Ms. Marvel, vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona

Title: Ms. Marvel, volume 1: No Normal
Author: G. Willow Wilson
Artist: Adrian Alphona
Genre: Comic Book, Young Adult
Release date: October 30th, 2014

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Description:

Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City — until she’s suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she’s comin’ for you, Jersey!


Ms. Marvel was a solid origin story for Kamala Khan, the first Muslim character to headline their own comic book. Accompanied by lively art and strong characters, Ms. Marvel sets a strong beginning for a fresh new young adult hero who will surely become a role model for many.

Kamala Khan, Ms. Marvel

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Life is a Dream by Pedro Calderón de la Barca

Title: Life is a Dream (La vida es sueño)
Author: Pedro Calderón de la Barca
Genre: Classics, Play, Drama
Release date: Edition from 2015, originally published in 1636

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Description:

Acclaimed for his superb dramatic instincts and philosophical seriousness as well as his extraordinary imagination, Calderón exercised his best qualities in this allegorical play, an exploration of the mysteries of human destiny, the illusory nature of earthly existence, and the struggle between predestination and free will. The story revolves around the moral dilemmas of a Polish prince, unjustly imprisoned by his suspicious father. Against a background of revolution, Calderón builds a dramatic edifice of outstanding theatricality, rich in symbolism and metaphor, expressed in magnificent poetry.

This excellent new English translation is absolutely complete, and as close and direct as possible. Ample footnotes and an informative introductory Publisher’s Note enhance the value of its modest price.


The writing of Calderón de la Barca flows gracefully along the pages of this play and makes it easy to navigate its complex themes. However, I am sure I did not grasp all the ideas and musings that he intended to portray, as it would take a more careful eye (or ear) and probably a better understanding of early modern Spanish, but it was more managable to read than I would have imagined.

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A Flicker in the Clarity by Amy McNamara

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Title: A Flicker in the Clarity
Author: Amy McNamara
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release date: June 12th, 2018

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Description:

For as long as Evie can remember, she and Emma have been best friends. They’ve gone through everything together—only Evie understood what it was like for Emma to lose her older brother in a car accident. And though they couldn’t be more different—Emma is the life of the party while Evie is shy—the dynamic has always worked for them.

But then Evie makes a careless mistake that ends up having serious consequences for Emma. They’ve had their squabbles before, but this is different. When Evie tries to apologize, Emma ignores her texts, gets a new best friend, and completely freezes her out. Evie didn’t mean to betray Emma in the way that she did, and she’s desperate to get back in Emma’s good graces. Who is Evie without Emma?

Then Evie meets Theo, a kindred spirit unlike any boy she’s ever encountered. With him, she can at least pretend like her life is normal. But just as she’s about to let go and fully fall into whatever is happening with him, Emma resurfaces, miraculously letting Evie back in—though it’s not without consequence. Erratic behavior, drunken incidents, and panicked late-night calls are only some of the hoops Emma makes Evie jump through. All Evie has wanted is to get her best friend back—but Emma seems hell-bent on self-destruction. Evie is used to swooping in to pull Emma out of her troubles, but how do you help someone who doesn’t want to be saved?


A Flicker in the Clarity aims towards representing reality with all its imperfections: unresolved issues, toxic relationships, unexpected events, and the pain of heartbreak. For this, the novel gets its stars. However, I wish the novel had gone deeper. I was left wanting to know a lot more than what I got.

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Cherry by Lindsey Rosin

– SPOILER FREE REVIEW –

Title: Cherry
Author: Lindsey Rosin
Genre: YA, Romance
Release date: August 16th, 2016

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Description:

In this honest, frank, and funny debut novel, four best friends make a pact during their senior year of high school to lose their virginities—and end up finding friendship, love, and self-discovery along the way.

To be honest, the sex pact wasn’t always part of the plan.

Layla started it. She announced it super casually to the rest of the girls between bites of frozen yogurt, as if it was just simply another addition to her massive, ever-evolving To Do List. She is determined to have sex for the first time before the end of high school. Initially, the rest of the crew is scandalized, but, once they all admit to wanting to lose their v-cards too, they embark on a quest to do the deed together… separately.

Layla’s got it in the bag. Her serious boyfriend, Logan, has been asking for months. Alex has already done it. Or so she says. Emma doesn’t know what the fuss is all about, but sure, she’ll give it a shot. And Zoe, well, Zoe can’t even say the o word without bursting into giggles.

