ARC REVIEW | Infinity Son by Adam Silvera

Title: INFINITY SON

Author: ADAM SILVERA

Releases: 14TH JANUARY 2020 by SIMON & SCHUSTER CHILDREN’S UK

Genre: YA FANTASY


Balancing epic and intensely personal stakes, bestselling author Adam Silvera’s Infinity Son is a gritty, fast-paced adventure about two brothers caught up in a magical war generations in the making.

Growing up in New York, brothers Emil and Brighton always idolized the Spell Walkers—a vigilante group sworn to rid the world of specters. While the Spell Walkers and other celestials are born with powers, specters take them, violently stealing the essence of endangered magical creatures.

Brighton wishes he had a power so he could join the fray. Emil just wants the fighting to stop. The cycle of violence has taken a toll, making it harder for anyone with a power to live peacefully and openly. In this climate of fear, a gang of specters has been growing bolder by the day.

Then, in a brawl after a protest, Emil manifests a power of his own—one that puts him right at the heart of the conflict and sets him up to be the heroic Spell Walker Brighton always wanted to be.

Brotherhood, love, and loyalty will be put to the test, and no one will escape the fight unscathed.


What a let down…I was so excited for this release and it just fell flat. Was it over-hyped, maybe? Now, I’ve never read Silvera before, but everyone was so excited for this cross-over, and I wasn’t at all impressed. The writing was too young – as in the lingo was very uneducated teenager trying to be cool – which felt very unrealistic, or possibly I was just the wrong reader for this book. The characters felt very forced, as well. The plot was slow and then the ending was an ‘of course that happens’ moment.. Very little was unexpected in Infinity Son. I may read the next one just to find out more (and hope it gets better), but overall I was pretty bored with this story so far.


Thank you to Simon & Schuster UK for this review copy.

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BLOG TOUR | ARC REVIEW | Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

Title: TWEET CUTE

Author: EMMA LORD

Releases: 21ST JANUARY 2020 by WEDNESDAY BOOKS

Genre: YA CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE


A fresh, irresistible rom-com from debut author Emma Lord about the chances we take, the paths life can lead us on, and how love can be found in the opposite place you expected.

Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming ― mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.

Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.

All’s fair in love and cheese ― that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life ― on an anonymous chat app Jack built.

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate ― people on the internet are shipping them?? ― their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.


Welcome, Wayfarers, to my stop on the Tweet Cute Blog Tour Train! Friends, are you in for a treat!! Tweet Cute (which I must say is a brilliant play on the term meet cute) was completely adorable and such a feel-good read. I just wanted to stay in their world – well done, Emma!! I was really sad when it ended, but only because there was no more to read. The characters were so engaging, the plot was fresh, and the writing overall was very well done.

If I had to pick one thing I loved most about this story, it would have to be the banter between Pepper and Jack! They’re hilariously funny, snarky, and so real. It feels like they’re my newest friends – and I suppose they are in the way that my favourite characters stay with me. I really identified with Pepper’s struggles with her parents, fitting in, and what comes after. I loved that they discussed what happens after high school and whether they want to go to college, or if there are better things out there for them. It was so refreshing to read a different take on that recurring discussion. College isn’t the be-all and end-all of life; there are other very valid options! I did go to college, but I know loads of people who didn’t and are still quite successful and happy with their lives! So don’t give up!

I really hated Pepper’s mom, though. She’s such a mom-ster! It’s like she has no regard for how much Pepper does for her/the corporate Twitter on top of all of her swim team commitments and school assignments. I had a mom-ster as well, but this is just baffling to me that people can be like this. Even when her motivations come to light (SHOCK ALERT!), I still found it hard to accept. Needless to say, wasn’t a fan of their relationship… And felt for Paige a bit more than expected..

We don’t get a whole lot of Jack’s family aside from his twin, Ethan, but I still loved the relationships there – totally cute! Love Grandma Belly the mostest ❤ The app Jack built, Weazel, is a really interesting idea. I love that he and Pepper connect on it and share so much of themselves while at odds in their real life. Was an adorable concept. Must admit, I’m a sucker for enemies-to-lovers trope when it’s done well, and this was so good!! I also laughed aloud several times – which made for funny looks from my James!!

Would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a cute read with a bit of depth. I’ve also added Emma Lord to my follow list and can’t wait to see what she comes up with next! Read on for an excerpt of one of my favourite parts of the book!


EXCERPT

JACK

“Look.” I glance into the classroom, where Ethan is thoroughly distracted by Stephen and no longer keeping an eye on us. “I may have . . . overreacted.”

Pepper shakes her head. “I told you. I get it. It’s your family.”

“Yeah. But it’s also—well, to be honest, this has been kind of good for business.”

Pepper’s brow furrows, that one little crease returning. “What, the tweets?”

