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Sunday, May 24, 2020

The Extraordinaries by T.J. Klune ARC Book Review

The Extraordinaries (The Extraordinaries, #1)

Disclaimer : I received an Arc in exchange of an honest review


This book was a let down for me in certain ways, I loved other books by T.J. Klune, in the adult side of his writing. And couldn't wait to see how he wrote young adult, unfortunately I did not love it as much as I enjoyed his other work. The writing style was there and while the story was funny, it did not have the 'je ne sais quoi' that I have come to love from his other works.
This is not to say that there weren't some amazing characters, because the father in the story in my opinion was the real star of the show and totally stole the spotlight from our main character. The father-son relationship was delightful to read.
The novel was funny and quirky, I also loved the way fanfiction was incorporated into the story.
It had great LGBT+ and ADHD representation which was nice to see/read, what really let me down is how Nick and some of the characters often acted in way that made me question their age, it was too childish at moments in my opinion.
Overall this was a good book that dealt with some heavy dark deep stuff while also having a good portion of light and funny stuff which created a nice read.
I recommend this especially for the younger YA and middle YA readers mostly, for the older readers be prepared for some issues in the book that can be cringy.
This was in between a 3 and a 4 stars but more on the lower side.
so 3.4-5/5 stars
Bookarina

A Royal Kiss And Tell by Julia London ARC Book Review


Welcome to this book review,
I received an ARC in exchange of an honest review.

This was nice, I really enjoyed it overall, nothing wow-ed me but I liked the overall feeling it left me with after reading it. It felt good, while the main character is hard to like or connect to as she's so self centered and such, the romance held itself pretty well.
I did however skip a couple pages, and it did not impact my read of this book, it was hard to get into but a quick-ish sort of read in the end since there wasn't any complex backstory or events happening around the romance.
Our two main characters suit each other pretty well.
Nothing I would re-read but a nice start of the summer-end of spring kind of read.
A thing to note it that when they were not in a drama, social setting the characters lost or character ? what I mean I mean is it felt like they were wandering in a prairie looking for direction, or like lost lambs in their own stories.
Overall a 2.5/5 stars
Bookarina

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Out Now : Queer we go again ! by Saundra Mitchell ARC Review

Out Now: Queer We Go Again!

Welcome to this book review,
I received a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.

This book is a multifaceted book, as an anthology not every story is my favourite but there are some gems in there that are definitely worth reading.
I really enjoyed the supernatural aspect of it and the wholesomeness of the stories. Some make you laugh, others tear you apart but it is needed, I definitely wish this had been around when I was in highschool.
While this anthology is not as strong or hard hitting as the first one, some of these stories are worth reading again, again and again. Yes, some will feel a little more on the "okay but not WOW".
One thing that I hope will be changed for the final copy is the line about the "symptoms of demisexuality" which is a term only used for that identity which is part of my own identity as a bi-demisexual person.
I feel that it may lead to some teens feeling like a sickness or that it's just a 'symptom' and not a real identity as other identities or make them feel alienated which is not the point of this anthology.

Apart from that a story that I would skip altogether from reading is the one called " Player One Fight" as someone who had a stalker, this is exactly what this story is.  A romanticized version of a queer stalker story about how he's in love and the other guy just doesn't realize he's his boyfriend yet. Overall gave me flashbacks about a really awful experience where a guy told me I was the "woman of his life" and how I "did not understand we were meant to be together".

Overall good anthology if not for those two stories that left a bad taste in my mouth.
3.5/5 stars.
Bookarina

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Out Now by Saundra Mitchell Book Excerpt

Out Now: Queer We Go Again!

I hope you enjoy this blog tour I am taking part of and as someone whom has read it there are some great stories in here !

Just a trigger warning for the story "Player One Fight" for stalker behaviour.

I totally recommend you check this out; be prepared to feel all the feels and laugh out loud !
It will be COMING OUT May 26th so keep an eye out for this one !
(416 pages if anyone's curious)


KICK. PUSH. COAST. By Candice Montgomery
Excerpted from OUT NOW: Queer We Go Again! Edited by Saundra Mitchell, used with permission by
Inkyard Press, © 2020 by Inkyard Press.

Every day, same time, same place, she appears and doesn’t say a word.

Well, she doesn’t just appear. She takes a bus. You know she takes a bus because you see her get off the
bus right in front of 56th Street, just in front of the park where you skate.

You know she takes a bus and gets off right in front of the park at 56th Street because you are always at
the park, waiting to catch a glance of her.

She—her appearance—is a constant. Unlike your sexuality, all bendy like the way your bones got after
yesterday’s failed backside carve.

Bisexualpansexualdemisexualpanromanticenby all bleeding bleeding-bleeding…into one another.

That drum of an organ inside your chest tells you to just be patient. But now, here you are and there she
is and you can’t help yourself.

She’s beautiful.

And so far out of your league.

You’re not even sure what she does here every day, but you probably shouldn’t continue to watch her
while trying to nail a Caballerial for the first time. Losing focus there is the kind of thing that lends itself
to unforgiving injuries, like that time you broke your leg in six places on the half-pipe or the time you bit
clean through your bottom lip trying to take down a 360 Pop Shove It.

