I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver | a soft, emotional, and lovely book

review template (10)

I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver

May 14, 2019, from Push
Young adult contemporary
Goodreads | Amazon

When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.

But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.

At turns heartbreaking and joyous, I Wish You All the Best is both a celebration of life, friendship, and love, and a shining example of hope in the face of adversity.

cab4star

4 stars

I’d heard a lot about I Wish You All the Best and how good it was. I haven’t read a lot of ownvoices books about non-binary characters, so I was excited to read this, and I was not disappointed. I Wish You All the Best is a soft book that deals with difficult subjects but ultimately manages to be uplifting and positive.

Continue reading “I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver | a soft, emotional, and lovely book”

The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake | a tender story about family & friendship

review template (15)

The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake

October 1, 2019, from Disney-Hyperion
YA contemporary
Goodreads | Amazon

The Larkin family isn’t just lucky—they persevere. At least that’s what Violet and her younger brother, Sam, were always told. When the Lyric sank off the coast of Maine, their great-great-great-grandmother didn’t drown like the rest of the passengers. No, Fidelia swam to shore, fell in love, and founded Lyric, Maine, the town Violet and Sam returned to every summer.

But wrecks seem to run in the family. Tall, funny, musical Violet can’t stop partying with the wrong people. And, one beautiful summer day, brilliant, sensitive Sam attempts to take his own life.

Shipped back to Lyric while Sam is in treatment, Violet is haunted by her family’s missing piece – the lost shipwreck she and Sam dreamed of discovering when they were children. Desperate to make amends, Violet embarks on a wildly ambitious mission: locate the Lyric, lain hidden in a watery grave for over a century.

She finds a fellow wreck hunter in Liv Stone, an amateur local historian whose sparkling intelligence and guarded gray eyes make Violet ache in an exhilarating new way. Whether or not they find the Lyric, the journey Violet takes-and the bridges she builds along the way-may be the start of something like survival.

cab4star

4 stars

When I first saw The Last True Poets of the Sea, I found myself hooked on the premise–I’d read the first few chapters and was drawn into it. It sounded like the kind of story I would like, and in many ways, I was right. The Last True Poets of the Sea is an deep exploration of family, friendship, mental illness, and survival.
Continue reading “The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake | a tender story about family & friendship”

Our Wayward Fate by Gloria Chao | a powerful story about diaspora

review template (9)

Our Wayward Fate by Gloria Chao

October 15, 2019, from Simon Pulse
YA contemporary
Goodreads | Amazon

Seventeen-year-old Ali Chu knows that as the only Asian person at her school in middle-of-nowhere Indiana, she must be bland as white toast to survive. This means swapping her congee lunch for PB&Js, ignoring the clueless racism from her classmates and teachers, and keeping her mouth shut when people wrongly call her Allie instead of her actual name, pronounced Āh-lěe, after the mountain in Taiwan.

Her autopilot existence is disrupted when she finds out that Chase Yu, the new kid in school, is also Taiwanese. Despite some initial resistance due to the “they belong together” whispers, Ali and Chase soon spark a chemistry rooted in competitive martial arts, joking in two languages, and, most importantly, pushing back against the discrimination they face.

But when Ali’s mom finds out about the relationship, she forces Ali to end it. As Ali covertly digs into the why behind her mother’s disapproval, she uncovers secrets about her family and Chase that force her to question everything she thought she knew about life, love, and her unknowable future.

cab4star

4 stars

Initially, Our Wayward Fate caught my eye because I’d heard a lot about Gloria Chao’s debut, American Panda, and though I hadn’t read it I’m always excited to see new books from Chinese authors. Honestly, I was expecting a typical contemporary romance from Our Wayward Fate. What I got was an exploration of being the children of immigrants and reconnecting to your culture intertwined with the cute romance.  Continue reading “Our Wayward Fate by Gloria Chao | a powerful story about diaspora”

The Athena Protocol by Shamim Sharif | an action-packed spy thriller

review template (5)

The Athena Protocol by Shamin Sarif

October 8, 2019, from HarperTeen
Contemporary thriller
Goodreads | Amazon

Jessie Archer is a member of the Athena Protocol, an elite organization of female spies who enact vigilante justice around the world.

Athena operatives are never supposed to shoot to kill—so when Jessie can’t stop herself from pulling the trigger, she gets kicked out of the organization, right before a huge mission to take down a human trafficker in Belgrade.<br< span=””> Jessie Archer is a member of the Athena Protocol, an elite organization of female spies who enact vigilante justice around the world.

