The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis

The Good Luck Girls follows the story of five girls and their escape journey to find freedom in the brutal land of Arketta. With a hope to get rid of their cursed markings, they will have to face a long trip full of demonic creatures, ruthless monsters, and not to mention the forces that chase them for a murder that one of them accidentally committed.

Westworld meets The Handmaid’s Tale in this stunning fantasy adventure from debut author Charlotte Nicole Davis.

Aster, the protector
Violet, the favorite
Tansy, the medic
Mallow, the fighter
Clementine, the catalyst

THE GOOD LUCK GIRLS

The country of Arketta calls them Good Luck Girls–they know their luck is anything but. Sold to a “welcome house” as children and branded with cursed markings. Trapped in a life they would never have chosen.

When Clementine accidentally murders a man, the girls risk a dangerous escape and harrowing journey to find freedom, justice, and revenge in a country that wants them to have none of those things. Pursued by Arketta’s most vicious and powerful forces, both human and inhuman, their only hope lies in a bedtime story passed from one Good Luck Girl to another, a story that only the youngest or most desperate would ever believe.

It’s going to take more than luck for them all to survive.
 
 
Thank you The Nerd Daily, Tor Teen and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review. The Good Luck Girls was published on October 1, 2019 and available on Amazon, Book Depository, and other book retailers.

what is it about?

The story started in a brothel called Welcome House, where the five girls lived and tried their best to survive after being sold by their family to get money for a living, pay debts, or simply because it was seen as the better way because the brothel offered food and roof to stay. It was the sixteenth birthday of one of the girls, Clementine, and it marked her transformation from being a daybreak girl where she’d need to do daily chores, into a sundown girl where she’d started to accompany clients at nights, commonly called as brags. It was supposed to be her Lucky Night, until she accidentally killed her very first client. Her older sister, Aster, who’s already experienced the ugly side of being a sundown girl, realized that there was no way for them to get out of this unfortunate event without getting punish unless they run away and leave the brothel. With the other three girls, Mallow, Tansy, and Violet, Aster lead the escape journey not to just physically get out of the brothel, but also to get rid of the tattoos that marked them as good luck girls. Girls that are forced into sex slavery in Welcome House , girls that are forced to praise every brag that they encountered, girls that need to swallow drugs in order to escape their traumas, girls that are sold by their own family. Maybe, they were not so lucky after all.

what do I think about it?

Ever since its first page, The Good Luck Girls was nothing but continuous intensity, dynamic storyline, full-force action packs, excellent inclusivity and representation of multiple mental illnesses (anxiety, depression, PTSD, addiction), and delivery of well-researched topics including sex trafficking, sex slavery, social inequality, and oppression. It was raw and raging. Davis delivered a story which set in fantasy land but with issues that sadly still happened in our reality.
 
I thoroughly enjoyed the entire aspect of The Good Luck Girls. As much as being entertained by the magical universe that Davis created, I was also learning about multiple important issues that I’ve never aware of before. Yes, this story feels like a furious shout over devastating issues that still happening at this very moment, and I applaud Davis for sharing her awareness and knowledge, not just by simply writing this story but also for spending enormous efforts and time to deliver facts and truths by conducting researches (in case you want to see more behind the story about this and the book references that Davis used, check out the acknowledgment part).

Everyone deserved to be free, though. Everyone deserved to feel this.

The universe of The Good Luck Girls was exceptional. It was built on such detailed narratives that leave me craving for more. Davis was truly incredible in describing this magical world of hers, everything from the scab, the underworld, to the animal and other magical creatures that lived in it was delivered in such cinematic writing. Everything was vivid and authentic.
 
And clearly, this is neither a plot-driven or a character-driven story. Because it is both! There was always something happening that moved the characters forward. I’m not the biggest fan when this method used in a story because oftentimes, they feel forced and unnatural. But in The Good Luck Girls, it flows smoothly and although I’m tensed and scared for these characters’ life, I couldn’t wait for more twists and unfortunate events. (No offense, Aster. Your gang will be always in my pray)
 
In conclusion, I’m glad to pick this book as one of my most anticipated debut titles for this month, because it truly lives to my expectations! The ending was not a ‘happily ever after’, indeed, but it left many unanswered questions that hopefully will be revealed in the next book.

what’s the verdict?

