touched the pipe that day, swirling together. Dia, how long had she been sitting there, doing nothing but staring?

The owner raised their caterpillar eyebrows as Celia struggled to hold in a violent cough. “You’ve had the green fairy; you’ve had some shisha. Now out you go, Lalita.”

A flush crept up Celia’s neck. Fragile bird, my nimble little ass.

Read the full Excerpt here.

Kim Smejkal lives with her family on muse-satiating Vancouver Island, which means she’s often lost in the woods or wandering a beach. She writes dark fantasy for young adults and not-so-young adults, always with a touch of magic. Her debut novel, INK IN THE BLOOD, will release from HMH in early 2020, with a sequel to follow in 2021. She is represented by Daniel Lazar of Writers House.


Get a chance to win one (1) of two (2) finished copies of INK IN THE BLOOD by Kim Smejkal and temporary tattoos (US Only)

Are you excited for ink in the blood? are you into tattoos? 

What got you interested and intrigued?

Share your thoughts and comments below. 💚

Blog Tour & ARC Review + Giveaway: Loveboat, Taipei (Loveboat, Taipei #1) by Abigail Hing Wen

(Full Blog Tour Schedule here.)

Loveboat, Taipei (Loveboat, Taipei #1)   by Abigail Hing Wen

Published 07 January 2020 by Harper Teen

Perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen, and praised as “an intense rush of rebellion and romance” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Garber, this romantic and layered Own Voices debut from Abigail Hing Wen is a dazzling, fun-filled romp.

“Our cousins have done this program,” Sophie whispers. “Best kept secret. Zero supervision.

And just like that, Ever Wong’s summer takes an unexpected turnGone is Chien Tan, the strict educational program in Taiwan that Ever was expecting. In its place, she finds Loveboat: a summer-long free-for-all where hookups abound, adults turn a blind eye, snake-blood sake flows abundantly, and the nightlife runs nonstop.

But not every student is quite what they seem:

Ever is working toward becoming a doctor but nurses a secret passion for dance.

Rick Woo is the Yale-bound child prodigy bane of Ever’s existence whose perfection hides a secret.

Boy-crazy, fashion-obsessed Sophie Ha turns out to have more to her than meets the eye.

And under sexy Xavier Yeh’s shell is buried a shameful truth he’ll never admit.

When these students’ lives collide, it’s guaranteed to be a summer Ever will never forget.


*ARC Kindly provided by Harper Teen thru FFBC in exchange for an honest review*

Starting this book on the first day of the year was really a good decision! I had a great time reading. Makes me more excited for my own Taipei trip this year.

Abigail Hing Wen have written a very promising and powerful debut which as the tagline says fits “For fans of Crazy Rich Asians or Jane Austen Comedy of Manners, with a hint of La La Land” Now, I love all of these three and have them altogether in one book, uhm yes please?

“This is Loveboat. One big party. All summer. And no one’s going to ruin it.”

On her last summer before college, Ever was sent by her parents to an educational program in Taipei. But what her parents don’t know is that this program also known as Loveboat often leaves the students unsupervised. This means a summer-long free-for-all where hookups abound, adults turn a blind eye, snake-blood sake flows abundantly, and the nightlife runs nonstop – things that are very new for Ever.

“My parents sent me to discover my heritage, but in the process, I’m also finding parts of myself, even if that self isn’t who they want me to be.”

The story introduces us to a unique set of characters that I enjoyed reading about. Ever is studying to be a doctor but her passion is really with dancing. She was introduced as this character who lives by her parents rules but as the story progress, we’ve read about her breaking every single one of those rules and along the way learned new things about her  heritage and herself.

I had fun reading about the bubbly character of Sophie – she’s boy obsessed and had a great fashion sense. She’s a bit wild and liberated; total opposite of Ever. Maybe that’s why they really matched up from the start. But there is really more than meets the eye on her character. I was surprised and hurt by the twist, but I know somewhere, that is bound to happen. Duh, a friend complication needs to arise somewhere. (lol) (I know I’m being pretty vague here, but I don’t want give out spoilers).

Rick aka Wonderboy is the Ivy League bound football player and Ever’s bane of existence. While I did not really like him on the first few chapters, Rick has somewhat grown on me, I guess. He was entirely just an okay character for me. Then, there’s Xavier, the sexy loner but a player character. I always fall for the dark bad boy types, so its again no surprise that I ended up rooting for Xavier. For some reason, I just enjoyed his brooding and mysterious character.

For the romance part of the story, you all know how much I hate love triangles. I was actually hesitant to continue reading when I felt that a triangle is approaching, but since I was hooked and I actually liked both parties involved, I continue reading. And I can say that in such a long time, this the only time again that I have honestly liked reading a story that involves a love triangle. (Yay me!)

