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.

GOODREADS 
AMAZON | BOOK DEPOSITORY | BARNES AND NOBLE 
KOBO | ITUNES | GOOGLE BOOKS

*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.

GOODREADS | WEBSITE | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK

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.

GOODREADS 
AMAZON | BOOK DEPOSITORY | BARNES AND NOBLE 
KOBO | ITUNES | GOOGLE BOOKS

*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.

GOODREADS | WEBSITE | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

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

download

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. 💚

Blog Tour & ARC Review + Giveaway: Say You’ll Remember Me by Katie McGarry

When Drix was convicted of a crime–one he didn’t commit–he thought his life was over. But opportunity came with the new Second Chance Program, the governor’s newest pet project to get delinquents off the streets, rehabilitated and back into society. Drix knows this is his chance to get his life back on track, even if it means being paraded in front of reporters for a while.

Elle knows she lives a life of privilege. As the governor’s daughter, she can open doors with her name alone. But the expectations and pressure to be someone she isn’t may be too much to handle. She wants to follow her own path, whatever that means.

When Drix and Elle meet, their connection is immediate, but so are their problems. Drix is not the type of boy Elle’s parents have in mind for her, and Elle is not the kind of girl who can understand Drix’s messy life.

But sometimes love can breach all barriers.

Fighting against a society that can’t imagine them together, Drix and Elle must push themselves–Drix to confront the truth of the robbery, and Elle to assert her independence–and each other to finally get what they deserve.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Ibooks | Google Play | B-A-M | KOBO

*ARC Kindly provided by Katie Mcgarry & Inkslinger PR thru Netgalley for Blog Tour*

It’s been a couple of years since I last read a book by Katie Mcgarry. Two things that I do remember whenever I read a book written by her is that first it’s going to be filled with emotions, so I need to have my tissues nearby and second, it’s going to be filled with self and familial love.  Say You’ll Remember Me is Katie Mcgarry’s newest novel about two teens from different walks of life bumping into each other and falling in love.

Honestly, the story started slow. I’m 20% in and I feel like I’m still not into it. Until our two main characters bumped into each other and their complicated web of life started to tangle that I feel like I woke up and started really reading.

Drix and Elle came from two very different walks of life.

Drix just got out of juvenile detention. Elle is the governor’s daughter.

“I got the good boy cut with the bad boy stride.”

Drix is the governor’s face for his newest project – “The Second Chance Program”. Said program aims to slow the rising crime rate of teens and these teens funneling into the adult prison system. But he did not commit the crime. What will happen now?

Drix lived a difficult life. He’s broken before he entered the detention but more so shattered after going out. Though he was introduced as a juvenile delinquent, I knew there was something redeemable about him. I really love how Katie has written his character; he’s not perfect; he did a lot of mistakes at such a youthful age and juvenile detention might have taught him lessons but what happened to him – being accused of a crime he did not commit is still an injustice. Throughout the story we see two sides of Drix. The before and after. The common ground is that he deeply cares for his family and just wanted to give them the best that he could after all the sufferings they’ve all been especially with their parents  being non-existent.

“It’s not okay. I’m seventeen years old, I don’t know who I am, and I don’t have any idea how to get my parents to take me seriously. I’m trapped, and I can’t breathe.”

Elle’s life as the governor’s daughter seems to be perfect. What the people outside don’t see is that she struggles in getting the freedom to do things that she really loves and wants. She struggles under the pressure and expectations of her parents. I like Elle for not giving up and doing the best that she could to serve the best interests for the people around her.

“Is talking to me going to get you into trouble?”

“I’m willing to live dangerously.”

Drix and Elle met, and it might be too cliché to say this, but sparks did fly; there’s an immediate connection between them. Though it is an off-limits romance, these two really got me on edge. Their slow-burn romance was worth anticipating and reading. Drix and Elle are kindred spirits. They find comfort and solace on each other.

Though the romance takes a huge portion of the story, the familial aspect was beautifully shown as well. Drix’s family- Axle, Holiday, Dominic, Kellan and Marcus might not have anything monetary or material wise, but they have each other’s back and that makes them a solid team. Somewhere in the middle of reading, I felt sad. I felt pity. I felt injustice. For the characters on this story who became victims of bad circumstances that they all didn’t ask for and didn’t deserve.

“We’re stronger together, Drix. I promise we are. Please don’t give up on us. Please don’t give up on yourself.”

As the story’s end came, I couldn’t help but feel the intensity of those un-anticipated scenes. I was surprised that the story turned that way, but it was oh so good! It was unexpected but totally the best way for the story to end. I’ll leave it to say that justice has been served.

The story line was remarkable, characters are realistically written, and emotions are on point! Overall, Katie Mcgarry is once again successful in delivering a compelling coming of age story about two teens who are different as night and day but finding a common ground with love and understanding for each other.

“Amazing things are going to happen because that’s what happens when you find your wings and finally fly.”

~Ellison~

Sean points, and a woman in the back asks, “You never met Mr. Pierce before?”

