Showing posts with label new adult/na. Show all posts
Showing posts with label new adult/na. Show all posts

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Really Mini-Reviews - Escorting the Escort by Lyss Em and Babyvamp by Lyssa Dering





Really Mini-Reviews title image with inset title images for Escorting the Escort and Babyvamp, and icon of books in bottom corner



You want some awesome M/M New Adult romance novellas?

Of course ya do!

Today I've got reviews of Escorting the Escort by Lyss Em and Babyvamp by Lyssa Dering - which are both written by the same author, just under different names.

They explore orientations beyond just Gay or Straight, and are pretty damned awesome t'boot!




Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Review Time! - Learning Curves by Ceillie Simkiss





Learning Curves title image on note paper with decorative hearts







Title: Learning Curves



Author: Ceillie Simkiss

Genre:

New Adult, Novella, Contemporary Fiction, LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Asexual, Panromantic,) Romance (F/F)

Release Date: 17th August 2018


Amazon: UK - USA



Wednesday, 17 January 2018

2017's Top 4 Books (...In The Opinion of Yours Truly)

2017 can't be well and truly dusted off and put back on the shelf* without some input from your favourite Bookish Rebel (moi, ofc,) on the bestest books of the year.




two people with capes and flags acting very victory-ish




This is TOTALLY MY OPINION ONLY.

Obviously, I can only pick from books I've read. And within that only books published in 2017.

Even given those rules, there's a bunch of books that I've read that I didn't include - THAT DOESN'T MEAN I DON'T LIKE THEM!!!!

This is basically a snapshot of the stand-outs. There were loooooads of other books I could've included - promise!

(My Anxiety kicks in when I think I might be leaving someone/something out that deserves recognition - does it show?!)



*Ha, shelf? Books? Hehe! XD




Friday, 5 January 2018

Month in Review(s) - December 2017

Decemmmmberrrr!!!!!!!!! Wooo!!! XD (Yes, it's January - but let's face it, I never wrap-up on time.)



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OK, so December for me was actually super-super-hectic, but it came with Christmas at the end, so I really can't be mad at it! Lol.

(I love Christmas. Sooooo much!!!! 😁 )



Thursday, 28 December 2017

Review Time! - Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera

Juliet Takes a Breath on rainbow pride stonewall background title image


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Title: Juliet Takes a Breath

Author: Gabby Rivera

Genre: New Adult/NA,* Contemporary**, LGBTQ+ (and polyamory; with F/F)

*crossover appeal with older Young Adult/YA
**ish

Amazon: UK - USA













Thursday, 5 October 2017

Release Day Review!!! - Mirror Mirror by Cara Delevingne and Rowan Coleman

Mirror Mirror title image




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Title: Mirror Mirror

Author: Cara Delevingne and Rowan Coleman


Genre: Young Adult/New Adult (YA with crossover appeal,) contemporary, crime*, LGBTQ+(and gender questioning)(F/F)

*ish


Release Date: 5th October



Amazon: UK - USA







Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Month in Review(s) - June 2017

June was too damned hot here in the UK.

It regularly reached over 28C, & often over 30C. I officially melt at around 23.5C, so I was NOT happy.






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Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Review! - Something Beautiful by Amanda Gernentz Hanson


Something Beautiful title image



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Title: Something Beautiful

Author: Amanda Gernentz Hanson

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary*, Romance* (M/F; M/M,) (*ish,) LGBTQ+ (and sexually fluid)

Release Date: 27th June 2017

Amazon: UK - USA









Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Month in Review(s) - February 2017

February. The shortest of months, and the one with Valentine's Day crammed into the middle there.



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Which may explain why four of the 5 books I reviewed this month were romances - guess it even got to yours truly! (I'm not going all soft on you though, dearest nerdlets, I'm still your Rebel Valentine! Lol.)



