Review: Body Talk: 37 Voices Explore Our Radical Anatomy

Body Talk: 37 Voices Explore Our Radical Anatomy

I don’t talk about this a lot because I carry a lot of shame with it but I have a very negative relationship with my body. I battle PTSD daily, which lead to an eating disorder, anorexia, body dysmorphia, and AFRID. I wish I had a book like this years ago as I feel it would have made a huge difference. I am grateful it is out now because I hope it helps others. I talk about my battles so much more because admitting means I don’t give it full control over me. Plus, talking about it means I put my story out for others and I have found I am not alone with my issues.

That being said, I loved this book more than I can put into proper words. While my issues are huge to me, people are going through so much more than what I am carrying. So many people, stories, and backgrounds are represented and it is nothing short of spectacular. I am going to push this in front of every reader I come into contact with. This book needs to be in the hands of everyone STAT.

Waiting on Wednesday: Dear Justyce

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

Dear Justyce by Nic Stone

Dear Justyce (Dear Martin, #2)

From Goodreads:

In the stunning and hard-hitting sequel to the New York Times bestseller Dear Martin, incarcerated teen Quan writes letters to Justyce about his experiences in the American prison system.

Shortly after teenager Quan enters a not guilty plea for the shooting death of a police officer, he is placed in a holding cell to await trial. Through a series of flashbacks and letters to Justyce, the protagonist of Dear Martin, Quan’s story unravels.

From a troubled childhood and bad timing to a coerced confession and prejudiced police work, Nic Stone’s newest novel takes an unflinching look at the flawed practices and ideologies that discriminate against African American boys and minorities in the American justice system.

Is this on your TBR? Let me know!

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Waiting on Wednesday: Lightbringer

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

Lightbringer by Claire Legrand

Lightbringer (Empirium, #3)

From Goodreads:

The incredible conclusion to the trilogy that started with the instant New York Times bestsellers Furyborn and Kingsbane!

In this epic finale to the Empirium Trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Claire Legrand, two queens, separated by a thousand years must face their ultimate destinies.

Queen Rielle, pushed away from everything she loves, turns to Corien and his promises of glory. Meanwhile, whispers from the empirium slowly drive her mad, urging her to open the Gate. Separated from Audric and Ludivine, she embraces the role of Blood Queen and her place by Corien’s side, determined to become the monster the world believes her to be.

In the future, Eliana arrives in the Empire’s capital as a broken shell of herself. Betrayed and abandoned, she fights to keep her power at bay―and away from Corien, who will stop at nothing to travel back in time to Rielle, even if that means destroying her daughter.

But when the mysterious Prophet reveals themselves at last, everything changes, giving Rielle and Eliana a second chance for salvation―or the destruction their world has been dreading.

Is this on your TBR? Let me know!

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Book Tour Spotlight: Skunk and Badger

I am delighted to spotlight the upcoming release, Skunk and Badger. This is an adorable and delightful read! I highly recommend that all readers grab a copy when it publishes September 15, 2020.

Wallace and Gromit meets Winnie-the-Pooh in a fresh take on a classic odd-couple friendship, from Newbery Honor author Amy Timberlake with full-color and black-and-white illustrations throughout by Caldecott Medalist Jon Klassen.
 
No one wants a skunk.
 
They are unwelcome on front stoops. They should not linger in Important Rock Rooms. Skunks should never, ever be allowed to move in. But Skunk is Badger’s new roommate, and there is nothing Badger can do about it.
 
When Skunk plows into Badger’s life, everything Badger knows is upended. Tails are flipped. The wrong animal is sprayed. And why-oh-why are there so many chickens?
 
Nooooooooooooooooooooo!”
 
Newbery Honor author Amy Timberlake spins the first tale in a series about two opposites who need to be friends.
 
New York Times bestselling author/illustrator and Caldecott Medalist Jon Klassen completes the book with his signature lushly textured art. This beautifully bound edition contains both full-color plates and numerous black-and-white illustrations.
 
Skunk and Badger is a book you’ll want to read, reread, and read out loud . . . again and again.

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Amy Timberlake’s work has received a Newbery Honor, an Edgar Award, a Golden Kite Award, and the China Times Best Book Award. She grew up in Hudson, Wisconsin, but now calls Chicago home. She is a proud alumna of Mount Holyoke College, where she majored in history, and holds an MA in English/Creative Writing from the University of Illinois. You can find her walking on Chicago’s Lakefront Trail on cool, crisp fall days. 

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Jon Klassen is a Canadian-born author/illustrator. He has written and illustrated three picture books of his own (I Want My Hat Back, This Is Not My Hat and We Found A Hat) and illustrated many other author’s texts, including Sam & Dave Dig A Hole by Mac Barnett, The Dark by Lemony Snicket, and Pax by Sara Pennypacker. His books have won a Caldecott medal and two Caldecott honors and other international awards. He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife and son.

