Cherry by Lindsey Rosin


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

| Add to Goodreads |


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”

Review: Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder


Title: Poison Study (Study #1)
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Release date: October 1st, 2005

| Add to Goodreads |


Choose: A quick death…Or slow poison…

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear…

This book was. So. Much. Fun. The perfect start for a fantasy series. It’s fast-paced, with great characters, and with an interesting world that the author brings to life little by little throughout the novel. I can see it becoming one of those comfort books I turn to when others have disappointed me.

Continue reading “Review: Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder”

ARC Review: The Universe of Us by Lang Leav

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

Title: The Universe of Us
Author: Lang Leav
Genre: Poetry, Romance
Release date: October 4th, 2016

| Add to Goodreads |


Lang Leav presents a completely new collection of poetry with a celestial theme in The Universe of Us.

Planets, stars, and constellations feature prominently in this beautiful, original poetry collection from Lang Leav.  Inspired by the wonders of the universe, the best-selling poetess writes about love and loss, hope and hurt, being lost and found.  Lang’s poetry encompasses the breadth of emotions we all experience and evokes universal feelings with her skillfully crafted words.

Continue reading “ARC Review: The Universe of Us by Lang Leav”

Mini Review: Alien Love Story by A.K. Dawson (DNF)


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

Title: Alien Love Story
Author: A.K. Dawson
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
Release date: June 21st, 2016

| Add to Goodreads |


Love at first sighting.

Life is a headache for 15-year-old Dan. This isn’t some kind of metaphor. Dan suffers from migraines that make just about everything he does unbearable. Added to that he’s lost almost everyone he cares about. So he feels lonelier than the last puppy in a pet shop.  But one day he sees a mysterious girl digging in the rubbish bins behind his house. Just by being near her, he finds that all his pain goes away. So he wants to see her again, of course. And get to know her. But she’s a bit strange. And her big eyes make her look, well, like an alien.  Does she really exist? Or is she just a figment of an overactive, under-loved imagination?

Close encounters of the romantic kind.

From Northern England to outer space, and from Dan’s bedroom to the sandwich shop over the road, ALIEN LOVE STORY is about a close encounter of the romantic variety. But there’s more to it than that.  This book is about discovering parts of yourself you never knew existed. It’s about coping with grief and somehow moving on. And it’s about how Dan breaks into a mad scientist’s lab to perform a daring rescue – but that bit comes much later.

For now it’s enough to know there will be excitement, adventure and kissing. Lots of kissing. We did say it was a love story, didn’t we? So fasten your safety belt, put on some background music and enjoy the book.

Sadly, I couldn’t finish this book and left it at 32%. Up until that point it was easy to read, silly and filled with humor, a quirky read. My issues with this novel came from all the tropes that were thrown at me instantly and the characters themselves. Maybe at another point in my life I would have read it, but right now there are some of the tropes I avoid at all costs.  Continue reading “Mini Review: Alien Love Story by A.K. Dawson (DNF)”

ARC Review: We Awaken by Calista Lynne


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

Title: We Awaken
Author: Calista Lynne
Genre: LGBTQIA+, Romance, Fantasy
Release date: July 14th, 2016

| Add to Goodreads |


Victoria Dinham doesn’t have much left to look forward to. Since her father died in a car accident, she lives only to fulfill her dream of being accepted into the Manhattan Dance Conservatory. But soon she finds another reason to look forward to dreams when she encounters an otherworldly girl named Ashlinn, who bears a message from Victoria’s comatose brother. Ashlinn is tasked with conjuring pleasant dreams for humans, and through the course of their nightly meetings in Victoria’s mind, the two become close. Ashlinn also helps Victoria understand asexuality and realize that she, too, is asexual.

But then Victoria needs Ashlinn’s aid outside the realm of dreams, and Ashlinn assumes human form to help Victoria make it to her dance audition. They take the opportunity to explore New York City, their feelings for each other, and the nature of their shared asexuality. But like any dream, it’s too good to last. Ashlinn must shrug off her human guise and resume her duties creating pleasant nighttime visions—or all of humanity will pay the price.

What got me into reading We Awaken was the prospect of LGBTQIA+ representation and for that it delivered. The topic of asexuality was handled well and for people who are not aware of its existence or have questions about it, it’s a great start. Sadly, the rest of the book felt like a sketch that was never fully developed. There were some great ideas, but I found myself constantly wishing for more depth for each of them.

Continue reading “ARC Review: We Awaken by Calista Lynne”

Review: Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters


Title: Tipping the Velvet
Author: Sarah Waters
Genre: Historical Fiction, LGBTQIA+, Romance
Release date: May 1st, 2000

| Add to Goodreads |


Nan King, an oyster girl, is captivated by the music hall phenomenon Kitty Butler, a male impersonator extraordinaire treading the boards in Canterbury. Through a friend at the box office, Nan manages to visit all her shows and finally meet her heroine. Soon after, she becomes Kitty’s dresser and the two head for the bright lights of Leicester Square where they begin a glittering career as music-hall stars in an all-singing and dancing double act. At the same time, behind closed doors, they admit their attraction to each other and their affair begins.

This book is the story of a woman trying to find herself and a place to belong, with many victories and defeats along the way. I loved that it’s one of those novels you can’t stop reading because the writing envelopes you, the plot is always moving, and the setting feels like a character itself. My only complaint and the reason I gave it four stars and not five is that the formula used throughout the book was predictable. It followed a cycle of discovery – prosperity – failure that you come to expect and that took away some of its magic. But overall, it’s an excellent read with many great themes and unexpected characters.

Continue reading “Review: Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters”

Genre Exploration: Romance and its subgenres

Today is the second installment of my Genre Exploration series, where I discuss genres I don’t normally pick up, define them, talk about their classics and new releases, recommend books and authors, and much more.

This time I’ll be talking about Romance, which is probably the genre I avoid the most. It’s not that I hate it, but I’m usually disappointed at how the relationships are portrayed or I’m not really in the mood for it. I want to read more of it because I think that I’m missing some nice stories, so I’ll start really small by defining it and talking about some of its sub-genres. Let’s go!

Continue reading “Genre Exploration: Romance and its subgenres”