A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow Review

Hi all,
I hope you’re all having a, as much as it can be, good week. I’ve been checking twitter every so often for updates on the election, I’m sure I’m not the only one, but reading has been such a good distraction for me.
I had the pleasure to take part of the following book’s Blog Tour which had some of my favourite things combined.


A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow

by Laura Taylor Namey

Genre: YA Fiction
Release Date: Nov. 10th, 2020
Publisher: Simon and Schuster

For Lila Reyes, a summer in England was never part of the plan. The plan was 1) take over her abuela’s role as head baker at their panadería, 2) move in with her best friend after graduation, and 3) live happily ever after with her boyfriend. But then the Trifecta happened, and everything—including Lila herself—fell apart.

Worried about Lila’s mental health, her parents make a new plan for her: Spend three months with family friends in Winchester, England, to relax and reset. But with the lack of sun, a grumpy inn cook, and a small town lacking Miami flavor (both in food and otherwise), what would be a dream trip for some feels more like a nightmare to Lila…until she meets Orion Maxwell.

A teashop clerk with troubles of his own, Orion is determined to help Lila out of her funk, and appoints himself as her personal tour guide. From Winchester’s drama-filled music scene to the sweeping English countryside, it isn’t long before Lila is not only charmed by Orion, but England itself. Soon a new future is beginning to form in Lila’s mind—one that would mean leaving everything she ever planned behind.

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For more information about the Blog Tour and the schedule click the image

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐.5

6 reasons to read this book
*MC is Cuban-American girl, LI is a white English boy, slowburn romance
*Cuban representation! cuban food, culture, families, traditions
*so much food! perfect for foodie! and latinx/cuban foodies especially
*England setting, but a village in the South East
* explores themes of overcoming grief, accepting change, forgiveness, lots of explaration of family dynamics especially tight-knit family, friendship dynamics,
*light and fluffy read, some sad moments but overall light-hearted with a splash of romance


cw: death of a family member, dementia, grief, loss

Lila Reyes just went through what she calles the Trifecta, her grandmother died suddenly, her best friend without telling her decided not to move in with her and leave the country and her boyfriend of three years decided he needed to ‘find himself’. Things are not going her way and most of all Lila is not dealing well with the grief. Her family scared for her decide the best thing for her to do is some time off and what more is perfect than spending the summer in a quaint nice small village in South East, England with her aunts. But Lila isn’t very happy about this plan or her family making all these decisions over her.
When the book starts Lila is stubborn, she’s stuck in her ways and sees very little nice about England, but as time goes on, as she opens up not only to her aunt and her life in Winchester, but to Orion, his friendship, his group of friends and little by little we can see how she starts overcoming loss.
Orion is an interesting character because we meet him, he seems put together with his nice little tea shop. But he also has been dealing with grief in his own ways.
It was nice to read these two characters meeting, kind of a reluctant to friends dynamic at first, and from there a sweet slow friends to romance happens.
I especially loved the food and culture infusion within the book, the recipes were mouth-watering, some of them made me miss home.

I do have to admit it took me a while to get into the book especially because Orion seemed to good to be true all throughout the book, and I guess the slow pace plus the formatting errors of the E-ARC had me at times pushing myself to finish it.
But this book did remind me of all the things I love about England, it’s not an amazing place sometimes, but some other times, the people I’ve met here, like Lila, made this a place I’m so fond of.

The moments were she grieved over her grandmother were also bits I could relate to, I’m still grieving my grandmother and reading Lila going through that was probably one of my favourite aspects of the book, that overcoming her grief.
I have to comment on the last bit of the book, since it has such a romcom ending, but honestly as it was very light-hearted throughout, it also made sense for the book to end as it did.

Overall, if you’re looking for a light-hearted read of journey to overcoming loss, moving on and accepting change in a village in England with some tint of romance, a sprinkle of family and new (and old) friendships and a big big splash of food, this is the perfect book for you.


Laura Taylor Namey is a Cuban-American Californian who can be found haunting her favorite coffee shops, drooling over leather jackets, and wishing she was in London or Paris. She lives in San Diego with her husband and two superstar children.
This former teacher writes young adult novels about quirky teens learning to navigate life and love. Her debut, The Library of Lost Things, published 10/08/19 from Inkyard Press/HarperCollins. Her #ownvoices sophomore project, A CUBAN GIRL’S GUIDE TO TEA AND TOMORROW is coming November 10, 2020 from Atheneum Simon and Schuster, with a third title to follow fall 2021.

WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER


Historically Inaccurate Blog Tour Review

Hi all!
We’re now on the 2nd week of Latinx Heritage Month. And today I bring another new review, this is of an upcoming book by Shay Bravo. Thanks to Colored Pages Book Tour and Wattpad for making me a part of this Blog Tour.


Historically Inaccurate

by Shay Bravo

Genre: YA contemporary
Release Date: Sept. 29th, 2020
Publisher: Wattpad Books

After her mother’s deportation last year, all Soledad “Sol” Gutierrez wants is for her life to go back to normal. Everything’s changed―new apartment, new school, new family dynamic―and Sol desperately wants to fit in. When she joins her community college’s history club, it comes with an odd initiation process: break into Westray’s oldest house and steal . . . a fork?

