Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Blog Tour+ARC Review+Excerpt+Giveaway: "Say You'll Remember Me" by Katie McGarry

From critically acclaimed author Katie McGarry, comes SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME—a story of two people from different worlds pushing themselves, and each other, to get what they deserve!

SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME releases on January 30, 2018. Pre-order your copy today!



“Doesn’t matter who did it. Not anymore. I did the time. It’s over.”

When Drix was convicted of a crime–one he didn’t commit–he thought his life was over. But opportunity came with the Second Chance Program, the governor’s newest pet project to get delinquents off the streets, rehabilitated and back into society. Drix knows this is his chance to get his life back on track, even if it means being paraded in front of reporters for a while.

Elle knows she lives a life of privilege. As the governor’s daughter, she can open doors with her name alone. But the expectations and pressure to be someone she isn’t may be too much to handle. She wants to follow her own path, whatever that means.

When Drix and Elle meet, their connection is immediate, but so are their problems. Drix is not the type of boy Elle’s parents have in mind for her, and Elle is not the kind of girl who can understand Drix’s messy life.

But sometimes love can breach all barriers.

Fighting against a society that can’t imagine them together, Drix and Elle must push themselves–Drix to confront the truth of the robbery, and Elle to assert her independence–and each other to finally get what they deserve.


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Add it to your Goodreads Now!



The sights and sounds of the midway fade, and all I hear is buzzing. I close my eyes as more pissed-off tears fill my eyes. Why won’t they go away?
“You okay?” a guy asks.
I open my eyes and focus on the ground. My eyes are red, I know they are. I can feel the puffiness of my skin. I take a deep breath, look up to explain I’m okay, and freeze.
Holy hell. It’s the boy from Whack-A-Mole. He’s so much more breathtaking this close, and I have no idea how that’s possible.
“Are those guys bothering you?” he asks.
My forehead furrows. Yes, they are, but telling him the truth and inviting him into my problems seems wrong.
“Since you’re so talkative, I’ll start the conversation,” he says. “If you want to get rid of those guys then stand here and talk to me, and I’ll stand here and talk to you. You can smile like you know me because it’s tough to make me smile, and it will seem fake. Then I can try to win you a stuffed animal. Won’t be a snake, but it will do. Those losers will catch on we’re friends. Eventually, they’ll keep walking, and then they’ll return to their loser frat house where they’ll play with themselves for the rest of the night because they don’t know how to properly talk to a girl.”
I blink because all thought processes have taken a mini break. Either that or I’m having a stroke.
“Just a smile. Maybe a few mumbled words. Tell me anything. Doesn’t have to be poetic. Just your lips moving in my direction without your current blank expression.”
I blink again, many times, as the sights, sounds and smells of the midway blast back as if someone had pushed the play button on my life. I flash the perfectly practiced public smile I’ve used too many other times in my life.
“I don’t know how to get them to leave me alone.” I pause, then the bitterness leaks out as well as a grim grin. “At least not without a baseball and a well-placed throw. Some people shouldn’t be allowed to continue their genetics.”
The right side of his mouth tips up, and my eyes narrow on him. “I thought you didn’t smile easily.”
“I have a twisted sense of humor, and I didn’t think a girl like you could make me laugh. You’ve done it twice now. That’s a record for the past year.”
I bristle, still on the dangerous edge of anger. “A girl like me?”
“Yeah, one that’s out of my league. Listen, if you want to get out of this situation without it escalating, let me know. Otherwise, I’ll take a step back, and you can do whatever you need. I’m all about helping, but I’m not looking to get into a fight. Your call on how this goes down, but if it’s violence, you’re on your own.”
He says he doesn’t want to partake in violence, but there’s an essence about him that says he could drop anyone at any time and do it without breaking a sweat.
He’s looking at me, I’m looking at him, and the flutter in my chest returns.



I received an Advanced Reader Copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Katie McGarry know how to pull my heartstrings with her books! She always presents young characters at the crisp of becoming adults where all the choices are laid before them with the uncertainties that follow too. 

In "Say you'll remember me" Drix a reformed criminal, even if he never committed the crime, who just wants to get as many second chances as he can get through the governor's pet project. He knows that he must be at the best of his behavior and he is truly committed to being the perfect example.

And then he meets Elle, the governor's daughter who has to deal with being the perfect example of a Governor's daughter, even if it means that she has to drown in desperation, the limelight and also pressure herself in becoming something that she is not. The two of them will form a tentative friendship which evolves into romance.

