Cynthia Leitich Smith
Oct. 9, 2018
New York Times best-selling author Cynthia Leitich Smith turns to realistic fiction with the thoughtful story of a Native teen navigating the complicated, confusing waters of high school — and first love.
When Louise Wolfe’s first real boyfriend mocks and disrespects Native people in front of her, she breaks things off and dumps him over e-mail. It’s her senior year, anyway, and she’d rather spend her time with her family and friends and working on the school newspaper. The editors pair her up with Joey Kairouz, the ambitious new photojournalist, and in no time the paper’s staff find themselves with a major story to cover: the school musical director’s inclusive approach to casting The Wizard of Oz has been provoking backlash in their mostly white, middle-class Kansas town. From the newly formed Parents Against Revisionist Theater to anonymous threats, long-held prejudices are being laid bare and hostilities are spreading against teachers, parents, and students — especially the cast members at the center of the controversy, including Lou’s little brother, who’s playing the Tin Man. As tensions mount at school, so does a romance between Lou and Joey — but as she’s learned, “dating while Native” can be difficult. In trying to protect her own heart, will Lou break Joey’s?
Thank you to Candlewick Press and Netgalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Hearts Unbroken was absolutely a 5 star read, so I have five pros and no cons.
Thank you to Netgalley and Publishers Lunch for sending me a copy of these previews in exchange for my review!
Note: Buzz Books is a set of excerpts from upcoming books of 2019, and will definitely inform my TBR this year. I will be giving brief reviews to each excerpt along with a star rating so far. First up, Romanov by Nadine Brandes.
5 stars to Romanov! I love the setting, and the magical element seems promising. Definitely on my TBR list.
5 stars so far for Once and Future. A King Arthur retelling set in space? Sign me up! Also, Amy Rose Capetta co-wrote this book with Cory McCarthy which makes it an automatic must-read for me because I love everything Capetta has written so far. So excited!
3 stars for The Missing of Clairedelune. I think most of my confusion stemmed from the fact that this book is a sequel, but I also found the writing kind of stilted and the world uninteresting so far.
2 stars to William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Mean Girls. Nope, nope. no no no. This is literally the plot of Mean Girls written out in iambic pentameter. Not really funny, kind of hard to skim, definitely inaccessible. If I wanted Shakespeare I'd read one of his plays, not this.
4 stars for Please Send Help. Still a sequel, but super easy to jump into and the characters are relatable and funny. Some of the humor is a little contrived but I think that's just what happens when text and email conversations are written into books so I don't mind.
4.5 stars for Voices! I'm so happy to see more stories about historical women and girls being told, and I think the author of this book made interesting creative choices (telling the story in verse and through different perspectives) that help it stand out.
4 stars for Descendant of the Crane. It's #OwnVoices, and there's magic! Also, that cover looks beautiful.
4 stars to A Place for Wolves. Atmospheric and realistic, character connections are visible from the first page.
Can't give an accurate star rating for Operatic, since it's a graphic novel and the formatting got messed up in the ARC. It appears to be an adorable Middle Grade graphic novel focusing on a set of classmates in a music class.
3 stars to Outcasts. I think this one is a third book in a series? It seemed like the last book ended on a cliffhanger, but two books worth of worldbuilding did not help my understanding of this one. Nevertheless, I immediately disliked Dylan for seeming incredibly selfish. I won't say why, in case you want to read the rest of the series first, but that was my first impression of her.
4 stars for Bloodleaf. Princesses accused of being witches, alliances, and ghost magic? YES.
4 stars for To Best the Boys. Cadavers, adventures, and toppling the patriarchy! Also, Rhen scolding Beryll for being squeamish about the corpse is hilarious, and I really liked this first chapter.
Overall, the average rating is about 4. Some of these choices will be on my TBR for this year, and a lot of them should be on yours!
Whether you're looking for an adventurous hero or a tale of star-crossed love, these books will get you lost in time for a while (at least until you reach the end)!