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What’s your most anticipated debut for this month? Are you thinking about adding The Good Luck Girls to your next reading list?

Blog Tour: Six Goodbyes We Never Said by Candace Granger

That’s the thing about absence—it sinks into your skin, clinging to the bone until it’s so much a part of you, you can no longer tell where it ends and you begin.

Two teens meet after tragedy and learn about love, loss, and letting go

Naima Rodriguez doesn’t want your patronizing sympathy as she grieves her father, her hero—a fallen Marine. She’ll hate you forever if you ask her to open up and remember him “as he was,” though that’s all her loving family wants her to do in order to manage her complex OCD and GAD. She’d rather everyone back the-eff off while she separates her Lucky Charms marshmallows into six, always six, Ziploc bags, while she avoids friends and people and living the life her father so desperately wanted for her.

Dew respectfully requests a little more time to process the sudden loss of his parents. It’s causing an avalanche of secret anxieties, so he counts on his trusty voice recorder to convey the things he can’t otherwise say aloud. He could really use a friend to navigate a life swimming with pain and loss and all the lovely moments in between. And then he meets Naima and everything’s changed—just not in the way he, or she, expects.

Candace Ganger’s Six Goodbyes We Never Said is no love story. If you ask Naima, it’s not even a like story. But it is a story about love and fear and how sometimes you need a little help to be brave enough to say goodbye.

 
Thank you Wednesday Books (Sarah!) for providing me with an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review and joining this tour. Six Goodbyes We Never Said will be published on September 24, 2019 and will be available on Amazon, Book Depository, and other book retailers.

the blurb

Six Goodbyes We Never Said follows the story of Naima and Dew, two teens who were grieving and healing after a tragedy that caused them to lose their loved ones. Although their first encounter was not all sunshine and butterfly, it soon evolves into something deeper, and maybe, just exactly what both of them needed to heal each other, and also themselves.

the review

I was really intrigued when I first got the offer to read the early copy of this book. Reading its synopsis, I knew this story is going to be challenging and hard-hitting. Six Goodbyes We Never Said started with a genuine note from the author herself, Candace, explaining why she wrote this story in the first place. Candace also used this note to include a list of potential trigger warnings. I really appreciated this gesture of her and hence, from its very first page, Six Goodbyes We Never Said feels incredibly raw and sincere.
 
There were so many important issues that highlighted throughout this story. The representation of multiple mental illnesses, bi-racial characters, body positivity, feminism, and the truth of adopting and getting adopted (which is something that I rarely read, but perhaps it’s just my lack of reading). A lot of these issues are already heavy on their own, and I must applaud Candace to combine them all into a single story.

You can never know someone’s pain or happiness until you’ve stepped inside their shoes

As much as I’m aware how important this book is, not just for the readers but also for the author herself, it seems like I couldn’t manage to fully devour into this universe of Naima and Dew due to its formatting and writing style. It started confusing, especially during the first 10% of the book. I had no idea who’s POV that I was reading since there was no title with POV’s name like how a dual POV story usually was written. Instead, there were one of the POV’s names used as a chapter title and mid-way through the chapter, there will be a voicemail transcript, email drafts, and a recorder transcript from other character and that’s how I’d know that the POV is changing. Although I wouldn’t complaint so much since Candace was amazing at making differences between these two characters and how contrast they sounded.
 
And lastly, something that bothers me ‘til the end of the story is Naima’s attitude. After reading so many thoughts of her and her perspective in life, I was hoping that at the end, I’ll be able to relate to her emotions or grasp her reasons in making certain decisions. But sadly, it didn’t happen even until I finished this book. I have so many unanswered questions about her. I completely understand that she was suffering from anxiety, OCD, and PTSD but I still don’t understand her aggressive behaviors towards others, even to those who don’t mean harm to her. I’m also still questioning about the history of six tappings, six flickings, six balloons, and basically six everything that Naima used to calm herself as I believe there was no explanation on how it originally started in the first place.

the verdict

Six Goodbyes We Never Said was a complex story coming from a talented #OwnVoice author. It explores many important topics which need to be discussed more in today’s literature and highlights the truth behind each one gracefully.

the author

 
 
Candace Ganger is the author of Six Goodbyes We Never Said and The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash as well as a contributing writer for HelloGiggles and obsessive marathoner. Aside from having past lives as a singer, nanotechnology website editor, and world’s worst vacuum sales rep, she’s also ghostwritten hundreds of projects for companies, best-selling fiction and award-winning nonfiction authors alike. She lives in Ohio with her family.
 