Monday, 13 February 2017

Review Time! - Santa Muerte by Lucina Stone

Santa Muerte title image


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Title: Santa MuerteSanta Muerte book cover

Author: Lucina Stone

Genre: New Adult/NA, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Witches, Vampires*, Werewolves*, Historical Fiction* (*ish)

Series: The Daniela Story #1

Amazon: UK - USA








A few starting notes:

I received a free digital review copy of this book from the author, Lucina Stone, who I'm in contact with on Twitter.

This does not affect the content of my review; my review is fair and honest.

I agreed to read this with only the vaguest of notions of what it was about - I had read Naz @ Read Diverse Books' review of it, but had mostly forgotten about it by the time Lucina Stone contacted me.

I definitely didn't realise that it was urban fantasy - so that was a pleasant surprise!

I love urban fantasy - a subgenre of paranormal which involves magical-type-people (witches, vampires, etc.) faffing about in cities and/or towns in which they have their own societies (sometimes open to human society, sometimes hidden.)

It's strange, really, since I don't like cities in general - too much of a rural kind of girl. *shrugs* But there you have it.






Premise:

Turns out there's more to Daniela's family than she thought there was.

In the year 2030, Daniela sees no end to the pain. Depressed and hurt by an abusive relationship, she tries to take her own life...

...and wakes up somewhere strange.

This can't be happening. She can't be in the 1920s... right?

Dani doesn't get this time period, has no idea about magic, and, with a farm-girl named Daphne in tow, is being chased by a bunch of people who want her dead - or at least in jail.

All she wants is to go home to her mothers, but that seems almost impossible from here...







Best bits:

I love the chatty tone of this book. Stone grabs hold of you and says, 'come on guys, this way!' Which is spot on.

And the time travel element is well done! DID YOU HEAR THAT???? THE TIME TRAVEL ELEMENT IS WELL DONE!!!!!!!!!

Too often, time travel gets unnecessarily messy, or even just plain naff, but not here.

Here we have the reality of suddenly finding yourself in a world full of racism and rigid gender rules (Daniela ends up posing as a dude because of her short hair and trousers.)

And it's an element which is missing from your average time travel plot: the day-to-day-ness of living in that period, especially as a person of colour (PoC) in the USA.







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I liked the Mexican variations on the stalwarts of urban fantasy.

All of the different species of the paranormal and urban fantasy worlds - vamps, wolves, witches, etc. are removed from their White European stereotypes and instead seen through the lens of Mexican folklore.

Most notably we have the brujas - the Mexican witches - who are written with skill and intrigue, and are far removed from the average urban fantasy witch-chick (who is normally a white goth-girl and/or biker-chick.)

The depression representation is good overall, devastatingly realistic as a whole - but I did have a minor issue with it, which I'll write about in the next section.

The sense of hopelessness and worthlessness depicted is accurate and heart-breaking, and Daniela doesn't magically get better the moment she ends up in 1923, meaning it's not treated as just a plot point.

And we get a same-sex, lesbian, parenting couple - which is awesome.








Not so great bits:

First thing, as ever, is first, here's the potentially distressing content from this book (hold on, there's some stuff to get through):
  • depression
  • attempted suicide
  • suicidal thoughts
  • hanging
  • abusive relationships
  • low self-worth/self-esteem
  • racism
  • racial slurs (including the 'n' word)
  • the KKK
  • lynching
  • segregation and discrimination
  • sexual abuse
  • child abuse
  • sexual assault
  • rape
  • torture
  • kidnapping
  • burning (as a form of torture)
  • attempted murder
  • homophobia
  • grave-robbing
  • missing persons investigation

I think that's everything - v. sorry if I've missed anything out.

There's swearing and violence; if you can handle all the other stuff though... *shrugs*

At one point, the phrase totem pole is used in as a metaphor in a non-native setting, which is seen as cultural appropriation, affecting some First Nations tribes (this piece by Robin R R Gray explains more.)

It was only once, but was still disappointing, and I hope won't occur again in future books.







