arc review

ARC Review of 27 Hours by Tristina Wright

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27 Hours by Tristina Wright

Publication Date: October 3, 2017.

Publisher: Entangled: Teen.

Genres: Young Adult and Science Fiction.

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Purchase here: Amazon Book Depository 

Synopsis: Rumor Mora fears two things: hellhounds too strong for him to kill, and failure. Jude Welton has two dreams: for humans to stop killing monsters, and for his strange abilities to vanish. But in no reality should a boy raised to love monsters fall for a boy raised to kill them.

Nyx Llorca keeps two secrets: the moon speaks to her, and she’s in love with Dahlia, her best friend. Braeden Tennant wants two things: to get out from his mother’s shadow, and to unlearn Epsilon’s darkest secret. They’ll both have to commit treason to find the truth.

During one twenty-seven-hour night, if they can’t stop the war between the colonies and the monsters from becoming a war of extinction, the things they wish for will never come true, and the things they fear will be all that’s left.

27 Hours is a sweeping, thrilling story featuring a stellar cast of queer teenagers battling to save their homes and possibly every human on Sahara as the clock ticks down to zero.

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Thank you, Macmillan and Entangled: Teen, for my ARC of 27 Hours. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Before I read this book I was so intrigued by the world Tristina Wright has created in 27 Hours and I have now truly fallen in love with it. 27 Hours is an action-packed character driven story which will have you rooting for the main characters while you at the same time get to know this new world far away in outer space. There’s romance, friendship, family and so much more which are all explored through the four POVs of Rumor Mora, Jude Welton, Nyx Llorca, and Braeden Tennant. Through these four different teenagers, we are taken on a journey where everything they’ve ever believed will be challenged and thus they must fight for their survival and for what’s right.

The stories from Earth said the night sky there had been the color of the void and pricked with millions of stars. Only one moon had stamped a hole in the darkness. The sky above the colonized moon of Sahara was a jumble of blue-green nebula, Sahara’s host planet (which had some long number designation Rumor could never remember), and five other moons.

The characters in 27 Hours are all marginalized. Rumor is bisexual and multiracial; Jude is gay; Nyx is Latinx, deaf and pansexual; Braeden is asexual; Dahlia is transgender, bisexual and a dark-skinned Latinx; and lastly, Trick is a man of color and gay. However, despite the fact that a lot of on the page representation has been praised, there has also been criticism. The opinion on the racial representation has been divided. I would urge you to read reviews that bring up the topic of racism and colonization in 27 Hours before deciding to read the book since the issues with the representation and the potential harm the book may inflict is well described there. The criticism should not be taken lightly.

What made me like this book was the characters. I fell in love with every single one of them and was really invested in their journeys. The main characters are a strong cast of characters that a lot of ways remind me of the found family trope. Family doesn’t necessarily mean blood, but instead who you choose to love, to trust and to surround yourself with. I love the romance that we see developed throughout this story both between Rumor and Jude, and Nyx and Dahlia. Especially the last one killed me because it was slow-burn friends to lovers, which is my weak spot. I would have to say that Nyx is my favorite in the entire book, she is a badass who can use a sniper rifle. I love how she loves Dahlia and puts flowers in her hair at random moments. Moreover, I also love how sign language was such a big part of the story because of the fact that Nyx is deaf and that Dahlia and Braeden always thought about making sure Nyx understood what they and everyone around her were saying.

Nyx’s fingertips prickled, and her mouth went dry. Gods, crushes sucked so much. Especially ones on your best friend. Who had skin the color of deepest space and eyes like twin stars. Who preferred looser shirts that slipped off one shoulder and teased Nyx mercilessly with collarbone. Who wore a pair of green pants Nyx absolutely loved on her because they clung to her legs, her thighs, those hips. Hips made for grabbing.

If you want a book about marginalized teenagers saving their world, their moon, while exploring their feelings regarding love, lust, friendship, and loyalty then 27 Hours is for you. We are thrown right into the middle of the story and throughout the story, there is nothing but high stakes as the countdown towards dayside is ongoing. This book will make you laugh, cry and squeal. I cannot wait to see what the sequel will bring us, I have a mighty need for it. However, before you read 27 Hours, do proceed with caution and read other reviews that bring up the problematic aspects of this book.

