Wednesday, August 19, 2020

#HearOurVoices tour: Cemetery boys


Synopsis:Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.

When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.

However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.

Published: September 1st 2020
Pages: 352
Rating: Solid 

REVIEW: Traditions shouldn't be static. This need of Yadriel is strong. Gaining his magic is a hearts desire but his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender .Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself. Aaai, Yadriel summons a dead boy's ghost by accident. And he knows him, it's Julien Diaz. The rumored bad boy of the school. How the heck will they solve this?

This story is colorful it it's characters, scenery and culture. It has a charming cinnamon roll of a lead, Yadriel; a witty best friend more than a cousin Maritza, infused w love to the Latinx culture and a slow burn of a romance. This book about dead gods, ghosts, passing on and dealing with grief breathes life on every page. It does acknowledge the realities of queer pain and queer trauma but it is clearly written from a place of love and joy. You feel that Aiden Thomas had joy writing this, writing about a gay trans guy fitting in the world and falling in love.

The romance is magical. You feel the slow growing tension, see both Yadriel and Julian opening up and becoming familiar with each other. Nothing is forced. Talking about magic, how it is written feels fresh. I had to re read passages again, even the scary high tension ones. Animation is the only medium that can adapt Thomas scenery and how it feels reading his words. A truly warmth glow. Cartoon Saloon is the right choice w latinx creatives heading it of course.

I'm hope that trans people, trans boys and guys will see that they are loved. That they deserve love. This is a joyous book and I can't wait to see people enjoying that same warmth the characters, especially Yadriel and Julian have for each other.

Aiden Thomas's socials:

Sunday, August 16, 2020

#HearOurVoices tour: Raybearer


Synopsis: Nothing is more important than loyalty.

But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?

Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood. That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But The Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: Kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself? With extraordinary world-building and breathtaking prose, Raybearer is the story of loyalty, fate, and the lengths we’re willing to go for the ones we love.

Published: August 18  2020

Page count: 368

Rating: Amazing 


Stories can be held captive, blemished with falsehoods it doesn't matter how long but the true story will break free.

Human touch are what everyone craves for. Tarisai has only ever known stories, knowledge and memories growing up. She grew up with people around her but she was lonely. Her mom the Lady showed no affection and was cold towards her and her mentors never touched her only ever lectured and instructed. Family is the only thing Tarisai ever wanted. She's instructed to get it and destroy it. She was born out of magic. Out of the Lady's wish. Tarisai needs to grow close to the crown prince , belong to his beloved , make him love her and kill him. Tarisai won't be a pawn in her story no matter what.

This world and magic system is enchanting but the true magic are the characters and that makes Raybearer all the more worthwhile. The book is very character driven but each character, even to the minor ones sets the plot in motion. Tarisai is the lead, we fall in love with her council mates the way she does with the eleven and we notice the prejudice and injustice lurking underneath bit by bit as she does. Tarisai is strong leading lady ,the emotional abuse makes her scared to be loved in every way possible. She's terrified it will be lost and will be taken away. It was a pleasure seeing her grow, be confident in herself and shine like a brilliant sun. Her loved ones, the council, the other eleven but in 3 particular stand by and show her that she's worthy of love. The council consist of people of different cultures and ethnicities but I'll spotlight Kirah, Sanjeet and Dayo. All 3 so different and immensely important to her. I'll let you'll discover for yourself. Speaking about love, Raybearer speaks about the absence of love and the different kind of love. The familiar bond between friends and romantic love has equal weight in importance. All types of love should be important.

The slow burn romance that Ifueko crafted and slowly build is a beautiful one. Still on the topic of love I'm so happy Ifueko included an ace character, Dayo - the crown prince. Dayo crushes on boys and girls. Being ace and homoromantic , I was so happy when I read it and hope others will too.

The opposite of love is destruction. Ifueko writes rage inducing about the horrors of colonialism and assimilation. How people in power will and have tried to destroy cultures and societies through law and military force. I can't wait to see people's reaction.

Worldbulding and magic
This is such an unique world and feels so fresh. The way 12 regions or realms are different but feel like one collective culture. Seeing character with different skin tones: Black, brown and white. I had to be extra creative when imaginating it and it's so easy with the help of Ifueko's beautiful writing. It helped me and challenged me to try to dismantle my learned Eurocentric mental picture. I envisioned Sanjeet with brown skin but ones or twice I saw a white person and that's an issue I have to combat. Seeing how Sanjeet is favorite character of mine.