Athena operatives are never supposed to shoot to kill—so when Jessie can’t stop herself from pulling the trigger, she gets kicked out of the organization, right before a huge mission to take down a human trafficker in Belgrade.

Jessie needs to right her wrong and prove herself, so she starts her own investigation into the trafficking. But going rogue means she has no one to watch her back as she delves into the horrors she uncovers. Meanwhile, her former teammates have been ordered to bring her down. Jessie must face danger from all sides if she’s to complete her mission—and survive.</br<>

cab4star

4 stars

Spy thrillers will never fail to be straight-up cool, and The Athena Protocol is no exception to this. It’s a James Bond-esque story starring women and with lots of action and adventure from start to finish.

Continue reading “The Athena Protocol by Shamim Sharif | an action-packed spy thriller”

Crier’s War by Nina Varela | in which f/f enemies to lovers is what fuels me

review template (3).png

Crier’s War by Nina Varela

October 1, 2019 from HarperTeen
Young adult fantasy
Goodreads | Amazon

After the War of Kinds ravaged the kingdom of Rabu, the Automae, designed to be the playthings of royals, usurped their owners’ estates and bent the human race to their will.

Now Ayla, a human servant rising in the ranks at the House of the Sovereign, dreams of avenging her family’s death…by killing the sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier.

Crier was Made to be beautiful, flawless, and to carry on her father’s legacy. But that was before her betrothal to the enigmatic Scyre Kinok, before she discovered her father isn’t the benevolent king she once admired, and most importantly, before she met Ayla.

Now, with growing human unrest across the land, pressures from a foreign queen, and an evil new leader on the rise, Crier and Ayla find there may be only one path to love: war.

cab4star

4 stars

Crier’s War was one of my most anticipated books of the year. It took me a lot longer to get through than I’d hoped, but in the end, I ended up really enjoying it. Crier’s War is an ode to queer high fantasy, with memorable characters and a romance that you can’t help but root for.

Continue reading “Crier’s War by Nina Varela | in which f/f enemies to lovers is what fuels me”

Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi | the f/f enemies to lovers we all need

review template (2).png

Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi

June 11, 2019, from Feiwel & Friends
Young adult contemporary romance
Goodreads | Amazon

Sana Khan is a cheerleader and a straight A student. She’s the classic (somewhat obnoxious) overachiever determined to win.

Rachel Recht is a wannabe director who’s obsesssed with movies and ready to make her own masterpiece. As she’s casting her senior film project, she knows she’s found the perfect lead – Sana.

There’s only one problem. Rachel hates Sana. Rachel was the first girl Sana ever asked out, but Rachel thought it was a cruel prank and has detested Sana ever since.

Told in alternative viewpoints and inspired by classic romantic comedies, this engaging and edgy YA novel follows two strongwilled young women falling for each other despite themselves.

cab4star

4 stars

I initially picked Tell Me How You Really Feel up because of the very gay cover, but the enemies to lovers and the strong-willed main characters is what drew me in. Enemies to lovers is one of my favourite tropes and Tell Me How You Really Feel does it so well.

Continue reading “Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi | the f/f enemies to lovers we all need”

Going Off Script by Jen Wilde | a cute queer rom-com

review template

Going Off Script by Jen Wilde

May 21, 2019, from Swoon Reads
Young adult rom-com
Goodreads | Amazon

Seventeen-year-old Bex is thrilled when she gets an internship on her favorite tv show, Silver Falls. Unfortunately, the internship isn’t quite what she expected… instead of sitting in a crowded writer’s room volleying ideas back and forth, Production Interns are stuck picking up the coffee.

Determined to prove her worth as a writer, Bex drafts her own script and shares it with the head writer―who promptly reworks it and passes it off as his own! Bex is understandably furious, yet…maybe this is just how the industry works? But when they rewrite her proudly lesbian character as straight, that’s the last straw! It’s time for Bex and her crush to fight back.

cab4star

4 stars

Jen Wilde’s books always make my heart sing. I’m not normally a fan of rom-coms, but I always feel so happy whenever I read her books. They’re queer anthems, a world where being yourself is the best person you can possibly be, and I always find myself falling in love. Going Off Script is no different: it’s just a fun rom-com written by a queer person, for queer people.

Continue reading “Going Off Script by Jen Wilde | a cute queer rom-com”