Source: Blog Tour


May 15
The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar: Review & Giveaway

The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar: Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 33 ★★★★

Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Google A portrait of coming out in a Muslim family, The Henna Wars explores the ways that our culture defines who we are—and the ways it can’t define us. Nishat knows that her family isn’t going to be happy when she comes out to them—after all, in her home country of Bangladesh, being a lesbian is punishable by death. But since her parents broke all the rules and married for love and then moved to Ireland for a better life, Nishat has hope that they’ll accept her. Unfortunately, acceptance doesn’t come easily—she’s basically told that she can’t be gay because she’s Muslim and that she’ll bring shame to the family. Meanwhile, Nishat is nursing a crush on Flávia, while also competing against her in a business competition where they both decide to apply henna as their business. Of course, Nishat is more than a little upset that she has… Read more »


Apr 28
Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi: Review and Giveaway (Plus, a Quick Review of Aru Shah and the Song of Death)

Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi: Review and Giveaway (Plus, a Quick Review of Aru Shah and the Song of Death)

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 12 ★★★★½

Today I’m reviewing books two and three of the Pandava Quartet! Since this is technically a blog tour for the third book, I’m posting that review first, but you can scroll down to see my quick thoughts on Aru Shah and the Song of Death as well. Also, check out my review of book one, Aru Shah and the End of Time! You can purchase Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes at the following Retailers: Amazon, Kindle, Audible, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD, Bookshop.org These books are such a fabulous foray into Hindu mythology! I adore how many tales Chokshi manages to weave seamlessly into her story—Aru and her sisters (and friends) meet so many characters from these stories on their journey, and each time the original story is reflected somehow in Aru’s tale. This makes Aru’s journeys through the Otherworld that much more exciting and interesting—a point that held true in this book as she went on… Read more »


Mar 03
If We Were Giants by Dave Matthews and Clete Barrett Smith

If We Were Giants by Dave Matthews and Clete Barrett Smith

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 16 ★★★★★

Amazon, Kindle, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD, Bookshop.org This book is utterly wonderful! When you were a kid, did y0u ever imagine people living up in the trees or in the base of a volcano or some other place tucked away, hidden by nature? I know I did. Well, the authors of this book take that concept of hidden societies and imagine, what if those hidden worlds were in danger? Kirra’s home has always been safe and peaceful, tucked away in a volcano. Her father’s stories of volcano demons have ensured that no one will find them. Until, one day, someone does. Takers come, and they destroy everything Kirra has ever known. She escapes to a society where everyone lives in the trees, and she blocks out everything from her past life, but nowhere is safe forever. There is so much to love about this book—setting is incredibly important, and it’s imagined so… Read more »


Feb 20
Red Hood by Elana K. Arnold: Review & Giveaway

Red Hood by Elana K. Arnold: Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 22 ★★★★

Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD, Google This book is a dark, brutal retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, an unflinching exploration of the victimization of women. It is not for the faint of heart, and I’m honestly a little unsure if I’d recommend it to the average YA reader. If you’re going to read this book, you need to know what you’re getting into. Not only are there many triggers in it, but Arnold pulls no punches when she depicts sex and violence (and menstruation, which is a big part of the story and is often described in vivid detail). That being said, it’s also incredibly powerful and will most certainly leave an impression. And the storytelling itself is masterful—I found myself flying through the book, eager to find out how the events would unfold. I was also surprisingly fond of the second-person narration (meaning that the story is told… Read more »


Feb 05
Malice by Pintip Dunn: Review & Giveaway

Malice by Pintip Dunn: Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 24 ★★★★½

A twisty time travel tale! This is one of those books that keeps you on your toes—Alice’s future self has contacted her because she needs current-Alice to stop a classmate from creating a virus that will decimate the population. You’re left not only wondering who will be a future evil genius, but also trying to piece together how future-Alice’s instructions will possibly stop the upcoming apocalypse. I love stories like this because it’s so fun to try and figure out exactly what’s going on. I actually had the villain pinned right from the start, but the book definitely threw me for more than a few loops by the end as the time travel aspect of the book got twistier and twistier. Alice is never sure who to trust—in the current world or from the future. I especially loved seeing her live out aspects of her future life and finally experiencing the whole timeline so she… Read more »


