Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed by Laurie Halse Anderson

Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed by Laurie Halse Anderson, Illustrated by Leila Del Duca

Cover Image

Genre: YA Graphic Novel
Publisher: DC Comics
Publication Date: June 2nd, 2020
Rating: 5 Stars


Synopsis:

Princess Diana believes that her 16th birthday will be one of new beginnings–namely acceptance into the warrior tribe of Amazons. The celebrations are cut short, however, when rafts of refugees break through the Themysciran barrier. Diana tries to help them, but she is swept away by the sea–and from her home–thus becoming a refugee herself.

Now Diana must survive in the world outside of Themyscira for the first time; the world that is filled with danger and injustice. She must redefine what it means to belong, to be an Amazon, and to make a difference.

Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed is a story about growing into your strength, battling for justice, and the power of friendship.


Disclaimer: First and foremost I would like to thank DC Comics for providing me with an e-copy to voluntarily read and review. This in no way sways my opinions, all thoughts expressed are my own.


REVIEW

WOW. This graphic novel was truly something else. Graphic novels have been doing an amazing job for YEARS tackling societal issues. This one specifically brought awareness to child trafficking, which is still prevalent in the world today. Although this book was geared towards children,  do feel that this serious world issue would make an age appropriate impact on the reader. This book also has LGBTQIAP+ rep, issues surrounding bullying, culture, homelessness and loss of family, sexual harassment, and foster care.

This new origin story was definitely a 5 star read for me. I really connected with this version of Wonder Woman. I love that she feels alienated and lonely, but she still does what’s right for other children in the community. Laurie Anderson did an amazing job creating a character that shows determination to make this world better, despite challenges.

The illustrations were beautiful. I loved the way the illustrator depicted the scenes. Often times I feel like I’m not getting the full story with such a short dialog and with this, I definitely felt connected to the story.

I appreciate that this version of WW tackles the themes of immigrant life in our society, and the extreme weaknesses we have in our availability of social services. I think that discussing issues like this with children of all ages is important. We are never too young to understand our privilege and it’s role it has on shaping the world around us. This brings to light people who do not have those same privileges and how we can learn to become activists just by caring about other people.

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The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

THE SHADOWS BETWEEN US by TRICIA LEVENSELLER

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Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Fiewel and Friends
Audiobook Publisher:
Macmillan Audio
Publication Date: February 25th, 2020
Rating:
4.5 Stars


Synopsis:

Alessandra is tired of being overlooked, but she has a plan to gain power:

1) Woo the Shadow King.
2) Marry him.
3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.

No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King’s power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves, and she’s going to do everything within her power to get it.

But Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. As attempts on his life are made, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen—all while struggling not to lose her heart. After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?


Disclaimer: First and foremost I would like to thank Macmillan Audio for providing me a finished audiobook copy to listen to. This in no way sways my opinions, all thoughts expressed are my own.


REVIEW

When I first heard that The Shadows Between Us was a Slytherin romance, I was very intrigued. I have never read a book where the main character is a straight up villain and that’s exactly what we got. I really enjoyed this change of pace. I am so used to stories where the main character is of low status and stumbles upon heroism. Alessandra is not your normal girl. She is cunning, quick witted, and vicious. This is a girl who takes what she wants and never looks back. Along with the Alessandra, we have the Shadow King who is just as unapologetic in is rule.

One of the things I found interesting is that I didn’t need a ton of world building to enjoy this story. As a reader of epic fantasy, I usually rely heavily on the world building in order to draw myself in. This is, in my opinion, a character driven story and I think the author did a phenomenal job in getting me to want to know more with every page.

*SLIGHTLY SPOILERY BELOW*
I also found that by the end, I didn’t think the characters learned anything. They were both still villains. I really appreciated this spin on fantasy stories as we always have a villain that gets redemption. I feel that the characters were still true to themselves, though maybe a bit softer due to love.
*END SPOILERS*

I think the audiobook narrator did a phenomenal job, though sometimes I think she overly pronounced words to sound more sinister and it would throw me out of the story. Overall, I gave it a 4.5 star and would definitely recommend to anyone who loves a good YA villain story! I read this book in two sittings because it was so hard to stop!

Thank you so much to Macmillan Audio for the free audiobook to listen to! This book is on sale now!

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Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Publication Date: May 5th, 2020
Publisher:Knopf Books For Young Readers
ISBN: 9781524720926
Genre: 
YA SCIFI
Rating: 
5 Stars
Audio Rating: N/A

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DISCLAIMER:
This e-book was sent to me for free by Penguin Random House via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way impacts my rating, all thoughts and opinions are my own.


[SYNOPSIS]
This synopsis contains spoilers for Aurora Rising, Book 1 in The Aurora Cycle

Our heroes are back… kind of. From the bestselling co-authors of the Illuminae Files comes the second book in the epic series about a squad of misfits, losers, and discipline cases who just might be the galaxy’s best hope for survival.