There’s just one problem: while the owners of the house aren’t home, their grandson Ethan is, and when he catches Sol with her hand in the kitchen drawer, she barely escapes with the fork intact. This one chance encounter irrevocably alters her life, and Sol soon learns that sometimes fitting in isn’t as important as being yourself―even if that’s the hardest thing she’s ever had to do

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BOOKDEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND


Click the banner for more information about the tour

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

6 reasons to read this book
*MC is a brown questioning mexican-american woman
*Diverse cast of characters, Latinx representation, BIPOC and LGBTQ characters
*romance aspect, LI is a sweet, kinda dorky, Black man
*story deals with deportation, race issues, racism, immigration, social issues, injustices
*honest conversation on sexuality, making decisions about your future, college life/experiences, family dynamics, being Black in america
* slow-paced coming of age story about college experiences and fitting in after traumatic experiences, fun, easy light-read


cw: misgendering, deportation, instances of racism, hazing, microagressions, depictions of a car accident, ICE mentions

Historically Inaccurate tells the story of Soledad Gutierrez, in the middle of starting her third year of college trying to figure out her life a year after her mother got suddenly reported back to Mexico. Soledad was understandably impacted by this drifting away from everyone and her boyfriend. Now, she’s trying to navigate being in a new apartment, new school, new family dynamic. So why not join her community college’s history club since her parents and her bestfriend keep telling her she should get out and interact with other people. But that history club is not everything it seems, she even has to break in to someone’s house and basically steal a fork from them. This B&E will have her encountering the grandson of the owners of the house, Ethan, and kickstart her journey to understanding her new life, and herself.

The first thing that stood out for me from this book was how it handled the deportation/immigration aspect of the story. It felt truthful, you could see from every word the impact this event had on Soledad, you coul hear it in her inner dialogue and how most of her fears revolved around deportation and planning for a future with her mother back to her side. I appreciated that the book was also light-hearted enough, that those moments felt in tone with a teenagers life particularly with how she dealt with this new family dynamic without her mother and her father. I have to admit I also enjoyed the little mentions of food and spanish woven into the story, it gave this book another layer that i really liked.

The history club turned out to be an interesting piece of the plot, that while at first I didn’t think it would have a major role in it, in the end it gave the book its moments of biggest tension and even where the conflict between the cast of the book happens. I do like how it was resolved and I especially liked how diverse the cast was, and how this diversity didn’t feel forced. Although I have noted criticism on how it’s not okay we don’t know the LI is Black until halfway through the book.

I do have to warn about misgendering a trans character, as I am cis I don’t know impactful those two mentions could be, but there is two instances where the LI, Ethan, misgenders a trans character, it’s done in a way that reveals the character is trans, while before we weren’t really aware of it.

Soledad as the hero of this story was really relatable, she’s anxious, full of sass but also had great deprecating humour that sounds so realistic for her age. The setting and the way Sol was written also made her basically be the perfect representation of a college student. Her character development and her friends and friendship with her friends were so well fleshed out and beautifully constructed. The interactions between Sol and Carlos, and Sol and Diane were constructed in a way that gave them so much depth and you could easily feel the friendship between them. There’s also the romantic aspect of the book, Ethan is the sweetest love interest, I won’t spoil but I did like their cute interactions, and how it grew from something awkward to something cute.

Overall, I thought this was a good fun quick read, I do get that the slow-pace might not be for everyone, but I liked the way it portrayed a Mexican-American college student with some crazy hijinks to make it more interesting.


Shay Bravo is a Mexican born author who has now lived half of her life in the USA. She began sharing her work online through Wattpad when she was fifteen years old and has connected with over 114,000 followers. Historically Inaccurate won the 2019 Watty Awards and is her first novel. Shay currently resides in Houston, Texas.

WEBSITE | GOODREADS | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER


Next post will not be focused on Latinx Heritage Month.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster I had the opportunity to be part of the Legendborn Tour, so the post will be something fun to do with Legendborn and the author Tracy Deonn.

Furia Blog Tour Review

Hi all!
Another late post today, I keep trying to post early but life is always getting in the way lately.
Today’s post is another book which I had the chance to read before it was released. You know I’m a sports fan (if you don’t know then now you know I love sports) so as soon as I read this book’s blurb I knew I wanted to read it. Spoiler to my review, I loved it!


Furia

by Yamile Saied Mendez

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Sports
Release Date: Sept 15th, 2020
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

In Rosario, Argentina, Camila Hassan lives a double life.
At home, she is a careful daughter, living within her mother’s narrow expectations, in her rising-soccer-star brother’s shadow, and under the abusive rule of her short-tempered father.
On the field, she is La Furia, a powerhouse of skill and talent. When her team qualifies for the South American tournament, Camila gets the chance to see just how far those talents can take her. In her wildest dreams, she’d get an athletic scholarship to a North American university.
But the path ahead isn’t easy. Her parents don’t know about her passion. They wouldn’t allow a girl to play fútbol—and she needs their permission to go any farther. And the boy she once loved is back in town. Since he left, Diego has become an international star, playing in Italy for the renowned team Juventus. Camila doesn’t have time to be distracted by her feelings for him. Things aren’t the same as when he left: she has her own passions and ambitions now, and La Furia cannot be denied. As her life becomes more complicated, Camila is forced to face her secrets and make her way in a world with no place for the dreams and ambition of a girl like her.

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Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

6 reasons to read this book:
*set in Rosario, Argentina filled and infused with Argentinian culture
*Argentinian MC that is resilient, strong-willed
*all about sports (football/futbol), perfect for sports fanatics
*touches on issues like sexism, domestic abuse, femicide, toxic and macho environments, patriarchy, women’s role/rights
* story very much about female empowerment and hardships and about rising beyond what people expect of you, strong feminist story!
*complex family dynamics, truthful and honest portrayal of women (as in not perfect, sometimes judging other women)


cw: sexism, domestic abuse, emotional abuse, feminicide, mysoginistic violence, allusions to rape and cheating.