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ARC Review of Not Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson

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Not Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson

Publication Date: November 21, 2017.

Publisher: Wednesday Books.

Genres: Young Adult and Contemporary.

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Purchase here: Amazon Book Depository 

Synopsis: Elliot Gabaroche is very clear on what she isn’t going to do this summer.

1. She isn’t going to stay home in Sacramento, where she’d have to sit through her stepmother’s sixth community theater production of The Importance of Being Earnest.
2. She isn’t going to mock trial camp at UCLA.
3. And she certainly isn’t going to the Air Force summer program on her mother’s base in Colorado Springs. As cool as it would be to live-action-role-play Ender’s Game, Ellie’s seen three generations of her family go through USAF boot camp up close, and she knows that it’s much less Luke/Yoda/”feel the force,” and much more one hundred push-ups on three days of no sleep. And that just isn’t appealing, no matter how many Xenomorphs from Alien she’d be able to defeat afterwards.

What she is going to do is pack up her attitude, her favorite Octavia Butler novels, and her Jordans, and go to summer camp. Specifically, a cutthroat academic-decathlon-like competition for a full scholarship to Rayevich College, the only college with a Science Fiction Literature program. And she’s going to start over as Ever Lawrence, on her own terms, without the shadow of all her family’s expectations. Because why do what’s expected of you when you can fight other genius nerds to the death for a shot at the dream you’re sure your family will consider a complete waste of time?

This summer’s going to be great.

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Thank you, St. Martin’s Press, for my ARC of Not Now, Not Ever. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

I have fallen in love with Not Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson. This book is funny, adorable, and perfect for anyone interested in a nerdy romantic comedy. This diverse contemporary young adult story is about Ever and her summer at a competitive camp for geniuses where she has the chance to win a scholarship to her dream school. The only catch is that everyone in her family thinks she is somewhere else and no one at camp knows her real identity.

Elliot Gabaroche was everywhere and nowhere. Ever Lawrence, seventeen-year-old girl and newly certified genius, was going to summer camp.

Not Now, Not Ever is inspired by The Importance of Being Earnest and that makes the story that much more interesting. The book has the best vibes and if you are interested in young adult books that actually show the characters studying, this is it. Not only those this novel gives you the best nerdy fantasy vibes, it also has a romantic plot that will make readers swoon. The relationships that exist between all of the characters, especially the deep friendships that develop, are what makes this book so great.

“We could be two people who like each other, who care about each other. I want to know you. I want to know what happens when you go home. I want to know what you think about things and what you’re reading and what you see.”

If you want a light young adult story with romantic, nerdy, hilarious and just plain heartwarming moments, Not Now, Not Ever is a great choice. Don’t hesitate to grab this book at your bookstore or at your library. The cast of characters is diverse, the main character is a black girl and there is no shortage of characters that people will relate to. There is so much about this book readers will fall in love with.

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ARC Review of East in Paradise by Tif Marcelo

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East in Paradise by Tif Marcelo

Publication Date: September 4, 2017.

Publisher: Pocket Star.

Genres: Contemporary and Romance.

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Purchase here: Amazon

Synopsis: When an entrepreneur and an Army reservist end up in their own reality show fauxmance, they have to decide whether their love exists just for the cameras…or if it’s for real in this warmhearted romance, perfect for foodies and wine lovers!

Bryn Aquino, the former manager of a Filipino restaurant, knows the value of hard work. With a shiny new MBA in tow and an investor, she’s ready to start her own business: a culinary retreat where visitors can relax, cook, and enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Dubbed Paraiso Retreats, she leases the childhood home of army reservist Mitchell Dunford—who returned from Afghanistan to revive his family’s vineyard—but finds herself in a bind when her investor pulls out of the business.