First, the bad news: an ancient evil—you know, your standard consume-all-life-in-the-galaxy deal—is about to be unleashed. The good news? Squad 312 is standing by to save the day. They’ve just got to take care of a few small distractions first.

Like the clan of gremps who’d like to rearrange their favorite faces. And the cadre of illegit GIA agents with creepy flowers where their eyes used to be, who’ll stop at nothing to get their hands on Auri. Then there’s Kal’s long-lost sister, who’s not exactly happy to see her baby brother, and has a Syldrathi army at her back. With half the known galaxy on their tails, Squad 312 has never felt so wanted.

When they learn the Hadfield has been found, it’s time to come out of hiding. Two centuries ago, the colony ship vanished, leaving Auri as its sole survivor. Now, its black box might be what saves them. But time is short, and if Auri can’t learn to master her powers as a Trigger, the squad and all their admirers are going to be deader than the Great Ultrasaur of Abraaxis IV.

Shocking revelations, bank heists, mysterious gifts, inappropriately tight bodysuits, and an epic firefight will determine the fate of the Aurora Legion’s most unforgettable heroes—and maybe the rest of the galaxy as well.


NON SPOILERY REVIEW

“I’m the girl who’s going to save the damn galaxy…”

Where do I even begin? It’s so hard for me to review this book without leaving spoilers so I’m going to have to keep this pretty simple. This book will make you laugh, cry, it will emotionally break you… and I can’t thank Jay and Amie enough. To be able to feel all of these emotions and to connect to characters so deeply — characters who stay with you once the book is long over, that’s truly an amazing reading experience. I haven’t stopped thinking about Squad 312 since I finished the book and I am already itching to re-read it because I’m not ready to let them go.

This book was truly explosive, action packed from beginning to end. There were so many times were I actually laughed out loud and times were I had real tears streaking my face. This book is more mature than Aurora Rising, but due to the nature of their circumstance it makes sense. All of the characters grew in their own way and I loved seeing their personalities shine. I loved the twists and turns — I just couldn’t get enough.

“I am not feeling nothing.”

Thank you so much for allowing me to read an advanced copy and for leaving this burning hole in my chest. This book goes on Sale 5/5/20 and is up for PREORDER now!

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Foul is Fair Blog Tour

Today is an exciting day as I am participating in my first ever Blog Tour including an exclusive excerpt of the novel!

Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin came into the world on February 18th, 2020, published by Wednesday Books!

This novel will have you on the edge of your seat, rooting for every single take down. This bloody, fem powered revenge is right up your alley if you’re into Kill Bill! It’s definitely got some trigger warnings, so beware! I would recommend this book to older young adults due to language and content sensitivity.

Thank you to Wednesday Books for sending me an e-copy of Foul is Fair to share! Here’s what some people are saying!

“Vicious and beautifully brutal, Foul is Fair gives a sword to every girl who has ever been a victim and makes them a warrior. This book is pulls no punches and will make anyone think twice before uttering the phrase ‘just a girl’. An unapologetic feminist battle-cry that leaves you breathless and thirsting for vengeance.” – Sonia Hartl, author of Have a Little Faith in Me

Foul is Fair delivers the story of a girl who snatches control back from a world that stole it away, through whatever means necessary. Hannah Capin deftly combines stunningly lyrical prose with the raw power of engulfing fury, sending a message written in blood. In a world where too many are forced into silence, this book roars back.” – S. Gonzales, author of The Law of Inertia and Only Mostly Devastated

FOUL IS FAIR buy link: https://wednesdaybooks.com/the-real-deal/foul-is-fair/


[SYNOPSIS]

Hannah Capin’s Foul is Fair is a bloody, thrilling revenge fantasy for the girls who have had enough. Golden boys beware: something wicked this way comes.

Jade and her friends Jenny, Mads, and Summer rule their glittering LA circle. Untouchable, they have the kind of power other girls only dream of. Every party is theirs and the world is at their feet. Until the night of Jade’s sweet sixteen, when they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. The night the golden boys choose Jade as their next target.

They picked the wrong girl.

Sworn to vengeance, Jade transfers to St. Andrew’s Prep. 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. And she and her coven have the perfect way in: a boy named Mack, whose ambition could turn deadly.

Please CLICK HERE to read an exclusive excerpt of FOUL IS FAIR!


[ABOUT THE AUTHOR]

image of Hannah Capino
Hannah Capin
 is the author of Foul is Fair and The Dead Queens Club, a feminist retelling of the wives of Henry VIII. When she isn’t writing, she can be found singing, sailing, or pulling marathon gossip sessions with her girl squad. She lives in Tidewater, Virginia. (social media listed below)


 

Thank you for joining me on my first ever blog tour! There’s more to come! Happy Reading!

