Monday, February 8, 2021

#HearOurVoices tour: : Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado

Fat Chance, Charlie VegaFat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado
My rating: Liked
Purchase: (bookshop.org) |Libro.fm
synopsis: Coming of age as a Fat brown girl in a white Connecticut suburb is hard.
Harder when your whole life is on fire, though.

Charlie Vega is a lot of things. Smart. Funny. Artistic. Ambitious. Fat.

People sometimes have a problem with that last one. Especially her mom. Charlie wants a good relationship with her body, but it's hard, and her mom leaving a billion weight loss shakes on her dresser doesn't help. The world and everyone in it have ideas about what she should look like: thinner, lighter, slimmer-faced, straighter-haired. Be smaller. Be whiter. Be quieter.

But there's one person who's always in Charlie's corner: her best friend Amelia. Slim. Popular. Athletic. Totally dope. So when Charlie starts a tentative relationship with cute classmate Brian, the first worthwhile guy to notice her, everything is perfect until she learns one thing--he asked Amelia out first. So is she his second choice or what? Does he even really see her? UGHHH. Everything is now officially a MESS.

A sensitive, funny, and painful coming-of-age story with a wry voice and tons of chisme, Fat Chance, Charlie Vega tackles our relationships to our parents, our bodies, our cultures, and ourselves.



Charlie Vega is our titular lead. Her personality jumps from the page. She's smart, funny, artistic and a go getter. She and her mom. It's about a plus size young woman of color navigating through life. It deals with with being brown in a white neighborhood. Maldonado did a great job fleshing out Charlie and her relations with other people. People at work, school and at home. This title touches on diet culture and how mothers can love their daughters and be toxic at the same time. Heads up on that. I And I'm glad that there wasn't a situation were suddenly everything is okay because that kind of relationship really can’t easily be “fixed”.

I love how the romance and Charlie's friendship had equal importance. It has an HEA and a non white interracial couple, heck yeah.


I recommend Fat chance, Charlie Vega for the lead alone. She truly is the MAIN CHARACTER. Living her MC life and i say this with lots of love. I know that many will fall in love with her


Crystal Maldonado's socials

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Blog Tour: A Curse of Roses by Diana Pinguicha




A Curse of Roses

by Diana Pinguicha

Published by Entangled Teen

Publication Date: December 1st 2020

Rating: Enjoyed

To Buy :  Purchase links can be found HERE!


Synopsis: With just one touch, bread turns into roses. With just one bite, cheese turns into lilies.


There’s a famine plaguing the land, and Princess Yzabel is wasting food simply by trying to eat. Before she can even swallow, her magic—her curse—has turned her meal into a bouquet. She’s on the verge of starving, which only reminds her that the people of Portugal have been enduring the same pain.

If only it were possible to reverse her magic. Then she could turn flowers…into food.

Fatyan, a beautiful Enchanted Moura, is the only one who can help. But she is trapped by magical binds. She can teach Yzabel how to control her curse—if Yzabel sets her free with a kiss.

As the King of Portugal’s betrothed, Yzabel would be committing treason, but what good is a king if his country has starved to death?

With just one kiss, Fatyan is set free. And with just one kiss, Yzabel is yearning for more.

She’d sought out Fatyan to help her save the people. Now, loving her could mean Yzabel’s destruction.

Based on Portuguese legend, this #OwnVoices historical fantasy is an epic tale of mystery, magic, and making the impossible choice between love and duty…

 

My Thoughts

A curse of roses is an F/F own voices retelling of a Portuguese story ( Miracle of the roses). It's a Portuguese historical fantasy. It follows Yzabel of Aragon. She's something unique whenever Yzabel touched food it turns into flowers.  She takes it on her self to change this conduit to change flowers in to food. There a food scarcity in the land as a result of a famine .And as soon to be queen Yzabel sees it as her duty to help her people. But this action  as queen is not allowed  . With the help of Fatyan,  magical being freed with a kiss , Yzabel sets out to help her people to matter the cost

 

