tiktok made me buy yet another novel

A Broken Blade – Melissa Blair 

Fantasy, fiction. 

Rating 10/10

Keera is the most dangerous assassin and spy who is known as the King’s Blade in all of Faeland.  Keera isn’t perfect and knows it. She makes do with what she can to survive despite the consequences of her actions that led to innocents dying at her hands. The king asks her to find this Shadow who is causing havoc in the kingdom. When she confronts who the Shadow is, she finds the truth of what is going on. Keera decides to switch sides and makes an effort to save lives rather than take them away. She works with the Shadow to take down the Crown and ensure that no more innocent blood is shed. 

I heard about how the author did a clue hunt with this novel and was wanting to get the novel. I had no money at the time and I was anticipating reading it. I’m so grateful to have found a copy and I read it. I purposely left out a lot of details because the book is pretty hefty. Keera goes through some real pain and trauma as well as trying to find herself in this reality that she is placed under. I appreciate a good book about characters with flaws such as alcoholism and trauma because it makes the character have dimension and someone can relate to the character. Keera isn’t some damsel in distress but she is a warrior woman who knows she isn’t perfect but strives to try to better herself. This novel really has a lot of allegories of racism and inner healing portrayed through Keera and the world she is in the real world. Blair had a lot of insight into indigenous culture and colonialism. Especially colonialism and how it impacted indigenous cultures. I felt that the characters all felt real and the way Blair wrote them made me feel that they are real. These people go through real things and are faced with adversaries. This book made me feel so much and I absolutely enjoyed reading this. I want to see more of Blair’s writing because she is such a talented young new author with a passion that is deeply embedded in this literary work.

this was a trip to read

The School for Good Mothers – Jessamine Chan 

Thriller, mothers, institutions, Chinese American, single mothers, science fiction, motherhood,  fiction.

Rating 9/10

Frida decides to go take care of business and left her child at home for an hour and a half. While she is out running errands, she gets a haunting phone call that CPS (Child Protective Services) has her child. She temporarily lost custody of her child until she is proven fit and CPS put surveillance to ensure that Frida is following the rules. After the court ruling, she is sent to a rehabilitation school for bad mothers to be turned into good mothers. While there she learns that she has to fall in line with the system or face the consequences of losing her child. 

I thought this book wasn’t going to mess me up but then it did. This novel spoke about the realities of what POC and or poor mothers go through the scrutiny with CPS and child welfare. Chan really created a dystopia of what it really could be turned into in the future of child welfare, especially with the direction of technology and the increased standards of being parents. This fiction isn’t real but it reflects a lot of reality and it was so scary reading this because there is a lot of points that were made about how to be a mother and what it means to be a mother. I enjoyed reading this because of the realness and the rawness. The characters all had their reason to be at that institute and even though they are background characters, Chan made them important and relevant to the main character Frida and what she is going through. Their voices were as important as the main character. I do recommend this novel for those who are into this type of fiction but be forewarned this wasn’t easy to read either because these characters were made so realistic that I felt that I knew them personally. 

king Arthur retelling but awesomer

Legendborn – Tracy Deonn

Secret societies, genealogy, demonology, African Americans, fraternities, college, university, magic, young adult, fantasy, fiction. 

Rating 9/10

Bree just experienced her mother’s death and she is sent off to a college at a young age for her bright and brilliant mind. During a party, she notices some sort of demonic creature and a group of people proclaiming themselves as Legendborns. One of them tries to wipe her memory but fails to do so. She can remember and this makes her a target towards the Legendborn society. Unless she joins the society and plays along with the role. Nick, someone who self-exiled himself from this society to help her find the truth of what really happened to her mother. He informs her that the trials are dangerous and she must be ensuring that no one knows that she is different because if anyone found out about her, it is a death sentence. Bree takes her own destiny and wields it to her liking. 