Waiting on Wednesday: Kingdom of the Wicked

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

Kingdom of the Wicked (Kingdom of the Wicked, #1)

From Goodreads:

From the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Stalking Jack the Ripper series comes a new blockbuster series…

Two sisters.

One brutal murder.

A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself…

And an intoxicating romance.

Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Vittoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to find her sister’s killer and to seek vengeance at any cost-even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.

Then Emilia meets Wrath, one of the Wicked-princes of Hell she has been warned against in tales since she was a child. Wrath claims to be on Emilia’s side, tasked by his master with solving the series of women’s murders on the island. But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is as it seems…

Is this on your TBR? Let me know!

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SOURCES SAY Release Day Blitz & Giveaway



I am so excited that SOURCES SAY by Lori Goldstein is available now and that I get to share the news!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Lori Goldstein, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for an awesome prize pack courtesy of Lori & Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, check out the giveaway info below.

About The Book:
Title: SOURCES SAY
Author: Lori Goldstein
Pub. Date: September 8, 2020
Publisher: Razorbill
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 300


Two exes. One election. All the drama.

For fans of Becky Albertalli and Morgan Matson comes a funny, hearfelt novel about fueding exes running for class president and the scandal that makes the previously boring school election the newest trending hashtag.

At Acedia High School outside of Boston, student council has always been nothing more than a popularity contest. Nobody pays attention. Nobody cares.

But all that changes when the Frankengirls show up. During the very first week of school, someone plasters the halls with Photoshopped images of three “perfect tens”–images of scantily clad girls made from real photos of girls at school. The student body is livid. And the two presidential candidates, Angeline Quinn and Leo Torres, jump on the opportunity to propose their solutions and secure votes. After their messy break up, Leo and Angie are fighting tooth and nail to win this thing and their constituents are mesmerized as they duke it out.

As if things couldn’t be more dramatic, the school’s two newspapers get involved. The Red & Blue is run by Angie’s sister Cat and she prides herself on only reporting the facts. But her morals are tested when The Shrieking Violet–written by an anonymous source and based less on facts and more on fiction–blatantly endorses Leo. Rumors fly, secrets are leaked, and the previously mundane student election becomes anything but boring.

Excerpt:
Chapter 4
When Angeline’s Every Day Becomes Epic
29 DAYS TO THE ELECTION

Angeline stared at the little blue dot at the top of her inbox. A new message. She hadn’t changed the settings on her computer, but she swore the sender’s name was bigger than usual.
She sat up straighter in the nubby tweed chair—the last thing she’d let her sister pick out—behind the desk they shared in their bedroom.

All those hours in front of her laptop studying every YouTube channel from GamerGirlz to Car Builderz DIY to Bette’s Books to Bet On. Every grasshopper-topped sushi roll she ate, every chocolate laxative cleanse, every questionable and disgusting concoction she’d lathered on her body, all came down to this.

Her hand hovered over the mouse, but she couldn’t bring her- self to click. Instead, she kicked off the pointy-toed loafers she’d worn to school that day, wincing as the air hit the raw pink welt on the back of her ankle. She’d said they were comfortable.

They weren’t.

But the endorsement had paid for her new laptop so . . . trade-offs.

She pressed her toes into the white carpet she’d freshly steamed before the school year began and fixed her eyes on her computer screen.

“Ask an Angel” leapt from the subject line, the YouTube chan- nel Angeline had grown into a brand over the past two years. In- fluencer? Please. She was so much more. Part advice giver, part counselor, part confessor, she served her viewers by listening to and answering their daily dilemmas—even if that meant boots- on-the-ground research.

Okay, so truth?

She’d never admit it to Cat, but that elephant dung had nearly made her pass out.

Her sister thought it was easy. But had she ever tried to squeeze herself into the trifecta of compression underwear?

High-waisted capri britches . . .

Tummy cincher . . .

Hip slimmer . . .

After eating two pints of caramel gelato.

Angeline had come this close to dialing 911. But her lack of circulation had surely prevented others from asphyxiation. Turn blue, and the followers would come. She hadn’t read that in any influencer guide. But it had worked.

As had a modest display of cleavage and pink lipstick. Pink, not red. She’d lost ninety followers before she’d realized that mistake.

Now she had more questions than she could answer, and her ad revenue crushed whatever she’d make working round the clock as a barista. But she was determined to take it to the next level.

Evelyn’s Epic Everyday: Make Every Day an Epic Day.

The pinnacle of lifestyle YouTubers, promoting positivity, following one’s dreams, and making each day an extraordinary one. An extraordinarily profitable one. Evelyn had raked in half a million dollars from her YouTube channel alone last year—a pit- tance compared to what she’d snagged from endorsements and book deals. Her second book, Girl, Talk like Everyone’s Listening, hit the bestseller list, joining her first, Girl, Match Your Bra and Underwear and Other Life Secrets, which had never dropped off.