Will everything go according to plan? Probably not. But at least the girls have each other every hilarious, heart-warming, cringe-inducing step of the way.


When I was a teenager, I never encountered a YA book that dealt with sex as openly as Cherry does. In fact, some of the ones I read might have included very subtle sexual references, but never actually gave a true look into what cis girls around those ages might be thinking, experiencing, or even feeling about this topic. Cherry does this without fears and with other important themes as backdrop, like graduation and what it means for high school friendships, relationships, moving on, forgiving, and, most importantly, finding themselves. Continue reading “Cherry by Lindsey Rosin”

Burning September by Melissa Simonson

– SPOILER FREE REVIEW –

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this ARC from the author for an honest review.

Title: Burning September
Author: Melissa Simonson
Genre: New Adult
Release date: September 8th, 2016

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Description:

Kat’s life is going exactly the way her sister has planned it, until a detective shows up at their front door early one morning and arrests Caroline for murder.
Suddenly and utterly alone, Kat doesn’t know how to navigate a world without Caroline, the woman who raised her. During the aftermath of the crime, Kat tries to figure out who she is without her sister, but unlocking those doors only leads to more troubling questions.
Kat realizes the one person she thought would never lie to her had, and quite frequently. Sorting through the skeletons and lies might be more than she can handle, but it’s a necessary evil if she ever wants to see her sister acquitted.


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Uninspired stories, uninspired blogging

I haven’t been posting much this year. Not only has life been hectic, but reading-wise, it has been a disappointment. Book after book, I found uninspired stories and characters. Most have been such a letdown that it made me stay away from blogging altogether. Nothing has truly made me want to write a review.

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Halloween Reads

Once again, the awesome Lauren from Wonderless Reviews is hosting a Halloween Readathon during the whole month of October. The best thing about it? There are no rules! She has set some challenges and you decide on which to try your hand at. I’ll attempt just a few because I know I won’t be able to complete them all this year, especially since I’m already running late.

If you are looking for some inspiration for your own Halloween reads, you might want to check these out:

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1 year of blogging

It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since I decided to open up this little website on a small corner of the Internet universe. A lot has changed and the blog has evolved in unexpected ways. There’s much I’m grateful for and I wanted to dedicate this post to thank you all and tell you the things I’ve learned by being part of this community!

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Review: The Kingdom of Oceana by Mitchell Charles

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Title: The Kingdom of Oceana
Author: Mitchell Charles
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Release date: November 27th, 2015

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Description:

SURFER SHARK TAMER FIRE WALKER EXPLORER TEENAGER HERO Five Centuries Ago, On the Island Now Called Hawaii, There was a Kingdom Filled with Adventure, Beauty, and Magic. When 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa trespass on a forbidden burial ground and uncover an ancient tiki mask, they unleash a thousand-year-old curse that threatens to destroy their tropical paradise. As warring factions collide for control of Oceana, it sparks an age-old conflict between rival sorcerers that threatens to erupt-just like Mauna Kea, the towering volcano. With the help of his ancestral spirit animals, his shape shifting sidekick, and a beautiful princess, Prince Ailani must overcome his own insecurities, a lifetime of sibling rivalry, and a plague of cursed sea creatures brought forth by the tiki’s spell. Can peace be restored to the kingdom? Can Prince Ailani claim his rightful place as the future king of Oceana? ONLY ONE CAN RULE.


The Kingdom of Oceana is an adventure teeming with Hawaiian culture about two brothers’ rivalry and the fight between good and evil. It stands as a light, entertaining read reminiscent of Percy Jackson, though some aspects left me wanting for more depth.

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When authors approach you

Something that keeps surprising me as a blogger is when authors contact me and offer me their books for review. Me, a little spot on the community, receive and review your work? Truly amazing… and also nerve-wracking.

How do I say no?
Do I write a nice review to show I’m grateful?
Am I being rude if I rate it poorly?

As a small and fairly new blogger, I thought nobody would care to send me a copy of their book. To my surprise, I’ve received a fair amount of requests and, in the process, I’ve learned a thing or two about what to do when authors approach us. I am not an expert by any means, but if you are starting out as a book blogger, this might help you out a little.

I’ll tell you how I respond to review requests and what I do when I don’t like the books. Hopefully, you won’t be as lost as I was.
Continue reading “When authors approach you”