Maya and the Rising Dark

Synopsis:

Twelve-year-old Maya’s search for her missing father puts her at the center of a battle between our world, the Orishas, and the mysterious and sinister Dark world.

Twelve-year-old Maya is the only one in her South Side Chicago neighborhood who witnesses weird occurrences like werehyenas stalking the streets at night and a scary man made of shadows plaguing her dreams. Her friends try to find an explanation—perhaps a ghost uprising or a lunchroom experiment gone awry. But to Maya, it sounds like something from one of Papa’s stories or her favorite comics.

When Papa goes missing, Maya is thrust into a world both strange and familiar as she uncovers the truth. Her father is the guardian of the veil between our world and the Dark—where an army led by the Lord of Shadows, the man from Maya’s nightmares, awaits. Maya herself is a godling, half orisha and half human, and her neighborhood is a safe haven. But now that the veil is failing, the Lord of Shadows is determined to destroy the human world and it’s up to Maya to stop him. She just hopes she can do it in time to attend Comic-Con before summer’s over. 

Book Link:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39726908-maya-and-the-rising-dark

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Maya-Rising-Dark-Rena-Barron/dp/132863518X/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1563163166&sr=8-1

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/maya-and-the-rising-dark-rena-barron/1132050955?ean=9781328635181

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Maya-Rising-Dark-Rena-Barron/9781328635181?ref=grid-view&qid=1597191776204&sr=1-1

Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/maya-and-the-rising-dark/9781328635181-item.html?ikwid=Maya+and+the+Rising+Dark&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0#algoliaQueryId=a35cb729a155062f128098dc67444475

About the Author:

Rena Barron

Rena Barron grew up in small-town Alabama where stories of magic and adventure sparked her imagination. After penning her first awful poem in middle school, she graduated to writing short stories and novels by high school. From a very young age she loved reading stories where kids saved the world, tamed dragons, wielded magic, flew spaceships, became the chosen one. She desperately searched for characters in books who looked like her and was always disappointed to find none, which fueled her early interest in writing.

Before HarperTeen acquired her Young Adult Epic Fantasy, Kingdom of Souls, Rena spent 10 years in the query trends–writing across multiple genres and age groups in the pursuit of publication. In2017, she entered Pitch Wars, a popular and highly sought-after online mentorship program that included an agent showcase round. Rena’s entry (then titled “The Last Witchdoctor”) received multiple offers of representation. She signed with Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary shortly after, and the manuscript went on to sell in a heated auction.

In addition to the Kingdom of Souls series, Rena also has written a middle grade epic fantasy titled Maya and The Rising Dark debuting in Spring 2020, pitched as Stranger Things meets Percy Jackson, that sold in a pre-empt to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

On a personal note, Rena loves all things science fiction and fantasy, ghosts, and superheroes. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading or brushing up on her French.

Author’s Links:

Website: http://renabarron.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/renathedreamer

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/renathedreamer1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17797267.Rena_Barron

Maya and the Rising Dark releases TODAY! Be sure to pick your copy!

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I also want to give a big shout out to TBR & Beyond Tours for allowing me to participate in their Book Blitz!

The Wild Path

Synopsis:

The Line Tender meets The Secret Horses of Briar Hill in this hopeful, heartfelt story about one girl’s search for legendary horses and her quest to piece her family back together.

Twelve-year-old Claire Barton doesn’t like the “flutter feeling” that fills her chest when she worries about the future, but she knows what she loves: the land that’s been in her family for three generations; her best friend Maya; her family’s horses, Sunny and Sam; and her older brother Andy. That’s why, with Andy recently sent to rehab after a DUI, and her parents planning to sell the horses, Claire’s world feels like it might flutter to pieces.

When Claire learns about equine therapy, she imagines a less lonely future that keeps her family together, brother and horses included. But, when she finds mysterious wild horses in the woods behind her house, she realizes she has a bitmore company than she bargained for. With this new secret-and a little bit of luck-Claire will discover the beauty of change, the power of family, and the strength within herself.

My Thoughts:

12 year old Claire’s life hasn’t the same since her older brother Andy was sent to rehab for his drug addiction. Her parents also made a decision to sell their horses Sam and Sunny, due to not being able to care for them financially. Claire feels she needs to come up with a solution to fix these problems, and her school project allowed her to do just that. To think outside of the box and come up with ideas to keep her horses while helping other’s with their addiction.

I haven’t read many middle grade books, but this one was a joy to read! The Wild Path was beautifully written and I personally learned a lot about horses. How they can sense people emotions and what they can do for people in a therapeutic way. As for the topics discussed in this book such as drugs and alcohol addiction, it was handled very age appropriate. We also get fun adventure of Claire finding a secret box and finding the truth about the wild horses she sees in the woods. This book was perfect is so many ways and I’m so grateful the author took the time to recognize the young children who are truly effected by addiction.

