Entry 117: Cinderella Is Dead

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Author: Kalynn Bayron
Genre:
Fiction > Young Adult > Fantasy
Fiction > Young Adult > LGBTQA+
Fiction > Young Adult > Romance
Expected Publication: July 7th 2020 by Bloomsbury YA
Pages: 400
Format Read In: Ebook

Summary from Goodreads (GOODREADS LINK)

It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again.

Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . .

This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them.

My Review [MILD SPOILERS AHEAD]

Trigger warning: sexism, domestic violence, internalized homophobia, homophobia, sexual molestation, use of a love potion, threats of violence

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley. Thank you to the author and publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.

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The 2020 Mid-Year Freak Out Tag

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I can’t believe we’re already past the mid-year mark. At the start of 2020, many people I know were ready to change their lives in extreme or small ways because it felt like such a momentous year. I personally wasn’t planning anything big, but it was the first time I was thinking about putting real thought into traveling. Of course, then the pandemic hit and almost all plans went out the window. But it was lovely to watch people switch their lives around, whether via forming new plans or taking the time to relax and do nothing.

Obviously, with the BLM protests and general calls to focus on police violence and systemic racism, it hasn’t been a calming mid-year season, but it’s a powerful one and I hope the world will come out looking much different than before.

I found this tag from

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Entry 116: Deadly Curious (+ Giveaway)

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Author: Cindy Anstey
Genre:
Fiction > Young Adult > Historical fiction
Fiction > Young Adult > Mystery
Fiction > Young Adult > Romance
Publication: June 23rd 2020 by Swoon Reads
Pages: 352
Format Read In: Ebook

Summary from Goodreads (GOODREADS LINK)

1834. Sophia Thompson wants nothing more than to be one of the famed Bow Street Runners, London’s most elite corps of detectives. Never mind that a woman has never before joined their ranks–and certainly never mind that her reclusive family has forbidden her from pursuing such an unladylike goal.

She gets the chance to prove her capabilities when an urgent letter arrives from her frantic cousin Daphne, begging Sophia to come look into the suspicious death of Daphne’s brother.

As Sophia begins to unravel the tangled threads of the case–with the help of a charming young policeman–she soon realizes that the murderer may be even closer to her family than she ever suspected.

My Review

Trigger warnings: blood, description of murdered bodies 

Disclaimer: This post is a part of the Xpresso Book Tours. Thank you to the author and publisher for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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[Book Tag Tuesdays] The Stay at Home Book Tag

I saw Ross @ The Royal Bookshelf do this tag and I was curious! Staying at home used to be my favourite thing, and while I still find some enjoyment in it, I’ve been clawing at my window lately, trying to enjoy the sunshine of the summer.

The original tag was made by the booktuber, Madison Mary @ Princess of Paperback.

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#BlackLivesMatter

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There isn’t much for me to say that hasn’t already been said so I’ll make this brief:

Black lives matter, today and yesterday and tomorrow and always.

While I’ve been purposefully attempting to read more diversely in the past year, I still have a lot of work to do to dismantle my own biases and be worthy of being called an ally/accomplice. I’ve been donating more but the main thing I’ll be working on in particular is calling out racism and any bigotry I hear from friends and family–something that’ll be quite difficult for me as a very non-confrontational person, but is absolutely necessary.

Here are some of places that I’ve donated to:

My list includes mostly Canadian links because I’m Canadian and I’d like to do everything I can to destroy this notion that racism isn’t rampant in my country.

Here is a small handful of petitions that haven’t reached their goal:

Here’s a link to the carrd with more links related to BLM (and a link to the Canadian Black/Indigenous Struggles carrd). And here’s a link to a thread of Canadian indie bookstores that are black-owned.

If any of this bothers you or makes you uncomfortable, please unfollow me–you are unnecessary, and so are your feelings. People are being killed in broad daylight so it’s time to stop being complicit and centering your own feelings.

Last thoughts: don’t ask Black people to do the work for you. Do the work yourself and focus on uplifting the voices of Black people first before you speak. Finally, don’t let this be a trend–it sucks that the deaths of Black people was a wake up call for a lot of people, but don’t go back to sleep when the media and feeds die down. That’s the only way for change to actually happen.

Stay safe out there!

-S&R

Entry 115: With the Fire on High

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Author: Elizabeth Acevedo
Genre:
Fiction > Young Adult > Contemporary
Fiction > Young Adult > Food
Fiction > Young Adult > Realistic Fiction
Fiction > Young Adult > Romance
Publication: May 7th 2019 by Quill Tree Books
Pages: 400
Format Read In: Audiobook

Summary from Goodreads (GOODREADS LINK)

With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free.

My Review

Trigger warning: slut shaming, racism (mentioned), homophobia (mentioned), sexism

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Entry 114: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library (Mr. Lemoncello’s Library #1)

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Author: Chris Grabenstein
Genre:
Fiction > Middle Grade > Mystery
Fiction > Middle Grade > Adventure
Publication: June 25th 2013 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Pages: 304
Format Read In: Audiobook

Summary from Goodreads (GOODREADS LINK)

Kyle Keeley is the class clown, popular with most kids, (if not the teachers), and an ardent fan of all games: board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative gamemaker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the building of the new town library.

Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot to be one of the first 12 kids in the library for an overnight of fun, food, and lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors remain locked. Kyle and the other winners must solve every clue and every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route. And the stakes are very high.

In this cross between Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and A Night in the Museum, Agatha Award winner Chris Grabenstein uses rib-tickling humor to create the perfect tale for his quirky characters. Old fans and new readers will become enthralled with the crafty twists and turns of this ultimate library experience.

My Review

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Entry 113: A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes #1)

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Author: Brittany Cavallaro
Genre:
Fiction > Young Adult > Contemporary
Fiction > Young Adult > Mystery
Fiction > Young Adult > Romance
Publication: March 1st 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 321
Format Read In: Audiobook

Summary from Goodreads (GOODREADS LINK)

The last thing Jamie Watson wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. From everything Jamie has heard about Charlotte, it seems safer to admire her from afar.

From the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. But when a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. But danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.

My Review

Trigger warnings: drug addiction (mentioned), rape (mentioned), drug use (mentioned, on-page), disowning, sexism (slur), slut shaming, victim blaming

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Entry 112: Ayesha at Last

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Author: Uzma Jalaluddin
Genre:
Fiction > Adult > Contemporary
Fiction > Adult > Romance
Publication: June 4th 2019 by Berkley Books
Pages: 368
Format Read In: Ebook

Summary from Goodreads (GOODREADS LINK)

A modern-day Muslim Pride and Prejudice for a new generation of love.

Ayesha Shamsi has a lot going on. Her dreams of being a poet have been set aside for a teaching job so she can pay off her debts to her wealthy uncle. She lives with her boisterous Muslim family and is always being reminded that her flighty younger cousin, Hafsa, is close to rejecting her one hundredth marriage proposal. Though Ayesha is lonely, she doesn’t want an arranged marriage. Then she meets Khalid, who is just as smart and handsome as he is conservative and judgmental. She is irritatingly attracted to someone who looks down on her choices and who dresses like he belongs in the seventh century.

When a surprise engagement is announced between Khalid and Hafsa, Ayesha is torn between how she feels about the straightforward Khalid and the unsettling new gossip she hears about his family. Looking into the rumors, she finds she has to deal with not only what she discovers about Khalid, but also the truth she realizes about herself.

My Review

Trigger warnings: islamophobia, sexism, racism, microaggressions, fatphobia, abuse of a family member, colourism, off page abortion

Continue reading “Entry 112: Ayesha at Last”