AfroBoricua Reads Book Reviews: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

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Summary: When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.

In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha — one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.

Memoirs of a Geisha meets The Name of the Wind in this brilliant new fantasy series by Rin Chupeco!

My Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Recommendation: Yes!!!

Disclosure: Received eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Publication Date: March 7, 2017  No spoilers.

I want to live in this world. PERIOD. Never have I’ve read a book so dedicated to its world and worldbuilding.  The Bone Witch is the epitome of high fantasy.  Rin Chupeco builds a wonderful world straight from the start with Tea and her family, full of ashas and monsters, and of course the raising of the dead.

Tea is an amazing heroine from the very first page as she unknowingly resurrects her beloved brother who her left her side far too soon in her opinion. Then we are whisked away to the magical city of Ankyo where we meet an amazing cast of character who help Tea in her journey to become a full-fledged asha.

I should mention that Chupeco tells this story in two POVs, the past in which Tea is just discovering her powers as a dark asha and the present where Tea talks with a young man exiled from his kingdom and tells him of her past as she sets in motion her plan to save her world from darkness.

I was amazed at how easily Chupeco was able to switch between the past and present of Tea’s life and leave little teases of how Tea fell out of favor with her makeshift family she was just learning to love and accept in the past. Tea’s growth from a girl just discovering how powerful she can be (the past), to relishing in her frighteningly awesome powers (the present).

The worldbuilding in this book was just amazing. Usually with fantasy books set in their own world it can seem confusing and off putting but as we learn more about Tea’s past we experience this breathtaking world firsthand and discover the amazing world of the asha.

This book may seem daunting and slow but in my humble opinion, Rin Chupeco spins an amazing story set in a dangerous world filled with powerful women who deserve their own series! I just loved this book and I cannot wait to see the rest of this series that will hopefully answer that amazing ending. (I was dead on the floor after reading it)

An epic high fantasy with an epic world to match, I hope you check out this wonderful book when it hits the shelves in March!

AfroBoricua Reads Book Reviews: Dead Little Mean Girl by Eva Darrows

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Summary:

Quinn Littleton was a mean girl—a skinny blonde social terrorist in stilettos. She was everything Emma MacLaren hated. Until she died.

A proud geek girl, Emma loves her quiet life on the outskirts, playing video games and staying off the radar. When her nightmare of a new stepsister moves into the bedroom next door, her world is turned upside down. Quinn is a queen bee with a nasty streak who destroys anyone who gets in her way. Teachers, football players, her fellow cheerleaders—no one is safe.

Emma wants nothing more than to get this girl out of her life, but when Quinn dies suddenly, Emma realizes there was more to her stepsister than anyone ever realized.

A meaningful and humorous exploration of teen stereotypes and grief, Dead Little Mean Girl examines the labels we put on people and what lies beyond if we’re only willing to look closer.

My Review:

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Recommendation: Yes!

Disclosure: I received a digital ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Publication Date:  March 28, 2017 . No spoilers.

Dead Little Mean Girl is hysterical, heartfelt, and genuine. Eva Darrows must of dissected a teenage girl’s brain because I have never related to main character like I did with Emma. Quinn was the quintessential mean girl to the T, learning about Quinn made me feel terrible about being so quick to judge people. The family dynamic in this was genuine and so very honest.

Quinn was the quintessential mean girl with the racism, homophobia, and full of privilege. With this in mind I fully went into this preparing to never sympathize with this girl and I was not let down. Although Quinn had her moments and a sad upbringing none of it was an excuse for how awful she acted towards everyone including her own mother. Nevertheless Quinn was a tragic character who ultimately ruined herself.
Although this novel was short it was chock full of nerdy goodness. Emma is one of the best nerds I’ve ever read about in fiction period. Emma is wonderful character who struggles with everything this novel throws at her but she still manages to stay true to herself and have a heart of gold and beautiful outlook on life.

I thought this book was just wonderful, it dealt with grief so well especially concerning grief about person who wasn’t exactly in an angel in life.

AfroBoricua Reads Book Reviews: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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Summary: Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Angie Thomas’s searing debut about an ordinary girl in extraordinary circumstances addresses issues of racism and police violence with intelligence, heart, and unflinching honesty.

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

My Review:

Rating:5 out of 5 stars

Recommendation: If you wanna be my friend read this book!

Disclosure: I received an ARC from Balzer + Bray in exchange for an honest review. Expected Publication Date: February 28, 2017.  No spoilers.

