Book Rec – Strong Female Characters

In order to celebrate International Women’s Day, I thought about putting together a list of my favorite female characters of all time. A huge pet peeve of mine was always the female characters, more often than not you have The Hero™ kicking ass and saving the day and his love interest is either there to support him, be saved, or even die in order to further his narrative. We also have the manic pixie girl, that I hate with burning rage.
Yes, we´ve had at some point a boom in stories with girls as main characters, well more like pseudo main characters, where she still completely useless just waiting to be saved by the love interest. and sometimes has to make the very hard decision of choosing between two equally attractive guys, and when I say equally attractive I mean they look basically the same, except one is blond and one is brunet or something. And she somehow still chooses the most toxic one (I am looking at you Twilight)
Ok I got carried away, my point is we have a plethora of very badly written female characters, but today we don´t talk about those. Today we talk about completely badass girls, that take no shit and get stuff done!

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Book Hype and Mood Board – Isoldesse

Title: Isoldesse
Author: Kimberly Grymes
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Genre: YA | Fantasy | Si-Fi
Length: 439 pages
Published:  Mar 2nd 2021
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Friendships are tested, new alliances are made, and the truth of one woman’s actions from over a millennia ago are revealed.
Kenna and Meegan are college students dealing with upcoming finals, needy parents, boy drama, and what to do with their lives after they graduate in a few weeks. What they weren’t expecting was for Kenna to receive a powerful crystal necklace that ultimately changes their plans for a relaxing summer.
Strange things begin to happen to Kenna, like being the only one who can see and talk to the mysterious old woman with a golden aura. Or how in her dreams, a man with vibrant orange eyes keeps appearing who may or may not be real. Though, not all of Kenna’s mysterious encounters are pleasant as she’s haunted by massive beings carrying long swords and wearing armor covered in black scales.
Besides solving the mystery of where the crystal necklace came from, Kenna, Meegan, and their friends are taken to another world for a routine evolutionary assessment. The assessment gets sabotaged and causes more chaos for Kenna and her friends, especially for Meegan who is forced to open up and reveal her true identity and the magic she hides.
There’s one name that Kenna, Meegan, the Sendarians, and the monsters who’ve been hunting Meegan and her family for over a century all have in common…

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Book Review – The Gilded Ones

Title:The Gilded Ones
Author: Namina Forna
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Genre: Fantasy | YA
Length: 414 pages
Published:  Feb 9th 2020
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Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.
But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.
Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.
Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself. 

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Book Review and 15 Reactions While Reading Wench – Wench

Title: Wench
Author: Maxine Kaplan
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Genre: YA | Fantasy | Adventure
Length: 400 pages
Published:  Jan 19th 2021
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A funny, fiercely feminist YA epic fantasy—following the adventures of a tavern wench
Tanya has worked at her tavern since she was able to see over the bar. She broke up her first fight at 11. By the time she was a teenager she knew everything about the place, and she could run it with her eyes closed. She’d never let anyone—whether it be a drunkard or a captain of the queen’s guard—take advantage of her. But when her guardian dies, she might lose it all: the bar, her home, her purpose in life. So she heads out on a quest to petition the queen to keep the tavern in her name—dodging unscrupulous guards, a band of thieves, and a powerful, enchanted feather that seems drawn to her. Fast-paced, magical, and unapologetically feminist, Wench is epic fantasy like you’ve never seen it before.
Cw: Some magic in the book involves self-harm.

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Book Hype and Mood Board – Cast in Firelight

Title: Cast in firelight
Author: Dana Swift
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Genre: YA | Fantasy | Romance
Length: 448 pages
Published:  Jan 19th2021
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The first book in an epic, heart-pounding fantasy duology about two royal heirs betrothed to be married, but whose loyalties are torn, and a ruthless enemy who threatens their world, perfect for fans of Sabaa Tahir, Hafsah Faizal, and Renée Ahdieh.
Adraa is the royal heir of Belwar, a talented witch on the cusp of taking her royal ceremony test, and a girl who just wants to prove her worth to her people. Jatin is the royal heir to Naupure, a competitive wizard who’s mastered all nine colors of magic, and a boy anxious to return home for the first time since he was a child.
Together, their arranged marriage will unite two of Wickery’s most powerful kingdoms. But after years of rivalry from afar, Adraa and Jatin only agree on one thing: their reunion will be anything but sweet.
Only, destiny has other plans and with the criminal underbelly of Belwar suddenly making a move for control, their paths cross…and neither realizes who the other is, adopting separate secret identities instead.
Between dodging deathly spells and keeping their true selves hidden, the pair must learn to put their trust in the other if either is to uncover the real threat. Now Wickery’s fate is in the hands of rivals..? Fiancées..? Partners..? Whatever they are, it’s complicated and bound for greatness or destruction.

