ARC REVIEW | How to Make Friends with the Dark

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Title: HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE DARK

Author: KATHLEEN GLASGOW

Released: 11TH APRIL 2019 BY ROCK THE BOAT NEWS

Genre: TEENS + YA Contemporary

Rep: Foster Care, PoC, Disability. Mental Health, Found Family | TWs: Abuse, Grief, Loss of a Parent, Depression/Suicidal Thoughts, Substance Abuse,

this book 
is for the grievers 
this book 
is for the left behind
this book 
is for every broken heart
searching for a home

Kathleen Glasgow

This devastating masterpiece wrecked me entirely. I cried at least 3 times (probably more) and felt every bit of this deep in my soul. I’ve actually been dreading writing this review purely because I wasn’t sure that I would have the words to do it justice. I just…this is THE best book I’ve read this year –  hands down. I loved Tiger and her friends and family SO much! Tiger is in high school and it’s always been herself and her mom in their ‘good looking, good smelling, well-oiled machine,’ but when her mother dies Tiger’s world is completely upended. She feels a lot of guilt for several reasons regarding her mother’s death (read the book to find out why because I’m not telling), and then is thrust into a world she’s never experienced – the foster system.

This is where it got very familiar for me. I haven’t read many books that tackle the foster system, and definitely none that have done it so well! Kathleen approaches the topic with great care and respect, which I loved. She actually approaches all the heavy topics in this novel with the same care and respect, making it a beautifully written book. She wrote Tiger’s story as a way for herself to work through her grief, but in doing so has also given readers a book to do the same for them. For me, reading this novel was cathartic, especially after the loss of my fiance’s mother last year. I was very close to her and miss her like my own family – because she pretty much was. We miss her so much and I don’t think that ever stops. Grief is hard and it sucks, but I guess that’s the price we pay for that kind of love. That experience made me connect to Tiger even more.

death is kind of turning out to be a mean, weird bitch. – tiger tolliver

The characters in HTMFWTD are phenomenal! Tiger, the MC, struggles with depression and thoughts of suicide. She has her best friend, Cake (love all the unique names, by the way), who is like a sister to her and passes up other opportunities to be there for her several times, and Tiger also meets a few keepers along the way. I love her found family. The friends she makes in foster care and grief group specifically are perfect. And then there’s a twist I never saw coming! Again, go read the book to find out what happens! I hate spoilers!

There is so much more to say about this, but just go get the book and read it so you can feel all the feels like me! This was a TEN STAR read for me – but obviously all the rating systems only go to five, so I want to give it ALL THE STARS!! Now, go read this so you can love it as much as I do!


From the New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces comes a novel about love and loss and learning how to continue when it feels like you’re surrounded by darkness that Karen M. McManus, the New York Times bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying, calls “rare and powerful.”

Here is what happens when your mother dies.

It’s the brightest day of summer and it’s dark outside. It’s dark in your house, dark in your room, and dark in your heart. You feel like the darkness is going to split you apart.

That’s how it feels for Tiger. It’s always been Tiger and her mother against the world. Then, on a day like any other, Tiger’s mother dies. And now it’s Tiger, alone.

Here is how you learn to make friends with the dark.

 

Thank you so much to Kathleen Glasgow and Rock the Boat News/Oneworld Publications for the ARC.

five stars

ARC REVIEW | Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy

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Title: ONCE & FUTURE

Author: AMY ROSE CAPETTA & CORI MCCARTHY

Released: 26TH MARCH 2019 by ROCK THE BOAT (UK); (JIMMY PATTERSON – US)

Genre: TEENS + YA/FANTASY SCI-FI

Rep: LGBT+, POC | TWs: SLAVERY, ANIMAL DEATH, ABANDONMENT, RAPE MENTION, DEATH, SUICIDE, WAR THEMES, GENOCIDE.

OH MY GOODNIGHT, I LOVED THIS STORY SO MUCH MORE THAN I EXPECTED I WOULD! I AM CURRENTLY A PILE OF MUSH AND FEELING AND LOVE OVERFLOWING!

Ok, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way… HAPPY PUBLICATION, ARI, KAY, LAM, VAL, GWEN, MERLIN, JORDAN, AND MORGANA! I LOVE YOU ALL. And authors and publishing houses, of course! Thank you for giving us this book. You’re amazing.

The novel was written so well. The pace, plot, and characters were perfect for me. The story moved along at a nice speed, keeping me interested in what comes next without feeling overwhelmed by details and everything happening at once. Ari’s quest to defeat the greatest evil in the universe is so fun! Obviously, there is a lot going on at any given point, but the authors balance it all so well. The characters were each unique and complex. Their relationships with each other added that much more depth to the story.

So, Ari is the 42nd reincarnation of King Arthur, which she discovers once she pulls Excalibur from a tree, and she has to work with Merlin (who has aged backwards into a teenager) and her knights to bring peace to humankind. She goes through so much on this quest (and this is only the first book), but she stays strong the whole way through. She is lost and betrayed, yet handles it all with wit and grace (mostly). Also, can I just say Morgana is so well-written in this story. I loved their interpretation of the villainous enchantress.

One of my favourite parts of the story is when Merlin assumes one characters gender and it becomes a conversation about how he’s from a world where gender was assumed based on physical markers and how, in this futuristic world, you should ask someones pronouns because it’s the accepted thing to do. And clearly a much better way of living life. It’s important to allow people a voice to tell you their pronouns. Honestly, this book opens up a lot of really necessary dialogues and I would recommend everyone read it when they get a chance.