 

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What’s the latest hard-hitting book that you read? Are you thinking about adding Six Goodbyes We Never Said to your next reading list?

Loss Adjustment by Linda Collins

I have had nothing bad happen to me except my own doing. I have let this cowardice envelop me, and I can’t shake it off. I will commit the worst thing you can ever do to someone who loves you: killing yourself. The scary thing is, I’m okay with that.

Loss Adjustment by Linda Collins

“I have had nothing bad happen to me except my own doing. I have let this cowardice envelop me, and I can’t shake it off. I will commit the worst thing you can ever do to someone who loves you: killing yourself. The scary thing is, I’m okay with that.” —Victoria McLeod, Laptop journal, March 30, 2014.

Loss Adjustment is a mother’s recount of her 17-year-old daughter’s suicide.

In the wake of Victoria McLeod’s passing, she left behind a remarkable journal in her laptop of the final four months of her life. Linda Collins, her mother, has woven these into her memoir, which is at once cohesive, yet fragmented, reflecting a survivor’s state of mind after devastating loss.

Loss Adjustment involves the endless whys, the journey of Linda Collins and her husband in honouring Victoria, and the impossible question of what drove their daughter to this irretrievable act. A stunningly intimate portrait of loss and grief, Loss Adjustment is a breaking of silence—a book whose face society cannot turn away from.

Title: Loss Adjustment | Series: N/A | Author: Linda Collins | Genre: BiographyNon-Fiction | Publication Date: September 28, 2019 | Links: Ethos Books

Trigger warnings: Bullying, depression, loss of loved one, self harm, suicide.

After I finished reading Loss Adjustment, it feels closer as a deep and genuine love letter from Linda to her daughter, Victoria, who died in suicide just at the age of 17. Reading about the incident and exploring Linda’s rawest emotions and deepest thoughts, I feel as if  I’m peeking through an intimate mother-daughter scene that I wasn’t supposed to see. It’s just too sacred to be shared with anyone but both of them. 

Reading this heartfelt memoir was surely a challenge. Many times, I needed to take a break from reading it because it felt overwhelming and I simply couldn’t keep pushing myself to watch such tragedy. Witnessing how Linda woke up that morning when Victoria died and received the news that changed her life forever. Witnessing how someone like Victoria which described by Linda as someone so cheerful and sweet, but secretly kept all of her darkest feelings and thoughts to herself. Witnessing how heartbroken Linda feels, watching her daughter’s life unfolded layer by layer. Layers that she never knew existed. Witnessing how Linda not simply adjust to her loss, because then it means erasing the fact that Vic existed in this world. Everything was too painful to watch, yet necessary to be shared. 

One thing that I’d love to highlight is that ever since it’s earliest pages, this sincere memoir were not forgetful about the beauty of  cultural diversity in Singapore. Each ethnics and religions are obviously has their own way in facing dead and grieve and Linda narrated these differences gracefully. 

All those claims of building better humans, of being the best you can be, of following your passion, of learning to be inclusive and that everyone has something to offer, are all lies.

Lastly, the most important cause of this incident, the ugly truth of school’s obsession for their students’ good grades, and how these bold expectations often affected students’ mental health and nudged them into a bad direction. I think it’s necessary to call out these institutions, especially their horrid way in handling such matters. I thank Linda for sharing this truth with me and with all of her readers, for it must be torturous for her to recalled all of these painful memories.

Thank you to Ethos Books for sending me an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

This post is supposed to be up yesterday in honor of Victoria and the World Suicide Prevention Day. If you’re thinking about sharing awareness on this matter and picking up this book before September 27, please consider to pre-order through links below to donate $1 to Samaritans of Singapore, in support of mental health advocacy and suicide prevention in Singapore.

Official’s Website | Books Actually | Booktique | City Book Room | Littered with Books | Times | Wardah Books

Treat people with kindness.

Debut District: Author Interview with Abbie Emmons of 100 Days of Sunlight + INTL Giveaway!

DEBUT DISTRICT is a regular feature on Artsy Draft in which I post appreciation towards debut releases through author interview, book blitz, listopia, review, and other related content.