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Lobizona by Romina Garber

Lobizona by Romina Garber
Publication Date: May 5th, 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books/St. Martin’s Press
Genre:
YA Urban Fantasy
Rating:
5 Stars
Audio Rating: N/A

Lobizona (Wolves of No World, #1)

—–[SYNOPSIS]—–

Some people ARE illegal.

Lobizonas do NOT exist.

Both of these statements are false.

Manuela Azul has been crammed into an existence that feels too small for her. As an undocumented immigrant who’s on the run from her father’s Argentine crime-family, Manu is confined to a small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida.

Until Manu’s protective bubble is shattered.

Her surrogate grandmother is attacked, lifelong lies are exposed, and her mother is arrested by ICE. Without a home, without answers, and finally without shackles, Manu investigates the only clue she has about her past–a mysterious “Z” emblem—which leads her to a secret world buried within our own. A world connected to her dead father and his criminal past. A world straight out of Argentine folklore, where the seventh consecutive daughter is born a bruja and the seventh consecutive son is a lobizón, a werewolf. A world where her unusual eyes allow her to belong.

As Manu uncovers her own story and traces her real heritage all the way back to a cursed city in Argentina, she learns it’s not just her U.S. residency that’s illegal. . . .it’s her entire existence.


DISCLAIMER:
This e-book was sent to me for free by St. Martin’s Press and Wednesday Books in exchange for an honest review. This in now way impacts my rating, all thoughts are my own.


NON SPOILERY REVIEW

Wow. This book was heartbreaking, raw, and powerful. I am so impressed with Romina Garber and her writing style. This YA Urban Fantasy was gripping right until the end. I am 100% here for the Argentinean folklore and the female empowered heroes journey.

Lobizona begins with Manu, an undocumented immigrant from Argentina who is in hiding due to her immigrant status and due to the unusual look to her eyes. She is a very thoughtful, caring, and intelligent young woman who is put in impossible situations due to her mother’s choices. This book explores the very much real immigrant experience. My heart was pounding during the very first section of the book. I appreciated how heavily the Spanish was used, as it made Manu’s life feel real to me.

Finding a hidden school and the secrets about her father (whom she has been on the run from her entire life) also intrigued me, considering that those two things were tied together. I also appreciated the queer representation within this novel. I think that it’s so important to represent all types of people and this book really took it to the next level without making it seem forced. Manu’s life is a strange yet powerful one and I cannot wait to see what Romina does next.

Thank you so much for allowing me to read an advanced copy. I loved everything about it. This book goes on Sale 5/5/20 and is up for preorder now!

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#LetsGetLitBookClub – Ready Player One

This month for the #LetsGetLitBookClub over on Instagram we read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline! This book was published in 2011 by Crown Publishers and was made into a live action film in 2018. Most people I know state they love the movie more than the book and I have a feeling that I may enjoy it in that format as well. I read the book mostly via audio, which I did enjoy. Wil Wheaton is a great narrator!


—–[SYNOPSIS]—–

9969571. sy475 IN THE YEAR 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.

But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.



The beginning of this book totally caught my attention. I loved the Willy Wonka style “find the egg and my fortune is yours,” plot. I did grumble thinking, this dude is a billionaire… he could help some of the people in this dystopian world instead of awarding one random person your riches… but whatever haha! It opens up with Wade finding a key and the rest is his quest to find the egg.

I had heard so many amazing things about this book, about how it would bring me back to my childhood with all of the 1980’s nostalgia… but unfortunately, I felt like the nostalgia was being forced upon me. For a book that focuses so much on the idea of an “Easter egg,” it would have made it much more exciting for the throwbacks to be randomly throughout, making you go, “OH! I know that!!” instead of on every page. At one point I found myself rolling my eyes.

I really loved the puzzles Wade had to figure out and I enjoyed the friendships he made along the way.  Overall, I liked this book. I really loved Wade’s character, however I did have some issues with his behavior, especially in regards to Artemis. When she stated she no longer wanted to see him he continuously invaded her space and did not respect her wishes. I think there’s a fine line between wanting to win someone back and sulking and stalking someone LOL.

I also did not appreciate the way that the author presented Artemis at the end. She isn’t some prize possession to be won. I know that she was self conscious about her face, but come on… facing away… hands in her lap… hair over her face, shoulders slumped. No. I think that it’s a poor way to represent someone and for her to only feel okay when Wade calls her beautiful. Like bruh, he loved her before he even saw her, no reason to make her this timid little girl who is waiting for her prince. This isn’t Shrek okay. She’s fine.