Furia tells the story of Camila “La Furia” Hassan, who lives and loves for playing football, but being the sister of a professional footballer with a family that has different expectations leads her to have a double life. One where she’s the careful daughter hiding her passion from her abusive father who wouldn’t allow her to play and her mom who wants her to study and be a doctor. The other, where she’s ‘La Furia’, an athelete with inmense talent and skill who could even have the chance to play in regional tournaments or even go play in the National Women’s League in the US.
When her childhood friend/former lover now turned international football star, Diego, comes back from Italy where’s playing with the famous Juventus club, their romance rekindles. He’s never wanted to forget her, and he’s willing to take her with him back to Turin. But Camila has her own dreams, ones where she might have to go against her family or take the easy-ish route and go with him forgetting her dreams.

I really really really loved this book. The brutal honesty how it was written, the setting in Rosario, the characters and how not even one of them was one dimensional, they were all complex and so vivid. I loved Camila’s strength, how fierce, passionate and determined she is in just surviving, making the best of what she’s got all while managing and dealing with her family.
This book is not at all apologetic about how raw and brutal the world can be for women, it shows the best and worst of women, what some will do to survive even if it’s surviving in the worst of situations. We have the example of Camila’s mom, their dynamic is beautiful to read, it’s complex, it’s full of love but there’s still a gap between what her mother wants from her, what she beliefs she can be and what Camila wants. When they finally open up to each other – I can tell you I almost cried. Their relationship especially reminded me of my mom’s, not as extreme but at some points I felt I could relate all to well to Camila’s reactions.
I should also mention this book shows the #NiUnaMenos (Not One Less) movement with its struggle to hold society and men accountable for femicides, those moments are accompanied by the usual sexism, it’s difficult to read, you will probably cringe, and there are some other moments that as a women you might find uncomfortable, as always read the CWs because this book will remind you of the worst things about living in ‘Macho’ cultures.
That said, Furia still leaves you a sense of hope, we follow Camila’s story from overcoming all this obstacles to her getting closer to her dream (no spoilers).
For romance readers, I also have the warning how the couple ends might not be satisfying for people who expect a romance. While this book does have love, i wouldn’t classify it as romance (romance have a HEA) but I should say, and this might be a spoiler, it is left open enough for you to imagine whatever you want.

As a sports fan, I loved how much it was infused with sports talk, the references to footballers, the culture but also the mysogyny/not so casual sexism that sports like football is so full of. It was a powerful tool to showcase this and make this book as much about a woman from a poor background following her dreams no matter the obstacle in front of her and smashing the ceiling of patriarchy. I don’t know if I’ve made this clear enough but this book is fiercely feminist and such joy to read, when I tell you I cried a couple of times, it’s not a lie.

The last thing I have to mention is how real the setting was, a book set in Argentina, you might always expect it to be in Buenos Aires being the most famous city and the capital but having it in Rosario, a kind of industrial city also gave this book a different flavour. The language used, the little tidbits and description of the city made it all the more real to read.

Overall, Furia is a story about hope, about challenging familial expectation, about not being afraid of working towards your goals and believing in yourself. It’s a fabulous feminist sports read that I couldn’t recommend enough.


Yamile (sha-MEE-lay) Saied Méndez is a fútbol-obsessed Argentine American who loves meteor showers, summer, astrology, and pizza. She lives in Utah with her Puerto Rican husband and their five kids, two adorable dogs, and one majestic cat. An inaugural Walter Dean Myers Grant recipient, she’s a graduate of Voices of Our Nations (VONA) and the MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Méndez is also part of Las Musas, the first collective of women and nonbinary Latinx middle grade and young adult authors. Furia is her first novel for young adult readers.

WEBSITE | GOODREADS | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER


Thanks to AlgonquinYA for letting me be a part of the blog tour and the ARC.

Until then,

This Train is Being Held Review

This is a review that I had planned on posting since I received the book (thanks to a giveaway by the amazing Ismee Williams) back in May, a few days before my birthday! I was so excited I read in an afternoon, non-stop, only putting it down for emergencies (and food).

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Happy Saturday everyone! So I actually had planned another post today but since I received this anticipated read of mine i knew I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from posting about it. 📚📚📚📚 I have to first thank @ismeewilliams for the giveaway that gave me the chance to have this book in my hands and @hickorystickbookshop for sending it (sorry for the intl shipping cost!😅). 📚📚📚📚 As I mentioned before This Train Is being Held by @ismeewilliams is one of my most anticipated reads of this year! As soon as I heard about a book exploring romance, the complexities of latinx families, baseball with a dominican protagonist, I knew this book was for me! In this romantic drama we meet Isa, a dancer who would love to go pro, but her Cuban mom is dead set against it and Latino men. And Alex, a great baseball player, that if it were up to his dad he would go pro. But if you asked him he would rather go to college and become a poet. As fate would have it, these two meet on the downtown 1 train. Over the course of multiple subway encounters that will span the next three years bring Isa and Alex together. But their families – Isa’s unstable mother, Alex’s struggle with his dad, mental illness, will challenge them especially when they need each other the most. 📚📚📚📚 I’ll be binge reading this book tomorrow so expect a few (not spoiler-y) stories about it! #thistrainisbeingheld #ismeewilliams #latinxbook #latinxromancebook #romancebooks #romancebookstagram #yaromance #yabookstagram #latinxbookstagram #ukbookstagram #yalatinxbooks #yalatinxbook #yalatinx #lasmusasbooks

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Unfortunately, my grandmother died the day before my birthday and I couldn’t concentrate on anything that wasn’t trying to find ways to grieve and support my family from so far away.

