I’ve been meaning to come up with this post for the looongest time ever. Everything has been chaotic and super stressful for me for the past two months, hence the reason why my blog hasn’t been at its best performance, both in quality and quantity. However, here are some quick news that I’d like to share today!
Blog + Life Update
In early December, I decided to stop my self-hosting package and moved to a free blogging platform. Things went pretty south, if you ask me. I was contemplating between Blogger and WordPress, and originally, I decided to go back to Blogger. I re-design my old blog on Blogger, prepared some new posting format and all, and even purchase a nice theme to go with it. Sadly, my old posts from WordPress won’t uploaded to Blogger. So, if you’re reading this post right now, it’s pretty obvious that I’m residing on WordPress at the moment. I’m considering to leave my old posts and start a brand new blog, but I couldn’t because life was seriously strangle my neck lately. Which brings me to the second update…
I (possibly) get a new job! YAY! And… ya girl is heading tothe banking industry! YAY? (I still have no idea how I feel about this, tbh). It’s possibly because I’m currently still in the educational & on the job training program, so there’s a chance that I won’t get the actual job if I don’t pass the exams. I’ve been putting my whole energy and time to this training, hence the reason why I couldn’t update anything but scheduled blog tours.
I wish I don’t have to state this but sadly, I have to take indefinite hiatus. I’ll still post occasionally, especially for scheduled blog tours from last year. I’ll also still post occasionally on The Nerd Daily (for advanced reviews and scheduled interviews) so you know where to find me!
Title: Seven Deadly Shadows | Author: Courtney Alameda & Valynne E. Maetani | Series: N/A | Age: Young Adult | Genre: Fantasy | Publication Date: January 28, 2020 | Trigger Warning: N/A
—.:* About the Book
Kira Fujikawa has always been a girl on the fringe. Bullied by her peers and ignored by her parents, the only place Kira’s ever felt at home is at her grandfather’s Shinto shrine, where she trains to be a priestess.
But Kira’s life is shattered on the night her family’s shrine is attacked by a vicious band of yokai demons. With the help of Shiro—the shrine’s gorgeous half-fox, half-boy kitsune—Kira discovers that her shrine harbors an ancient artifact of great power . . . one the yokai and their demon lord, Shuten-doji, will use to bring down an everlasting darkness upon the world.
Unable to face the Shuten-doji and his minions on her own, Kira enlists the aid of seven ruthless shinigami—or death gods—to help stop the brutal destruction of humankind. But some of the death gods aren’t everything they initially seemed, nor as loyal to Kira’s cause as they first appeared.
With war drawing nearer by the day, Kira realizes that if this unlikely band of heroes is going to survive, they’re going to have to learn to work together, confront their demons, and rise as one to face an army of unimaginable evil.
Thank you to The FFBC for hosting this blog tour.
Are you thinking about adding Seven Deadly Shadows to your next reading list?
Title: Spellhacker | Author: M.K. England | Series: N/A | Age: Young Adult | Genre: Fantasy | Publication Date: January 21, 2020 | Trigger Warning: N/A | Links: Add on Goodreads • Purchase on *Book Depository
—.:* 1. Magnificent universe with extraordinary magic system.
England did a wonderful job with her newest YA Fantasy, Spellhacker. You’re lying if you say that you weren’t blown away when you got introduced to the magical land of Kyrkarta. The great combination of fantasy and science fiction was delivered in this book amazingly and surely, it won’t be easy to forget Diz’s very last heist with her friends here.
—.:* 2. Outstanding representations brought to you by fun & quirky casts.
One of the best things about Spellhacker was its incredibly diverse characters. Not just any characters, but almost every characters included. From our lead herself, Diz, to her wonderful friends and other additional characters as well. It was executed elegantly without leaving an impression that it was being pushed.
—.:* 3. Multiple reasons that will makes you love it no matter what.
Um, found family, excellent representation, thrilling heist plot, conspiracy theories, witty banters among our lovely characters, a perfect balance between fantasy and science-fiction, Spellhacker has it all!