I gave this book a 3.5/5 star rating. I think it’s hard to transfer some of the ideas instead Ernest Cline’s head onto page, which is potentially why the movie did so well. I think I am in the minority here with how I feel about this book, most people I know OBSESSED over it, and that’s okay! I’m glad that this book sparked so much joy for so many people! It was definitely action packed and full of adventure. So many twists and turns and really exciting SCIFI stuff, but it did fall just a little flat to me.


Join us next month for the #LetsGetLitBookClub where we are reading Scythe by Neil Shusterman!

#TEAM CINDER!

#TEAMCINDER

Calling all of my fellow Lunartics and Marissa Meyers fans, check out the stepback art for the new paperback edition of CINDER! I am so proud to be a part of this series and having the opportunity to reveal this art, as well as the new cover to you all!

These paperbacks are gorgeous and I can’t wait for you to see the rest of the series! They are available for pre-order now and will be available February 4th, 2020! Keep your eyes open for the stepback art of Scarlet, Cress, and Winter in the next few days on Instagram! Follow the hashtag #LunarEverAfter! Go #TeamCinder!

 

Cinder Stepback Art Reveal

 

 


[SYNOPSIS]

A forbidden romance. A deadly plague. Earth’s fate hinges on one girl . . .

CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She’s reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen – and a dangerous temptation.

Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth’s future. This is not the fairytale you remember. But it’s one you won’t forget. 


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Mood Monday – Happy New Year!

I took a little hiatus for posting and slowed my social media down a lot over the holiday so I could focus on being with family. Chase goes back to school tomorrow and I am so excited to get my house back in order and get my routine together. I haven’t been reading much either, which honestly feels kind of good. I don’t plan on speeding through as many books as I did last year, I want to go back to enjoying what I read.

What I’ve Been Reading Lately: Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
Thoughts So Far: It’s a Sanderson… so I’m loving it… LOL but seriously, I am enjoying the world so far. It’s far more political than I thought, but the characters are really moving this story forward. Raoden is a straight up cinnamon roll, I totally love him and his sense of responsibility. I think what he is doing for the people of Elantris is just so heartwarming and selfless. I definitely recommend this book for people wanting to dip their toes into epic fantasy.

What’s Up Next:
I have quite a few book reviews coming up, some book tours, and some cover releases! I plan on cross posting my Instagram to my blog for these. I was asked to be on the Lunar Chronicles #TeamCinder crew, host a giveaway from MacMillan for All the Stars and Teeth, and do a blog tour for Foul is Fair! I feel like all of my hard work is finally paying off and it’s both exhausting and exhilarating!

I hope you all have an amazing Monday! My new planner gets in today and I am excited to organize my life. I have a book planner that I LOVE but I need one for all of my daily activities for my family. Life is good!

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Wild Wednesday – WWW

 

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and brought back by Taking on a World of Words.

Rules are to just answer three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently reading: Well Met by Jen DeLuca
This book is CUTE. I am only a few chapters in and I am such a sucker for those steamy, adult romcoms! I’ve already found myself laughing. It’s giving me Fix Her Up vibes with it’s character driven, spicy romance that I am a sucker for!

Recently finished: The Christmas Pact by Vi Keeland
This book was on my radar because again.. sucker for fast, cute romance! It was a free audible membership listen for December!  This was an enjoyable fast paced Christmas novella and is definitely an adult read in language and content! I really enjoyed the characters and I already miss them! This was perfect for my desire to read a little holiday book!

Overall Story : ⭐️⭐️⭐️✨
Characters: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Steam Level: 🔥🔥
Audio Narrators: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Reading Next: The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
This book was sent to me by my friend Erin (IG: @story_hoarder). Her and I send each other books and ARCs to read and she said this one would be perfect for me! I am so excited to finish up Well Met to start on this one! Here is the synopsis from GoodReads!

The first rule of book club:
You don’t talk about book club.

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.”




I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday and get a lot of reading done!

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It’s been a while… WHOOPS!

It has been WEEKS since I’ve updated. The holiday season just comes sweeping in so fast and I can’t hardly keep up! I’ve been reading so much, then reading none at all. It’s going to get even busier soon! I have so many things I want to write about, mostly my experience reading and finishing The Stormlight Archive and HOW EXCITED I AM for Storm4 to be released a month early next year! I definitely am going to need a re-read!

Tomorrow I do plan on writing a blog, we shall see with time constraints and whether or not Xander lets me hop on!

Besides that, life has been pretty good lately. The kids are rambunctious, Chuck is gone at basketball a lot, my christmas shopping is ALMOST done!! Things are looking up! For now, I’m going to work on my shelves a little bit and read some more Ninth House!

Oh and I requested the ARC of Aurora Burning so FINGERS CROSSED that I get it! I got Aurora Rising last year and was able to blog about it so I am PRRRAYYYYING I get lucky again!

XOXO

Rachael