I really enjoyed how good the writing was here. Katie manages to create two characters, socially different from one another and yet they couldn't be more similar. They both struggle to become something they are not and the parallel mystery behind Drix's jail-time also offered a good pacing to the plot.

The romance was bitter-sweet and at some times heart-breaking. But they do pull through both Elle and Drix and I truly enjoyed seeing their journey towards their own HEA.

Pre-order SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME, register and you will receive AND THEY ALL LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER, a novella that features your favorite Pushing the Limits and Thunder Road characters!

From the Pushing the Limits series, Noah, Beth, Isaiah, West and Logan are all grown up. Catch up with your favorite characters as one of them finally says, I do.

Pigpen, Eli and Addison from the Thunder Road series: Three separate personalities who still needed to find love…and still had someone important to meet.

This is a limited time offer! So hurry! Registration ends on February 3, 2018! You must register your pre-order to receive AND THEY ALL LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER.


About Katie McGarry:
Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan. Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON, BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine’s 2012 Reviewer’s Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Tumbler | Instagram


Katie McGarry’s SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME – Tour Schedule:

January 22nd
January 23rd
January 24th
January 25th
January 26th
January 27th
January 28th
January 29th
January 30th
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January 31st
February 1st
February 2nd
February 3rd

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Really Liked but Can’t Remember Anything/Much About

This meme is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.
This week’s topic is Top Ten Tuesday #135: Ten books which I have read but can't remember much about. This is a hard topic because I am one of the few people on my friends' circle who remembers everything! I also love re-reading so I don't forget easily. I have some books though which made me easily forget about them.

1: The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall: I'm pretty sure that the cover drew me to this one. Something about rich families and spies? I am not sure.

2: Forbidden by Kimberly Griffiths Little: I know that this book had to do with forbidden romance in ancient times, but I can't remember the 'when'. I should read it again though.

3: The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas: I had tried to read the book and then I DNF it. I tried again and then I forgot it; I didn't even finish the series.

4: Eyes like Stars by Lisa Mantchev: This little gem was one of the first books I had read on my early blogging days. It has an interesting story and funny characters, but I can't remember it. The covers are beautiful too!

5: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard: I am sorry fans of the series! I tried, I really tried to like this book! But I couldn't! I remember anything about it and despite the fanart and the covers, I don't feel the urge to read it.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

ARC Review: "A Scandal By Any Other Name" (A Tale of Two Sisters #2) by Kimberly Bell

A Scandal By Any Other Name by Kimberly Bell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

Jasper De Vere doesn't do sad. Ever since the death of his parents, he’s devoted himself to life’s many pleasures—while making sure to avoid attachments. It’s difficult to avoid your own grandfather though, especially when you’re the heir to his Dukedom. Unable to sit by and watch one of the few people he cares about wither away, Jasper flees to his friend Nicholas’s country estate.

Julia Bishop leads a life of glorious excitement—in her head. The spinal injury she was born with makes her a permanent pariah in society, so despite being the daughter of an earl, she's spent her life in the country with just her family to keep her company. When her brother-in-law’s flirtatious—and devilishly handsome—friend mistakes her for an untroubled debutante, Julia isn’t about to let an opportunity for some real, live adventure slip away.

Delicious distraction and flirtation turn into an all-out affair, and slips dangerously close to something more when family intrudes. Can Jasper and Julia return to their separate lives in isolation, or will they take a risk and choose each other?



I received an e-ARC from NetGalley & Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review. 

First of all, I'd like to thank Jen from Book Avid for the recommendation. They had posted many times about the importance of the book and about the heroinE, Julia.

The story takes place in the Victorian era, in the early days of the Queen's reign. Julia Bishop is the daughter of a wealthy family, she is beautiful, educated and has a loving family. But she is shunned by the 'good' society because of her 'issue'. You see, Julia was born with spina bifida, a birth defect where there is an incomplete closing of the backbone and membranes around the spinal cord (as dear old Google says).

To live like this at THAT time period had to be horrible and despite the liberty, the author takes, which she also mentions in the end of the book, it must have been horrible to have children and not being able to save them.

Then Julia meets with Jasper DeVere, soon to become a duke, and sparks fly between them. Despite the book being the second in the duology, it felt like a good stand-alone and I really enjoyed it. Also, Jasper deals with grief and the need to have someone who can understand him, so the couple dynamic worked very, very well. Also keeping in mind the social forms of the era, the author weaves a heated romance, which evolves in quite the love story.