The line of turning food into flor is the reason I wanted it. I knew of the Midas touch but this was something  entirely new to me. And all the reviews online are correct this book deserves the love and praise. It needs more attention. I often start reviews with talking about the characters but i had to start with Pinguicha as a writer. Wow does she write pretty and beautiful like the flowers that Yzabel creates. The lush description of food and flowers. The feeling of the town when you read her words. Truly beautiful. This world has a soft magic system and it will please readers in search of that. What happens go with it! This book is for those want  reads that go slower, to see the characters  interact  and to spend time with the ladies. Both Yzabel and Fatyan are fully fleshed out , smart, interesting characters. Even though these CW- internalized homophobia

- religious-based self-harm

- religious and magic-based disordered eating

- the patriarchy

are seen and mentioned , this book has lightness at parts.  After requesting and reading the CW I was a bit scared cause I have religious- based discomfort , being such a household but I liked how she handled it and she did it well. 

 

 And if like animal companions , Yzabel's  Alentejo Mastiff is so cute. Google pictures right after if this breed is new to you, So cute. If you like soft , caring historical fantasy with two lovely ladies in love, I  highly suggest A curse of roses.





About the Author

Born in the sunny lands of Portugal, Diana is a Computer Engineer graduate who currently calls Lisbon home. She can usually be found writing, painting, devouring extraordinary quantities of books and video games, or walking around with her bearded dragon, Norberta. She also has two cats, Sushi and Jubas, who would never forgive her if she didn’t mention them.

Her art can be found at http://pinguicha.deviantart.com.

Also publishes under Diana Pinguicha Connors.

Website: http://pinguicha.wordpress.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/pinguicha

 

Blog Tour Organized By:

YA Bound Book Tours




Friday, October 16, 2020

Book Tour: A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe





 

by Samantha Cohoe 
Published by Wednesday Books
Publication Date: October 13th 2020 
Rating: Liked


Synopsis: Thea Hope longs to be an alchemist out of the shadow of her famous mother. The two of them are close to creating the legendary Philosopher’s Stone—whose properties include immortality and can turn any metal into gold—but just when the promise of the Stone’s riches is in their grasp, Thea’s mother destroys the Stone in a sudden fit of violent madness.

While combing through her mother’s notes, Thea learns that there’s a curse on the Stone that causes anyone who tries to make it to lose their sanity. With the threat of the French Revolution looming, Thea is sent to Oxford for her safety, to live with the father who doesn’t know she exists.

But in Oxford, there are alchemists after the Stone who don’t believe Thea’s warning about the curse—instead, they’ll stop at nothing to steal Thea’s knowledge of how to create the Stone. But Thea can only run for so long, and soon she will have to choose: create the Stone and sacrifice her sanity, or let the people she loves die.


My Thoughts

  

2020 has to be year of the cold and standoff ish mother in YA. Funnily enough all encountered in fantasy this reading year. Difficult and nuanced motherly figures, Thea Hope is the daughter of such figure, She’s the daughter of a famous alchemist who looms over her. A Golden Fury is about Thea Hope, a young alchemist, who has the knowledge to make the Philosopher’s Stone. Before finishing the Philosopher’s Stone her mother goes mad and smashes their work. Because of this and escaping her mother’s anger she travels to find her beau, Will, and to make the stone before anyone else does.

 

Cohoe really focused on the scientific side of SFF in A Golden Fury. The alchemy was more science based than magic based. It was all puzzle for Thea and her cohort to find out. Managing temperatures and putting in the right ingredients at the right time.  Science is a real puzzle, figuring out the elements instead of cardboard pieces. It was great to see the fictional scientific methods and scenes in the lab where Thea looked at Arabic texts for instructions. The magic system was different and it's great to see different interpretations of alchemy. Cohoe really blended the alchemy in a historical setting. this book nailed the historical setting pretty darn well.  Set in the backdrop of a weakened France before the revolution.