And here she was: Evelyn’s Epic Everyday in Angeline’s inbox. Angeline took a deep breath and clicked.

Her heart stopped.

And jump-started.

“Bring! It!” she screamed, and Tartan, Gramps’s orange-and- white cat, sprang from her lap.
She’d gotten the invite. The, all caps, underlined, circled, high- lighted, invite. When Evelyn’s Epic Everyday had given her video on “5 Ways to Know He’s Interested” a thumbs-up over the summer, Angeline had known what it meant.

Evelyn was watching her. Her.

Ask an Angel.
Which meant she had a shot. At this.

And she got it.

————————-

Hey girl!

Evelyn’s Epic Everyday has her epic eye on you!

As you may have heard (wink, wink), she’s putting together her very first YouTube up-and-comers boot camp. only!***

Those she thinks are ready to break out big will make her annual “Top 10 to Get Behind or Be Left Behind” list. And you know what that means! But still, I’m gonna tell youuu! Because it’s that freaking fantastic: every single previous lister has gone on to be a Star of the Super sort.
Think: a million subscribers, two, three . . . five?

Not yet, but you could be Evelyn’s first!

So welcome, Ask an Angel, to your every day being an epic one. But remember: keep it hush-hush! We’ll be doing a big reveal in the lead-up.

See you in December!

Don’t forget to send in that deposit! (Nonrefundable!)

Kiss kiss!

————

Angeline vaulted out of her chair and pumped her fists in the air.

“Evelyn’s!”

“Epic!”

“Everyday!”

She spun around and snatched her phone off the bed. She had her messages open to her last text with Leo before she remembered.

They were broken up.

He had broken up with her.

Because of all this.

The one person she wanted to share this with was the one person she couldn’t.

Is this what they call irony?


About Lori:


Lori Goldstein earned her BA in journalism but eventually found her true writing passion in the world of fictional people. She’s never met a beach she didn’t love, a book she wouldn’t read, or a strange food she wouldn’t try. She is the author of SOURCES SAY, which Kirkus calls “Entertaining, thought-provoking, and heartwarming”; SCREEN QUEENS, which Kirkus calls “a fun and uplifting story that celebrates female friendship and empowerment”; and the VOYA-starred young adult contemporary fantasy series BECOMING JINN.

Find her on Twitter @loriagoldstein and Instagram @lorigoldsteinbooks.
Also follow on Facebook, Goodreads, and BookBub.


Giveaway Details:
1 lucky winner will win a signed book pack of Becoming Jinn, Circle of Jinn, Screen Queens, US. Only.



Review: Tiger, Not Daughters

Tigers, Not Daughters

I was very excited for the opportunity to read this new novel by Mabry but I was disappointed with what I read. I struggled to connect to the character(s) and the story. I often found myself drifting in thought because I was not engaged in what was going on. That could be because this was a “magical realism” story and I do not enjoy those.

I did not like how each chapter was told from a different sister’s POV because they both sounded the same. It sounded like the same voice telling the entire story but I had to keep reminding myself that wasn’t the case. They both felt flat, shallow, and one dimensional.

This was a long story with nothing going on. With a story that already had lack luster characters, magical realism (something about a ghost?), and a whole lot of nothing, this became boring very quickly. It was just bland characters giving a play by play of their daily lives. I needed so much more than what I read.

ARC Review: They Went Left

They Went Left

It has taken me a bit to find the right words to describe this book. Hesse is nothing short of masterful when it comes to writing gripping, heart breaking, raw, powerful, and soul shattering historical fiction novels. This book did all of that and so much more.

One thing I found utterly fascinating about this story was how unreliable Zofia was as a narrator. Even after being liberated, she had a very hard time remembering things correctly, such as her town before everything took place. Like many, she was traumatized during her time in concentration camps so it was understandable how shaky her memories would be. All of this made me connect to the story that much more. I simply had to know what happened and if Zofia was able to locate her brother, whom she was separated from in the beginning. My heart went out to her constantly. She had such a long journey ahead of her and I wanted nothing more than to give her a hug and help her.

This story made me uncomfortable, as it should, simply because these events took place in real life. I adore how Hesse has not been afraid to write stories about true events to bring them to light. Events like these need to be told and people need to know. Their stories should not be forgotten. The war simply did not end when the people were liberated from the concentration camps, those people were scared for life. They had to find a way to live their life again the best way they knew how, even after all of the horrific trauma they endured.

Do I recommend this book? You bet your sweet tush I do. I recommend all of Hesse’s books and will forever do so. She is an auto-buy author for me and I will continue to be one of her biggest fans & faithful reader. Please read this one if you have not already, but make sure to have some kleenex handy.