Saturday, 24 July 2021

Book Mail: Any Where the Wind Blows (Simon Snow #3) by Rainbow Rowell


In honour of the release of Any Where the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell, the third and final book in the Simon Snow series, Macmillan sent a very lovely parcel! You can watch my unboxing below.

This book called me ugly ##AnyWayTheWindBlows ##AWTWB ##booktok ##foryou ##simonsnow ##samreading ##unboxing

It feels emotional to say goodbye to such endearing characters that have stolen my heart since book 1. Watching as Simon and Baz work through their relationship and personal struggles to be the best version of themselves for each other breaks my heart even more. I've included some of my favourite SnowBaz quotes in the video below.

I love these two cinnamon rolls ##booktok ##foryou ##samreading ##awtwb ##anywaythewindblows ##snowbaz

If you haven't read this series, I would recommend it to anyone out there that wants a little bit of magic in their life. It features a bunch of cinnamon roll characters (aka sweet and endearing and very adorable). It will make you smile and laugh throughout the whole story. In the first book, the characters are at a Hogwarts-style school for mages, the second features a pretty badass road trip across the US, and the last book ties the story together as the characters figure out their "adult" lives. The writing is so fun, the dialogue consistently witty, and features endless mysteries for the gang to solve. The love story also gives that 'enemies to lovers' feel that is irresistible.

Links to grab a copy of this stunning book are below!

Goodreads 

Amazon UK  

Amazon 

The Book Depository 

Waterstones

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

Review: These Hollow Vows (These Hollow Vows #1) by Lexi Ryan

 These Hollow Vows (These Hollow Vows #1) by Lexi Ryan

Release Date: July 20, 2021

Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository | Waterstones

Brie hates the Fae and refuses to have anything to do with them, even if that means starving on the street. But when her sister is sold to the sadistic king of the Unseelie court to pay a debt, she'll do whatever it takes to get her back—including making a deal with the king himself to steal three magical relics from the Seelie court.

Gaining unfettered access to the Seelie court is easier said than done. Brie's only choice is to pose as a potential bride for Prince Ronan, and she soon finds herself falling for him. Unwilling to let her heart distract her, she accepts help from a band of Unseelie misfits with their own secret agenda. As Brie spends time with their mysterious leader, Finn, she struggles to resist his seductive charm.

Caught between two dangerous courts, Brie must decide who to trust with her loyalty. And with her heart.

These Hollow Vows is a YA fantasy that has been recommended for fans of The Cruel Prince and A Court of Thorns and Roses. If you haven't read either of these books then I would recommend this as an "easy to dive into" YA fantasy with a love triangle consisting of two irresistible love interests, as well as an inevitable betrayal. The fae world is divided into the Seelie and Unseelie courts who have been long at war. We follow Brie as she infiltrates the Seelie court in order to find three relics for the Unseelie King who has her sister. While she is there she must play the part of a human who is there to win the hand of the Prince of the Seelie court, (The Selection by Kiera Cass kind of style) Sebastian, who she just might be falling for. However, she also begins to fall for Finn, the leader of the rebels attempting to overthrow the Unseelie King and could possibly be the answer to getting her sister back.

The writing style is very easy to follow in this book. If you are someone that doesn't get on well with heavy worldbuilding in fantasy books and prefers to get stuck straight into the plot, then this book is perfect for you. At certain points, I did find myself wanting for the author to expand on the world further to make this world feel more fleshed out. We spend a lot of time in the Seelie court but at the same time, I feel like I came away still not knowing that much about it or the rules, customs, etc.

The love triangle in this book was written in a way that was enjoyable and kept the reader guessing about who may be the one to win the main character's heart. It is an especially hard decision when you fall for both of the love interests in the book and can't decide who you're are rooting for! Up until the very end, you are kept guessing who Brie might pick. The betrayal trope also plays a big part in the romance so any fans of big twists such as those in Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard I think you will enjoy what this book has in store!

Brie was not my favourite main protagonist. I found myself frustrated with her inner thoughts and her choices. I also could not believe how much she got away with sneaking around the castle and its grounds. Even when she was with the rebels for a few days under the guise of visiting a seaside town, Sebastian did not even ask her about this "trip" once when she got back. I thought this was a little too easy of a way out for Brie to not have to deal with the possibility of being exposed. Every moment thereafter I was then not worried that she would get caught because everyone was so gullible and never questioned her. I would have like less predictability from this aspect of the plot.