This book gave me so much happy emotions before this happened, that I think it’s a shame that it took me so long to talk about it, but oh well! Long overdue, but here it is 🙂


This Train Is Being Held

by Ismée Williams

Genre: YA romance
Release Date: February 11th, 2020
Publisher: Amulet Books

When private school student Isabelle Warren first meets Dominican-American Alex Rosario on the downtown 1 train, she remembers his green eyes and his gentlemanly behavior. He remembers her untroubled happiness, something he feels all rich kids must possess. That, and her long dancer legs. Over the course of multiple subway encounters spanning the next three years, Isabelle learns of Alex’s struggle with his father, who is hell-bent on Alex being a contender for the major leagues, despite Alex’s desire to go to college and become a poet. Alex learns about Isabelle’s unstable mother, a woman with a prejudice against Latino men. But fate—and the 1 train—throw them together when Isabelle needs Alex most. 

GOODREADS AMAZON BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

6 reasons to read this book
* MCs are Isa, a half-cuban private school student who loves ballet and Alex a Dominican-American who loves poetry and plays baseball
* dominican slang!!!!!
* honest exploration of the complex dynamics of latinx families and parents, the problems with hiding and secrets
* discussions of race, privilege, mental illness, police brutality, living while black
* set mainly through encounters on the nyc metro line.
* sweet slow burn love story about two people from different backgrounds and experiences connecting


cw for racism, police brutality, mental illness, suicidal ideation, depression

This Train Is Being Held tells the story of Isabelle Warren and Alex Rosario.
Isa, a half-cuban, ballet dancer who would love to become a professional dancer. Her mom, however, is dead set against such an unreliable profession and Latino men.
Alex, dominican-american, a baseball player who would love to just be a poet. His dad, however, continues to push him to become a professional baseball player. Both characters first meet in the subway, and most of their interactions center around those subway meetings, and the feelings that grow between them.

One of the things I loved about this story is the slowburn, their romance doesn’t happen quickly, it’s just a meet cute where attraction and a bit of curiosity about each other is there, but their story unfolds through their various interactions. So prepare yourself for yearning, pining, and cute moments where you literally become that ‘now kiss’ meme.

Both Alex and Isa are lovely well fleshed out characters, I have to say I loved Alex from the first minute I read his inner dialogue, it’s really easy for me to get attached to Dominican characters, especially when they’re written so well. His struggles with his father, the pressures of potentially having a career in baseball and all that comes with that. This is something that especially resonated, I’ve had friends who have tried to get a professional baseball career, and that comes with so much pressure but is also seen, for some, as the only way out, the only way to get recognition and status (also money).

Isa’s arc was also quite touching with her family, and the way she felt about her mother. I really loved both their arcs, their touching and difficult family dynamics, dealing with mental health, family responsibilities and that intersection of wanting to follow what your parents say you should but also wanting your own freedom and to follow your own goals. Did I mention the story is told from both perspectives? Because if I didn’t I should’ve! You get to hear both their feelings, how different their backgrounds (social and cultural) are and get to know both characters, their families, their friends really well because of this. And as it follows mostly their interactions, the story jumps from a day to another, through glimpses that don’t necessarily follow consecutive days but I guess important moments or interactions they had.

It was a joy to read this book, there’s just so much that can be said about it, I want to even start unpicking all their interactions, like that time Isa almost….or that time Alex was with his….. no spoiler so I won’t do this. But there’s just so much to this book!

That said, while the book does heavily deal with mental illness, family pressures, being a Black Latinx boy in the US, police brutality and other heavy issues, it does so in a way that feels real, honest and sensitive. It is basically a heart-felt, emotional, sweet honest representation of aspects of Latinx culture that sometimes aren’t talked as much.

Overall, I can’t praise this book enough. I was smiling from the minute I started it until I put it down, with some breaks to tear up and cry too. Also kudos for all the dominican slang 🙂


I have a few reviews I still need to post, so for the next week or so I might be playing catch up with long overdue reviews

The Mall Blog Tour Review

The Mall
by Megan McCafferty

Genre: YA contemporary
Release Date: July 28th, 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books

The year is 1991.
Scrunchies, mixtapes and 90210 are, like, totally fresh.
Cassie Worthy is psyched to spend the summer after graduation working at the Parkway Center Mall. In six weeks, she and her boyfriend head off to college in NYC to fulfill The Plan: higher education and happily ever after.

But you know what they say about the best laid plans…

Set entirely in a classic “monument to consumerism,” Megan McCafferty takes readers on an epic trip back in time to The Mall.

GOODREADS AMAZON BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐.5

6 reasons to read this book
* coming-of age story set in the 90s mostly in a mall, mall culture! nostalgia everywhere! 90s music references! 90s clothes references! all the 90s pop culture references!
*MC is the type A bit of a nerd overachiever who finds her future plans slowly falling apart after her boyfriend cheats with her and she loses her job
*story involves a quest in the form of a treasure hunt and unexpected friendships and romance
* set in that post-school pre-university setting
* dislike to love type of romance, summer fling type of love story
*talks about assumptions, how looks can be deceiving and the importance of not judging a book by its cover, widening your circle, loyalty and honesty


The Mall tells the story of Cassandra (Cassie) Worthy who after recovering from being sick and confined to her house due to a severe case of mono, she’s ready to begin phase two of her plan with her boyfriend. They will spend the summer before college working together in The Mall. All that falls apart when she finds herself dumped by her boyfriend for another girl he met at prom, the same prom she convinced him to go to without her and have fun. But worse, now she’s all without a job.