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Also, and this one is more of a personal preference, the relationship between Dani's mothers is referred to as a lifestyle. I don't like this.

I'm aware that a lot of LGBTQ+ people are ok with it (especially from older generations,) but I am personally not a big fan of the term.

But then, a lot of LGBTQ+ people find the term queer very offensive, but I personally identify as both sexually fluid and queer.

I guess you just have to understand that some people will be offended by both of these terms, and you need to examine how and why AND WHETHER YOU SHOULD use them in any given context.

Occasionally it felt like the representation of Daniela's depression was a little bit hit-and-miss, simply because at the times when it wasn't affecting her so much it was almost as if it didn't matter any more.

Honestly though, the representation of depression was, overall, heartbreakingly affective.






Verdict:

This is a great book - a strong foundation for the series, with great characters and interesting paranormal elements.

If you're an urban fantasy fan, this is a must. But those not so familiar with the genre will love it too.




UPDATE 22nd APRIL 2017:

A couple of people have raised issues with the lesbian and depression representation in this book, as well as a few other matters. Some people have equated Dani's lesbian mother having sex with a man with biphobia.

I personally don't agree with the lesbian rep/biphobia criticism - because if anyone knows that sexuality is fluid, it's yours truly. But I see the validity of the points made.

For an overview of the issues that some people have with this book, see C T Callahan's Goodreads review.

I do find C T Callahan more than a little harsh on this book, but you guys all know that I believe in having all the cards on the table so that you can make up your own minds.

















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Monday, 23 January 2017

My 7 Top Picks of 2016's Books

(This post contains a flashing/fast-moving gif which may cause problems to those with photosensitive medical conditions.)


2016 wasn't 100% bad - just, like, 85%, or something. Anyway, there were some pretty awesome books!

I've purposefully picked books with 2016 release dates here - but I should point out that I also read some pretty great 'back-list' (pre-2016) titles during the year, they're just not on the list.




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So, these are my picks of books released in 2016, that I read in 2016. Everyone got that? Great.

(And yes, I know this post is technically 'late' - but I make my own rules dammit!)













I'm also uber-pleased to note that most of these are diverse books - so anyone who says diverse books are lower quality needs to go and ask themselves some serious questions 😇

They are also all written by women - girls rock!





Here we go then (and in no particular order, because I am a wuss who can't rank books over each other):




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Nina Is Not Ok by Shappi Khorsandi


Nina Is Not OK book cover

Amazon links: UK - US




For my international readers (and boy is that a phrase I'm never going to get used to,) who may not have heard of her, Shappi Khorsandi is an Iranian-British comedic genius.

Her first novel though, is not light-hearted. It's not funny. It's not for the faint of heart. And it's freaking incredible.

Seriously, this is one that I'm sooooo happy I had a digital review copy of, because I was so privileged to be one of the first people to read it.

Since then, I've basically been like 'read the thing!' whenever it's been possible to recommend it.

And I'm clearly not the only one, since it was recently nominated for the inaugural Jhalak Prize - though Khorsandi unfortunately withdrew the book from the longlist out of concern that drawing attention to her ethnicity might alienate white readers.

It's a disappointing decision, but it's far from my place to tell a person of colour (PoC) how to market their own book.

And it really is a fantastic book guys! You can see my full review here.






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Swan Boy by Nikki Sheehan


Swan Boy book cover

Amazon links: UK - US




Nikki Sheehan is a definite talent. I can't wait to see what she comes up with in the future.

Swan Boy is a remarkably artistic and lyrical kids' novel (middle grade/MG) and it's just... a stunningly beautiful read.

Honestly, it's amazing.

Check out my full review of Swan Boy here.






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Blood Stain, Vol 1 by Linda Sejic



Blood Stain Vol 1 cover

Amazon links: UK - US




Linda is an amazing person who writes awesome and oh-so relatable comics that make me laugh and bring me smiles when I need them.