It’s the release day of 100 Days of Sunlight and I’m delighted to have Abbie on my blog today! 100 Days of Sunlight is an amazing contemporary and I’m so grateful to get the opportunity to read the early copy and share my review about it! If for some bizarre reason you miss the post, you can check them out here and read 100% gushes and rambles from yours truly. Abbie also talked all about her gorgeous debut cover and how she came up with it!

Okay! So today, we’re going to talk all about Abbie’s debut, the characters in it, what inspired her to create them, and also her writing journey and experiences! Also, there will be very minor spoilers in this Q&A! And before I forget, there will be an international giveaway that you’ll not want to miss at the end of this post, so don’t forget to check them out and join! Now, let’s get into it!


Q: Hi, Abbie! Thank you for chatting with me today! First of all, I want to congratulate you for your upcoming debut release, 100 Days of Sunlight! As the synopsis said, one of the main characters is Tessa, a poetry blogger. If you could describe this book with lines from any poetry, what would it be?

A: Hi, Vinny! Thank you so much for featuring me on your lovely blog today! I am thrilled and honored to be here, talking about my debut 100 Days of Sunlight. That’s a great question to start off with! There’s a poem by Emily Dickinson that I feel describes this book well because of the way I feel about it – and the way I feel about every book I write:

“If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain:
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.”

I feel this so deeply! If I can touch one soul with 100 Days of Sunlight, it will not be written in vain. 

Q: One of the things that made me really excited about this story is Weston, the bright and confident boy with no legs who decided to help Tessa to keep blogging and writing poetry during her temporal blindness. Tessa even labeled him as “obnoxious optimistic”. For me, he is such a strong character with strong personalities, despite his disability. Can you tell us a bit what inspired you to create his character?

A: That’s a great question! I love Weston and could talk about his character all day. His character was very much inspired by real people who have gone through similar experiences and not let anything limit them or take away their zest for life – people like Nick Vujicic, Rob Jones, and Travis Mills, to name a few. Their stories, sense of humor, and attitude about life has greatly inspired me – and I wanted to translate that into Weston’s character and journey. I wanted to step into his shoes and experience the emotional journey of loss, recovery, and getting back up when life knocks you down. I also wanted to show how even when a person seems to be happy and optimistic all the time, we can’t really know what personal struggles they face every day. 

Q: A lot of scenes in this book made me all smiley and laugh, while few of them made me tear up too, but all of them are definitely my favorites. For you, which scene is your most favorite and why? Is it because you connected to the scene emotionally or is it because a matter of technicality that it took to write it?

A: Oh this is such a hard question! I love too many scenes in this book. But one of my absolute favorite scenes is the part where Rudy visits Weston in the hospital. I got super emotional writing this scene because I loved the dynamic of Weston and Rudy’s relationship – how they beat each other up and act like tough guys, but underneath all that, they are really two softies who love each other more than either of them would admit. In this scene, I feel like they both let their guard down and it was very sad but adorable to write.

Q: As a big fan of contemporary story, I immediately knew that I need to read 100 Days of Sunlight! And now that I’ve read it, it officially becomes one of my favorite contemporaries of the year! You delivered such an engaging story and made me swoon over these characters and their relationship! Since this is your debut book, are you thinking of contemporary story as your field of expertise and interest or are you planning to explore other genres in the future?

A: Oh my gosh, thank you so much! I’m blushing over here. Contemporary is definitely my favorite genre to read and write, but I do plan on branching off into other genres in the future! You’ll definitely see some more contemporary stories from me… but I might just surprise everyone with a crazy sci-fi or fantasy one day. We’ll see!

Q: In 100 Days of Sunlight, we got to see how Weston played the ukulele and sang one of Tessa’s poems. Let’s say if Tessa was not a poet and he had to sing a cover instead, which song that you think he’d play?

A: Probably Here Comes The Sun or Don’t Worry, Be Happy. I can just see it. 

Q: Also related to the previous question, is there any particular reason why Weston played the ukulele in this story? Because I assume (not to sound creepy and like a stalker for watching your older Youtube’s videos, lol) it’s because you also play ukulele yourself. Or is there any other reason?

A: Haha I’m honored that you’ve watched some of my older videos! Yes, I definitely have a special place in my heart for the ukulele, since I do play it. It’s such a fun, sunshiney instrument that’s pretty simple to learn, and I knew Weston wasn’t the type to learn a complicated instrument, so it was perfect for him! (Plus it’s a very cute image, Weston playing a yellow ukulele…)

Q: If (and when, excuse me while I’m too excited over here!) 100 Days of Sunlight is getting adapted into a movie, which actor/actress that you imagine will be part of the cast? Personally, I keep portraying Sadie Sink as Tessa, but I’m contemplating between Noah Schnapp and Asa Butterfield as Weston! 

A: I’m getting so excited over here too!! This would be THE ULTIMATE DREAM come true, so you better believe I think about it a lot. (The fact that you’re thinking about it too makes me so happy!) I keep imagining Elle Fanning as Tessa, and I can definitely see Noah Schnapp as Weston… I fancast my characters wayyy too much haha!

Q: Finally, I think this question will be interesting for other debut authors out there. You are a blogger and you have a Youtube channel where you consistently post everything bookish and writing-related. As someone who has an established community on the internet before releasing your debut, do you think it helps you as a debut author during the process of releasing and promoting your book? Can you share a bit of your experience with us?

A: Yes. It definitely helps sooo much. I feel so blessed to have a community of writers cheering me on and looking forward to reading the book! It’s very surreal. I think pre-launch promotion is even more important than post-launch promotion, especially for indie authors. I don’t want to just release a book and be like “hey everyone please read my book!” I’m more interested in growing relationships with my community, on YouTube and my blog. I love interacting with other writers and sharing experiences, challenges, and triumphs. I want 100 Days of Sunlight to mean something special to my community – because they helped inspire me while writing and editing and, now, publishing it! 

Writing can be a lonely art, even in the process of publishing. That’s why I don’t know where I would be without the WritersLife Wednesday community, and all the lovely people who read my blog. They are my support system, and they constantly push me to be better and inspire me to do the impossible. 

This has been so much fun! Thank you again for having me, Vinny! I loved chatting about all things writing. 🙂


And that’s the end of my interview with Abbie! If you’re looking forward to reading her book, it’s release today and you can find all of the details and information below!

When 16-year-old poetry blogger Tessa Dickinson is involved in a car accident and loses her eyesight for 100 days, she feels like her whole world has been turned upside-down. 

Terrified that her vision might never return, Tessa feels like she has nothing left to be happy about. But when her grandparents place an ad in the local newspaper looking for a typist to help Tessa continue writing and blogging, an unlikely answer knocks at their door: Weston Ludovico, a boy her age with bright eyes, an optimistic smile…and no legs.

Knowing how angry and afraid Tessa is feeling, Weston thinks he can help her. But he has one condition — no one can tell Tessa about his disability. And because she can’t see him, she treats him with contempt: screaming at him to get out of her house and never come back. But for Weston, it’s the most amazing feeling: to be treated like a normal person, not just a sob story. So he comes back. Again and again and again.

Tessa spurns Weston’s “obnoxious optimism”, convinced that he has no idea what she’s going through. But Weston knows exactly how she feels and reaches into her darkness to show her that there is more than one way to experience the world. As Tessa grows closer to Weston, she finds it harder and harder to imagine life without him — and Weston can’t imagine life without her. But he still hasn’t told her the truth, and when Tessa’s sight returns he’ll have to make the hardest decision of his life: vanish from Tessa’s world…or overcome his fear of being seen.

100 Days of Sunlight is a poignant and heartfelt novel by author Abbie Emmons. If you like sweet contemporary romance and strong family themes then you’ll love this touching story of hope, healing, and getting back up when life knocks you down.
 

Title: 100 Days of Sunlight | Series: – | Author: Abbie Emmons | Genre:ContemporaryYoung Adult | Publication Date: August 7, 2019 | Format: eARC | Source: Author | Links: Amazon
Author’s WebsiteAuthor’s BlogFacebookInstagramYoutube


international giveaway!

If you don’t have the access to get 100 Days of Sunlight, then don’t worry! Abbie has been very kind to provide three eBook copies for three lucky winners! You can find more details about the giveaway below and be sure to join asap, because the giveaway will end on August 31, 2019!

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Are you looking forward to reading 100 Days of Sunlight?