If you enjoy romance as the main driver in your fantasy stories then I think this would be a good pick for you! It doesn't have the heavy worldbuilding that can feel very dense, it jumps straight into the plot, and there is only a sprinkle of political intrigue. Overall, These Hollow Vows is an addictive read that you will not be able to put down. The romance will keep you guessing at every turn and you are waiting on the edge of your seat for all secrets to unravel. I am looking forward to seeing where the author takes this story in the sequel!

Rating

4 Falling Books

Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton for providing a review copy

Monday, 12 July 2021

Review: The Passing Playbook by Isaac Fitzsimons

The Passing Playbook by Isaac Fitzsimons

Release Date: June 3, 2021

Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository | Waterstones

Fifteen-year-old Spencer Harris is a proud nerd, an awesome big brother and a Messi-in-training. He's also transgender. After transitioning at his old school leads to a year of bullying, Spencer gets a fresh start at Oakley, the most liberal private school in Ohio.

At Oakley, Spencer seems to have it all: more accepting classmates, a decent shot at a starting position on the boy's soccer team, great new friends, and maybe even something more than friendship with one of his teammates. The problem is, no one at Oakley knows Spencer is trans - he's passing.

So when a discriminatory law forces Spencer's coach to bench him after he discovers the 'F' on Spencer's birth certificate, Spencer has to make a choice: cheer his team on from the sidelines or publicly fight for his right to play, even if it means coming out to everyone - including the guy he's falling for.

The Passing Playbook is a young adult sports romance with a trans protagonist. It brings up important conversations around trans rights and how even though things are changing in our society we still have a long way to go. It also highlights the importance of allyship in supporting this change.

The romance between Spencer and Justice was super sweet and I loved how it unfolded throughout the book. It was especially interesting to see how they both navigated Justice's very religious family with their discriminatory and harmful views of the queer community. This makes you root for them even more!

I read this book while watching the Euros 2020 and I loved the football element in this story. Even if football isn't your thing, the writing style and plot is so easy to follow that you find yourself getting into the sports scenes more than you think! The dialogue flowed nicely and was endlessly entertaining. One of my favourite parts about this book was how it challenges laws that discriminate against trans people and how simple things such as gender neutral toilets being available should not be a luxury, it should be a necessity. 

There is great representation in this book featuring non-binary, autistic, bisexual, and gay characters.  Spencer's family are also very supportive of his transition and identity, which was so heart-warming to read about. I read Between Perfect and Real by Ray Stoeve recently which featured the opposite side to this, which is having a family who don't want to accept who you are. So it was really great to read about a different kind of experience. The author definitely takes a positive outlook on being your true authentic self and I think that worked perfectly for what the book was trying to achieve. 

The Passing Playbook was overall an unexpected delight that gave me warm and fuzzy feelings and left me full of hope for these characters and the changes they are striving to make in the world; no matter how small. This is an unmissable YA contemporary this summer with a first love romance, important topics, and delightful characters.

Rating

4.5 Falling Books

Thank you to Penguin and Bookstagrammers.com for providing a review copy

Friday, 9 July 2021

Review: Carry On (Simon Snow #1) by Rainbow Rowell

Carry On (Simon Snow #1) by Rainbow Rowell

Release Date: October 6, 2015

Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository | Waterstones

Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who's ever been chosen.

That's what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he's probably right.

Half the time, Simon can't even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor's avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there's a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon's face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here — it's their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon's infuriating nemesis didn't even bother to show up.

This was fun! Major Harry Potter fanfic vibes but the story and characters grew on me by 150 pages in. Especially once I got used to the parallels with HP. This book switches between character POVs, which worked really well for the romance aspect of the story between Simon and Baz. Their enemies-to-lovers romance was so enjoyable and the banter between them never failed to make me smile. I can see why SnowBaz has such a big following because they are adorable and must be protected at all costs.

I also loved the friendship between Simon and Penelope. Their constant support and love for each and the way they are absolutely on the same wavelength made chapters with these 2 a lot of fun.

Simon gives off major HP vibes in terms of his character because he is an orphan, found by the headmaster of the magic school, and takes him under his wing, he doesn't have anywhere to spend holidays, etc. Over the course of the book these parallels became less jarring especially when you start to warm to Simon's character. I liked how bits and pieces started to come together toward the end for the big reveal. However, I wasn't surprised by the plot twist all that much but I still enjoyed how the events at the end unfolded.