I had waited to read this novel for a few reasons. One of them being I wanted a paperback version and couldn’t handle how thick and heavy the hardcover was. This novel really caught me off guard. I simply enjoyed reading this one. I found myself getting angry at the beginning and throughout the book. The author implanted reality truths within the work of this novel. She took the lore and the myth of King Arthur and his Knights at the Round Table and made them different. Deonn incorporated important subjects about the African American community and how society views them into this work that made me have to pause and reflect. I loved the writing and the plot along with the characters. I enjoyed this and definitely recommend to anyone who is into the tales of King Arthur but wants a spin on the story. 

just had to get another Rick Riordan novel

Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle – Rick Riordan 

Fantasy, gods, goddesses, greek, myths, children, fiction. 

Rating 9/10

Apollo angered Zeus to the point that now Apollo is a human named Lester. Something bad is happening to the demi-gods and he has to figure out what is going on. Going off of just some information and a lack of an oracle to guide him he has to work with his niece, Meg, to save the world. 

I absolutely loved this novel. I was fascinated by how Riordan wrote this and was bringing the same energy as he did in the other works I’ve read. This is in a way a continuation of his other series and there are characters that are mentioned or even involved. There were more gods and goddesses introduced that weren’t in the previous which I did appreciate. I was laughing at some parts and was so thankful I was able to find a copy. Apollo kind of deserved what he got because of his attitude and personality. We see some humbling but not a lot to fully redeem him. I enjoyed reading this and definitely recommend this. 

this was fun to read

Lycanthropy and other Chronic Illnesses – Kristin O’Neal 

Werewolves, Lyme disease, young adult, fiction. 

Rating 10/10

Priya is undergoing treatments and aftercare with Lyme disease put her plans for premed school in halt. She joins a support group of individuals who like her have chronic illnesses. Her online friend, Brigid, goes offline which is not in character so she goes out of her way to try to find out what happened to her. Priya enters an open and seemingly empty house to find a giant dog. Later finds out it is Brigid who explains she has lycanthropy. She turns into a wolf at certain times of the month. Her condition is only getting worse over time and Priya has empathy for her. The two of them spend time together and navigate their chronic illnesses together while empowering each other. 

I have heard so much about this novel and am glad I found a copy. I was not expecting to read such an empowering narrative. I was expecting another sick teen novel with an unhappy ending because that seemed like it. I loved the writing and the unique style that the texting or messaging was done with a discord-like template. The characters felt real and the conversations felt so natural and believable. There was some humor to this and serious tones as well.  I found myself really enveloped and loved this novel.

needed something cute and wholesome

Revisiting: This Much is True – Tia Louise 

Romance, single fathers, fiction. 

Rating 10/10

Hope fell asleep in the backseat of her Dad’s Metallicar after drinking. She lost her restaurant and her job plus her father is in an elderly home. She is trying to make ends meet. J.R. retrieves his newly bought car and has plans to go to Fireside to be more involved in his son’s life and get answers as to why his father locked him up for being a drug mule. Hope wakes up and meets J.R. who claims is bad news but she begs to differ as they are taking a cross-country road trip. Hope falls for J.R. and vice versa. Hope’s goal is to get her life back in order and J.R. as well. Both have the odds against them but have each other’s backs. 

I needed to read something wholesome and feel good. I had read this a while ago and wanted to reread it because of how cute the romance is. I felt the same way as I did when I first read this romance novel. I wished that there was a continuation because I want to see more Hope and J.R. but unfortunately this was standalone. I also wanted to see how she is involved with his son’s life as well. So many unanswered questions that left me wondering and wanting more. The author did a splendid job with the story and the characters. 

asexual and aromantic rep right here

Loveless – Alice Oseman

Young adult, fiction. 

Rating 10/10

Georgia is trying to find the reason why she isn’t attracted to anyone. When she goes off to college she promises herself to experiment and with the help of her roommate she comes to a conclusion that is rather messy. She is aromantic asexual. Someone who isn’t romantic nor finds anyone sexually attractive. She navigates the stressful world of college while finding her sexual identity as well as making new friends and trying to keep the old friends. 