I want to have more books like that. There is a presence in the YA world but in this genre, it would also become a strong breakthrough. Truly recommended!

About the author:

Author of The Countess Scandals w/BerkleyRomance.

The Importance of Being Scandalous EntangledSelect out July 2017.

Release Day Blitz+Giveaway: "Hidden Seams" by Alessandra Torre

Hidden Seams
By Alessandra Torre
Genre: Erotic Romance
Standalone, 336 pages


A billion-dollar fashion empire, and it’s about to be mine...
I've worked a decade for this. I've sold my soul and my reputation. I've lived a lie, smiled for the cameras, and hated myself, all for this inheritance. And then ... she pops up. A mysterious heir with a rap sheet, combat boots, and a mouth that I want to pin shut with my— It doesn’t matter. I’ve played this game for a decade. I can continue the charade a little longer, keep my hands to myself and her body out of my mind. I can keep my secret until the ink dries and everything is mine.Or not.



About Alessandra Torre

Alessandra Torre is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of fourteen novels. Her books focus on romance and suspense. Torre has been featured in such publications as Elle and Elle UK, as well as guest blogged for the Huffington Post and RT Book Reviews. She is also the Bedroom Blogger for Cosmopolitan.com.

Connect with Alessandra

Facebook Reader Group: http://bit.ly/2s4U9NI

Cover Reveal: "Recovered" by Jay Crownover


From New York Times bestselling author Jay Crownover comes RECOVERED, a standalone contemporary romance that will keep you turning the pages long into the night! 

Check out the amazing cover below, and order your copy today!


Cover Design by Hang Le

About RECOVERED (Coming 3/27/18):

It was hate at first sight... 


I hated Cable James McCaffrey. He was entitled, spoiled, a user…and an addict. He was out of control and didn’t bother trying to hide it. He had everything anyone could want but still seemed miserable and lost. Every move he made, every mistake he stumbled his way through, rubbed me the wrong way. However, I couldn’t stop myself from trying to save him from himself when no one else would. In the sweltering heat of the summer, Cable taught me that having it all means nothing if you can’t have the one thing you want more than anything else. 


I was obsessed with Affton Reed. She was rigid, uptight, and no fun. There was something about her innate goodness that called to me. She acted like she was above all the normal faults and failures that clung to the rest of us like the scent of smoke after a fire. I was infatuated with her, but that didn’t stop me from acting like she didn’t exist. In the scorching heat of summer, Affton taught me that there is always a way back from the brink of despair. She showed me that the trick to having it all was realizing that it was already there, in my hands. All I had to do was hold onto it. The road to recovery is full of twists and turns no matter who is in the driver’s seat.



Amazon LIVE Release on Amazon! Sign up here to be notified when RECOVERED is LIVE: jaycrownover.com/subscribe

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  About Jay Crownover: Jay Crownover is the international and multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men Series, The Saints of Denver Series, the Point Series, the Breaking Point Series, and the Getaway Series. Her books can be found translated in many different languages all around the world. She is a tattooed, crazy haired Colorado native who lives at the base of the Rockies with her awesome dogs. This is where she can frequently be found enjoying a cold beer and Taco Tuesdays. Jay is a self-declared music snob and outspoken book lover who is always looking for her next adventure, between the pages and on the road.    


Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Short Double ARC Reviews: "Onyx and Ivory" by Mindee Arnett & "The Final Six" by Alexandra Monir

Onyx and Ivory by Mindee Arnett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary from Goodreads

They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate Brighton inherited from her father after he tried to assassinate the high king years ago. Now Kate lives as an outcast, clinging to the fringes of society as a member of the Relay, the imperial courier service. Only those most skilled in riding and bow hunting ride for the Relay; and only the fastest survive, for when dark falls, the nightdrakes—deadly flightless dragons—come out to hunt. Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: she is a wilder, born with magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals. But it’s this magic that she needs to keep hidden, as being a wilder is forbidden, punishable by death or exile. And it’s this magic that leads her to a caravan massacred by nightdrakes in broad daylight—the only survivor her childhood friend, her first love, the boy she swore to forget, the boy who broke her heart.