Luckily, she finds a job at her fifth grade best-friend Drea’s mom’s, now there’s a treasure hunt to go through, new friendship, new love? Most importantly, Cassie will learn the importance of opening herself to changing her plans, her assumptions and judgements of people and how sometimes loyalty and honesty will come from the least expected places.

I think first of all, one thing to mention this book is all the nostalgia it’ll give you, if you grew up in the 90s, the book is full of references, pop culture, music and fashion references. I have to admit there’s many references I missed or passed by me but I liked the feeling it gave me, like watching Ferris Bueller or 90210 any of those teen 90s movies or shows. I might not relate to everything but I still find it enjoyable to read. I think also this is one of the reasons why it took me a while to get into the book.
I do have to say by the mid point of the book, it was real hard to put down.

Cassie is the perfect A-type, most likely to suceed type of character, and as the book progresses it’s nice to see her going from this very rigid character to slowly develop and grow as a character. Her friendship with Drea is one of the reasons she starts opening up more to first, an iffy treasure hunt, new experiences, and even the possibility of little summer fling.

Spoiler: (Font is in white)

kissing to come as you are is probably the best moment I’ve read

Now that I got that out of my head.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, it was a fun read with (no spoilers) a nice sweet ending that highlights how precious friendships are.


Foul is fair Review

Hi all
Now this review is long overdue, I read this book months ago and forgot to write my review. But since now I’ve been having some off time, I want to catch up with my list of ‘books I should have reviewed ages ago’.


Foul is Fair

by Hannah Capin

Genre: YA contemporary
Release date: February 18th 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books

Elle and her friends Mads, Jenny, and Summer rule their glittering LA circle. Untouchable, they have the kind of power other girls only dream of. Every party is theirs and the world is at their feet. Until the night of Elle’s sweet sixteen, when they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. The night the golden boys choose Elle as their next target.

They picked the wrong girl.

Sworn to vengeance, Elle transfers to St. Andrew’s. She plots to destroy each boy, one by one. She’ll take their power, their lives, and their control of the prep school’s hierarchy. And she and her coven have the perfect way in: a boy named Mack, whose ambition could turn deadly.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | B&N | BOOK DEPOSITORY


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

6 reasons you should read this book
*Revenge murder thriller fantasy! a lot of murder, a lot of planning around murder! when men do bad things and actually get what they deserve
*what happens when you (loosely) retell and reinterpet Macbeth, add some feminism, add teenage girls and give some flavour with a little of Cruel Intentions and Heathers
*author’s prose is as magical and flowery as it is beautiful and sharp
*dark narrative with no thoughts spared on getting bloody revenge
* perfectly satisfying and fulfilling book dealing with the issue of all those (specially sports) men who have not had to pay for their crimes.
*main cast is four girls, a coven of beautiful, intelligent powerful teenage girls.


tw for rape discussion and murder

I do need to tw for rape as the summary does involve talking about that, if you’re not interested in reading about that just skip the next paragraph.

Foul is Fair tells the story of the privileged group of friends, main character Elizabeth Jade Khanjara, Elle (or Jade later on the book) and her coven, Jenny, Summer and Mads. The story starts when they crash a St Andrew’s Prep Party on her sweet 16th birthday when her drink is spiked and she is raped and assaulted by 4 boys. Although, her memory is fragmented, she swears revenge on them and becomes Jade, short black hair and bloody punishment on her mind. With the helps of her coven, she swears a bloody, unforgiving revenge on that group of boys who continue to evade justice for their act. She is determined to take them down. They picked the wrong girl, she won’t be left as a victim but a survivor.

This book not only feels like a feminist (loose) retelling of Macbeth with a bit of Heathers in it but also feels so appropriate for the times we’re having now. This is a contemporary world issue that deals with when particularly teenage and university (sports) men get away without being punished. So if you’ve ever wanted to read a story where the boys get punished for their actions, this story will feel so satisfying to read.

Jade enrolls to St. Andrew’s making sure the gang of corrupt lacrosse jocks led by Duncan the king golden boy interacts with her and she is easily involved with the group. This group of boys, so far, has been considered untouchable with golden futures ahead but Jade won’t let that easily come to them. She schemes with her coven to manipulate, cast doubts on the group, separate them and exploit all their weaknesses by firstly, choosing the key weapon Andrew Mack who she sees as the easy prey. She won’t stop until death, madness and destruction has fallen to this gang.

Foul is fair plays with a prose that is both magical at times but with a certain raw feeling to it, as if you were swallowing pins and needles. The climax of the story will probably have you grinning, at least it did to me. Jade’s decisions throughout the book are about revenge no matter who she destroys and how. I won’t say it is an easy read, her account of her assault as it gets clearer it hurts more, it is not a happy story although it is a satisfying one. But I will say it is at times difficult to read although the prose helps for it to feel magical and fantastical that allows you to separate yourself from the story a bit.

Overall, Foul is Fair is not only one of those books that you will have a hard time putting down but it’s so memorable and amazing, I can’t recommend it enough!


Hope everyone is dealing okay with lockdown (UK has only been in lockdown for a few days but I haven’t left my house in two weeks because of a scare I had with my housemate).

Stay safe

Throw Like a Girl Book Tour Review

Throw Like a Girl

by Sarah Henning

Genre: YA Romance
Release Date: January 7th, 2020
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

When softball star Liv Rodinsky throws one ill-advised punch during the most important game of the year, she loses her scholarship to her fancy private school, her boyfriend, and her teammates all in one fell swoop. With no other options, Liv is forced to transfer to the nearest public school, Northland, where she’ll have to convince their coach she deserves a spot on the softball team, all while facing both her ex and the teammates of the girl she punched… Every. Single. Day.