The situations that these teens have went thru are pretty entertaining to read. It was like I’m there with them walking into the unknown. Though, there are times that it feels like the story tends to get all over the place especially with the Ever, Sophie, Xavier and Rick drama, I ended up loving that mess of complication.

The issues mentioned and included on this story are very relevant to today’s world. Family Pressures/Responsibility is one of the main topics of the story and as an Asian myself, I relate to this. Though, I was still given by my parents the freedom to choose my degree and other school and adult stuff that I wanted to do, the pressure that Ever’s parents were giving her felt so real and on point. Correct me if I’m wrong but parents especially Asian parents really tend to be dramatic and protective especially on the future of their children. I guess these types of parents are leaning more on the practical side of life that’s why they choose the way they do. The story also talks about several other relevant topics but as I write this review, I thought that they were somewhat brushed off. There’s a talk about leaked nude photos, cheating, depression – these topics were mentioned but I can’t really point out if they were properly addressed.

Overall, Loveboat, Taipei is one fun and enjoying book to read! It’s a whirlwind story of teenage romance filled with drama, heartbreaks, cultural and self-exploration and familial ties. If you are fans of contemporary reads with interesting and bold characters, this one is really for you!

4/5 Flower Rating

 “Rick and this summer gave me the courage to take charge of my own future. I can only hope that I’ve done the same for him.”

“My parents sent me to discover my heritage, but in the process, I’m also finding parts of myself, even if that self isn’t who they want me to be.”

“And as I lunge and whirl my bo staff, dancing to the ancient drumbeats, I feel all parts of myself coming together: glad that a part of me is Chinese, a part of me American and all of me is simply me.”

Abigail was born in West Virginia to a family of immigrants: Her mother is from the Philippines and her father from Indonesia, and her grandparents emigrated to those countries from Fujian and Shandong provinces in China.

Abigail grew up in Ohio and graduated from Harvard University and Columbia Law School. She worked in Washington DC for the Senate, as a law clerk for a federal judge. and now in Silicon Valley in venture capital and artificial intelligence. She also earned her Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

In her spare time, she enjoys long walks with her husband and two boys, and hanging out with friends and over 100 family members in the Bay Area. She loves music and dances to it when no one is watching.


Two (2) Winners will bring home  finished copies of Loveboat, Taipei (US Only). Enter on the link below.


Have you read, Love boat, Taipei? What do you think about it?

If not yet, are you interested to read it? What makes you want to pick it up?

Share your thoughts and comments below. 💚

Book Challenge: Series to Finish 2020

Hello everyone! Hope you are all having a good start this year! I’m so excited to share with you that this year, I have decided to join a book challenge called “Series To Finish”.

I first saw this from  Anna of Reader and Proud on twitter. She is actually one of the hosts and founder of this challenge. I tried doing this last 2017 but unfortunately I failed. 😅 But this year, I’m ready to redeem myself and tackle that Series TBR.


It’s a challenge in which we aim to complete series; it does not matter if you only have one book left or ten, the important thing is to finish them in 2020. Similarly, the amount of series you’re aiming to finish is not important; we’d like this challenge to be as chill as possible so as long as you try to read and complete more series, you’re already a winner!

The challenge will run from January 1st to December 31st and you can join at any point. ARCs do count for the challenge, as well as books published in 2020. You can also include comic books graphic novels and manga. Again, the only rule is to complete the series in 2020.

You can check more updates about this challenge on their blog page: Series to Finish.


As early as December last year I have already made a list of books that I will include on this challenge. Most of these books are back-back-list titles that has been sitting on my shelf for some years now (lol). I think, one of the main reason why I didn’t get to finish these series even though I have the complete copy of them sitting on my shelf is that I don’t have spare time to reread. Sequels or accompanying books to series are released almost or more than a year apart so I usually make it a point to reread the previous books before diving into the latest installment just so my memory of the whole series if somehow fresh. Now, I’m really eager to reread and finish these series. I have several more on my list but I don’t want to get too ambitious; if ever I’ll be able to finish these books before 2020 ends, I will make another post including a different set of books. But for now, here are the book series that I’m aiming to finish this year.

Empress of a Thousand Skies Series by Rhoda Belleza
(Book #1-2)

Passenger Series by Alexandra Bracken
(Book #1-2)

Riders Series by Veronica Rossi
(Book #1-2)

Starbound Series by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
(Books #1-3)

The Illuminae Files Series by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
(Books #1-3)

The Star-Touched Queen Series by Roshani Chokshi
(Books #1-2)

Are you joining this challenge as well? What is in your TBR? Share the series titles that you wanted to finish or if you have a TBR post, link them below.

Are you interested to join this challenge? You may sign up by doing your own TBR Post and tagging Anna (@readrandproud) or Tiffany(Tiffany_Jane13) on twitter. 💚