The high king’s second son, Corwin Tormane, never asked to lead. Even as he waits for the uror—the once-in-a-generation ritual to decide which of the king’s children will succeed him—he knows it’s always been his brother who will assume the throne. And that’s fine by him. He’d rather spend his days away from the palace, away from the sight of his father, broken with sickness from the attempt on his life. But the peacekeeping tour Corwin is on has given him too much time to reflect upon the night he saved his father’s life—the night he condemned the would-be killer to death and lost the girl he loved. Which is why he takes it on himself to investigate rumors of unrest in one of the remote city-states, only for his caravan to be attacked—and for him to be saved by Kate.

With their paths once more entangled, Kate and Corwin have to put the past behind them. The threat of drakes who attack in the daylight is only the beginning of a darker menace stirring in the kingdom—one whose origins have dire implications for Kate’s father’s attack upon the king and will thrust them into the middle of a brewing civil war in the kingdom of Rime.



I received an e-ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 

A high stakes fantasy with magic, some kind of mutant bad dragons and forbidden romance! I enjoyed the book with its rich world-building and well-developed characters. And there are horses! So many horses in this book!

Kate and Corwin had a lot to go through in this book and while some tropes were too familiar to me I enjoyed the action and the details Mindee Arnett gave to her plot and society. As also the politics of this empire.

Not to mention that the cover is gorgeous and hints something mystic in the story.

About the author:

YA Author of THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR, a contemporary fantasy coming March 5, 2013 from Tor Teen (Macmillan) and AVALON, a YA sci-fi thriller coming Winter 2014 from Balzer+Bray (HarperCollins). Represented by the fabulous Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary. Addicted to jumping horses and telling tales of magic, the macabre, and outer space.

The Final Six by Alexandra Monir
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

When Leo, an Italian championship swimmer, and Naomi, a science genius from California, are two of the twenty-four teens drafted into the International Space Training Camp, their lives are forever altered. After erratic climate change has made Earth a dangerous place to live, the fate of the population rests on the shoulders of the final six who will be scouting a new planet. Intense training, global scrutiny, and cutthroat opponents are only a few of the hurdles the contestants must endure in this competition.

For Leo, the prospect of traveling to Europa—Jupiter’s moon—to help resettle humankind is just the sense of purpose he’s been yearning for since losing his entire family in the flooding of Rome. Naomi, after learning of a similar space mission that mysteriously failed, suspects the ISTC isn’t being up front with them about what’s at risk.

As the race to the final six advances, the tests get more challenging—even deadly. With pressure mounting, Naomi finds an unexpected friend in Leo, and the two grow closer with each mind-boggling experience they encounter. But it’s only when the finalists become fewer and their destinies grow nearer that the two can fathom the full weight of everything at stake: the world, the stars, and their lives.



I received an e-ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 

A strong, diverse and well-written sci-fi with characters I could relate with. There was a lot of romance which in some cases shadowed the plot.
One thing that this book made me scream about? The cliffhanger.
I really hope for a sequel!

About the author:

Iranian-American author and recording artist Alexandra Monir has published five novels for young adults, including her popular debut, Timeless. A Barnes & Noble bestseller and one of Amazon’s “Best Books of the Month,” Timeless and its sequel, Timekeeper, have been featured in numerous media outlets and been published in different countries around the world. She followed the duology with Suspicion and The Girl in the Picture, both standalone YA thrillers. Her upcoming science fiction novel, THE FINAL SIX (March 6, 2018) was acquired by HarperCollins and Sony Pictures on the same week, in two major pre-emptive deals. 

Alexandra is also a singer/songwriter who often integrates music into her books’ pages. She wrote and recorded three original songs to accompany Timeless and Timekeeper, which were released as the album The Timeless EP and distributed by Jimmy Buffett's record label, Mailboat Records. She also recorded a song that was released with the publication of Suspicion, and is composing a stage musical geared toward Broadway. Her musical roots are deep, as she is the granddaughter of the late Monir Vakili, the foremost Iranian opera singer.

Alexandra Monir is a frequent speaker at middle schools and high schools across the country and at major events including fan conventions, women’s leadership conferences, and book festivals. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and newborn son. To learn more about Alexandra, visit her online at www.alexandramonir.com.

Cover Reveal: "Fireball" (River Street Bar #1) by Nazarea Andrews

Today we are celebrating the cover reveal for FIREBALL by Nazarea Andrews. Fireball is an adult contemporary romance, standalone novel, and it kicks off the brand new River Street Bar series. It will be released on March 8!

Add FIREBALL to Goodreads


Nazarea is re-launching her READER GROUP.

You can get exclusive news, sneak peeks, and more!