The plot of this book was slow at the start, or I couldn't really see where it was going. But in short, there is a murder mystery in which our main characters set out to solve as well as keeping an eye out for the bad guy of the story the Insidious Humdrum who is a widespread threat to the magic world. 

I can't wait to see where the story goes in the sequel Wayword Son and I look forward to seeing the cast of characters again! 

Rating

3.5 Falling Books

Friday, 18 June 2021

Review: Six Crimson Cranes (Six Crimson Cranes #1) by Elizabeth Lim

 Six Crimson Cranes (Six Crimson Cranes #1) by Elizabeth Lim

Release Date: July 8, 2021

Goodreads Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book DepositoryWaterstones

(UK Edition | US Edition)

Shiori, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control. At first, her mistake seems like a stroke of luck, forestalling the wedding she never wanted, but it also catches the attention of Raikama, her stepmother.

Raikama has dark magic of her own, and she banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes, and warning Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die.

Peniless, voiceless, and alone, Shiori searches for her brothers, and, on her journey, uncovers a conspiracy to overtake the throne—a conspiracy more twisted and deceitful, more cunning and complex, than even Raikama's betrayal. Only Shiori can set the kingdom to rights, but to do so she must place her trust in the very boy she fought so hard not to marry. And she must embrace the magic she's been taught all her life to contain—no matter what it costs her.

Six Crimson Cranes is a magical story from start to finish. The execution was perfect from the moment we meet Shiori to the very last page. Lim has built a world that feels like a true fairytale and the East Asian mythology that's weaved into this story is nothing short of breathtaking. 

Princess Shiori of Kiata has magic in a kingdom where magic is forbidden. One day she makes the mistake of snooping on her stepmother Raikama, who has many secrets of her own, including the fact that she has magic of her own. Raikama curses and banishes Shiori as well as turning her brothers into cranes. Shiori embarks on a quest to undo the curse, get back to her kingdom, and get to the bottom of Raikama's motives. The hurdles that Shiori faces along the way makes this story absolutely unputdownable. 

Some YA fantasy books suffer from lag in the middle of the story with not much happening until the very end, however, you do not have to dread that here! It was packed with action and twists all the way through. You can expect dragons and an epic quest! It also has some of my favourite tropes including an arranged marriage. There is also a ridiculously sweet romance that had no business stealing my heart so unexpectedly! The love interest is incorporated into the story in such a flawless way that it felt organic and I loved watching the romance blossom. I wish all romance storylines could be executed this well.

One of my favourite characters from the book was Shiori's enchanted paper bird Kiki, who is her cheerleader throughout. This paper bird was so funny and a scene-stealer at times. The family dynamics between Shiori and her brothers was also everything that I could want! I loved getting to know each brother and following how the siblings become closer over the course of the story.

Another aspect of the book I loved was how amazingly it describes food. This is a recurring theme throughout the book and it made me so hungry. It really added to the immersive feel of the book and I was lost in the taste of Asian food through the pages. 

Six Crimson Cranes is now one of my favorite YA fantasies of all time. If you want a YA fantasy story that is a fairytale retelling but feels so unique and unlike anything you've ever read before then you NEED this book. I also have no doubt that the sequel will be another wild adventure because of where this book leaves off. I will also not shut up about this book until all my bookish friends have read it!

Rating

5 Falling Books

Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton for providing a digital Netgalley ARC

Thursday, 10 June 2021

Review: Between Perfect and Real by Ray Stoeve

 Between Perfect and Real by Ray Stoeve

Release Date: June 10, 2021

Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository | Waterstones

Between Perfect and Real is a poignant story following a young trans boy as he navigates his identity, friendships, family, and future. 

The book has great representation in terms of BIPOC characters and explores the theme of "chosen families" through the trans support group in which Dean attends. I loved that this gave Dean an outlet where he could truly let go and be himself. The contrast in Dean's character between when he is in this environment compared to when he is at his rehearsals is clear. This highlighted the importance of having people around you and a support system that allows you to be the truest version of yourself. Dean's emotional state completely changes when he's around people that understand and accept him. I loved his friendship with Ronnie and how supportive they are of each other. However, Dean's relationship with his parents was more difficult to read about especially as his mum continues to be in denial about Dean's identity and being trans. The scenes with Dean's parents felt so raw and I wanted to give him a hug.

