REVIEW: Year of the Reaper by Makiia Lucier

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Book: Year of the Reaper by Makiia Lucier

Release Date: November 9, 2021

My Rating: 4.75 stars

Rep: gay side character

CW: implied torture, gore, illness (plague), amputation, mentions of human experimentation

Summary: The past never forgets…

Before an ambush by enemy soldiers, Lord Cassia was an engineer’s apprentice on a mission entrusted by the king. But when plague sweeps over the land, leaving countless dead and devastating the kingdom, even Cas’ title cannot save him from a rotting prison cell and a merciless sickness.

Three years later, Cas wants only to return to his home in the mountains and forget past horrors. But home is not what he remembers. His castle has become a refuge for the royal court. And they have brought their enemies with them.

When an assassin targets those closest to the queen, Cas is drawn into a search for a killer…one that leads him to form an unexpected bond with a brilliant young historian named Lena. Cas and Lena soon realize that who is behind the attacks is far less important than why. They must look to the past, following the trail of a terrible secret—one that could threaten the kingdom’s newfound peace and plunge it back into war.

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REVIEW: Not Here to Be Liked by Michelle Quach

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Book: Not Here to Be Liked by Michelle Quach

Release Date: September 14, 2021

My Rating: 4.75 stars

Rep: Chinese-Vietnamese-American protagonist, biracial (Japanese, white) love interest, Black side character, Korean-American side characters; (Chinese-Vietnamese-American author)

Summary: Emergency Contact meets Moxie in this cheeky and searing novel that unpacks just how complicated new love can get…when you fall for your enemy.

Eliza Quan is the perfect candidate for editor in chief of her school paper. That is, until ex-jock Len DiMartile decides on a whim to run against her. Suddenly her vast qualifications mean squat because inexperienced Len—who is tall, handsome, and male—just seems more like a leader.

When Eliza’s frustration spills out in a viral essay, she finds herself inspiring a feminist movement she never meant to start, caught between those who believe she’s a gender equality champion and others who think she’s simply crying misogyny.

Amid this growing tension, the school asks Eliza and Len to work side by side to demonstrate civility. But as they get to know one another, Eliza feels increasingly trapped by a horrifying realization—she just might be falling for the face of the patriarchy himself.

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REVIEW: The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He

**I received an ARC from the publisher through Netgalley (thank you, Roaring Brook Press!). These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.**


the ones we're meant to find cover

Book: The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He

Release Date: May 4, 2021

My Rating: 4.75 stars

Rep: ownvoices East Asian protagonists

CW: terminal illness, suicide, violence (including choking), death, death of parent (off page), vomiting, large scale natural disasters and mass casualties, some gore

Summary: One of the most twisty, surprising, engaging page-turner YAs you’ll read this year—We Were Liars with sci-fi scope, Lost with a satisfying resolution.

Cee awoke on an abandoned island three years ago. With no idea of how she was marooned, she only has a rickety house, an old android, and a single memory: she has a sister, and Cee needs to find her.

STEM prodigy Kasey wants escape from the science and home she once trusted. The eco-cities—Earth’s last unpolluted place—are meant to be sanctuary for those committed to planetary protection, but they’re populated by people willing to do anything for refuge, even lie. Now, she’ll have to decide if she’s ready to use science to help humanity, even though it failed the people who mattered most.

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REVIEW: Beach Read by Emily Henry

**I received an ARC from Edelweiss. These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.**


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Book: Beach Read by Emily Henry

Release Date: May 19, 2020

My Rating: 4.75 stars

Rep: lesbian side characters

CW: past child abuse

Summary: A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.

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REVIEW: Realm of Ash by Tasha Suri

**I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you, Orbit Books!). These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.**


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Book: Realm of Ash by Tasha Suri

Release Date: November 14, 2019

My Rating: 4.75 stars

Rep: ownvoices Indian-inspired world and characters

Summary: A spellbinding fantasy novel set in the Mughal India-inspired world of Empire of Sand, perfect for readers of City of Brass and The Wrath & the Dawn.

Some believe the Ambhan Empire is cursed. But Arwa doesn’t simply believe it — she knows it’s true.