“Yeah.” I scratch the back of my neck, sheepish. “Actually, we had a line out the door yesterday. It was kind of intense.”

“That’s . . . that’s good, right?”

The tone of my voice is clearly not matching up with the words I’m saying, but if I’m being honest, I’m still wary of this whole overnight business boom. And if I’m being honest, I’m even more wary of Pepper. If this really is as much of a family business as she claims it is—to the point where she’s helping run the Twitter handle, when even I know enough about corporate Twitter accounts to know entire teams of experienced people get paid to do that—then she might have had more of a hand in this whole recipe theft thing than she’s letting on.

The fact of the matter is, I can’t trust her. To the point of not knowing whether I can even trust her knowing how our business is doing, or just how badly we need it.

“Yeah, um, I guess.” I try to make it sound noncommittal. My acting skills, much like my breakfast-packing skills, leave much to be desired.

“So . . .”

“So.”

Pepper presses her lips into a thin line, a question in her eyes.

“So, I guess—if your mom really wants you to keep tweeting . . .”

“Wait. Yesterday you were pissed. Two minutes ago you were pissed.”

“I am pissed. You stole from us,” I reiterate. “You stole from an eighty-five-year-old woman.”

“I didn’t—”

“Yeah, yeah, but still. You’re them, and I’m . . . her. It’s like a choose your fighter situation, and we just happen to be the ones up to bat.”

“So you’re saying—you don’t not want me to keep this up?”

“The way I see it, you don’t have to make your mom mad, and we get a few more customers in the door too.”

Pepper takes a breath like she’s going to say something, like she’s going to correct me, but after a moment, she lets it go. Her face can’t quite settle on an expression, toeing the line between dread and relief.

“You’re sure?”

I answer by opening the container she handed me. The smell that immediately wafts out of it should honestly be illegal; it stops kids I’ve never even spoken to in their tracks.

“Are you a witch?” I ask, reaching in and taking a bite of one. It’s like Monster Cake, the Sequel—freaking Christmas in my mouth. I already want more before I’ve even managed to chew. My eyes close as if I’m experiencing an actual drug high—and maybe I am, because I forget myself entirely and say, “This might even be better than our Kitchen Sink Macaroons.”

“Kitchen Sink Macaroons?”

Eyes open again. Yikes. Note to self: dessert is the greatest weapon in Pepper’s arsenal. I swallow my bite so I can answer her.

“It’s kind of well-known, at least in the East Village. It even got in some Hub Seed roundup once. I’d tell you to try some, but you might steal the recipe, so.”

Pepper smiles, then—actually smiles, instead of the little smirk she usually does. It’s not startling, but what it does to me in that moment kind of is.

Before I can examine the unfamiliar lurch in my stomach, the bell rings and knocks the smile right off her face. I follow just behind her, wondering why it suddenly seems too hot in here, like they cranked the air up for December instead of October. I dismiss it by the time I get to my desk—probably just all the Twitter drama and the glory of So Sorry Blondies getting to my head.

“One rule,” she says, as we sit in the last two desks in the back of the room.

I raise my eyebrows at her.

“We don’t take any of it personally.” She leans forward on her desk, leveling with me, her bangs falling into her face. “No more getting mad at each other. Cheese and state.”

“What happens on Twitter stays on Twitter,” I say with a nod of agreement. “Okay, then, second rule: no kid gloves.”

Mrs. Fairchild is giving that stern look over the room that never quite successfully quiets anyone down. Pepper frowns, waiting for me to elaborate.

“I mean—no going easy on each other. If we’re going to play at this, we’re both going to give it our A game, okay? No holding back because we’re . . .”

Friends, I almost say. No, I’m going to say. But then—

“I’d appreciate it if even one of you acknowledged the bell with your silence,” Mrs. Fairchild grumbles.

I turn to Pepper, expecting to find her snapping to attention the way she always does when an adult comes within a hundred feet of disciplining her. But her eyes are still intent on me, like she is sizing something up—like she’s looking forward to something I haven’t anticipated yet.

“All right. No taking it personally. And no holding back.”

She holds her hand out for me to shake again, under the desk so Mrs. Fairchild won’t see it. I smile and shake my head, wondering how someone can be so aggressively seventeen and seventy-five at the same time, and then I take it. Her hand is warm and small in mine, but her grip is surprisingly firm, with a pressure that almost feels like she’s still got her fingers wrapped around mine even after we let go.

I turn back to the whiteboard, a ghost of a smirk on my face. “Let the games begin.”