You’re still tasting blood to this very day. So’s your skate-board. That one got split clean in half.

She looks up at you from underneath light brown lashes that seem too long to be real. She reminds you
of a Heelflip. You don’t know her well but you imagine that, at first, she’s a pretty complicated girl,
before you get good enough to really know her. You assume this just given the way her hair hangs down
her back in a thick, beachy plait, the way yours never could.

Not since you chopped it all off.

That’s not a look for a lady, your mom says repeatedly. But you’ve never been very femme and a few
extra inches of hair plus that pink dress Mom bought you won’t change that.

You hate that dress. That dress makes you look like fondant. Someone nails a Laserflip right near where
you’re standing and almost wipes out.

Stop staring. You could just go introduce yourself to her.

But what would you say?

Hi, I’m Dustyn and I really want to kiss you but I’m so confused about who I am and how am I supposed
to introduce myself to you if I can’t even get my label right, oh, and also, you make me forget my own
name.

And in a perfect world, she would make eyes at you. She’d make those eyes at you and melt your entire
fucking world in the way only girls ever can.

Hi, Dustyn, I’m in love with you. Eyelashes. All batting eye-lashes.

No. No, the conversation probably wouldn’t go that way. Be nice if it did though. Be nice if anything at
all could go your way when it comes to romance.

You push into a 360 ollie while riding fakie and biff it so bad, you wish you possessed whatever brain
cells are the ones that tell you when to quit.

If that conversation did go your way, on a realistic scale, she’d watch you right back. You would nail that
Caballerial.

Take a break. Breathe. Breathe breathe breathe. Try some-thing else for a sec.

Varial Heelflip. Wipe out.

Inward Heelflip. Gnarly spill.

Backside 180 Heelflip. Game, set, match—you’re finished. That third fail happens right in front of her
and you play it off cool. Get up. Don’t even give a second thought to your battle wounds. You’re at the
skate park on 56th Street because there’s more to get into. Which means, you’re not the only idiot
limping with a little drug called determination giving
you momentum.

Falling is the point. Failing is the point. Getting better and changing your game as a skater is the point.
Change.

But what if things were on your side? What if you’d stuck with that first label? What if Bisexual felt like a
good fit and never changed?

Well, then you’d probably be landing all these 180s.

If bisexual just fit, you’d probably have been able to hold on to your spot in that Walk-In Closet. But it
doesn’t fit. It doesn’t fit which kind of sucks because at Thanksgiving din-ner two years ago, your cousin
Damita just had to open her big mouth and tell the family you “mess with girls.” Just had to tell the
family, a forkful of homemade mac and cheese headed into said mouth, that you are “half a gay.”

That went over well. Grams wouldn’t let you sit on her plastic-lined couches for the rest of the night.
Your great-uncle Damian told her gay is contagious. She took it to heart.

No offense, baby. Can’t have all that on my good couches. You glance up and across the park, memories
knocking

things through your head like a good stiff wind, and you find her taking a seat.

Oh.

Oh, she never does this. She never gets comfortable. She’s changing things up. You’re not the only one.

Maybe she plans to stay a while.

You love that she’s changing things up. You think it feels like a sign. It’s like she’s riding Goofy-Foot
today. Riding with her right foot as dominant.

The first time you changed things up that way, you ended up behind the bleachers, teeth checking with
a trans boy named Aaron. It felt so right that you needed to give it a name.

Google called it pansexual. That one stuck. You didn’t bother to explain that one to the family, though.
They were just starting to learn bisexual didn’t mean you were gay for only half the year.

You pop your board and give the Caballerial another go.

It does not want you. You don’t stick this one either.

If pansexual had stuck, you’d introduce yourself to the beautiful girl with a smaller apology on your
tongue. Hi, I’m Dustyn, I’ve only changed my label the one time, just slightly, but I’m still me and I’d
really love to take you out.

And the beautiful girl would glance at your scraped elbows and the bruised-up skin showing through the
knee holes in your ripped black skinny jeans. She’d see you and say, Hi, small, slight changes are my
favorite. And then she’d lace her bubble-gum-nail-polished hand with yours.

But you changed your label after that, too. It was fine for a while. Your best friend, Hollis, talked you
through the symp-toms of demisexuality.

No wonder holding the beautiful girl’s hand seems so much more heart-palpitating than anything else. A
handhold. So simple. Just like an ollie.

You take a fast running start, throwing your board down, and end up on a vert skate, all empty bowl-
shaped pools that are so smooth, your wheels only make a small whisper against them.

A whisper is what you got that first time you realized sex was not for you. Not with just anyone. This
was…mmm, probably your biggest revelation.

It was like you’d been feeding your body Big Macs three times a day and suddenly—a vegetable!

Tic-tacking is when you use your entire body to turn the board from one side to the other. It’s a game of
lower body strength, but also a game of knowing your weight and know-ing your board. You are not a
tic-tac kind of girl.

You are not a girl at all. You are just…you.

That.