The magic system is beautiful to see. We have pixies and black fairies.Hallows are gifts one is born with. Any possible power imaginable. Tarisai interacts with memories of objects , nature and people whenever she touches. The council , her friends have different power each. I can't wait to see how her gift and the others flourish. To see how the world and magic system will be further explored.

Raybearer is a rhythmic cultural practice on the page. It felt like listening to orally told story when reading. Suriname has loads, every culture different but still Surinamese. Raybearer stands on it's own and will enrich the already published African YA fantasy and the ones to come next year and years to come. I know without a doubt the audiobook will be magical and an experience. 


Jordan Ifueko's socials



Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Blog tour : The Final Weekend

In the last days before the real world, six college friends prepare to take a bow in epic fashion.

After Sunday there’s just Harry, the future business owner; Justin, the medical intern; Trent, the hapless wanderer; and Clarence, soon to don the badge and blues. But now they have years of memories to honor, all packed into one weekend. Will they grow into their new adult roles? Will they go out in style with the girls? Will the four of them even survive the sheer level of debauchery?

Living in an apartment paid for by the Grandma, an ex-hooker turned millionaire, Courtney and Ling-Ling couldn’t be more opposite, yet are completely inseparable. Courtney and Harry have been hooking up for years, neither able to commit, but their imminent separation is about to test that arrangement, and Ling-Ling’s never-ending reciprocated crush on Justin just might become more than that.

Their lives intersect with that of Professor Goodkat, their idolized instructor who never quite “left” college himself. In Goodkat, we find the consequence of getting to live out a hedonist fantasy, and the possibility for change in anyone.

Hilarious, raunchy and uninhibited, "The Final Weekend: A Stoned Tale," captures contemporary society while chronicling the dreams, regrets, perspectives, and future after youth in an unbroken sequence of shockingly touching exploits. No longer armed with the excuse of college stupidity, these friends will go on a journey with higher stakes than a night out has ever had. Because there are things about themselves that blacking out can’t erase

This is shelved as comedy and satire. And it is but also shows the college frat life with sex, partying, the yolo life and more sexual exploits. I had to roll my eyes at the character jokes and laughed at other moments. Such a mix bag for me personally. The title is structured with multiple POV. It jumps between about 5 characters. I liked some better than others but I would never want any of them to be in my live. Character aren't always to be liked but they are spoiled college kids. If profanity and sex isn't for I'd say skip. I read through the book being ace, that's an experience. The writing is solid and readable. It was a slice of life story with an something ending that's unexpected. I'll leave it at that. This book will find an audience


About the Author Blurb:

Neal Cassidy is an American writer who grew up in Forest, Va. An ex-tennis pro, he also spent his winters competing in Big Air & Slopestyle competitions on skis. After many years of an undiscerning lifestyle, he decided to put his experiences into his first novel, The Final Weekend: A Stoned Tale. He does his best writing at home while listening to Tchaikovsky at a low volume, with a hot black tea, frozen chocolate fruits, and five pre-rolled blunts within reach.

Social links:





Sunday, June 28, 2020

The Mall by Megan McCafferty

The MallThe Mall by Megan McCafferty
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Cassie Worthy has summer and her NYC college career all planned out. All the Summer 1991( one year before I was born haha) plans come crashing down when she discovers her boyfriend was seeing someone else when she was busy finishing her high school career. Cassie also gets fired. WTF? This won't stop her, heck no.Cassie as she finds friendship, love, and ultimately herself.

I disliked this book. It was decently written, but felt like a bare bones movie script instead of a novel. It meandered and many scenes would work better as movie montages. This is historical fiction (gasps) but I didn't have any connection to Cassie. She's your standard privileged white girl. Just say already what's wrong dont lie to your parents. They'll get used to it .The faking and misunderstandings weren't cute ,maybe it would have worked better in a romcom. We live capitalistic hellhole, we do our best to survive. I luckily never had nostalgia for the mall, it exists in Suriname but not the enormity like the US. YOU might like it if you have fun memories working in the mall. I might've liked it if it was a movie. Who knows maybe it will. I'm not interested in any other McCafferty book in the future that is certain


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