FIREBALL by Nazarea Andrews

A Standalone Contemporary Romance

(River Street Bar series, #1)

Coming March 8


He’s infuriating…
Dempsey Jones has been a nuisance my entire life, the straight-laced Boy Scout grown up to be a firefighter, of all things. He was the one helping kittens out of trees and old ladies cross the road while I was lighting cherry bombs with my best friend in abandoned buildings, and now that we’re all grown up—even if my Dad doesn’t agree—he’s still just as annoying.

She’s impossible…
Taite Ridley has been a constant my whole life, the curly haired mischievous daughter of the police chief, charming and devious and alluring. She was wild in ways I never dared to be and too big for our little town. But she’s here, a small town cop, and I can’t avoid her, even if I wanted to.
And I don’t want to.
It’s like mixing fire and gasoline and when these two collide, someone is gonna get burned…



I grew up in River City.
It’s a good place for a kid to grow up—small town enough that I could wander without causing much worry, as long as no one counted my father.
He counted himself, but I stopped a while ago.
But it’s small enough that there’s not enough crime that I couldn’t wander, and big enough that it didn’t bore even me to tears. It was this intoxicatingly perfect mix of small town and big city, where everyone knew everyone and we didn’t have to drive an hour to go to a mall or museum.
And I never wanted to leave it. River City was home. I wandered away for college, and promptly came back, and I loved it—it’s where every good memory I had was, a place I cared about with a ferocity that only a native could. It knew my secrets and my history and it kept both safe.
But right this second, as I stood on Mrs. Rudolph’s front yard in the sideways rain—she was perched on her covered porch with a cup of coffee clasped in her wrinkled hands—I was questioning literally every decision I’d ever made in my life.
“Ma’am, we checked your crawlspace last week.”
“That Harper checked it,” Mrs Rudolph says, dismissive as fuck and I hear a muffled snort behind me. My smile feels brittle as she smiles brightly at me. “But I know you’ll do a good job. You don’t mind, do you, Taite?”
And that’s why.
I love River City with all my heart, but I swear to god, becoming a cop in a city that watched me grow up was probably the worst idea I’d ever had.
And I’d had a long and illustrious career of bad ideas, as Daddy was very helpful to point out.
A choked noise came from behind me and I fixed my plastic smile a little bit wider before saying, “Gimme just one second, Mrs Rudolph, Officer Delgado and I need to talk.”
She nods agreeably and takes a sip of her damnable coffee and I turn to pin my partner with a glare.
Miguel doesn’t even have the good grace to try to hide his smile.
“Don’t look at me like that,” he says, smile wide and cheerful.
“It’s your turn to go crawling under houses.”
“How do you figure that?” he asks, attempting to school his expression.
“I went up the tree for the Foster girls’ kitten last week!”
“Didn’t Dempsey—”
I snarl and he very wisely shuts his mouth. His eyes are still a little too bright, though, and I kinda want to punch him. I do not stomp my foot. “You promised not to bring him up,” I snap.
“I know,” he gives me apologetic eyes. “I slipped, sorry.”
I glance back at the house, at Mrs Rudolph waiting anxiously.
“I have to go, don’t I?” I say, resigned.
Miguel nudges me with one shoulder. “If you don’t, we’ll be here next week. She’s not gonna believe any of us until you tell her there’s nothing down there.”
This. This is the problem. I grew up here, the only daughter of the police chief, a fucking widower and somehow became the town mascot. Even when I want to be taken serious, it’s like all anyone sees is the knobby kneed, ratty haired fourteen year old running the streets with Miguel and getting into trouble.
I huff a curse and shrug out of my waterproofed jacket. The rain immediately starts biting into my uniform and I resign myself to spending the rest of my shift wet and muddy.
Maybe Miguel would let us swing by my apartment to change before we headed back to the station.
“I hate this,” I mutter and he nods.
But he doesn’t quite hide his grin as I drop to my knees and crawl under Mrs Rudolph’s damn house.
“I went to school for this. The fucking Academy. So I could crawl around in the mud looking for—fuck. Miguel, what the fuck am I even looking for?” I shout, my voice muffled.



Join Nazarea's READER GROUP.

You can get exclusive news, sneak peeks, giveaways, and more!



Nazarea Andrews (N to almost everyone) is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. Which means she writes everything from zombies and dystopia to contemporary love stories. When not writing, she can most often be found driving her kids to practice and burning dinner while she reads, or binge watching TV shows on Netflix. N loves chocolate, wine, and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. N is a self-professed geek and enjoys spending her spare time lost in her favorite fandoms and can often be found babbling about them on social media. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, spoiled cat and overgrown dog. She is the author of World Without End series, Neverland Found, Edge of the Falls, and The University of Branton Series. Stop by her twitter (@NazareaAndrews) and tell her what fantastic book she should read next.