Enter Grey, the injured star quarterback with amazing hair and a foolproof plan: if Liv joins the football team as his temporary replacement, he’ll make sure she gets a spot on the softball team in the Spring. But it will take more than the perfect spiral for Liv to find acceptance in Northland’s halls, and behind that charming smile, Grey may not be so perfect after all.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | B&N | BOOK DEPOSITORY


Click the image to check out the Tour

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

6 Reasons why you should read this book
* contemporary YA with minimum angst
*sports romance! sports lingo, sports references galore! team camaraderie! healthy competition (wait…no sexism? what?!)
* MC is the star player, headstrong, a bit hothead, too talented for her own good who ends up growing a fair bit of growing up and learning how to be a teammate, also has a great right hook!
* i should talk about the LI but can I say first great cast of friends, family, supporting families and friends ftw! meaningful female relationships ftw!
* LI is the star quarterback, surprisingly not too insta-love
* cute coming of age, highschool sports romance


Throw like a Girl tells the story of hardworking, knows-she-is-amazingly-talented, softball star Liv Rodinsky having to transfer to a new school because she decided to deck her rival for a comment against her sister (cw: homophobic comment). But what to do when the coach of that new school’s softball team tells her that while she’s very talented she’s not enough of a team player, in the words, application: pending.
This is when she meets the coach’s son, the star quarterback Grey who is actually injured and strikes up a deal, if she plays as a temporary quarterback he will help her get a spot in the softball team.

Have I mentioned before how much I’m a total sports fan? If I haven’t well now you know! That said although I think if asked I might understand something of how American Football is played and I could mentioned some basic references (team names maybe some famous players), I have never paid attention to the sport. I’m more of a hockey/football/baseball/basketball fan 🙂
Because of this, I was a bit wary of reading a book that might have a lot of sports references that I might not understand. Not only that but because I am a sports fan I tend to scrutinise every little bit which means I end up not intested in almost all sports books I try to read. Especially sports romance where the focus is more on the romance and sports (most of the time) is practically nonexistent. But this book was the perfect combination of sports, highschool drama, inspirational sports story and the sprinkle of romance. If I who has never watched a football game in her life can follow the jist of the game, don’t worry, you will be able too!

I do have to admit I didn’t fall in love with Grey, he was cute and I thought their romance was cute but something happens in the book [no spoilers here!] that made me reconsider my idea of him.

The cast of the book, however was the best, between the family dynamic, the Rodinskys who were so supportive and even overprotective were amzing to read and I would’nt have minded getting to know more about them, and about Liv and her sister, and Liv and her brother. I mean really every little detail of their dynamic and any scene with them I enjoyed. Then there’s Olivia’s best friend that while I feel like I could have gotten to know more, still was nice to read. And a good counter part to Liv’s personality.

I was pleasantly surprised to read about a book joining an all-male team not having one instant of sexism, it was all about competition, team camaraderie and the usual “i’m feeling threatened by you because you might be taking my spot and I know you’re ridiculously talented” type of attitude from one of the other quarterback, but nothing about being a girl specifically. That was a breath of fresh air, and I was happy to not have to wince and say ah yes of course I should have seen that coming.

And of course, honourable mention to all the sports reference (O-Rod!).

Overall, very quick, enjoyable read.


Thanks to the Fantastic Flying Book Club Tour for giving me the opportunity to participate in this Book Tour. If you want to know more about them check them out.

FBBC is hosting a giveaway for a chance to win 1 of 2 copies of this book (US only, sorry!). Don’t miss the chance, ENTER HERE! This giveaway ends on 21st of January.


She’s with Me Book Tour Review

She’s with Me

by Ava Violet

Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: January 7th, 2020

When Amelia Collins moves to a new town to escape her dark past, she just wants to keep her head down and finish her senior year.
Her plans change drastically when she runs- literally- into the school’s hottest badass and number one person on the ‘don’t mess with’ list, Aiden Parker.

Amelia needs to find a way to survive senior year while she tries not to fall for the annoyingly handsome Aiden, or his mischievous, cocky player of a best friend, Mason.

With new friends, fun pranks, bitchy queen bees, old rivalries, and a haunting past, Amelia’s senior year is destined to be filled with some drama.

GOODREADS | AMAZONB&N | BOOK DEPOSITORY |


Click the image for more about the Tour

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

6 Reasons you should read this book
*contemporary YA
*highschool teen Romance
* revenge! pranks! rivalry! mystery? there’s something about that MC!
* MC is snarky, confident and assertive, will-not-take-anyone’s-BS type
*best friends-more-like-family, more-like-brothers, friends-as-support-group
*romance is slow-ish burn, broody love interest
*cw for alcohol, slut-shaming, death, bodily injuries


Not very spoiler-y

She’s with Me tells the story of Amelia Collins who has some sort of dark past we are not very sure of, but because of this she and her mom are forced to move to a new city and start her senior year in King City High School mid-semester. Amelia is hoping she will fly under the radar, lay low, graduate and hopefully move on with her life. That, of course, is spoilt in the first few minutes of her first day when she bumps into Aiden Parker and now she finds herself immersed in this new group of friends and rivalries and pranks. Laying low won’t be as easy now.

I have to say I read this book in one sitting down, while I feel like I didn’t particularly attach myself to any character, the plot was different and distinct enough that I couldn’t stop reading it. I needed to know what was going to happen with Amelia and what was her backstory. Especially because, did i mention there was so much drama and mystery in the book? So much, that I would not be satisfied without knowing the end.