Early Praise:
Tweet Cute delivers in every possible way: a perfect enemies-to-lovers romance, a whip-smart plotline, and endearingly real characters. I devoured it.” – Francesca Zappia, author of Eliza and Her Monsters

“Sweet and fun! An adorable debut that updates a classic romantic trope with a buzzy twist.” – Jenn Bennett, author of Alex, Approximately and Serious Moonlight

“A witty rom-com reinvention for the Twitter age, Tweet Cute pairs delicious online rivalry with deeply relatable insights on family pressure and growing up. This fresh, funny read had us hitting ‘favorite’ from page one.” – Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka, authors of Always Never Yours and If I’m Being Honest 

Buy Link: https://read.macmillan.com/lp/tweet-cute/

Social Links:  @dilemmalord (Twitter/Instagram)

Thank you to Wednesday Books for this review copy.

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Sunday Selections

Happy Sunday!! I thought it might be fun to write a Sunday Selections post of what I’m reading and upcoming reads for the week ahead, or anything else you may want to add in. This will be pretty informal, but feel free to play along if you like!

WHAT I’M READING

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord (eARC – and on the blog tour, so keep an eye out this week!!)

The Deep by River Solomon (review copy) Thank you Kate!!

Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi (review copy)

The Handbook of Applied Dog Behaviour and Training by Stephen R. Lindsay (coursework)

UPCOMING READS

Monstrous Heart by Claire McKenna (ARC)

Please See Us by Caitlin Mullen (eARC)

Jane Anonymous by Laurie Faria Stolarz (eARC)

LATEST READS

Infinity Son by Adam Silvera – 🍾🍾🍾

Queen of Coin and Whispers by Helen Corcoran – 🍾🍾🍾🍾🍾 (probably gonna be my favourite of 2020)

Is anything here on your list, too? What reads have you loved lately?

I'M BACK, BABY! | ARC REVIEW | Queen of Coin and Whispers by Helen Corcoran

Title: QUEEN OF COIN AND WHISPERS

Author: HELEN CORCORAN

Releases: 6TH APRIL 2020 by THE O’BRIEN PRESS

Genre: YA FANTASY – LGBT

TWs: Death, abuse, child death, PTSD


‘She loved me as I loved her, fierce as a bloodied blade.’

When teenage queen Lia inherits her corrupt uncle’s bankrupt kingdom, she brings a a new spymaster into the fold…Xania, who takes the job to avenge her murdered father.

Faced with dangerous plots and hidden enemies, can Lia and Xania learn to rely on one another, as they discover that all is not fair in love and treason?

In a world where the throne means both power and duty, they must decide what to sacrifice for their country – and for each other…


I must apologise, wayfarers… It has been an insane few months! But I am back now, so welcome along to the journey once again! The dogs and family are doing well, so I can start reading properly again! Onto the review!


I recently DEVOURED Queen of Coin and Whispers! It’s been on my most anticipated since DeptCon last year and, man, was I blown away! This world is steeped in beauty and political intrigue, which is absolutely engrossing. Helen Corcoran has my heart and allegiance – long may she reign! She entwines the main characters all so perfectly with brilliant supporting characters to round them out. They’re such multi-faceted characters, but what I loved most was that you really got to experience their wonderful side relationships with friends and family members. And the romance!! My damn… Suffice to say, it is well worth the read for that alone – it’s done perfectly and I just loved them together. There’s a scene involving the parents, and that was definitely one of my favourite! Wait until you read it!!

There are so many healthy representations in this novel. M/M, F/F, bisexuality, step-parents, parents being present and involved yet not oppressing, parents refusing to continue allowing their children to be assholes (!!), lady spies, and much more.. Helen included so much in this novel that makes me want to dive back in – I actually woke up this morning hoping to get back into it, then reality crashed down around my ears when I realised I’d already finished the book! However, the ending more than makes up for the fact that there won’t be a sequel! …and I’ll probably read it again once the finished copy comes out in April!! Fair warning now…you won’t want to put it down once you start…

I felt SO MUCH while reading this – laughed, gasped, sadness, and adoration. It’s really refreshing to read a fantasy novel that doesn’t include magic once in awhile, and you know what, I don’t think I’ve read anything quite like this.


Thank you to The O’Brien Press for this review copy.

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ARC REVIEW | Wilder Girls by Rory Power

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Title: WILDER GIRLS

Author: RORY POWER

Released: 9TH JULY 2019 by DELACORTE PRESS

REP: LGBTQ+ | TWs taken from https://itsrorypower.com/wilder-girls/: Graphic violence and body horror. Gore; On the page character death, parental death, and animal death, though the animals are not pets; Behavior and descriptive language akin to self harm, and references to such; Food scarcity and starvation. Emesis; A scene depicting chemical gassing; Reference to suicide and suicidal ideation; Non-consensual medical treatment.

Genre: YA HORROR


This story made me highly uncomfortable and I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT. We really need a lot more novels that explore what people are able to become, even when it’s not nice to examine. Wilder Girls is a story about a boarding school in which the entire community is affected by something they’ve taken to calling the Tox, but they don’t know exactly what it is or how it came to affect them.