Dear Four-Year Old Me,

Life is gonna be hard, so hard sometimes that you just wanna quit. But you don’t quit, you keep moving forward. You’ll bury your big hair in books and school, knowing that it’s your ticket out. You’ll try and make friends but nothing really works out and that’s because you have your twin, your brother who you will always love no matter what.

You’ll hear “You’re black?”, “You’re Puerto Rican?”, “But you don’t look it!”, and “Why is your hair always ratty you look like a raccoon!”. You’ll bury this all inside of you until you stop trying. You’ll stop trying to go to school and be ignored. You’ll cut of all your hair in the middle of the night because enough is enough. You’ll be hospitalized twice because you truly believe you’re “disgusting”.

Then slowly everything starts to get better. You’ll get a Tumblr and learn there is a world outside of your bed. You’ll start talking to people and make friends online. You’ll learn more about the world without ever getting on a plane. You’ll start reading 3 or 4 books at a time again and discover your voice for the first time in your life.

You’ll stop being silent and start to speak up about the things that matter to you. Then one day you hear about a book. A book that can change the world. It doesn’t have dragons or wizards but, it’s about a girl. A girl who kinda looks like me, a girl that has two sides of her in order to be seen as “better than them”. A girl who sees something terrible and the whole world has an opinion about it.

I knew this book would mean a lot to so many people and I was so lucky to read this before it’s release. Angie Thomas is a genius and so very brave. She wrote this wonderful and brutally honest book and didn’t spare anyone’s feelings. She touched on so many topics I can’t even list them all, topics that a lot of people are uncomfortable with it but need to be said.

Angie paints a vivid picture of what so many people unfortunately have to go through in this day and age. She portrays a wonderful mixed up family whose love for each other poured off the pages. All throughout this novel she gives us hope, hope that things are going to get better. Hope that means we can’t stop living our lives and enjoying the good things that come with. Hope that terrible things happen but we can’t let it break us no matter how hard the world may try.

Books can change lives, they empower us, they teach us, and give us hope. This book changed my life, it gave me hope that no matter how hard things get I can’t give up.

I cannot stress how important this book will be in the future. It is a novel that can stand the test of time and give us hope for better days. I cannot describe how much of an honor it was to read this book, I will cherish this book for the rest of my life.

Love,

Seventeen-Year old Me

 

 

AfroBoricua Reads Book Reviews: A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab

A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2)A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Recommendation: Hell yes!

Disclosure: Borrowed from my local library. No spoilers.

Never in my life have I ever wanted characters plans to intersect so bad. Victoria Schwab is a genius, every page I devoured was a race to see all of these characters finally interact.

She made a world that was so lively and vivid seem even more so with this brilliant sequel. Kell and Lila are some of my favorite characters ever written on page, these characters at times are so alike yet so different it’s nearly indescribable at times.

I didn’t think V.E. could create anymore wonderful characters, then I met Alucard Emery who is brilliant in every scene. She even made me love Rhy who to me in the first book seemed annoying but is now, lovable. I enjoy these characters so much and I can’t believe its over in the next book.

I loved this book and I really hope it wins the GoodReads award for best fantasy book because it was amazing from start to finish.

View all my reviews

AfroBoricua Reads Book Reviews: Gilded Cage(Dark Gifts #1) by Vic James

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Summary:

Not all are free. Not all are equal. Not all will be saved.

Our world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England’s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.

Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price?

A boy dreams of revolution.

Abi’s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?

My Review:

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

Recommendation: No, just no.

Disclosure: Received an eArc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Release Date: December 1, 2016 (eBook) February 14,2017 (Physical) . No spoilers

DNFed at 46%

I don’t think I was reading the same book everybody else has been talking about. I went into this book thinking it would be dark and mysterious, but all I got was a whole bunch of nothing and typical cliches.

I don’t want to spoil this book in case anyone does want to read it but, this was just bad to me honest. I never felt such a disconnection to a book before, nothing clicked with me nothing. It was painful to read this, it read like a bad fanfiction so bad I couldn’t even tell who the author was trying to emulate.

It felt like the author was trying to make this book into something it’s not. It wasn’t dark, just painfully uninteresting and no characters could redeem it. The world building was even worse than the characters, it was just regular old London with some dystopian land thrown in there.