Reading about Dean's personal experience coming out as trans and the emotional journey that he goes on throughout the book felt so eye-opening. As a cisgender person, this story was perfect for helping me understand the trans experience. The story felt real and realistic and dealt with different aspects of being trans. For example, Dean grapples with which pronouns to use, whether he wants to go on to hormone therapy, and deciding how and when he wants to come out to the people in his life. Ultimately, the story highlights that there is no clear-cut way to deciding how your "coming-out" journey may look, but it's important to make decisions that feel right and fit you. This book may be especially valuable for younger readers to explore LGBTQ+ voices.

Between Perfect and Real is a fresh queer read. At times raw and very real, but remaining an enjoyable read throughout. Please check trigger warnings for this book before reading including themes of transphobia, transphobic violence, bullying, harassment, misgendering, and body dysmorphia amongst others.

Rating

3 Falling Books

Thank you to Abrams & Chronicle for providing a copy for review!

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Review: The Bridge Kingdom (The Bridge Kingdom #1) by Danielle L. Jensen

The Bridge Kingdom (The Bridge Kingdom #1) by Danielle L. Jensen
Release Date:
August 13, 2019
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository

Lara has only one thought for her husband on their wedding day: I will bring your kingdom to its knees. A princess trained from childhood to be a lethal spy, Lara knows that the Bridge Kingdom represents both legendary evil - and legendary promise. The only route through a storm-ravaged world, the Bridge Kingdom controls all trade and travel between lands, allowing its ruler to enrich himself and deprive his enemies, including Lara's homeland. So when she is sent as a bride under the guise of fulfilling a treaty of peace, Lara is prepared to do whatever it takes to fracture the defenses of the impenetrable Bridge Kingdom.

But as she infiltrates her new home - a lush paradise surrounded by tempest seas - and comes to know her new husband, Aren, Lara begins to question where the true evil resides. Around her, she sees a kingdom fighting for survival, and in Aren, a man fiercely protective of his people. As her mission drives her to deeper understanding of the fight to possess the bridge, Lara finds the simmering attraction between her and Aren impossible to ignore. Her goal nearly within reach, Lara will have to decide her own fate: Will she be the destroyer of a king or the savior of her people?

The Bridge Kingdom is a BookTok favourite and one that I went into with high expectations. After finishing this book I can officially say I really enjoyed this! It is a solid fantasy with a great plot and the writing style makes this story an easy one to slip into. The world and the politics in this story are really interesting, the (very) slow-burn romance had me at hello, and the last 20% of the book is such a rollercoaster of emotions you'll be forced to pick up the sequel straight away.

This book started off so awesome. Our main character Lara is described as a badass and ruthless assassin and from there I'm hooked. The opening scene? Immense. My interest levels peaked to 5000. However, slowly as the chapters unfold where Lara has been described as this cutthroat, trained since birth, deadly assassin, nothing that she actually does reflects this entirely. This was frustrating to read because it felt that the character was being described in one way but didn't really live up to that through her actions. Over the course of the book, I suppose she proves herself in little ways and I hope this is shown more in the sequel because I was coming to really enjoy her character by the end. 

This book is a solid 4 for me as I felt hooked all the way through and I loved the world and learning more about Ithicana. The romance was really enjoyable. It is a slow burner! This is an important heads up as I went into this book thinking it was going to be spicy from 20% in and it was not.  The book is told from both POVs with a heavier emphasis on Lara. I would have liked more moments between them told from Aren's POV just so we could see the finer moments of them falling for each other. Aren and Lara have great chemistry and I'm hoping for more intimate moments between them in The Traitor Queen (book 2).

Their relationship has been described as an enemies to lovers, which I suppose on the surface it is. However, it's not really knife-to-throat or "I will kill you" ETL, it's more like "Oh hey there, guess we're getting married as part of this treaty and our two nations don't really get along, but here we are. Wanna be friends?" I did however enjoy the dynamic of having our main character as a spy in the enemy's territory and her slowly finding out why they may not be the enemy she once thought they were. But enemies? To lovers? More like suspicious woman becomes the king's wife and is actually a spy and deep down he knows she's only there to get information from him about his kingdom but he wants to give her the benefit of the doubt and they both end up falling for each other anyway. Not sure what trope this is... but essentially if you like the idea of the betrayal trope then go for this. It will hurt you!

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys fantasy with a betrayal trope. Perhaps for fans of The Kiss of Deception by Mary E Pearson who want a little more spice. I've seen this book compared to From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L Armentrout, but personally, I don't think this spice is on the same level if that is what you're looking for this might not be the one for you. I do think it will heat up over the course of the series and I can't wait to read book 2!