—.:* About the Author
M.K. England is an author and librarian who grew up on the Space Coast of Florida and now calls rural Virginia home. When she’s not writing or librarianing, MK can be found drowning in fandom, rolling dice at the gaming table, digging in the garden, or feeding her video game addiction. She loves Star Wars with a desperate, heedless passion. It’s best if you never speak of Sherlock Holmes in her presence. You’ll regret it. THE DISASTERS is her debut novel. Follow her at http://www.mkengland.com.
—.:* Tour Schedule
Are you thinking about adding Spellhacker to your next reading list?
Title: Every Other Weekend | Author: Abigail Johnson | Series: N/A | Age: Young Adult | Genre: Contemporary | Publication Date: January 7, 2020 | Trigger Warning: Parental abuse, sexual assault, and toxic relationships. | Links: Add on Goodreads • Purchase on *Book Depository
—.:* Quick Recap!
☆ This book is about two struggled teens who develop an unlikely friendship during their encounter on their fathers’ apartment complex. ☆ Read this book if you’re a fan of heartwarming teenage first love story that featured hard-hitting issues. ☆ You might want to consider it because it was 500+ pages long and some could be intimidated by the number, but I’d say you’ll enjoy every single page. A lot of triggering behaviors were also featured in this book, such as parental abuse, sexual assault, and toxic relationships.
—.:* More Thoughts
Featuring two struggled teens who develop an unlikely friendship, Abigail Johnson’s upcoming contemporary, Every Other Weekend, is going to hit you right in the feels with its complex characters, hard-hitting plots, and simple yet captivating setting of an old, crappy apartment complex. Following the story of Adam who’s still deep in grief years after the death of his beloved oldest brother and Jolene who’s trapped between her parents’ divorce and endless fights, Johnson is not shy away from digging into their deepest emotions and state of mind not just as regular teens, but also as ones who tried to conceal the years of suffering by becoming distant and unapproachable.
Told in alternating perspectives, the story begins with Adam being on his way to his father’s apartment with his brother, Jeremy. The two didn’t get along, although Adam’s admiration for his oldest brother, Greg, who died a year before, was obvious from the way he’s grieving. Healing and moving on might be easy to do, if it’s not for the fact that Adam didn’t just lose Greg, but also the picture-perfect family that he previously had. His mother couldn’t function properly anymore and seemed to burst into tears at almost every given moment. His father wasn’t doing any better and ultimately decided to take off instead of facing off the tornado that tore their family apart. As a result of losing one of their sons, his parents decided that they needed to move on, not just from grieve, but also from each other, resulting in Adam and Jeremy scheduled visiting at their dad’s apartment on every other weekend. Confused and angry for a decision that Adam considered to be completely ridiculous, he lashed out his emotions towards everything, except his mother, who he very much loved. But that’s before he met Jolene, the passionate and witty girl next door that seems to always have a camera in her hands.
An aspiring filmmaker and one that is very much passionate about anything movie-related, Jolene was stuck in the middle of her parents’ divorce and constantly used as a pawn. She went back and forth between her parents’ place and she rarely got to experience their affection and growing believing that love isn’t real. On one of the weekends, during her stay at her dad’s apartment who is constantly too busy with work to even show up to meet his daughter and instead gives that responsibility to the mistress that caused the divorce in the first place, Jolene met Adam while she accidentally captured their first encounter on her camera. Though their first encounter was more awkward rather than romantic, the two decided that hanging around each other was the best option that they could get out of their stay in their fathers’ apartment.
My favourite thing about Every Other Weekend is definitely Johnson’s ability to craft such a beautiful and heartfelt story, making them go beyond 500 pages, yet not once I felt that the story was dragging or even too long. Contemporary doesn’t need a long elaboration on its worldbuilding because they pretty much exist just in our world, hence the reason why authors could put more highlight on the characters or the plot instead. Johnson executed these two remarkably. While the heart of this story is the encounter of Adam and Jolene, the narratives regarding the other aspects of their life were still delivered thoroughly, making their characters more complex rather than just serving one sole purpose of meeting teach other.