You will love the hapless Elliott as she tries to make her way in this bizarre world of adulting (and she has levels of clumsiness and bad luck that most of us will recognise!)

You can see my full review of Blood Stain, Vol 1 here.






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Monstress, Vol 1: The Awakening


Monstress Vol 1 book cover

Amazon links: UK - US




ORHGUIREJNGOIRGHNKETMNHOEIROIJTGGWMKRNGHTOI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There are very few books which I consider '5 star' books guys.

(And I have issues with the arbitrary and restrictive nature of star ratings anyway - which is why I don't use them on this blog!)

But, if there is such a thing as a five-star book, then THIS IS A 5 STAR BOOK.

It has everything - fantasy, world-building, a disabled Asian protagonist, and stunning artwork.

And I want to adopt the small fox child. Soooo cute!

The ladies in charge here - Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda - have a lot to be proud of.

You can see my fangirling ramble review here.





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Santa Muerte by Lucina Stone



Santa Muerte book cover

Amazon: UK - US


One which I haven't reviewed yet (but I will dammit! I will!)

Santa Muerte is an awesome-sauce first instalment in a new-adult urban fantasy series by the lovely Lucina Stone.

What is urban fantasy? It's only an uber-incredible sub-genre of paranormal and fantasy that involves paranormal-types faffing about in cities and/or towns!

Add in the focus on brujas (witches,) and a chatty prose-tone (that's totally a phrase now. Shh,) and what more do you want?!






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Luna the Vampire: Grumpy Space by Yasmin Sheikh


Luna the Vampire book cover

Amazon: UK - US




Do you want grumpy internet-style humour with bright colours and a millennial attitude? Of course you freaking do!

Seriously, Luna makes me smile. And will make you smile too.

Check out my review here.







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Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova



Labyrinth Lost book cover

Amazon: UK - US



Another bruja book, although a lot different to Santa Muerte, Labyrinth Lost is the beginning of a YA series about a bisexual Brooklyn Latina girl, Alex, who has a big mess to clean up.

This one is so involving, and those of you looking for a new YA obsession and/or fandom need look no further!

You can see my review of Labyrinth Lost here.












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Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Month in Review(s) - November 2016

November; the month in which the USA decided to make the UK's stupid political choices look relatively intelligent in comparison.

All we did was leave the EU... maybe... with no real plans, and a strong sense that nobody WAS LISTENING TO THE INFO ABOUT WHAT THE F**K THEY WERE VOTING FOR.

America decided to go bigger, and elected Trump. *sighs*











Still, we are so, so, so sorry America. We did let Farage faff around your country spreading his toady hatred by campaigning for Trump.

He's now wrecked two countries and potentially the whole world - maybe we shouldn't have given that man a passport.






But, my dearest nerdlets - if you're scared, if you're feeling hurt or alone, please understand this: THERE ARE PEOPLE ACROSS THIS ENTIRE PLANET WHO LOVE YOU AND ARE THINKING OF YOU. I promise.





On the personal side of things, my depression hasn't been as bad as it was last month (woo!) so that's got to be a good thing.

And my blog hit over 45k pageviews, followed by over 50k pageviews in the early days of December!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!






But what about the books?

Well my nerdlets, here are the books I reviewed in November:





New Adult




Eyes of Persuasion by Adrienne Monson - Novella, Fantasy, Historical Fiction*, Crime*, Romance (M/F)* (*ish)





Adult







God Help the Child by Toni Morrison - contemporary, magic realism* (*ish)
Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin - classics (modern,) LGBTQ+ (M/M; M/F)
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller - LGBTQ+ (M/M; M/F,) Mythology, Historical Fiction*, Mythology*, Magic Realism* (*ish)





Graphic Novels




Who Killed Kurt Cobain?: The Story of Boddah by Nicolas Ortero - biography, contemporary, magic realism, non-fiction* (*ish)