Favorite Quotes:

“The only actions we can possibly control are our own. And we can’t find peace until we let go of trying to control someone else.”

“There will be so many situations you’re not quite sure of. Eventually you realize that uncertainty is just part of the deal. And you do the best you can.”

…But we need to be honest with ourselves too. Seeing situations clearly isn’t easy, but it’s the only way to move forward. It’s the only way to grow.”

“The stories don’t make sense, but they’re also real. I want things to be easier but they just aren’t. It doesn’t mean I cant be strong anyway.”

“Trust is something you have to build. Especially when you’ve knocked it down a few time.”

I would like to thank TBR & Beyond Tours for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

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About the Author:Sarah R. Baughman is an author whose debut middle grade novel, THE LIGHT IN THE LAKE, isforthcoming from Little, Brown Books For Young Readers in 2019. A former middle and high schoolEnglish teacher currently working as an educational consultant, Sarah graduated from GrinnellCollege and the University of Michigan, where she studied English, German, and Education. Sarah isrepresented by Katie Grimm at Don Congdon Associates. When she’s not writing, she’s probablyreading, running, or getting outdoors with her family

Book Link:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50358106-the-wild-path

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-wild-path-sarah-r-baughman/1135968102

https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Wild-Path-Sarah-R-Baughman/9780316422475

https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/the-wild-path/9780316422475-item.html

Authors Links:

https://www.sarahrbaughman.com/

https://www.instagram.com/sarahrbaughman/

https://www.facebook.com/sarahrbaughman.author

August Wrap-Up

I can’t believe August is over already! How does time go by fast when you aren’t having fun? Either way, I’ve been reading some pretty awesome books lately! I’ve been trying to focus more on books by POC because 1. I’m black 2. We need to support more authors of color!! And in my opinion they write the BEST romance books! There’s nothing like Black love.

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I only started blogging and tracking my books a few years ago, and that’s when I found the book community! Before all the YA books I’ve read I would read an obsess over books by authors such as Zane, Sister Souljah, Eric Jerome Dickey, Noire and Omar Tyree just to name a few.

These are the book I read last month:

Cinderella Is Dead
This was my most anticipated book of the year and it did not disappoint! I really enjoyed the darker tone of the Cinderella story. See the source image
Mexican Gothic
I don’t read a lot of horror books, but this was a good one! I also listened to the audio for this and the narrator did an amazing job. This book was spooky, creepy and suspenseful. If horror is your preferred genre this IS IT!See the source imageSee the source image

Now That I've Found You
I read this for the HOV blog tour and I’m so grateful I was able to get the chance to read this book! You can check out my thoughts on my blog here. See the source image
Make a Scene
The author was kind enough to send me a copy of this book for an honest review. I haven’t posted my review as yet, but this book is EVERYTHING. I could not put this book down for a second. I promise to have my review up soon 🙂 See the source image

You Had Me at Hola
TBR and Beyond Group on Facebook is having a Swoon Along read for this in September and decided sign up for it. I’ve also heard nothing but good things and dived right in. This book is about love at first sight, second chances and making it big in the Hollywood world. Really good book and I highly recommend. See the source image See the source image
Full Disclosure
I listen to this on audio and it was a fantastic read. I couldn’t recommend this more. This is about a girl name Simone who was born with HIV and just learning her to find herself with this disease.See the source image
Witchy
I received this graphic novel in the Owlcrate box and few months ago and I was such a good read! The art was beautiful and the world building was fun. I always enjoy the graphic novels they include.See the source image

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What did you read in August? Did you read any of the book I read last month? If you have any recommendation let a girl know 🙂

Now That I’ve Found You

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A YA novel about searching for answers, love, and your eccentric grandma in all the wrong places.

Following in the footsteps of her überfamous grandma, eighteen-year-old Evie Jones is poised to be Hollywood’s next big star. That is until a close friend’s betrayal leads to her being blacklisted . . .

Fortunately, Evie knows just the thing to save her floundering career: a public appearance with America’s most beloved actress—her grandma Gigi, aka the Evelyn Conaway. The only problem? Gigi is a recluse who’s been out of the limelight for almost twenty years. Days before Evie plans to present her grandma with an honorary award in front of Hollywood’s elite, Gigi does the unthinkable: she disappears.

With time running out and her comeback on the line, Evie reluctantly enlists the help of the last person to see Gigi before she vanished: Milo Williams, a cute musician Evie isn’t sure she can trust. As Evie and Milo conduct a wild manhunt across New York City, romance and adventure abound while Evie makes some surprising discoveries about her grandma—and herself.