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Book Review and Playlist – A Wolf for a Spell

Title: A Wolf for a Spell
Author: Karah Sutton
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Genre: Middle Grade | Fantasy | Retelling
Length: 320 pages
Published:  Dec 1st 2020
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Get the book here:
Amazon B&N Indigo

The Girl Who Drank the Moon meets Pax in this fantastical tale of a wolf who forms an unlikely alliance with Baba Yaga to save the forest from a wicked tsar.
Since she was a pup, Zima has been taught to fear humans—especially witches—but when her family is threatened, she has no choice but to seek help from the witch Baba Yaga.
Baba Yaga never does magic for free, but it just so happens that she needs a wolf’s keen nose for a secret plan she’s brewing… Before Zima knows what’s happening, the witch has cast a switching spell and run off into the woods, while Zima is left behind in Baba Yaga’s hut—and Baba Yaga’s body!
Meanwhile, a young village girl named Nadya is also seeking the witch’s help, and when she meets Zima (in Baba Yaga’s form), they discover that they face a common enemy. With danger closing in, Zima must unite the wolves, the witches and the villagers against an evil that threatens them all.

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Book Review – Cemetery Boys

Title:Cemetery Boys
Author: Aiden Thomas
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Genre: Paranormal | YA | Romance
Length: 352 pages
Published:  Sept 1st 2020
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Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.
When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his true 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 off 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.

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Transathon wrap-up

If you still don’t know what Transathon is, you can still pretty much figure out from the name! It’s a very awesome readathon that took place all through July and it’s focused on reading more books by trans and non-binary authors! There is also a Mini Transathon for Transgender Awareness Week. Go follow them on twitter @transathon and also you can find the amazing host, Ocean, on twitter @oceansofnovels and on their blog here.

Because I am a lazy piece of muffin, I never wrote my wrap-up for Transathon and while preparing for this week’s posts I realized that this is the perfect week for this. I present to you the amazing books I read over July as part of Transathon.

I am also hosting a giveaway on my Instagram as part of Transgender Awareness Week.

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Book Review – The Camelot Betrayal

Title:The Camelot Betrayal
Author: Kiersten White
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Genre: Fantasy | YA | Retelling
Length: 384 pages
Published:  Nov 10th 2020
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Get the book here:
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EVERYTHING IS AS IT SHOULD BE IN CAMELOT: King Arthur is expanding his kingdom’s influence with Queen Guinevere at his side. Yet every night, dreams of darkness and unknowable power plague her.
Guinevere might have accepted her role, but she still cannot find a place for herself in all of it. The closer she gets to Brangien, pining for her lost love Isolde, Lancelot, fighting to prove her worth as Queen’s knight, and Arthur, everything to everyone and thus never quite enough for Guinevere–the more she realizes how empty she is. She has no sense of who she truly was before she was Guinevere. The more she tries to claim herself as queen, the more she wonders if Mordred was right: she doesn’t belong. She never will.
When a rescue goes awry and results in the death of something precious, a devastated Guinevere returns to Camelot to find the greatest threat yet has arrived. Not in the form of the Dark Queen or an invading army, but in the form of the real Guinevere’s younger sister. Is her deception at an end? And who is she really deceiving–Camelot, or herself?

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Top 10 deal-breaker tropes

Tropes, love them, or hate them they are overly present in any type of media out there. From the knight in shiny armor to the good old love triangle there is no way to escape them. Today I thought is only natural to present my take on tropes, and more specific bad tropes, the ones that I avoid in any books and can make me DNF faster than that crazy chicken running from the stupid coyote, you know the one.
While I admit, I added here some tropes that I can live with, and that can even be done well, most of them are either problematic or overly used. Spoiler alert, I am working on a list of bad tropes done well, so stay tuned.

Trigger Warning: mental health, sexual assault

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