While this book seemed it would be centred around romance, I was pleasantly surprised the romance ended up being more slow burn-ish. Most of the book focused around Amelia, her mysterious dark past and her new friends. This really supportive, always there for each other, more-like-family group. I especially love this trope! The romance and relationships between Amelia and Aiden also spent more time understanding each others problems, their personal problems and how these ultimately united them.

I do have to say my main issue with the book was the slut shaming, the name calling was not healthy and not something I would like to see in characters without not addressing or condemning it. Related to that, I didn’t much appreciate the characterisation of the Queen Bee, Kaitlyn, I think she would have been interesting to further flesh out her character as the “villain” or “mean one” but in the end I feel like most of the drama between her and Amelia could have been easily solved or ignored. Luckily, Amelia does that.

The book ends in a cliffhanger and while there are some things that kinda got resolved, there are also so many questions left hanging, what will happen to Amelia? what will happen to Aiden? What do you mean ***** is ****? (no spoilers!)

Overall, this was a quick contemporary read about teenagers in not the greatest of situations but somehow powering through and living each day at a time.


Thanks again to the Fantastic Flying Book Club Tour for giving me the opportunity to participate in this Tour. If you want to know more about them check them out. And thank you to the publishers!

See you next time!

Readathon wrap-up

Hi all!
Long time without posting, real life has been a bit hectic lately with a conference, travelling and back to uni/teaching. I am making a resolve to post at least once in the week and once in the weekend.
Totally yell at me if a week has passed and you don’t see anything from me.


That said, let’s start with the first thing in order, talking about Latinx Heritage Month.
I can’t believe it’s close to being over and I haven’t really been promoting or posting as much as I wanted to.

As I mentioned before I was/am participating in #LatinxLitTakeover, that is the #LatinxBookBingo which I won’t be posting about today (but soon) and the already finished #Latinxathon.
Just as a reminder, the #Latinxathon consisted of 5 prompts:

1. VOICES Read a book written by an Indigenous or Afro-Latinx author: With the fire on high by Elizabeth Acevedo
2. LATINIDAD Read a book written by an intersectional Latinx author: Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera
3. ROOTS Read a translated book: The Shape of the Ruins by Juan Gabriel Vasquez (recommended by Luisa)
4. HERITAGE Read a book by a non-hispanic latinx author: American Street by Ibi Zoboi
5. Group Book: The Grief Keeper by Alexandra Villasante (also part of the Bingo)

Out of these I have to very disappointedly say I only read 2, American Street and With the fire on high. I am planning on reading both Juliet Takes a Breath and The Grief Keeper as they both are on my #LatinxBookBingo picks but for this, I didn’t have the time to do it.

Also I just recently received Juliet Takes a Breath (as you probably saw on my instagram)


But let’s talk a little about American Street and With the Fire on High.

6 Reasons to read With the Fire on High
*ALL THE FOOD! seriously don’t read this book when hungry should be a warning
*main character is afrolatinx, a teen mom in high school and raising her child with the support of her grandma and the father
*MC has an amazing support system behind her and so much love surrounding her
*very real, very raw, very honest talk about teen pregnancy, love, expectations, opportunities, sexuality, sex, culture, puerto rico, colonisation, food as love, food as culture, food as a way to connect to ones roots, love so much love
*LI is so soft, the softest boy who cooks and supports the main character
*i’ll just mention Abuela because she’s an amazing character who needs no further introduction

Rating:🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

I don’t think anyone is suprised I’m giving this book 5 stars, I’m 100% biased towards Elizabeth Acevedo, she’s one of my insta-reads insta-buy insta-love authors not only because she’s dominican but because her writing always has a way of burrowing into my heart and making a place for each word and sentence.

This book is a bit different from The Poet X dealing with issues to do with teen pregnancy and food and love. It still has the magic Elizabeth Acevedo I can make any line sound like magic and everything good in this world. But mostly what I loved about this book was how honest it was, it explored a topic that we all have an opinion on good or bad and made it feel real like someone you know or someone in your family. It wasn’t all about the bad things about teen pregnancy because it had so much love and support surrounding the main character and their family.

This is another one of those books I really can’t say enough and much about because I just want to push it to everyone’s hands and make them read it, please go read it!


6 reasons to read American Street
*ownvoices author!
*Haitian culture!!!! Haitian food! vodou faith! creole slang! SO! MUCH! HAITIAN!
*not a happy story but also a very much needed story on immigration, being an immigrant, black culture, haitian culture, the reality ofchildren who move to a country like the US seeking the “dream”.
*CW for drugs, drug use, violence, violent abuse, abuse by a lover/boyfriend, crime, OD’ing
*really truthful and gritty discussions on slut-shaming, wrong vs right, lesbian romance,
*diversity! so much diversity! lesbian romance, muslim love interest, black excellence!

Rating:🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

I have to admit when I finished this book I had been crying for a while and felt like I just went through this emotional journey, the more I think back to this book, the more I realise how special it was. I’ve heard some say it feel unresolved but I feel like it shouldn’t have ended in any other way. The issues this book talked about with so much heart and so much emotion aren’t easy or a quick-fix. I loved this book so much because it didn’t try to pretend to end everything with a nice bow and a ‘they lived happily ever after’. It’s not pretty, it won’t leave you feeling like this is an uplifting book but it will leave you feeling like Ibi Zoboi is one of the best authors youve come across (at least that was my experience).

American Street so far, is one of the best YA contemporary novels I’ve read because of how authentic it was, how pure and truthful it was to the immigrant story, that while leaving your country might be the best thing in the moment not everything will be roses and rainbows, and most of all i liked how bittersweet the ending was.


