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. 

i never read anything with selkies before…

The Girl from the Sea – Molly Knox Ostertag, color by Maarta Laiho

Fantasy, selkies, young adult, romance, LGBTQ+, fiction.

Rating 13/10

Morgan is highly anticipating leaving her little island and getting away from her family which is slowly imploding and her friends who don’t truly know her. She wants to kiss girls, not boys. After falling into the ocean she awakens to find that this mysterious pretty girl saved her from drowning that she had apparently met before. They had interacted when they were children and it was forgotten. Keltie tells her that they kissed and they are bonded for life. Morgan doesn’t seem to believe it at first but she couldn’t deny Keltie’s cuteness. Both begin falling in love and facing what it means to be in love as well as how their love impacts the world around them.

This book was so good and it hurt me emotionally. The artwork was beautiful and colorful. The plot was very intriguing and beautiful. Morgan finding herself and falling for Keltie slowly was so cute. I hated that Morgan was denying her feelings towards Keltie but I would understand. It takes a lot of souls searching to make the decision. It isn’t easy to come out and her brother outing her was not a good thing. I appreciated how the mother grounded him because Morgan should’ve been the one to tell. I needed something wholesome and cute. This graphic novel brought that and I simply was in love with the plot and the characters. 

I love Rhys even more!

A Court of Wings and Ruin – Sarah J. Maas

fantasy, fiction. 

Rating 10/10

Feyre witnessed both her sisters, Nesta and Elain, being thrown into the Cauldron. When they reemerged they became Fae. She offered to go with Tamlin and be the spy. Feyre ordered Rhysand to take care of her sisters in the meantime. She is really angry at Tamlin for selling everyone out and dragging her sisters into this world. Feyre plays a part and a very convincing part to ensure that no one knows her true motives. All the while she had learned that she was Rhysand’s mate and he didn’t tell her. Not only that but she values that he treats her as his equal whereas Tamlin never. Tamlin was a monster who betrayed them all and is continued to work with Hybern. When Feyre returns to her own court she visits her sisters to check in on them. Nesta wants to get revenge while Elain is still trying to cope with the losses. Rhysand urges to gather allies to fight in the war. 

This book was thick on the premise of talking politics within the world that Maas created which felt a lot but given the direction that she wanted with this novel is understandable. Besides the small training arcs and the war arc, I enjoyed the novel. There were moments that made my eyes widen such as when Feyre was punishing one of the mean priestesses by making her shatter her own hand with a rock. That was badass and I loved that Feyre is coming into her powers and how Rhysand isn’t holding her back but rather encouraging her. He seems to be like just her henchmen in my perspective. There was another scene where Tamlin said some rather derogatory words against Feyre and her court decided to stand and tell him to not disrespect her. This novel had a lot of #girlboss moments. I loved that and the descriptions of some of the clothes as well that seem very elegant. I can’t wait to read the next book.