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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: My 2018 Bookish Resolutions! (Which are not Ten)

This meme is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.
This week’s topic is Top Ten Tuesday #134: 2018 Bookish Resolutions! 

For this week's topic, the title is: my resolutions as a blogger for 2018! I don't have that many resolutions as a blogger since I'm quite broke after the holidays but I hope to achieve the below:

1) Get the upcoming book "A Thousand Perfect Notes" by C.G. Drews: No one knows how much I've been expecting this book! It has music, tragedy and romance!

2) Finish my Sarah J. Maas collection! 2018 will be the year where we'll say goodbye for now to the "Throne of Glass" series! I'm also expecting for ACOFAS and the upcoming Catwoman novel!

3) Try to save in order to buy an ACOFAS themed book box and maybe a book sleeve! So far I have some great recommendations about The Bookish Box and the Etsy shop My Bookszleeves.

4) Get the sequel of "Zero Repeat Forever" by G.S. Prendergast! This book left me with aching emotions and a sense for the tragic. Not to mention the romance!

5) Listen to more audiobooks: On 2017 I had managed to listen to almost every book by Ilona Andrews as an audiobook! I plan to listen to many more, or re-read some titles as audiobooks!

6) WRITE! Due to the studies of my Master program, I had to leave writing behind this year. But, I plan to get into the edits of my SF/F and maybe continue the Urban Fantasy that I've been planning.

Monday, January 15, 2018

ARC Review: "American Panda" by Gloria Chao

American Panda by Gloria Chao
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

An incisive, laugh-out-loud contemporary debut about a Taiwanese-American teen whose parents want her to be a doctor and marry a Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer despite her germophobia and crush on a Japanese classmate.

At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.

With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth—that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.

But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?

From debut author Gloria Chao comes a hilarious, heartfelt tale of how unlike the panda, life isn’t always so black and white.



I received an e-ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 

This delightful debut novel by Gloria Chao was devoured during bus rides, eating dinner and laughing out loud in between! I kid you not! It had been a while since I had seen a character like Mei with who I could relate so much in some of my everyday habits and I could root so hard for!


(takes a deep breath)

I order to understand the background of this book, you have to approach it with an open mind and try to understand the psychology and the culture behind it. Mei is a 17 years old girl who has skipped her last year of high school in order to attend MIT, become a doctor and fulfil her parents' dreams of gaining a good husband and having lots of Chinese *cough boys* children.

Too bad that she has germophobia, she feels insecure about her behavior and on top of that, she has to go through the misguided attitude of others who don't understand her culture and origins. Which is downright a prejudice against her and all of American-Chinese people.
Also, Mei has a crush on Darren, who is American-Japanese.
Yeah her parents won't have a coronary.

In the end, Mei's attempt to get used to her new uni and try to make her parents proud will lead her to question her need for obedience to her parents' wishes and her place in society.

There are lots of amazing, funny and very informative scenes in this book. I did relate to Mei in many occasions from the horrible sound of the bone saw (which reminds me of the dentist) to the glorious after-midnight spoonfuls of Nutella. I liked how Mei evolved and tried to find her own place stabilising between her love for being Chinese and the overbearing duties and heritage that come with it.

Her parents, to be honest, were horrible to me but towards the end of the book, I could understand the reasons behind the behavior and their own burdens forced on them from both their community and the opinion of the outsiders.

The most amazing part was the final note by Gloria Chao who says that many incidents of this book were inspired by true stories. I dread to see how many Ying-Na episodes are noted every day!
I do want more books like this one! It is a time when many authors can show their cultural heritage and be proud of it, instead of feeling outcasted or persecuted.

I can't wait for more books by Gloria Chao!

About the author:

Gloria Chao is an MIT grad turned dentist turned writer. AMERICAN PANDA is her debut novel, coming out February 6, 2018 from Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster. 

Gloria currently lives in Chicago with her ever-supportive husband, for whom she became a nine-hole golfer (sometimes seven). She is always up for cooperative board games, Dance Dance Revolution, or soup dumplings. She was also once a black belt in kung-fu and a competitive dancer, but that side of her was drilled and suctioned out. 

Visit her tea-and-book-filled world at gloriachao.wordpress.com and find her on Twitter @gloriacchao.