SLAY by Brittney Morris // Review

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By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student, a math tutor, and one of the only Black kids at Jefferson Academy. But at home, she joins hundreds of thousands of Black gamers who duel worldwide as Nubian personas in the secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY. No one knows Kiera is the game developer, not her friends, her family, not even her boyfriend, Malcolm, who believes video games are partially responsible for the “downfall of the Black man.”
But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, news of the game reaches mainstream media, and SLAY is labeled a racist, exclusionist, violent hub for thugs and criminals. Even worse, an anonymous troll infiltrates the game, threatening to sue Kiera for “anti-white discrimination.”
Driven to save the only world in which she can be herself, Kiera must preserve her secret identity and harness what it means to be unapologetically Black in a world intimidated by Blackness. But can she protect her game without losing herself in the process?

Thank you to Hachette Childrens for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I want to start off by saying, as a white person, this book wasn’t written for me so in writing this review, I hope to bring attention to an amazing novel for black readers. I can only imagine how amazing this book would be for young, black gamers – especially girl gamers. Continue reading “SLAY by Brittney Morris // Review”

Review // Other Words for Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin

Review // Other Words for Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin

The house at the end of the lane burned down, and Rita Frost and her teenage ward, Bevan, were never seen again. The townspeople never learned what happened.
Only Mae and her brother Rossa know the truth; they spent two summers with Rita and Bevan, two of the strangest summers of their lives…

Because nothing in that house was as it seemed: a cat who was more than a cat, and a dark power called Sweet James that lurked behind the wallpaper, enthralling Bevan with whispers of neon magic and escape. And in the summer heat, Mae became equally as enthralled with Bevan. Desperately in the grips of first love, she’d give the other girl anything.
A dangerous offer when all that Sweet James desired was a taste of new flesh…

Huge thank you to Titan Books for sending me an early review copy.

So I’m currently trying to work out how to write this entire review without gushing or spoiling everything… here we go!

I’ve been so excited to read Other Words for Smoke; I loved Sarah’s first novel, Spare and Found Parts, and since hearing her speak about OWFS at an event last year and reading a sampler, I’ve been hooked. Obviously I went into this book with high expectations but Sarah’s gorgeous writing surpassed them all.
Continue reading “Review // Other Words for Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin”

ARC Review // The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

ARC Review // The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Fire ascends from the earth, light descends from the sky
Too much of one doth inflame the other,
and in this is the extinction of the universe.

A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

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I received a proof copy of The Priory of the Orange Tree from Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review.

Continue reading “ARC Review // The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon”

Heartstopper: Volume One by Alice Oseman // Mini Review

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‘Charlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker, and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player, meet at a British all-boys grammar school. Friendship blooms quickly, but could there be something more…?’

I ordered it. I received it. I read it in (approximately twenty minutes.) I squealed. I almost had happy tears. I loved. What an experience. Continue reading “Heartstopper: Volume One by Alice Oseman // Mini Review”

The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey // Spoiler-Free Review

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In the Blue, the world’s last city, all is not well.

Julia is stuck within its walls. She serves the nobility from a distance until she meets Lucas, a boy who believes in fairytales that Julia’s world can’t accommodate. The Blue is her prison, not her castle, and she’d escape into the trees if she didn’t know that contamination and death awaited humanity outside.

But not everyone in the Blue is human, and not everyone can be contained.

Beyond the city’s boundaries, in the wild forests of the Red, Cameron has precious little humanity left to lose. As he searches for a lost queen, he finds an enemy rising that he thought long dead. An enemy that the humans have forgotten how to fight.

One way or another, the walls of the Blue are coming down. The only question is what side you’ll be on when they do.

Continue reading “The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey // Spoiler-Free Review”