Truly, this was a unique novel. A genderbent Arthurian space odyssey is exactly what I never knew I needed. I love that this was ownvoices and I enjoyed learning more about different perspectives, such as fluidity and ace (among others). It’s really interesting to see those perspectives and try to understand more about them. This represented a wide spectrum of the sexuality/gender spectrum and it was awesome!

This was a FIVE STAR read for me and easily one of my favourite books of the year.


King Arthur as you’ve never imagined! This bold, sizzling YA retells the popular legend with the Once and Future King as a teenage girl — and she has a universe to save.

I’ve been chased my whole life. As a fugitive refugee in the territory controlled by the tyrannical Mercer corporation, I’ve always had to hide who I am. Until I found Excalibur.

Now I’m done hiding.

My name is Ari Helix. I have a magic sword, a cranky wizard, and a revolution to start.

When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she is revealed to be the newest reincarnation of King Arthur. Then she meets Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager, and together they must break the curse that keeps Arthur coming back. Their quest? Defeat the cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind.

No pressure.

Thank you so much to Rock the Boat (as well as Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy) for the ARC.

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Can’t Freakin’ Wait Wednesday 20/03/19

Can't Wait Wednesday

Can’t Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa over at Wishful Endings and was based on Waiting on Wednesday’s, which is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. She created it to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released, but that’s not always the case. I happen to have pile upon piles of books I am excited to read, so thought this would be a fun meme in which to partake!

Gay. Feminist. Immigrant. Arthurian retelling! Sounds refreshingly unique and utterly amazing! I am feeling all the things while waiting for this to be in my hands… I don’t have the words to adequately explain how much I want this and I’m definitely not the only one. This is a much needed tale for many of our modern society. It’s so great to see such diversity in YA novels. It does get tiring reading the same themes all the time, so I am very happy to find out about more books such as this. And it’s a space opera? What more could we ask for? Plus, I for one cannot wait to see how Merlin is done, as Merlin is generally my favourite in any Arthurian tale. 

Have you read this yet or is it on your TBR? What do you think of the description?

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A new King Arthur has risen and she’s got a universe to save

Coming to terms with your identity is always difficult. But for Ari, the 42nd reincarnation of King Arthur, it just got a whole lot more complicated. Gender-bending royalty, caustic wit and a galaxy-wide fight for peace and equality all collide in this epic adventure.

With an awkward adolescent Merlin and a rusty spaceship, this is the Arthurian legend as you have never before seen it.

March TBR and Reading Challenge

This is going to be a big month for reading, I can just feel it! It’s taken me a few days to figure out what I’m reading this month. I have a reading challenge I’m participating in alongside getting my April ARCs read and reviewed! I have 8 physical and 2 Netgalley books to read this month, as well as 2 already published and a whole queue of audio and ebook loans on my Libby app!

I’ve already finished The Heart Forger, Wink Poppy Midnight, and started Little Monsters for audiobooks. Currently reading Sherwood by Meagan Spooner and I LOVE IT! It’s such a great Robin Hood retelling! Can’t wait to tell you all about it!

I definitely have my reading cut out for me this month. Aside from the above, I have The Invited by Jennifer McMahon, the mermaid’s voice returns in this one by Amanda Lovelace, 2 books on the way that I’ll shout about once they arrive, and I’d like to read more of King of Scars and The Priory of the Orange Tree at some stage this month. Also, dying to read Five Feet Apart when my library hold comes in, which could be next month 😱 Maybe I’ll do a *Library Loans* post sometime soon… what do you think?

And the amount of preorders I have coming up…. it’s no wonder i never have money 😂😂

Did I tell you I won a copy of Bloodleaf in a giveaway?! Hopefully that arrives soon and can be added to this month’s TBR… PREORDER it and enter the preorder campaign!

The reading challenge I’m doing is in honour of International Women’s Month and can be found at Women’s Hall of Fame TBR and Beyond Book Club event. I hope some of you join us! Here’s the board for the challenge:

Well, that’s all for now! See you later, Wayfarers! xx

How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow

I recently received a proof copy of Kathleen Glasgow’s upcoming novel, How to Make Friends with the Dark, which is a story of ‘friendship, family and love, but also filled with grief and kids trying to survive in a world where most adults have failed them,’ says Glasgow.

This novel is beautiful and I’m very much looking forward to getting started. The thing that most intrigued me is the aspect of grief, as Tiger (the MC) loses her mother in the novel. Glasgow wrote the novel because she misses her mother and sister. Most of you know my mother-in-law passed in September. And let me tell you, grief is hard and messy and absolutely sucks! I think it’s one of the most difficult things I’ve ever dealt with thus far. I’m hoping reading a book about dealing with grief and finding your way after bereavement will help me process my own loss. By no means am I expecting this to solve my problems, but just knowing other have survived loss like this will help me.

From the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Girl in Pieces comes a new heartbreaking story about love and loss and learning how to continue when it feels like you’re surrounded by darkness.

Here is what happens when your mother dies.

It’s the brightest day of summer and it’s dark outside. It’s dark in your house, dark in your room, and dark in your heart. You feel like the darkness is going to split you apart.

That’s how it feels for Tiger. It’s always been Tiger and her mother against the world. Then, on a day like any other, Tiger’s mother dies. And now it’s Tiger, alone.

Here is how you learn to make friends with the dark.

Massive thanks to Kate B at One World Publications for sending it to me and Rock the Boat for producing a beautiful proof. Keep an eye out for this next year, April 2019!

Pre-order here