My favourite thing about this story is that it focused on female friendships rather than romance or anything else. Girls are so strong when we lift each other up and have each other’s backs! The POV switches between Hetty and Byatt, two of the main three girls. The triumvirate rounded out by Reese. The relationships between each are very different and seem to be held together by Byatt, so you can imagine how messy it gets once Byatt is gone…

The girls are so flawed! Not only are they conscious of that fact, but they’re also allowed to be so! There’s definitely a discussion on the ideals of society as regards young women in there. The only thing I’d change is getting more answers about all the things I still have questions about, because damn, I need to know!! There are so many things to love about this, though! The atmosphere, the girls, the plot, the tension throughout, and the not knowing what will come next! Rory Power just made my list of auto-buy. I just love her writing

Hands down a FIVE STAR read for me.

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It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.


Thank you so much to Rory Power + Delacorte Press for the ARC.

five stars

BOOK LAUNCH | Other Words for Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin

TONIGHT WAS AMAZING!

I got to meet (again) one of my favourite authors. By all accounts, Sarah Maria Griffin is one of the best people on the PLANET and I seriously love her so much! This launch for her second fiction novel was packed full of awesome people and her beautiful pink book, Other Words for Smoke! *go check it out*


The introduction by Sinéad Gleason was so emotional and inspirational. #tinycoven

She really would have sold me on the book if I wasn’t already 100% in for it. This book of family, supernatural, and love has been on my highly anticipated list since last October at DeptCon 4! Plus, who doesn’t love weird books with unconventional characters? I’ve only read a few chapters so far, so can’t really tell you much about the content, but just having it makes me ecstatic!

Isn’t she just stunning? Total role model 🖤🖤🦉🏡 Review to come soon, as I’m sure I’ll absolutely devour this story. Thanks for reading, wayfarers!

eARC REVIEW | Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

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Title: WICKED SAINTS (SOMETHING DARK AND HOLY #1)

Author: EMILY A. DUNCAN

Released: 2ND APRIL 2019 by WEDNESDAY BOOKS

Genre: TEENS + YA/DARK FANTASY

Rep: LGBT+, POC, DISABILITY | TWs: SELF-HARM, ABANDONMENT, ABUSE BY A PARENT, VIOLENCE

“You could be exactly what these countries need to stop their fighting. Or you could rip them apart at the seams.”

WHERE HAS THIS BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!

This has been one of my most anticipated releases of 2019 – and it completely exceeded my expectations! I am so glad to have gotten this beautiful book! It filled the gap in my heart that was left by the ending of the Bardugo Grishaverse, and I can safely say I will be 1-clicking the rest of this series as they go live for pre-order! The writing was stunning and completely brilliant. I absolutely devoured this story and nearly died when I reached the end – I couldn’t believe it! The plot points and big reveals were phenomenal. I can’t say I ever saw any of it coming.

Duncan owns my heart now and I can’t wait to see what these characters do next! Nadya is amazing, of course! A talented girl who can speak to the gods and wield their magic? Totally impressive. She’s also hilariously funny – her banter with the gods is comical. And Malachaisz – the blood mage – just…whew! He’s dark and beautiful and surprising and obviously hiding an assload of secrets! I loved him even though I knew I shouldn’t because something was going on in that stunning mind of his. And boy, I sure was not disappointed.

“Are we so different, Nadya?” He lifted his hand, fingers tipped with long claws, and pressed his thumb against her lips. “We both long for freedom. For power. For a choice. We both want to see our kingdoms survive.”

 

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Photo credit to Waricka Art

 

Moral ambiguity – do you love it or would you rather more black and white personalities? You’ll be very happy with this novel if you love a characters with questionable morals. I honestly love when characters are little..twisted and they make it hard for the reader to figure out their motivations. These aren’t your traditional characters – Duncan has taken this fantasy to a new level and created a unique and compelling story.

While there is a hell of a lot going on, this dark, twisty novel is, at it’s heart, about a war between religions (differences) and how that has impacted the shaping of their world. While both sides are similar, one side feels they were justified by the gods, while the other depended on their innate power. It’s interesting to see the power plays among acquaintances and interconnectedness of various characters in the story (because I can’t wait to see how certain things play out!).

I have honestly thought about this book SO MUCH since I finished reading it. I’ll definitely be reading it again. I feel like my words don’t do this beautiful book the justice it deserves, but you MUST GO BUY IT IN ALL FORMS! I have the audiobook that I cannot wait to start on asap… I only wish I could rate this higher than FIVE STARS.

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A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy..

Thank you so much to Emily A. Duncan and Wednesday Books via Netgalley for the ARC.

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