I loved the fact that Johnson took the time to narrate how the characters were dealing with other people and things in their life aside from each other, making this story more enjoyable and real to be followed. While it wasn’t my favourite, Adam’s dynamic with his remaining brother, Jeremy, was striking and showed just how badly siblings could treat each other. I also enjoyed following Adam’s love journey because of how real it was narrated, especially in portraying teenagers’ love life and all of its complications.
Meanwhile, Jolene’s friends, Cherry and Gabe, were also a decent addition in this story. Aside from Adam and Jolene’s blooming romance, we also got a peek at Cherry’s toxic relationship with her on-and-off-again boyfriend. Jolene tried multiple times to make Cherry realise just how badly her boyfriend treats her, and this is pretty much happening in real life too. I think Johnson did a wonderful job of narrating the dynamic of two friends who obviously cared about each other, yet the case could be alternated when others involved, in this case, Cherry’s boyfriend.
—.:* The Verdict!
—.:* About the Author
Abigail was born in Pennsylvania. When she was twelve, her family traded in snow storms for year round summers, and moved to Arizona. Abigail chronicled the entire cross-country road trip (in a purple spiral bound notebook that she still has) and has been writing ever since. She became a tetraplegic after breaking her neck in a car accident when she was seventeen, but hasn’t let that stop her from bodysurfing in Mexico, writing and directing a high school production of Cinderella, and becoming a published author.
Are you thinking about adding Every Other Weekend to your next reading list?
Title: Jane Anonymous | Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz | Series: N/A | Age: Young Adult | Genre: Contemporary, Mystery | Publication Date: January 7, 2020 | Trigger Warning: Kidnapping | Links: Add on Goodreads • Purchase on *Book Depository
*Artsy Draft receives a small commission for any purchases made through the link above.
—.:* Quick Recap!
☆ This book is about a reminisce from a girl who got kidnapped and locked up for seven months. ☆ Read this book if you’re a fan of YA mystery combined with a sense of memoir in it. ☆ You might want to consider it because it includes a lot of graphic scenes.
—.:* More Thoughts
Jane Anonymous was a thrilling ride from start to finish. Following the story of Jane, a seventeen years old girl who got abducted and kept by her kidnapper for seven months, we got to peek at Jane’s past during her abduction and current recovery states. Told in alternating timelines, though we knew that Jane got to escape since the very first page, it was still just as scary to witness her abduction and how everything unraveled.
What I enjoyed the most about this book is the fact that it showed us how a traumatic past can haunt someone for the rest of their life and follow them in every step they take. I also enjoyed Stolarz’s outstanding writing style in this book, where she narrated Jane’s story in a memoir style, making Jane’s emotion and rage feels close to my heart.
Because I can’t sleep.
Because Memory can’t catch me if I keep a fast pace.
Because my parents’ door is closed, but Night can’t shut me out.
Because I’m not supposed to be out at this hour, especially after everything, especially all alone—and so it feels a little like power.
Jane Anonymous was a hard-hitting contemporary, mixed with the thrill of not just an abduction, but also a recovery. With extraordinary execution of telling the story through alternate timeline, bold and raw characters, and unexpected plot, it’s a must read that you don’t want to miss.
—.:* The Verdict!
Thank you to The FFBC for providing me with a review copy for joining Jane Anonymous Blog Tour in exchange for an honest review. The quotes above were taken from an advanced review copy and are subject to change upon publication.
—.:* About the Author
Laurie Faria Stolarz grew up in Salem, MA, attended Merrimack College, and received an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston.
Laurie Faria Stolarz is an American author of young adult fiction novels, best known for her Blue is for Nightmares series. Her works, which feature teenage protagonists, blend elements found in mystery and romance novels.
Stolarz found sales success with her first novel, Blue is for Nightmares, and followed it up with three more titles in the series, White is for Magic, Silver is for Secrets, and Red is for Remembrance, as well as a companion graphic novel, Black is for Beginnings. Stolarz is also the author of the Touch series (Deadly Little Secret, Deadly Little Lies, Deadly Little Games, Deadly Little Voices, and Deadly Little Lessons), as well as Bleed and Project 17. With more than two million books sold worldwide, Stolarz’s titles have been named on various awards list.
Are you thinking about adding Jane Anonymous to your next reading list?