Rating

4 Falling Books

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Book Release Day and Review: Where the Rhythm Takes You by Sarah Dass

Happy Book Birthday to this wonderful YA contemporary!

Where the Rhythm Takes You by Sarah Dass
Release Date: May 11, 2021
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository


Seventeen-year-old Reyna has spent most of her life at her family’s gorgeous seaside resort in Tobago, the Plumeria. But what once seemed like paradise is starting to feel more like purgatory. It’s been two years since Reyna’s mother passed away, two years since Aiden – her childhood best friend, first kiss, first love, first everything – left the island to pursue his music dreams. Reyna’s friends are all planning their futures and heading abroad. Even Daddy seems to want to move on, leaving her to try to keep the Plumeria running.

And that's when Aiden comes roaring back into her life – as a VIP guest at the resort.

Aiden is now one-third of DJ Bacchanal – the latest, hottest music group on the scene. While Reyna has stayed exactly where he left her, Aiden has returned to Tobago with his Grammy-nominated band and two gorgeous LA socialites. And he may (or may not be) dating one of them…

Where the Rhythm Takes You is such a joyous read that will keep you up all night and really give you that sweet contemporary YA experience. It is set in the beautiful backdrop of Tobago and I found myself longing to walk along the beaches, try the food, and wanting to experience everything it has to offer. This book deals with the loss of a loved one, learning to let go, and letting yourself fall into your passions. It has really left me with a fuzzy feeling, wanting to seize the day and nurture those passions that bring me joy. 

Ever since her mother died, our main character Reyna has been making sure to look after her family's hotel in Tobago and making sure it meets the standards that her mum put in place. She even put her dream of going to study art with her best friend aside. Reyna is shocked when she finds that her ex-boyfriend Aiden, who is now a major music celebrity, is coming to stay at the hotel and she has to be his tour guide. Throughout the book, we learn more and more about their history and where it went wrong. The slow burn of Reyna and Aiden's romance just killed me... and I loved it. Sometimes I felt Aiden could have shown a little more emotion and having a dual POV would have been really great at certain points within this book, however, I enjoyed Reyna's side nonetheless and the story of their second chance love tied up nicely by the end.

The way Reyna's mother's death is told to us felt so raw and so real it brought me to tears a few times. And her difficult relationship with her father and her best friend also felt realistic. There are also some funny laugh-out-loud scenes that came from Aiden's celebrity friends, who all felt so down to earth that they were a joy to read about. I loved the 'fame' aspect of the book didn't overtake the storyline. I do not think anything in the story really shocked or surprised me, there were no major twists in a sense. I would have liked something like this in the overarching plot, but it also worked fine without it. There may be some things that were seemingly predictable, but there's no denying that this book is such a fun read it did not matter.

I would highly recommend Where the Rhythm Takes You if you're looking for a YA contemporary that has all the classic ingredients but feels fresh at the same time. There is also a brilliant soca playlist at the back of the book, which is a genre I had never listened to before! This book is so easy to slip into. I read it over the course of a few days and each time I picked it up I felt I was returning home to friends. I cannot wait to read more from Sarah Dass because this debut novel hit the spot. 

Rating

4.5 Falling Books

Thank you to Balzer + Bray for providing an eARC on Edelweiss

Friday, 7 May 2021

Review: Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare

Chain of Iron (The Last Hours #2) by Cassandra Clare
Release Date:
March 2, 2021
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository | Waterstones

Cordelia Carstairs seems to have everything she ever wanted. She’s engaged to marry James Herondale, the boy she has loved since childhood. She has a new life in London with her best friend Lucie Herondale and James’s charming companions, the Merry Thieves. She is about to be reunited with her beloved father. And she bears the sword Cortana, a legendary hero’s blade.

But the truth is far grimmer. James and Cordelia’s marriage is a lie, arranged to save Cordelia’s reputation. James is in love with the mysterious Grace Blackthorn whose brother, Jesse, died years ago in a terrible accident. Cortana burns Cordelia’s hand when she touches it, while her father has grown bitter and angry. And a serial murderer is targeting the Shadowhunters of London, killing under cover of darkness, then vanishing without a trace.

Together with the Merry Thieves, Cordelia, James, and Lucie must follow the trail of the knife-wielding killer through the city’s most dangerous streets. All the while, each is keeping a shocking secret: Lucie, that she plans to raise Jesse from the dead; Cordelia, that she has sworn a dangerous oath of loyalty to a mysterious power; and James, that he is being drawn further each night into the dark web of his grandfather, the arch-demon Belial. And that he himself may be the killer they seek.