My New Year's resolution? Post every day. I want to be a reliable content creator and bring a sense of continuity to my blogging, which has been lacking in the past. For the past few weeks, I've been diligent. I've posted every day, both here and on my bookstagram, and I've included a healthy variety of content.
However, I'm always looking for ways to improve. Hence, this two-part post. Part one is a survey! I want to give you all a chance to weigh in on my posts. You deserve to see engaging content that interests you, so here's your opportunity to tell me what's going right and what's wrong about my blogging and posts! Do you want more recommendation roundups? More reviews? Less blogging memes? It doesn't even have to be that general. Want me to review a certain book? Find recs for paranormal prehistoric romances? Here's the spot to ask!
Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin Random House for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
I am aware this review is very late, and I apologize for that. I had some difficulties in late 2018 that resulted in a backlog of read and unreviewed ARCs that I am working through right now. I take full ownership of this, and I sincerely apologize.
Watch You Burn started off with so much potential. I had high hopes for the mystery, and I was intrigued by Jenny’s background and pyromaniac tendencies. However, about a third of the way through I began feeling the disappointment.
Thank you to Netgalley and Andrews McMeel for sharing a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Once again, Amanda Lovelace has blown me away. This is the third book in this series, women are some kind of magic, and it's a fantastic conclusion. Both stylistically and linguistically beautiful, this book features both Lovelace's original poetry as well as thirteen guest poets and some homages to other works of literature.
It's no secret that I love libraries. They are truly a blessing, allowing readers to get their hands on new releases without costing a thing. I also love secondhand bookstores and library sales, where books are often inexpensive. However. Some books are so hyped up that I can't help but click that little green "BUY" button. Here's a look at my next few purchases, some of which are hopefully on their way.
First: Thank you to Netgalley and Candlewick for sharing this copy with me in exchange for my honest review.
Second: I am aware this review is very late, and I apologize for that. I had some difficulties in late 2018 that resulted in a backlog of read and unreviewed ARCs that I am working through right now. I take full ownership of this, and I sincerely apologize.
Lost Soul, Be At Peace is a graphic memoir, a genre I have not read before. Points for new things! However, I am also unsure of how I'd like to go about reviewing, so this will be a bulleted mini-review.
Thank you to Netgalley and Kids Can Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Full disclosure, this has to be a flail review because I have no better way of expressing my love for The Last Wish of Sasha Cade.
Hey gang! Today's Tuesday's Two is about tango and mangoes. First, this is my first week back in class for the second semester, so go easy on me if I miss a day or two posting, okay? I'm doing all my drop adds and trying to stay on top of syllabus work while putting out content, but it gets tough sometimes. Adulting is hard, amiright?
Onto the fun stuff: I learned how to tango today! Due to a clerical error of my own making, I wound up in a Dance 101 class where we were introduced to the basic steps and then paired up to learn leading vs. following. I had no idea what I was in for, but in the end, I think I'll stick to watching dance, rather than being an active participant. I traded that course for one on bookbinding, which I feel fits me better. (Side note: two of my favorite performers are Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. I was reminded today in class, our instructor mentioned the saying "Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, except backwards and in high heels." Has anyone seen their videos? I'll link one below because they are fantabulous.
Also, I tried Hi-Chews today? They're these Japanese chewy candies, reminiscent of Starbursts, except half the size and tasting less artificial. The one I tried tasted like mango, and it was pretty good! I'm not sure if I would seek them out, but I always like finding a new kind of candy. Some of my eternal favorites are Milky Ways, anything with chocolate and mint (Junior Mints, York patties, Thin Mints), and Sour Patch Kids. I'm big on candy, especially while I'm reading. Makes for a cozy atmosphere. What is your go-to reading snack/beverage? Or are you strictly a 3 meal per day person?
Hey, I'm Shreya! I love to read, write, travel, and drink coffee.