When the retreat catches an internet live stream producer’s eye through social media channels, Bryn is offered the opportunity of a lifetime—to document her journey in exchange for a hefty paycheck. Excited, Bryn happily agrees to the arrangement…only to find out that she’s going to have to fake an onscreen romance with her indifferent landlord in order to keep her audience interested.

As Mitchell and Bryn put on a show for the cameras, they find their romance isn’t hard to fake. They’ve got more in common under their bluster, banter, and doubts. As their relationship heats up and the cameras keep rolling, the line between show and reality blurs. And when the pressures of family, business, and the audience stack against them, will their romance survive internet stardom? Or was it just for show?

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Thank you, Tif Marcelo and Pocket Star, for my ARC of East in Paradise. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

East in Paradise is the standalone sequel to North to You. The book follows Bryn Aquino, a Filipino business woman, and Mitchell Dunford, army hero, and an expert in all things agriculture and vineyards. East in Paradise takes you on a journey where you are swept away by reality TV, fake dating, delicious food and wine, raw emotions and lots of laughs. If foodie romances, as well as strong and vulnerable heroes and heroines, are your thing, then your next book purchase should be none other than East in Paradise by Tif Marcelo.

This attraction is a conflict of interest, and all wrong. But the electricity between us–it’s palpable. It has both a negative and a positive charge that draws me to him and pushes me away, though equally powerful. And I know he feels it, too.

I love how sweet the romance between Bryn and Mitchell is, their banter is A+ and they really have to work to get their happily ever after. They both have walls that need to be torn down and I loved to see that happen little by little. The end result was that much sweeter because of the hard work and ups and downs Bryn and Mitchell had to get through to get their happy ending. This book has both fake dating and reality TV and I love these tropes so much. Moreover, I love how the story is about more than just the romance between Bryn and Mitchell. Both of them are also trying to start businesses and that’s a whole process, and I like how we get to see that. There is a lot riding on the success of their businesses and we get to see them on every step of the way: the good and the bad, the rewards and the setbacks.

Damn, the woman won’t stop. Her attitude won’t quit; she refuses to submit.
And it fucking turns me on.

Bryn is a remarkable heroine, I love her so much. She is energetic, and always wants to fight and have the last word in discussions and arguments. I’m so glad she was portrayed the way she was because I think it’s rare to see headstrong and opinionated women get celebrated. I relate to her so much, so definitely give me more gutsy, vulnerable and stubborn women in romance. I love it when we see women going after what they want and not being afraid to do it. Furthermore, what I love about Mitchell is the fact that he’s kind, is in love with all things nature, and totally has a green thumb. There is also the fact that he’s a soldier, a captain. Mitchell has PTSD and I loved the way that was shown and handled. We see how he deals with both his anxiety and insomnia and how he gets treatment for his PTSD as his symptoms begin to worsen. I love how this book called out a lot of the stigma that exists surrounding soldiers with PTSD and I’m glad something so significant was brought up in a skillful way that in no way diminishes its importance. Mitchell and Bryn are both fully fleshed out characters that I think many will enjoy reading about and getting to know them.

Another aspect of East in Paradise I loved was the family vibes. We get to see both Bryn’s and Mitchell’s family, and despite none of them being perfect, I love how authentic it feels to see them come with their two cents about the entire ordeal of the plot. It’s also very clear how much Bryn and Mitchell care about their families and thus also care about what the other’s family thinks of them. Another plus was the main characters Camille and Drew from North to You made multiple cameo appearances (which was not surprising considering we were introduced to Bryn in North to You since she’s Drew’s cousin). As for future installments, the information about who the third book is about is still unknown. However, I’d really like to see the next book be about Victoria (Bryn’s sister) or Cody (Mitchell’s brother) since I fell in love with them both from what we saw in East in Paradise.

All in all, I love how Tif Marcelo has brought us two amazing foodie romances that will make you swoon. East in Paradise has the best romance and an amazing cast of characters to get invested in. I love how this book is both light and funny yet still manages to tackle important topics that I can imagine are often just brushed over. If you’re a lover of romance, food, wine and that classic “and they lived happily ever after” then you need East in Paradise on your TBR. Nothing beats a really good romance read and this book is definitely it.

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