Oct 17
The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy: Spotlight and Giveaway

The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy: Spotlight and Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended) 4

Today I’m shining the spotlight on The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy, a YA fantasy with some truly unique worldbuilding. Imagine a world in which memories are used as a commodity … they can be stolen, traded, sold, even used as torture! Etta has basically sworn off her gift of being able to steal memories—until she needs it to save her mother from a horrific death. About the Author Lauren lives in the Chicago area, where she’s spent years working with youth, from young children to high schoolers. When she’s not writing, Lauren is usually with her family or exploring the city to find the best deep dish pizza. The Memory Thief, which was inspired by Lauren’s own journey with her mother, is her first novel. Author Links:         1 finished copy of The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy + a poster and signed bookplate (USA only) a… Read more »


Oct 15
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia: Review & Giveaway

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia: Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 20 ★★★★★

Amazon, Kindle, Audible, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD This book is absolutely packed with rich storytelling—both African and African American folklore that many middle graders have probably never encountered before. It’s difficult to even unpack how many different stories are rolled into this adventure and brought to life in a new way. (I’d actually love it if Rick Riordan Presents would do a companion that goes deeper into each individual tale, sort of like the Greek Gods companions that were done for the Percy Jackson Series). This book would be perfect to use in a classroom setting because I believe it will inspire kids to want to learn more about the folklore and mythology behind characters like Nyami, Brer Rabbit, John Henry, High John and Gum Baby. Tristan Strong is just getting over the sting of his first boxing match—and his first defeat. He feels like he’s let the adults in his life (who all have… Read more »


Oct 01
Scars Like Wings by Erin Stewart: Review & Giveaway

Scars Like Wings by Erin Stewart: Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended) 16 ★★★★★

This book is so engrossing and emotionally compelling that I read it in one evening! I was immediately drawn in by the concept: Ava is the sole survivor of a house fire that claimed the lives of her parents and her cousin—she’s now recovering from burns that covered over 60% of her body and living with her aunt and uncle, who are also trying to hold it together after the loss of their daughter in the very fire that almost claimed Ava’s life. Right there, you can see why the emotional stakes of the story are so incredibly high. Not only is Ava struggling to adapt to her “new normal” after being disfigured in the fire, but she’s dealing with the loss of her parents and the guilt of surviving when her cousin didn’t. The cast of characters is wonderful. Asad is a hilariously geeky guy (in a theater-geek sort of… Read more »


Sep 26
Cursed by Thomas Wheeler & Frank Miller: Review & Giveaway

Cursed by Thomas Wheeler & Frank Miller: Review & Giveaway

Reviews 14 ★★★★

Just the pitch for this book told me there was a whole lot to love: an illustrated YA King Arthur retelling from the perspective of Nimue (the Lady in the Lake). First of all, why aren’t more books for older readers illustrated? I didn’t stop loving artwork when I was a little kid, and I think many other people feel similarly, so I would love to see more illustrated books for older readers. But I digress… I’ll confess that I don’t remember much about the tale of King Arthur beyond the basics: the sword in the stone, King Arthur’s court, Guenivere and Lancelot’s shenanigans. None of that is in this book. This all takes place before you would get to the point of the knights of the round table, so if you go into this book looking for that story you might be disappointed. In fact, I have no idea if any of… Read more »


Sep 05
Tiger Queen by Annie Sullivan: Review & Giveaway

Tiger Queen by Annie Sullivan: Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 26 ★★★★

When I heard that Annie Sullivan had written a retelling of “The Lady or the Tiger” I was incredibly excited! I’d loved her unique retelling of “The Midas Touch,” and I had no doubt she’d do one of my favorite short stories justice. I distinctly remember reading this story when I was a teenager and being left with that agonizing open ending. I read the story again with my own students when I taught at my homeschool co-op, and one of our exercises was to write their own ending (and, yes, a few of my students did have the princess sick the tiger on her lost love). I was curious to see if Sullivan would leave us with an open ending as well or give us her own version of closure. Of course, I can’t tell you the answer to that. You’ll have to read to find out! Sullivan has created… Read more »