I shake my head, and Sean gestures to the microphone. “No. I was playing a midway game earlier, and he ended up playing beside me, but then we went our separate ways. I left the game, and these guys started to harass me, and hen Hendrix asked if I needed help. I agreed, and he suggested we talk. He said that if the guys thought we were friends they would eventually lose interest, and they did. Hendrix played a game, and we talked until Andrew showed.”

“Andrew?” someone asks.

“Andrew Morton.” That causes enough of a stir that nervousness leaks into my bloodstream and makes my hands cold and clammy. Why is it that I feel that I said something terribly wrong?

“Are you and Andrew Morton friends?” someone else asks, and the question hits me in a sickening way. I name-dropped the grandson of the most powerful US Senator…the position my father is campaigning for. Sean is going to roast me alive.

“Yes. We’ve been friends for as long as I remember.” Friends, enemies, it’s all semantics at this point.

“Did you and Andrew Morton plan to attend the festival together?” Another reporter.

“Yes.”

“Were you on a date?” a woman asks.

My entire body recoils. “What?”

“Are you and Andrew Morton romantically involved?”

I become one of those bunnies who go still at the slightest sound. “I thought we were talking about Hendrix.”

“Did Mr. Pierce confront the men?”

Finally back on track. “No, he was adamant that there should be no violence.”

More questions and I put my hand in the air as I feel like I’m the one on trial. “Isn’t that the point?  Hendrix went through my dad’s program, and one of the first chances he had to make a good decision, he made one. We’re strangers, and he helped me without violence. That, to me, is success.” A few people nod their head, and because I don’t want to be done yet… “Mr. O’Bryan—grown men shouldn’t be following seventeen-year-old girls. I’m curious why you didn’t step in when I was being harassed. If you saw Hendrix and me together, then you know what happened, and it’s horrifying you didn’t help. Hendrix made the right choice. You did not.”

A rumble of conversation, Sean places a hand on my arm and gently, but firmly pushes me to the side. The raging fire in his eyes says he’s mentally measuring out the room in the basement he’s going to let me rot in for the next ten years.

My father approaches the microphone with an ease I envy. “Any more questions for Ellison can be sent to my press secretary. As you can tell, it’s been a trying day for my daughter, but we are most grateful for Mr. Pierce’s actions. We promised a program that was going to help our state’s youth turn their lives around, and, thanks to Mr. Pierce’s admirable actions, we are proud of our first program’s success.”

He offers Drix his hand again, and Drix accepts.

Lots of pictures and applause, and Dad leans in and whispers something to him. I can’t tell what it is, but I do see the shadow that crosses over Drix’s face, his throat move as he swallow and then the slight nod of his head.

I don’t know what happened, but I don’t like it. The urge is to rush Drix, but Sean has a firm hold on my elbow, keeping me in place, silently berating me for causing problems.

Drix stands behind the podium and drops a bomb so huge the ground shakes beneath my feet. “Because Ellison had enough courage to explain what happened today, I’m going to tell you what I was convicted of…”

Get a chance to win $100 Amazon Gift Card! Link below:


Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON, BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine’s 2012 Reviewer’s Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Tumblr | Instagram

Blog Tour & ARC Review + Giveaway: How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

Title: How to Make a Wish

Author: Ashley Herring Blake

Published: 02 May 2017 | HMH Books for Young Readers

Date Read: 29 April 2017

Synopsis:

All seventeen year-old Grace Glasser wants is her own life. A normal life in which she sleeps in the same bed for longer than three months and doesn’t have to scrounge for spare change to make sure the electric bill is paid. Emotionally trapped by her unreliable mother, Maggie, and the tiny cape on which she lives, she focuses on her best friend, her upcoming audition for a top music school in New York, and surviving Maggie’s latest boyfriend—who happens to be Grace’s own ex-boyfriend’s father.

Her attempts to lay low until she graduates are disrupted when she meets Eva, a girl with her own share of ghosts she’s trying to outrun. Grief-stricken and lonely, Eva pulls Grace into midnight adventures and feelings Grace never planned on. When Eva tells Grace she likes girls, both of their worlds open up. But, united by loss, Eva also shares a connection with Maggie. As Grace’s mother spirals downward, both girls must figure out how to love and how to move on.

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg

Ashley Herring Blake’s debut book Suffer Love has been a remarkable read for me last year. I loved how uniquely the plot of that book was written as well as the characters. That’s why I made it my mission to ensure that I’ll get to read her upcoming novels as well.

I’ve read my fair share of diverse books but this is the first F/F YA story that I’ll be reading. I don’t know what to expect. I’m excited and curious all at the same time. How To Make a Wish is another remarkable story given by Ashley Herring Blake about two-girls who found each other on what may be the lowest points of their lives.

Grace is channeling all her focus in finishing High-School and soon going to a top music school in New York to do what she loves – playing the piano. I really admire Grace’s character. She’s smart, talented, strong-willed and dedicated. These were shown thru her passion in playing the piano, her relationship with his friends and her mother.

“I can’t leave her. She’s my mom; I’m her kid. We belong together.”