*Possible spoilers for Chain of Gold*

Cassandra Clare strikes again and breaks my heart. Surprise surprise. Chain of Iron follows our main cast from where Chain of Gold leaves off. Cordelia is marrying James to cover up James' actions and save Cordelia's reputation in society. Cordelia has real feelings for James, but she knows he is in love with Grace. The Shadowhunter wedding in this book was EVERYTHING. Gold attire with the Herondale family in attendance? Why did I not get an invite?! The plot of this book thickens when there is a series of Shadowhunter murders on the streets of London and the gang of Merry Thieves attempt to find the killer. Lucy has been spending a lot of time on her own and with Grace attempting to resurrect Jesse. Sounds bad? It certainly is. Overall, I loved all the storylines and how they unfolded in this book. If you're looking for action, romance, a murder mystery, and ANGST you will love this.

My favourite part of this series is the characters. Each one has such a special place in my heart and I love them all more than I can describe. Chain of Gold introduces them all and I felt that some were not developed as much as I would have liked. However, COI fills in this gap and I was not disappointed. We learn a lot more about Matthew. Oh, Matthew. I hope he gets his happy ending at some point he does deserve one. If you loved Matthew's humour and wanted to give him a hug in COG, oh boy it does not get any easier here. 

What can I say about Cordelia and James' relationship? ANGST. PAIN. I want both of these characters to be happy and I hope they can find it in Chain of Thorns despite every lucky star being against them. We know that James is not actually in love with Grace, but instead is being influenced by the GODDAMN silver bracelet given to him with instruction from Tatiana. I do hate that lady. There are certain scenes that have my whole heart when James has glimpses of his love for Cordelia through the bracelet haze. 

The most painful part of this book was the last few pages. It put me in physical, emotional, and mental pain! If you remember CC's classic cliffhangers, this contains another one. However, completely worth it! You need to read this and experience it.

I am such a simp for the Shadowhunter series. I think this may also be my favourite so far. It has all the characters we loved in The Infernal Devices and as a bonus, they are the parents of the main characters? This is a fanfiction come true. I would 100% recommend you keep reading if you have read TID. I am so excited for Chain of Thorns. I am sure there will be more heartbreak, more angst, more pain, more pain, and erm, more pain?

Rating

5 Falling Books

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Review: Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney

Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney
Release Date:
May 4, 2021
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository


(US cover and UK cover)

Quinn keeps lists of everything—from the days she’s ugly cried, to “Things That I Would Never Admit Out Loud,” to all the boys she’d like to kiss. Her lists keep her sane. By writing her fears on paper, she never has to face them in real life. That is, until her journal goes missing…

An anonymous account posts one of her lists on Instagram for the whole school to see and blackmails her into facing seven of her greatest fears, or else her entire journal will go public. Quinn doesn’t know who to trust. Desperate, she teams up with Carter Bennett—the last known person to have her journal—in a race against time to track down the blackmailer.

Together, they journey through everything Quinn’s been too afraid to face, and along the way, Quinn finds the courage to be honest, to live in the moment, and to fall in love.

Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry is a young adult contemporary with so much heart that I had to read this in one sitting. It deals with issues such as racism, bullying, dementia, and difficult family dynamics. It packed more of a punch than I was expected and I loved it.

Our main character Quinn is someone that loves to make lists for everything in her life, which she keeps in her notebook. The book acts as her diary and contains some of her most secret and personal lists. When she loses it and starts to be blackmailed by an anonymous account to do everything on her list of "Things that I would never admit out loud", Quinn doesn't even know where to start. 

Goffney handled the task of educating us about race in a way that was realistic and gave me things to think about along the way. I stepped away from this book feeling so empowered and in awe of how Quinn handles all the hurdles and struggles in her life. Not only handling cyberbullying but also navigating other aspects such as someone close in her life having dementia, her parents who are struggling internally with their marriage, and making big college decisions.  

In the midst of the fantasy hype at the moment, this contemporary story was such a breath of fresh air. There is a really sweet romance storyline, which I loved from beginning to end. Quinn and Carter made me laugh and smile so much. If you want an impactful story with fun and fully realised characters, I would recommend Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry endlessly! I am looking forward to more books by Joya Goffney.

Rating

4.5 Falling Books

Thank you to Harper Teen for providing me with an Edelweiss ARC!