That one’s sticking forever. You know it all the way through to your gut.

You make one more attempt, which probably isn’t super wise because you are so close to the spot
where she’s sitting that not only will she see you bite the dust, but she’ll hear that nasty grunt you make
when you meet the ground.

You coast by.

The friction vibrates up through your bearings and you know you’re going too fast because you start to
feel a little bit of a speed-wobble, that lovely, untimely, oscillatory behavior that means bro, you are
about to lose control.

And you hate that word. Control. You hate that word be-cause it is so very rare that you have any. Over
your life, your sexuality, your gender, your pronouns, your heartbeat when you’re around your beautiful
girl.

But then you do.

You gain control. And you nail that Caballerial.

And the three guys who’ve been watching you make an ass of yourself all afternoon pop their boards
up, hold them over their heads and let out wolf shouts.

And you’re smiling so hard. You get like that when you nail a particularly difficult one. You’re smiling so
hard you don’t notice the someone standing behind you.

Beautiful girl. You don’t even want to control your smile here.

“You did it,” she says.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The Betrothed by Kiera Cass

The Betrothed (The Betrothed, #1)


Well, this was disappointing...
I was SO excited about it, the Selection was a guilty pleasure of mine, characters with  a lot of chemistry but not a whole lot of stuff happening plot wise.
The Betrothed was no plot, everything political happened behind closed doors so we had no idea what was happening, the characters had no chemistry or dimension. Our main character was just this annoying "perfect and beautiful" character and that was it, she was childish and I hadn't realized that it was possible to present a character as perfect and for them to be so one dimensional.
Anyhow, don't waste your time on this, I certainly wish I could bleach my brain from this atrocity and if this had been the first book I had read from this author I would've DNF'd it and never picked up anything else by this author. I had thought that she would grow as an author from her other books, this was not growth it felt like a bad re-make of her past book missing everything we loved from what made her stories take off.

In the end a flagrant,
1/5 stars
Bookarina

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Are You In ? by P.W. Steele Book Review

Are You In? by P.W. Steele

Welcome to this book review,
Disclaimer : I received a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.

This is a book that intrigued me, the description was super interesting and I wanted to see how it would play out. The novel started out great, the writing was nice and the pacing at first was great, it all went down hill at the halfway point of the book. It was a quick read for sure, but the book skipped a lot of scenes that I believe would have been interesting to go straight to sex. Which did not make sense as Luke (one of our main character and one of the gym co-owners) said in the beginning of the book that he wanted someone to appreciate and see him for more that his physique and appearance. Furthermore, our other main character hates his physical appearance and that was a huge thing from the get go and then boom sex ? There is also this intrigue with his old ex which is somehow not addressed between the two of them and the fact that he is now somehow dating Luke.
It happened like so : training-sex-car-end...
Which I don't really get, it felt like the first 50% of the book was written by someone different and the rest rushed to wrap things up, I was really disappointed by that fact as I really loved the first part. While this is a first book in a series, it felt more like a novella.
I wanted to know why Scott, another co=owner and Luke's ex, was "baggage" and see our two main characters grow as a couple and learn more about each other, not be like "omg I don't know why I am trusting you and confessing so much when we have known each other for a week and interacted 3 times before and once wa sex out of the blue in the gym sauna", with how they were presented with trust issues, it just did not make any sense.
Great premise, okay first book that could have been amazing if not for the time skips and the underdeveloped characters. Another sad loss was Emily she as the best friend of our main character who is supportive and semed great.
Another thing to know is that it has mostly a one POV  style book appart from a couple (3 or 4) of Luke's POV's which made for a very confusing read as they did not have a completely distinctive inner voice that we could discern from, and we also got random information and certainly not enough for what happened in the novel in my opinion.
Overall, great concept but meh delivery.
This author has a lot of potential, I just hope that in the future there are less insta love and more developpement to support her storytelling.
2.5/5 stars
Bookarina

Monday, May 11, 2020

Boys of Alabama by Genevieve Hudson ARC Review

Boys of Alabama


Welcome to this Book/ARC review,
I want to start of by saying that my opinions are my own and not affected by the free advanced reader copy that I received of this book.
Also sorry for my absence, these are difficult time and for my mental health I had to stay away from anything that is or could be social media related.
Now without further do here are my thoughts.
It is not often that I have little to nothing to say about a book I have read.
It was a unique writing style that did need a few pages to get used to, I enjoyed the characters, they weren't the WOW I will remember you all my life type of characters and it was a nice coming of age story but it did not resonate with me as other books have in the past.
I feel that I mainly felt that way because the author seemed to want to integrate too many themes that need a lot of building and time in a book such as a cult-like part of the story, southern culture and homophobia. 
This book fell in a weird place where these things weren't badly presented but rather did not have the proper time to expand to their full potential and the fact that they were all there, without mentioning the heartbreaks, love and such in the story, made for a rushed ending and a book that is just okay.
Not a favourite, but neither a worst.
My most hated types of books honestly, or one of, it just won't stick with me and I probably will never think about it or remember any details about it in a week.
Overall okay.
2.75/5 stars
-Bookarina