Grace and her mom doesn’t have the perfect relationship. Grace’s mom, Maggie is spontaneous, reckless, unreliable and unpredictable leaving Grace into the mother role of their so-called mother-daughter relationship. The way their relationship was written is raw, heartbreaking, painful and real. I literally shed a tear or two after reading several events between Maggie and Grace that are literally sad. With these events shown, we were given a window to see why Grace is feeling the way that she’s feeling – her anger, sadness and helplessness. I really admire her strength as a teen and her love for her mother.

Eva, on the other hand is grieving. She’s grieving the loss of her mom. She’s running from her own demons. I actually had a hard time getting to know Eva. The book already ended but it feels like I still don’t know her that well. Which I think could’ve been remedied by giving her a chapter or two because it feels like I only saw glimpses of her and her life.

“Up there, I didn’t belong to a messed-up mother. She wasn’t the grieving daughter. We were just Grace and Eva.”

“Just Grace and Eva. Two girls who need to feel young and free, need to feel like girls. Need to scream from the top of a lighthouse and eat peanut butter out of a jar and swear and accidentally brush up against each other and giggle about it. “

Grace and Eva are cute together. The chemistry is there! I love their moments in the lighthouse where they are simply Grace and Eva.

The main thing that makes this book stand out is the author was brave enough to introduce us to a set of characters that are not afraid of their sexuality. The main characters Grace and Eva are both bisexual. I really appreciate how real the sexuality of Grace and Eva were portrayed in the story. I also kind of like how we’re saved from all the “coming-out” stuffs because their family and friends easily accepted them. This part was thoughtfully written.

The set of supporting characters that this book has was also easy to love. Luca – Grace’s best friend was so charming. His mom Emmy has been a great help as well. I even ended up liking Jay Lanier!

The storyline flowed smoothly. The setting was dreamy as well – the little coastal town of Cape Katie. And above all, for me, the author well portrayed the F/F relationship in the story.

Overall, How To Make a Wish is a very heartwarming story. The ending was inspiring. It leaves us a very good note of accepting and loving who you really are and who you’re friends and love ones are. And, believing that dreams do come true. You just surely need to chase them.

“If you really want something, baby, the stars won’t help you. You have to reach out and take it.”

 

Ashley Herring Blake is a reader, writer, and mom to two boisterous boys. She holds a Master’s degree in teaching and loves coffee, arranging her books by color, and watching Buffy over and over again on Netflix with her friends. She’s the author of the young adult novels SUFFER LOVE and HOW TO MAKE A WISH.

  • 1 finished copy of HOW TO MAKE A WISH by Ashley Herring Blake
  • US Only
  • Follow the tour for more chances to win
  • Runs through May 5
  • Please read the Rules & Regs in the Rafflecopter
rafflecopter-logo-social-media-contest-300x156

Enter a caption

 

Blog Tour + Giveaway: The Other F-Word by Natasha Friend


Title:
The Other F-Word

Author: Natasha Friend

Published: 07 March 2017 | Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Date Read: 02 April 2017

Synopsis:

A fresh, humorous, and timely YA novel about two teens conceived via in vitro fertilization who go in search for answers about their donor.

Milo has two great moms, but he’s never known what it’s like to have a dad. When Milo’s doctor suggests asking his biological father to undergo genetic testing to shed some light on Milo’s extreme allergies, he realizes this is a golden opportunity to find the man he’s always wondered about.

Hollis’s mom Leigh hasn’t been the same since her other mom, Pam, passed away seven years ago. But suddenly, Leigh seems happy—giddy, even—by the thought of reconnecting with Hollis’s half-brother Milo. Hollis and Milo were conceived using the same sperm donor. They met once, years ago, before Pam died.

Now Milo has reached out to Hollis to help him find their donor. Along the way, they locate three other donor siblings, and they discover the true meaning of the other F-word: family.

If you’re going to ask me what interests me to pick this up and read this book I’m probably going to answer you that it’s because of its catchy title and that intriguing but cute cover.  I honestly don’t have an idea what the story of this book will be about when I hit the “to-read” button on Goodreads and requested for a review copy as well. But then, I regret nothing because this book surprised me.

Told in the alternating POV of Hollis and Milo, The Other F-Word follows the story of two teens that are biologically connected with each other because they both have the same sperm-donor. Half of their genes came from their mom and half from a sperm donor.

They barely know each other but when Milo gotten in touch with Hollis on his quest to find their father erm their sperm-donor they discovered a lot more than what they are looking form.

I liked Milo and Hollis. They are the type of characters that are so easy to like plus they are bookworms too! Their banters never fail to entertain me as well.

Aside from the main characters Hollis and Milo, I really love how the secondary characters were also given a highlight on the story. I love their moms. I also enjoyed reading about their other siblings. I really enjoy the uniqueness of each character.

Overall, it was a fun, quick and easy read. I really appreciate how the same-sex family was portrayed and in the end learning that family is not really just by blood.

Get a chance to win a printed copy of the The Other F-Word by clicking on the rafflecopter below. (US/CAN Only)