Widowed by the infamous, unnatural massacre at Darez Fort, Arwa was saved only by the strangeness of her blood — a strangeness she had been taught all her life to suppress. She offers up her blood and service to the imperial family, and makes common cause with a disgraced, illegitimate prince who has turned to forbidden occult arts to find a cure to the darkness hanging over the Empire.

Using the power in Arwa’s blood, they seek answers in the realm of ash: a land where mortals can find the ghostly echoes of their ancestors’ dreams. But the Emperor’s health is failing, and a terrible war of succession hovers on the horizon, not just for the Imperial throne, but for the magic underpinning Empire itself.

To save the Empire, Arwa and the prince must walk the bloody path of their shared past, through the realm of ash and into the desert, where the cause of the Empire’s suffering — and its only chance of salvation — lie in wait. But what they find there calls into question everything they’ve ever valued… and whether they want to save the Empire at all.

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REVIEW: Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane

**I received an ARC from Edelweiss. These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.**


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Book: Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane

Release Date: September 10, 2019

My Rating: 4.75 stars

CW: sexual assault (on-page description)

Summary: Internationally bestselling author Mhairi McFarlane delivers a funny, romantic, heartfelt novel perfect for fans of Josie Silver or Sally Thorne, and anyone who loves Bridget Jones! 

You always remember your first love… don’t you?

If there’s anything worse than being fired from the lousiest restaurant in town, it’s coming home early to find your boyfriend in bed with someone else. Reeling from the humiliation of a double dumping in one day, Georgina takes the next job that comes her way—bartender in a newly opened pub. There’s only one problem: it’s run by the guy she fell in love with years ago. And—make that two problems—he doesn’t remember her. At all. But she has fabulous friends and her signature hot pink fur coat… what more could a girl really need?

Lucas McCarthy has not only grown into a broodingly handsome man, but he’s also turned into an actual grown-up, with a thriving business and a dog along the way. Crossing paths with him again throws Georgina’s rocky present into sharp relief—and brings a secret from her past bubbling to the surface. Only she knows what happened twelve years ago, and why she’s allowed the memories to chase her ever since. But maybe it’s not too late for the truth… or a second chance with the one that got away?

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REVIEW: Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

**I received an ARC from Netgalley and Edelweiss. These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.**


Book: Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

Release Date: April 2, 2019

My Rating: 4.75 stars

Rep: ownvoices Chinese-inspired world and characters

Summary: Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own.

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant and alluring investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

In this shimmering Chinese-inspired fantasy, debut author Joan He introduces a determined and vulnerable young heroine struggling to do right in a world brimming with deception.

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REVIEW: Heroine’s Journey by Sarah Kuhn

**I received an ARC from Netgalley. In no way was I compensated for this review, and these are my honest opinions.**


Book: Heroine’s Journey (Heroine Complex #3) by Sarah Kuhn

Release Date: July 5, 2018

My Rating: 4.75 stars

Rep: ownvoices biracial (Japanese, white) bisexual protagonist and side character, Japanese-American love interest, biracial (Black, Japanese) side character, Chinese-American side character

Summary: The final book in the smart, snarky, and action-packed Heroine series completes the “Heroic Trio” as Bea Tanaka joins her sister, Evie, and diva Aveda Jupiter in their quest to free San Francisco from its demon portal problem

If there’s one thing Beatrice Tanaka never wanted to be, it’s normal. But somehow, her life has unfolded as a series of “should haves.” Her powers of emotional projection should have made her one of the most formidable superheroes of all time. And she should have been allowed to join her older sister Evie as a full-fledged protector of San Francisco, pulverizing the city’s plethora of demon threats.

But Evie and her superheroing partner, Aveda Jupiter, insist on seeing Bea as the impulsive, tempestuous teenager she used to be–even though she’s now a responsible adult. And that means Bea is currently living a thoroughly normal life. She works as a bookstore lackey, hangs out with best friends Sam Fujikawa and Leah Kim, and calms her workplace’s more difficult customers. Sure, she’s not technically supposed to be playing with people’s mental states. But given the mundanity of her existence, who can blame her?

When a mysterious being starts communicating with Bea, hinting at an evil that’s about to overtake the city, she seizes the opportunity, hoping to turn her “should haves” into the fabulous heroic life she’s always wanted. But gaining that life may mean sacrificing everything–and everyone–she holds dear…

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