 

I really enjoyed the plot and I was engrossed in it from the start to the end It had a great pace and was action-packed. Cohoe used the slower parts to her advantage were she used of knowledge of the half magic – half science practice to build the world. Bit by bit. I had to page at both paces in the story, eager to see what happened next. Cohoe’s lines and phrasing is a delight to read and roll of the tongue or in my case the mental version of that.

 

And lastly a book is nothing without its characters. If you don’t care the characters no matter how creative or beautiful the writing, I can’t care. But you do care for Thea, how she’s treated by the people around her. Get mad how the men in her life don’t trust her or see her ingenuity. Loving Dominic so much how truly cares for her and wants the best for her. No one was that good or all that bad. Even our quick-witted lead Thea who could be selfish and have an ego at times. I loved how deeply flawed she and others were.

 

People that love Historical fiction where magic doesn’t over power the story. Where the SF of SFF comes to play and a story with a flawed but human girl tries to be recognized for her talents. They for surely will enjoy A Golden Fury. 


About the author

Samantha Cohoe writes historically-inspired young adult fantasy. She was raised in San Luis Obispo,


California, where she enjoyed an idyllic childhood of beach trips, omnivorous reading, and writing stories brimming with adverbs. She currently lives in Denver with her family and divides her time among teaching Latin, mothering, writing, reading, and deleting adverbs. A Golden Fury is her debut novel.


Samantha’s Twitter and Instagram 

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Mélusine (Doctrine of Labyrinths #1) by Sarah Monette

Mélusine (Doctrine of Labyrinths #1)
by Sarah Monette 
Published by Ace
Publication Date: August 2nd 2005
Rating: Amazing


Mélusine — a city of secrets and lies, pleasure and pain, magic and corruption — and destinies lost and found.

Felix Harrowgate is a dashing, highly respected wizard. But his aristocratic peers don't know his dark past — how his abusive former master enslaved him, body and soul, and trained him to pass as a nobleman. Within the walls of the Mirador — Melusine's citadel of power and wizardry — Felix believed he was safe. He was wrong. Now, the horrors of his previous life have found him and threaten to destroy all he has since become.

Mildmay the Fox is used to being hunted. Raised as a kept-thief and trained as an assassin, he escaped his Keeper long ago and lives on his own as a cat burglar. But now he has been caught by a mysterious foreign wizard using a powerful calling charm. And yet the wizard was looking not for Mildmay — but for Felix Harrowgate.

Thrown together by fate, the broken wizard Felix and the wanted killer Mildmay journey far from Melusine through lands thick with strange magics and terrible demons of darkness. But it is the shocking secret from their pasts, linking them inexorably together, that will either save them, or destroy them


Imagine an huge sprawling city, where the elite are live along an enormous dome , The Mirador. And the majority in the slums, in the Lower City. Thieves, murderers, sexworkers , poor and any other seen as lesser than magical practice are pushed out sight for the wizards or hocuses in Lower City speak. Mildmay, the fox is one of those down below . A kept-thief , not on good terms with any criminal gang and hunted by the DOGS like the fox he is. He's telling you his story and your point of entrance to this city. Never trust a hocus he tells you but what he doesn't know that someone that will be close to him is one and lives up above, his gay older brother. Welcome to Melusine.

This European inspired fantasy world would not felt lived in if it weren't for our two leading men. Mildmay and his brother, Felix Harrowgate, wizard of the Callaban order. Felix and Mildmay have equal amounts of page time in alternating points of view and their voices are distinct. But Mildmay is the narrator and talks to us the reader.I was never lost or what happened in their story.Keep in mind that a moment in felix' dark past is shown once and other times alluded to, the scene goes dark the second time. And he's finally able to speak it loud with his dear ones at the end of the book. Both felix and mildmay have hideous childhood traumas in one way of or another. Monette doesn't use any scenes for titillation or shock. She truly cares for these brothers and it feels that way when reading. Thank you for creating and thinking up this duo. I'll my upmost best to keep their tales alive for new readers.


That ending line in melusine. My heart.It was so soft. And illustrated their bond fully, what already started to form and I can imagine what it will be come. Both are more like each other that they think and maybe , just maybe Felix will be less of a witty jackass.



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