I just could not force myself to read this book anymore. I don’t know what other people are seeing in this book because this just seems like a big waste of time to me and not a very good waste of time.

 

The Thanks U Give: A Bookish Community Thanksgiving Celebration!

Thanks to Chasing Faerytales (http://chasingfaerytales.blogspot.com/) and Stay Bookish (http://www.staybookish.com/) for hosting this wonderful event!

 

This year has been a whirlwind of good and bad things, but one of the things I am most thankful for this year is (surprise, surprise) books.

Let me explain, I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety for years. This year was the first year I found a good balance with meds and therapists, I finally felt like I could do something. I started requesting books from my library like crazy, the books couldn’t come faster I was constantly returning and picking books up.

It wasn’t until September that I finally started my blog, I first started on Tumblr then moved over to WordPress. I started expressing my feelings online and in real life and it felt amazing! I was finally doing something I love and making friends, something I’ve never experienced before.

I’m just so grateful that I’ve been welcomed into this community and shown so much love! I love you guys so much for helping me and being my friends over these past few months. Finally, I wanna thanks you guys, my followers! I’m so happy you’ve clicked on my blog and liked what I had to say!

Don’t forget #TheThanksUGive celebration is going on all week, join us Nov 24th at 10 am EST for our #TheThanksUGive twitter chat! Also we have a giveaway going on right now (link at end!) and you can still sign up for The Thanks U Give celebration until Nov 24th 11:59 pm EST ! I hope you guys join us and spread the love!

Hugs and bookish dreams,

Tatiana

Link to signup and giveaway: http://www.staybookish.com/the-thanks-u-give-kick-off-epic-thanksgiving-giveaway/

AfroBoricua Reads Book Reviews: The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera

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Summary: Pretty in Pink comes to the South Bronx in this bold and romantic coming-of-age novel about dysfunctional families, good and bad choices, and finding the courage to question everything you ever thought you wanted—from debut author Lilliam Rivera.

THINGS/PEOPLE MARGOT HATES:

Mami, for destroying my social life
Papi, for allowing Junior to become a Neanderthal
Junior, for becoming a Neanderthal
This supermarket
Everyone else

After “borrowing” her father’s credit card to finance a more stylish wardrobe, Margot
Sanchez suddenly finds herself grounded. And by grounded, she means working as an indentured servant in her family’s struggling grocery store to pay off her debts.

With each order of deli meat she slices, Margot can feel her carefully cultivated prep school reputation slipping through her fingers, and she’s willing to do anything to get out of this punishment. Lie, cheat, and maybe even steal…

Margot’s invitation to the ultimate beach party is within reach and she has no intention of letting her family’s drama or Moises—the admittedly good looking but outspoken boy from the neighborhood—keep her from her goal.

My Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Recommendation: YES! A million times yes!

Disclosure: I was given an eARC from Simon & Schuster and Jellybooks in exchange for reading statistics. (Release Date- February 21, 2017)  No spoilers.

 

Before I start the actual review, I want you to just take a moment. A moment where you imagine yourself as a child, a child who doesn’t know what they look like. A child who grew up hearing “But you don’t look x,” “You look like you have a raccoon on your head,” or worse silence. Now imagine you see a YouTube video from a booktuber saying she doesn’t give two craps about diversity. This is just a brief glimpse into my life and why I started blogging. I felt this was important to say because I’m proud of myself, and where I come from. I’m also so proud of Lilliam Rivera for writing this book, because books can educate people and hope this story really educates people.

Margot Sanchez is a confused teenage girl. I know shocking right? I mean what teenager regardless of gender isn’t confused? Let me tell you why this may come as a shock to some. Margot goes to a virtually all-white prep school and is struggling to fit in. When she finally makes some “friends” she starts to change everything about herself to fit in. Margot takes it too far and is forced to work at her father’s store.

Over the course of this novel you start to see how Margot has just completely reinvented herself just to be liked. It was honestly painful to read this at times, Margot reminded me of what I was like in school and just wanted to be seen and heard. Now, Margot doesn’t just one day realize she doesn’t need to do these things, it’s a slow process for her to come to terms with this. I think it made the story more humanized than anything for her to slowly come to terms with this.

This book is just so poignant about Latinx culture and how we struggle to fit in. I just can’t say enough about this book it means so much to me to have a book like this.The fact that it only comes out in a few months and the world will see it makes me so happy, I can’t even tell you.  Just buy the book when it comes and support this wonderful author!