I could go on and on about both of these books so just please go check them out 🙂

You can buy American Street @ IndieBound, and B&N, and/or Amazon! and the author @ website, instagram or twitter

You can buy With the Fire on High @ IndieBoundAmazon and/or B&N! and the author @ website, instagram or twitter

Until next time,

Color Me In Review

Hi all!

I was lucky to be a part of Sazon Book Tours ‘Color me In’ by Natasha Diaz. So I got an early ARC to read and enjoy.

The book was just published yesterday if you’re following me on twitter or instagram you might have seen this:

The Latinx Squad usually tries to do a tag promoting latinx authors and #ColorsForNevaeh was the one chosen to celebrate this amazing book’s birthday.

Now before I start talking about this marvellous book, I should warn even though I will try to keep spoilers at a minimum I might say some things that could be considered spoiler-ish depending on your standards.

Onwards!


Color Me In

by Natasha Diaz

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Release Date: August 20th, 2019
Publisher: Carina Press

Who is Nevaeh Levitz?

Growing up in an affluent suburb of New York City, sixteen-year-old Nevaeh Levitz never thought much about her biracial roots. When her Black mom and Jewish dad split up, she relocates to her mom’s family home in Harlem and is forced to confront her identity for the first time. 

Nevaeh wants to get to know her extended family, but one of her cousins can’t stand that Nevaeh, who inadvertently passes as white, is too privileged, pampered, and selfish to relate to the injustices they face on a daily basis as African Americans. In the midst of attempting to blend their families, Nevaeh’s dad decides that she should have a belated bat mitzvah instead of a sweet sixteen, which guarantees social humiliation at her posh private school. Even with the push and pull of her two cultures, Nevaeh does what she’s always done when life gets complicated: she stays silent.

It’s only when Nevaeh stumbles upon a secret from her mom’s past, finds herself falling in love, and sees firsthand the prejudice her family faces that she begins to realize she has a voice. And she has choices. Will she continue to let circumstances dictate her path? Or will she find power in herself and decide once and for all who and where she is meant to be?

GOODREADS AMAZON B&N |INDIEBOUND


Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

6 reasons to read this book

*explores identity struggles, racial tensions, bi-racial identity, poverty, bullying, mental health, dependecy, jewish religion, white-passing privileges, the cost of staying silent in the face of social injustices
*coming of age story set in New York City specifically Harlem
*Own Voices author
*a bit of teen romance
*honest, lyrical way of tackling religious intolerance and racism! SO! MANY! AMAZING! POEMS!
*family issues galore! but also touches upon the importance of family and family ties, roots, bonds, traditions.


Color Me In centers around Nevaeh, our heroine who finds herself dealing with the aftermath of her parents splitting up and soon to be divorce. She is living with his mom’s relatives in Harlem, with relatives that she knows but hasn’t spent that much time with. Because of this change and her own identity, Nevaeh is caught up between two worlds, her dad’s and her mom’s. Her mom’s West Indies/black world and her dad’s rich white jewish world.
Two worlds that collide in her but also set her apart from each of it, she’s not white enough because of her black relatives. And to her black relatives she’s too white to fully partake in some parts of black culture. The book mostly deals with Nevaeh’s struggle with accepting herself and her identity, with knowing and understanding where she belongs when she feels she can’t fully be part of either culture. But also how she sees herself and how others see her and the privileges afforded to her because of being white passing.

This book is richly complext, truthful, raw in its honesty and at times heart-wrenching. There’s so much to unpack that I really think if I tried I would be loss for words because of how it touches upon so many subjects and treats respectfully each issue. One part of the book that really stuck with me was at the start where Neaveh recalls spending time with her mom in the park and that instance of racism that made her understand there was something different about her and her mom that made other people make assumptions about them (no spoilers haha). This basically foretells how the book will carry on with dealing with racism and family. I love its portrayal of family as complicated and messy and even hurtful at times but it’s such an important part of what makes us who we are. I especially loved Nevaeh’s relationship with her mom, her relatives and how finding out secrets from her mom’s past and being around her family makes her change and start expressing herself. But mostly how it changes the way she views the world and starts accepting her own identity and the way she treats others (her friends, Jesus, her cousins, her family).

The writing was lyrical, flowing beautifully from sentence to sentence with the added touch of poems and spoken poetry that made some statements and especially Nevaeh’s voice even more touching and honest. Every character of the book was marvellously written and crafted, each were good, bad, flawed and beautiful. Also shoutout to having the love interest be a dominican boy 🙂 i love a cute, soft, hard-working good dominican boy representation.

Honestly, there’s little I could say about this book that’s not a gushing description of how much this book touched me and enthralled me in a way that I spent hours remembering little bits and going back to be able to write this review. But most of all, I loved this book not only because it spoke to me as a light-skinned latina who has privileges because I’m not black but also because of the growth Nevaeh underwent throughout the story in understanding herself, her own identity, falling in love for the first time, learning how to be a good friend, daughter, cousin and person.
This story, most of all reminded me of the importance of learning and unlearning. There’s so much more I want to discuss and maybe at a later time I will revisit and reread the book.


You can find Color Me In @ your regular bookstore (or ask for it), @ B&N, Indiebound and Amazon.
For more about the author, check out her Twitter or website or Instagram.


Have you read Color Me In already? or are you waiting for it to arrive? If you haven’t ordered it, what are you waiting for!! And when you’re done come talk to me about it 🙂

Thank you to Sazon Book Tours for giving me the chance to participate in this tour, to the amazing Caro who I love to infinity and beyond, to Natasha Diaz for the marvellous book and her publishing team.