Blog Tour Review: Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

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Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay
Genre: YA Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, #ownvoices
Publication: June 18th 2019 by Kokila
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 320 pages
Format: ARC from Penguin Random House International
Rating: ★★★★★

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A powerful coming-of-age story about grief, guilt, and the risks a Filipino-American teenager takes to uncover the truth about his cousin’s murder.

Jay Reguero plans to spend the last semester of his senior year playing video games before heading to the University of Michigan in the fall. But when he discovers that his Filipino cousin Jun was murdered as part of President Duterte’s war on drugs, and no one in the family wants to talk about what happened, Jay travels to the Philippines to find out the real story.

Hoping to uncover more about Jun and the events that led to his death, Jay is forced to reckon with the many sides of his cousin before he can face the whole horrible truth — and the part he played in it.

As gripping as it is lyrical, Patron Saints of Nothing is a page-turning portrayal of the struggle to reconcile faith, family, and immigrant identity.  Continue reading “Blog Tour Review: Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay”

Blog Tour Review: Girl Gone Viral by Arvin Ahmadi

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Girl Gone Viral by Arvin Ahmadi
Genre: YA Science Fiction, Gaming, Virtual Reality
Publication: May 21st 2019 by Viking Books for Young Readers
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 384 pages
Format: ARC from Penguin Random House International
Rating: ★★★★☆

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For seventeen-year-old Opal Hopper, code is magic. She builds entire worlds from scratch: Mars craters, shimmering lakes, any virtual experience her heart desires.

But she can’t code her dad back into her life. When he disappeared after her tenth birthday, leaving only a cryptic note, Opal tried desperately to find him. And when he never turned up, she enrolled at a boarding school for technical prodigies and tried to forget.

Until now. Because WAVE, the world’s biggest virtual reality platform, has announced a contest where the winner gets to meet its billionaire founder. The same billionaire who worked closely with Opal’s dad. The one she always believed might know where he went. The one who maybe even murdered him.

What begins as a small data hack to win the contest spirals out of control when Opal goes viral, digging her deeper into a hole of lies, hacks, and manipulation. How far will Opal go for the answers–or is it the attention–she’s wanted for years?

Continue reading “Blog Tour Review: Girl Gone Viral by Arvin Ahmadi”

Review + Aesthetic Board: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

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Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary Fiction, Realistic Fiction, LGBTQIA+
Publication: May 14th 2019 by St. Martin’s Griffin / Wednesday Books
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 432 pages
Format: ARC from the author
Rating: ★★★★★

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A big-hearted romantic comedy in which First Son Alex falls in love with Prince Henry of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends…

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.

The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

Continue reading “Review + Aesthetic Board: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston”

Review + Aesthetic Board: Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith

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Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith
Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Publication: March 5th 2019 by Delacorte Press
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 320 pages
Format: eARC from the publisher
Rating: ★★★★.5

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Having just been dumped by his girlfriend, British-born Hugo is still determined to take his last-hurrah-before-college train trip across the United States. One snag: the companion ticket is already booked under the name of his ex, Margaret Campbell. Nontransferable, no exceptions.

Enter the new Margaret C. (Mae for short), an aspiring filmmaker with big dreams. After finding Hugo’s spare ticket offer online, she’s convinced it’s the perfect opportunity to expand her horizons.

When the two meet, the attraction is undeniable, and both find more than they bargained for. As Mae pushes Hugo to explore his dreams for his future, he’ll encourage her to channel a new, vulnerable side of her art. But when life off the train threatens the bubble they’ve created for themselves, will they manage to keep their love on track?

Continue reading “Review + Aesthetic Board: Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith”

Review + Aesthetic Board: Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

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Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds
Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance, Science Fiction
Publication: March 5th 2019 by Katherine Tegen Books
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 464 pages
Format: ARC from the publisher
Rating: ★★★★.5

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Jack Ellison King. King of Almost.

He almost made valedictorian.

He almost made varsity.

He almost got the girl . . .

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack. Jack’s curse of almost is finally over.

But this love story is . . . complicated. It is an almost happily ever after. Because Kate dies. And their story should end there. Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Beautiful, radiant Kate. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind. Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do—and let go—to save the people he loves.  Continue reading “Review + Aesthetic Board: Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds”