Game of Thrones meets Red Rising in a debut young adult fantasy that’s full of rivalry, romance… and dragons.
Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone—even the lowborn—a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders.
Now they are both rising stars in the new regime, despite backgrounds that couldn’t be more different. Annie’s lowborn family was executed by dragonfire, while Lee’s aristocratic family was murdered by revolutionaries. Growing up in the same orphanage forged their friendship, and seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragonriding fleet.
But everything changes when survivors from the old regime surface, bent on reclaiming the city.
With war on the horizon and his relationship with Annie changing fast, Lee must choose to kill the only family he has left or to betray everything he’s come to believe in. And Annie must decide whether to protect the boy she loves . . . or step up to be the champion her city needs.
From debut author Rosaria Munda comes a gripping adventure that calls into question which matters most: the family you were born into, or the one you’ve chosen.
Thank you The FFBC for providing me with an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review. Fireborne will be published on October 15, 2019 and available on Amazon, Book Depository, and other book retailers.
what is it about?
Fireborne follows the story of Lee and Annie, two childhood friends who grew up together and their journey during the new regime in Callipolis. Although both of them were from the same orphanage and shared common goals when they were younger, the differences in their family backgrounds were too big to fill in the gap that started to arise as they grew older. Fueled by personal ambitions, fierce competitions, twisted lies, political intrigues, and emerging wars, Lee and Annie must choose between the family that they were born into or the one that they found along the way.
what do I think about it?
Hands down, Fireborne is one of the most solid debuts that I read this year. I’ve been discovering a lot of good books lately, but this one is truly a gem. I’m also incredibly excited since I buddy read this book with Shealea @ Shut Up, Shealea and we had a great time discussing and swooning over it! Today’s review is going to be a bit different than my usual format because there are a lot of areas that I want to cover and talk about without causing any confusion, in case you haven’t got a chance to devour into this epic universe yet.
➤ Let’s start with how this book pitched as Aegon Targaryen and Hermione Granger with dragons. I don’t think if there’s any precise statement to explain this book aside from this one. If you’re intrigued to read this book after looking at that bold statement, let me convince you why you should continue your intention. The resemblance of Aegon Targaryen on Lee comes from Lee’s bloodline as the aristocratic family, commonly known as Dragonlords during the old regime. In this regime, Dragonlords are highborn in society and they had the birthright to ride dragons. After his family was murdered by revolutionaries and the regime changed, Lee joined the training to prove his worth to ride the dragons, but oftentimes, he still pondered whether he must compete for a title that should be his birthright. There are more resemblance of Aegon on Lee when the story got deeper, but I can’t really mention it without dropping spoilers! Meanwhile, the resemblance of Hermione Granger on Annie comes from Annie’s intelligence, hard works, and determination. Although she often got underestimated by her fellow classmates, even her teachers (it’s basically how Snape taking points from Gryffindor every time Hermione answered his questions in class!), for being a lowborn (um, Mudblood?!), she continuously improved herself to achieve her goals. #HustleHard
Because Firstrider is a title I’ve wanted since before the Revolution. It would be all the recognition, power, and respect that my family lost over the course of a single bloody month when I was eight years old, regained.
➤ But maybe, you don’t care about Aegon or Hermione. Maybe, you’re just fond of the dragons. That’s alright, too. Because if you do, Fireborne is the story set in a dragon land that you don’t want to miss. The dragons featured heavily in this story and I can assure you that you’ll enjoy every single second of it. My favorite part is the fact that the dragons weren’t just appeared for the sake of ‘coolness’ for being a dragon, but rather how it was blended so naturally with the characters, the plot, and the overall worldbuilding. We got a glimpse of the existence of dragons during the old regime through the characters’ throwback, a glimpse of how they choose their rider (much like how the wands choose the wizard!) through their first encounter, and a glimpse of how they become emotionally connected with their riders through the competition to become the Firstrider,
“Now tell me again why you want to make Firstrider?” “Because I’d be good at it.”
➤ And lastly, character-wise, plot-wise, and writing-wise, Fireborne is truly a masterpiece. I couldn’t find anything that I dislike about this book. I enjoyed every scene that was delivered, every intrigue and secret that was revealed, and every character that was involved. There’s no wasted potential in this debut. The complicated relationship between Lee and Annie was delivered beautifully. It was a slow-burn romance that I’m longing to read. The convoluted political intrigue which was the major plot in this story was extremely well-built, as they were no rights or wrongs because everyone has their own motives and reasons to be avenged. And Munda delivered all of these gracefully through her dazzling writings. This entire book is an absolute golden, but I always enjoyed the quotation that the characters took from the fictional literature in this story, which also the title of this series, The Aurelian Cycle. These proses give me chills and I wish I could read the book itself (especially now that it is banned in Callipolis!).
Bring what fury you have and I will answer it with ours.
The bottom line, Fireborne is an epic fantasy that you don’t want to miss. It’s an incredible first of the series that will leave you craving for more dragon duel, political secrets, and swoon-worthy romance.
Olivia Foster hasn’t felt alive since her little brother drowned in the backyard pool three years ago. Then Kara Hallas moves in across the street with her mother and grandmother, and Olivia is immediately drawn to these three generations of women. Kara is particularly intoxicating, so much so that Olivia not only comes to accept Kara’s morbid habit of writing to men on death row, she helps her do it. They sign their letters as the Resurrection Girls.
But as Kara’s friendship pulls Olivia out of the dark fog she’s been living in, Olivia realizes that a different kind of darkness taints the otherwise lively Hallas women—an impulse that is strange, magical, and possibly deadly.
Thank you YA Bound Book Tours for providing me with an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review. Resurrection Girls was published on October 1, 2019 and available on Amazon, Book Depository, and other book retailers.
what is it about?
Resurrection Girls started three years after Olivia Foster’s little brother, Robby, drowned in the pool in their backyard. Broken and crushed, her mother was consuming pills to escape the grief and her father wasn’t around that much, arriving home during late hours and avoiding conversation or any sort of social interaction with the remains of his family. When three generations of women moving into a house across the street, Olivia didn’t realize that her lonesome journey will take turns. The Hallas women are intoxicating and mysterious, and soon Olivia made friends with Kara, who’s full of confidence, odd, and seems to know a lot about Olivia ever since their very first encounter.
what do I think about it?
The first thing that strikes my mind about this book is that it was far from what I was expected. Looking at the cover, reading the synopsis, checking the genres’ list, I was expecting this book will be heavier on the fantasy, magical, and witchy elements. But in reality, this is a story of grieving, losing your loved ones, dealing with unavoidable emptiness, and healing. Although I’m not complaning, because Morgyn did an awesome job for delivering this story with her haunting and poetic narratives.
I had a great time with this book, especially diving in its odd plot and exploring its quirky characters. The originality of Resurrection Girls was outstanding and it was bizarre when I first read about Olivia and Kara’s correspondences with the prisoned criminals, but it was so bizarre that it actually attracted me to keep reading. Their friendship also dynamic and always interesting to be followed, as I keep wondering what’s the next thing that they were gonna do after I finished each chapter.
Unfortunately, there were other things that prevent me from having that extraordinary, one of a kind reading experience. The inconsistentency of the plot was my first issue, and I’ve been thinking about it since the earlier chapters, especially because things are slow during those earlier chapters and I didn’t feel that many of those scenes contributed big impact on the bigger picture of the story, yet it took a fast route every since Olivia met Kara. I also couldn’t fully engaged and resonated with the rest of Olivia’s family. And I had so many questions that bugging me throughout the story, especially towards the Hallas. What’s their history? How exactly are their “magic” works? Are they naturally born with their charms to manipulate people or is it a work of magic? Why there were no men in their family tree? Where was Kara’s father? Why was Kara grow an interest to penpal prisoned criminals? I wish there’d be more explanation about all of these since the Hallas was the reason why this story happening in the first place.
Overall, Resurrection Girls is a poignant debut that explores loss, grieving, and healing with such graceful way. The little incorporation of magical realism in this contemporary might be a hit or a miss, which all depends on your reading preference.
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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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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Adventures in Babysitting meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer in this funny, action-packed novel about a coven of witchy babysitters who realize their calling to protect the innocent and save the world from an onslaught of evil.
Seventeen-year-old Esme Pearl has a babysitters club. She knows it’s kinda lame, but what else is she supposed to do? Get a job? Gross. Besides, Esme likes babysitting, and she’s good at it.
And lately Esme needs all the cash she can get, because it seems like destruction follows her wherever she goes. Let’s just say she owes some people a new tree.
Enter Cassandra Heaven. She’s Instagram-model hot, dresses like she found her clothes in a dumpster, and has a rebellious streak as gnarly as the cafeteria food. So why is Cassandra willing to do anything, even take on a potty-training two-year-old, to join Esme’s babysitters club?
The answer lies in a mysterious note Cassandra’s mother left her: “Find the babysitters. Love, Mom.”
Turns out, Esme and Cassandra have more in common than they think, and they’re about to discover what being a babysitter really means: a heroic lineage of superpowers, magic rituals, and saving the innocent from seriously terrifying evil. And all before the parents get home.
Thank you Kate, Delacorte Press, and The FFBC for providing me with an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review. The Babysitters Coven waspublished on September 17, 2019 and available on Amazon, Book Depository, and other book retailers.
In my blog stop today, I’m glad to bring you the excerpts of this exciting debut! The excerpts below are taken from Pengun Random House Canada. Click here to read the excerpts on the Penguin’s site or read more below.
read the excerpts!
The devil was an artist. Her medium varied, from crayons to Magic Markers to finger paints, and she had coloring books, construction paper, giant pads of newsprint on a tiny plastic easel. But today she’d ignored it all, in favor of the hallway and a marker. Previously pristine white, the wall was now permanently adorned with black squiggles, dots, shapes, and lines, all drawn at eye level. Well, her eye level–a little less than three feet off the ground.
How did I know this art was permanent and not the water-soluble kind? Because Baby Satan–known by some as Kaitlyn–was still holding the Sharpie in her hand. As I surveyed her work–which was impressive in its own way, because she’d done all of this damage in only the time it had taken me to pee–she smiled sweetly up at me, topless underneath a pair of very dirty OshKosh overalls. She held the Sharpie up to her nose and inhaled deeply, a look of intense contentment on her face. “Give me that,” I said, grabbing it from her. Two years old, and already into graffiti and huffing.
She was on one tonight. It had started with dinner, which was dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets and bunny-shaped mac-n-cheese. She wouldn’t eat any of it, not even when I insisted that the nuggets were actually made from real triceratops. When I got up to go get a paper towel, she managed to transfer most of the mac-n-cheese to her seat and sit on it.
She thought this was hilarious and wiggled around, etching orange cheese stains that would probably never come out into the butt of her overalls. “Squishy!” she squealed with delight, and I was sorry that I’d taught her that word last week. After dinner, we played with blocks, which mainly consisted of me building the tallest stack I could and then cheering as she ran at them, full speed, from across the room to knock them down. It was right after this that I made that fateful decision to use the bathroom. I should have known better.
Now I placed the cap back on the Sharpie and put it on the kitchen counter, far back against the wall and safely out of her reach. “All right!” I said. “It’s bedtime.”
Bedtime started with a bath, complete with fizzy dye pods–two blue and one yellow–to make turquoise “mermaid water.” She drank some of it. Teeth were brushed, sorta, and pajamas were donned. I usually allotted the devil three bedtime stories, which was enough to have her nodding off, her chin coming down to her chest, but tonight her blue eyes were still wide open and alert. Each time I’d finish a story, she’d climb out of bed, run across the room, and come back with a new stack. “More!” she’d scream, slamming them into my lap with a surprising, and almost impressive, violence.
In this moment, I saw my future stretching out before me.
Kaitlyn never goes to sleep.
Her mom never comes home.
I read bedtime stories until the world ends.
It was times like these that I wished I could tap out and have another babysitter come in and take over. Baby Satan had a million stuffed animals, and my eyes settled on a floppy dog that was nearly life-sized. Couldn’t he read a story for once?
His ears twitched, as if he were responding to my mental plea.
I blinked and rubbed my eyes.
Babysitting was making me hallucinate.
I sighed. Kaitlyn was still wide-awake. Not a hint of sleepiness anywhere on her admittedly cute face.
I picked up another book. “Okay,” I said. “This one’s about a bunny who runs away. It’s called The Runaway Bunny.” She smiled, all cherub cheeks and dimples, and something in me softened. “See what they did with the title there?” I said. “The people who wrote this book must be pretty clever, huh? I bet they were geniuses.”
“Smart bunny,” she said.
I nodded, reaching over to tuck a strand of hair behind her ear. “A very smart bunny. You ready?”
It took seven stories before she finally fell asleep, her blankie pressed against her cheek. I gave the wall a few half-hearted scrubs, but the thing about permanent markers is that they’re permanent, so I admitted defeat and went into the kitchen. After everything I’d had to endure tonight, I deserved a snack. I mean, the number one perk of babysitting is OPP–other people’s pantries.
I opened the pantry to what could have stocked a vending machine: potato chips, Chex Mix, Cheez-Its (Kaitlyn’s mom, Sharon, had even started buying the white cheddar ones, just for me), pretzels, Doritos, jumbo-sized bags of M&M’s, Twizzlers, gummy bears, you name it. None of this had anything to do with the fact that it was almost Halloween–this was just what Sharon ate all year round.
I grabbed what I wanted, found a big bowl, and poured in a layer of Frosted Flakes. I smashed up a few pretzels and added them, then a handful of Corn Chex, some potato chips, and a generous layer of M&M’s. Then I sprinkled the whole thing with sugar, poured some milk on it, and stood back to admire my specialty: Babysitter’s Crunch, the perfect mixture of salty and sweet. Kellogg’s should market this stuff.
It looked so pretty and delicious that I thought for a second about posting it, then remembered that would just announce to the world (or at least my 398 followers) that I was spending yet another night with Tony the Tiger and a human who thought “potty” was a dirty word. I’m not ashamed of babysitting, but I know it’s not what most people think of as a “cool job.”
I took my crunch and sank into the couch in front of the TV. OPTVs are also serious babysitting perkage, and Sharon had every channel and subscription imaginable. I finally settled on a reality show where a girl with breast implants, hair extensions, acrylic nails, and a spray tan cried to the camera about how she couldn’t stand fake people.
about the author
I’m a YA write or die, originally from Kansas but now living in California.
I’ve written for Cosmopolitan, NYLON and Seventeen, amongst other magazines, and worked with brands including Urban Outfitters, Vans and Calvin Klein.
The Babysitters Coven is my first novel, but fingers crossed it won’t be my last.