I absolutely loved this novel so much. This novel made me have so many feelings that I can’t describe in words other than I love this novel. The writing was out of this world along with the characters plus their interactions. Finding one’s sexual identity isn’t easy since the world tells us what is the right option rather than teaching us that there is more than bisexuality, homosexuality, and lesbian. There is a full spectrum and we see Georgia explore that. I enjoyed reading this so much and I definitely recommend it.

a chilling read before summer…

Revisiting: The Institute – Stephen King

Horror, thriller, science fiction, fiction. 

Rating 10/10

Tim’s flight got delayed and he decided to take the offer of some money if someone else got his seat. He decided to just hitchhike to his destination. He stops at a small town Dupray and works as a Night Knocker. Luke finds himself awake in a room that is a simulation of his bedroom. Except it wasn’t since there was no window to see the neighbor’s house. He remembered the day before when he was all prepped for his future and now that picture of his future is gone. Luke was one highly advanced child for his age. His parents sure didn’t know how to handle him but they did their best. He is in some sort of facility that must be government-owned. Unfortunately, it is not what every kid tells him. Kalisha, one of the residents, tells him how it works. Shots for dots. A whole bunch of testing is done. Sometimes there are rewards for good behavior. After a while, the child is sent to the Back Half for a while during their memories being wiped after being used for something big. Luke tries to find out more information about this place and learns the hard truth. The children were selectively picked for their cognitive abilities whether they can be telekinetic or telepathic. He observes what happens through Avery, who can read minds, and gets letters from some of the children that were in the Front Half but got sent to the Back Half. They are shown movies and told to do something under hypnosis. Luke manages to escape and he tries to gather some adults to help break the children out of the horrible Institute. He has the help of Tim who sympathized with Luke’s and the children of the Institute’s lives. 

I wanted to reread this novel for the sheer horror and thrill that this novel brought when I first read it. I have to say, I love King’s writing. He is a pure genius when he builds the world and manages to create an ultimate evil that scares the living daylights out of me. He goes in-depth and provides a lot of information that is needed to keep the narrative going. Not only that but keep the reader on their toes. I feel that somehow this novel is interconnected with his other works such as Firestarter and The Shining since both those literary works feature children with some sort of powers. Overall, this novel really dug deep into certain aspects of life that are never really given that much thought. This novel proposes the idea that sometimes the world has some sort of secret organization pulling all the strings. I enjoyed this novel so much I had gotten a paperback so that my hardcover can remain on display with my other favorites. I recommend this book who wants to go into a dark book but not too dark that it’s bad. Just something slightly evil… 

a baby always changes everything

Black Girls Must Be Magic – Jayne Allen 

Contemporary, fiction. 

Rating 10/10

Tabitha just discovered she’s pregnant right after her grandmother’s death. However, the doctors tell her the fetus was not the original embryo that they had implanted but a new one. This totally changes her perception of the situation and she finds out that this baby belongs to Marc’s. Her ex-boyfriend’s baby. All her friends tell her to tell him and when she does, he doesn’t believe it at first then comes back to be more involved with Tabitha’s life. Tabitha is trying to find herself through all the baby appointments and her work. Her friends become her village who will help her with the baby and including Marc as well. 

This is a sequel to Black Girls Must Be Exhausted and I hadn’t expected that there was to be a sequel. In a way, I was caught off guard. This novel had a lot of emotional points and many facts that a lot of African American women go through. Not only about their hair but their way of life. Tabitha opted to be a single mother by choice and a lot of single African American mothers feel that way. I admired that Marc was wanting to be in the child’s life and wanted to immediately marry Tabitha but it is always the woman’s choice. I loved the writing and the characters’ interactions. I felt as if I was right there watching this all unfold. I enjoyed reading this novel and can’t wait for the third book. I will be snatching that third book as fast as I can. This was so good.