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This was such a fun and cute book, and everything that I needed at the moment!

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Evie, an up-coming actress, is betrayed by her best friend Simone when she leaks a private video. Evie believes her only way of getting out of this scandal is by reaching out to her grandmother, a well known Hollywood actress Evelyn Conway aka Gigi. When she finds her way to NYC she meets Milo, her grandmother’s helper. She already has trust issues and thinks Milo has ulterior motives. Their growing relationship was so sweet even though Evie was playing very hard to get.

I really loved Milo’s character and was swooning the entire time. I mean, who wouldn’t want someone tall, dark, with dreads AND musically talented. I’m going to need someone to write and sing me a song ASAP.

I loved Gigi’s character so much and reminded me a little of my own grandmother. My grandmother use to call me Tina- Marie and also live in NYC. I would take the train to see her because she, like Gigi, never left the house. I loved reading about Evie and Milo’s adventures all throughout NYC. It made me miss taking the smelly subways, and eating the finest dollar pizza’s or even going to the lounges and Broadway shows.

If you’re looking for a heart-warming, light contemporary this is the one.

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I want to thank Hear Our Voices and Macmillan for an early copy for an honest review.

The Black Kids By Christina Hammond Reed

The Black Kids by [Christina Hammonds Reed]

This book is one of my favorites this year and could not put it down. I also want to give a huge shout out to Simon and Schuster and Hear Our Voices for putting this copy in my hands and many other POC reviewers.

Perfect for fans of The Hate U Give, this unforgettable coming-of-age debut novel explores issues of race, class, and violence through the eyes of a wealthy black teenager whose family gets caught in the vortex of the 1992 Rodney King Riots.

Los Angeles, 1992

Ashley Bennett and her friends are living the charmed life. It’s the end of senior year and they’re spending more time at the beach than in the classroom. They can already feel the sunny days and endless possibilities of summer.

Everything changes one afternoon in April, when four LAPD officers are acquitted after beating a black man named Rodney King half to death. Suddenly, Ashley’s not just one of the girls. She’s one of the black kids.

As violent protests engulf LA and the city burns, Ashley tries to continue on as if life were normal. Even as her self-destructive sister gets dangerously involved in the riots. Even as the model black family façade her wealthy and prominent parents have built starts to crumble. Even as her best friends help spread a rumor that could completely derail the future of her classmate and fellow black kid, LaShawn Johnson.

With her world splintering around her, Ashley, along with the rest of LA, is left to question who is the us? And who is the them?

We follow a black girl name Ashley during the Rodney King 1992 Riots. She is a wealthy black girl and a senior in an all white school. She has a pretty small circle of white friends she grew up with. She learns that her friends that she grew up with have never been her true friends. The officers have just been acquitted for the murder of Rodney King and the city is now up in flames. All while this is going on her grandmother’s store in a danger of being looted and her family holds the secret to her grandmother’s death. Ashley is now trying to find herself and connect with being her authentic self.

I absolutely loved Ashley’s sister Jo. She is the complete opposite of Ashley. She’s fearless, strong and stands up for what she believes in. She’s woke! She also gets involved with the riots and Ashley doesn’t seem to understand why and worried for her safety. I really love how she was portrayed in this story, because it’s the strength that I wish I have as black woman.

“Protesting isn’t suppose to be easy. Revolution isn’t easy. Not when you’re’trying to dismantle an entire system.”

As kids we make mistakes, but learning from them and dealing with the problem head on was a very great point in this book. Ashley made a mistake by saying something around other people which gave them leverage to use. Sometimes surrounding yourself around good and honest people can help you with your struggles and that’s exactly what Lana does for Ashley. I really loved the growing friendship between these two characters.

I personally related to Ashley’s character and her struggles with accepting who she is and I loved seeing how much she has grown in this book. I also know what it’s like to go to an all white school and having white people question my blackness. I know what it’s like having to be two completely different people. I know what it’s like allowing white people to be racist or to say the N word because 1. I wanted to continue to fit in and 2. Didn’t know how to tell them that it offended me. At times they would excuse their behavior because they have “Black friends.” I even get made fun of by Black people because I’m not Black enough in their eyes and feel like I always have to prove myself. So, when I’m around my Black friends I act and talk a certain way and it’s the same thing with my White friends. I still don’t know how to just be my authentic self because I’m afraid of people judging me.

“We have to walk around being perfect all the time just to be seen as human. Don’t you ever get tired of being a symbol? Don’t you ever just want to be human.”

I also know what it’s like to be called the “N” word by a white person, and to be completely honest I didn’t think it would have such an effect on me they way it did and still effects me to this day. To see the disgust in this mans face and to hear the hate in the word, mad me angry, upset and overall sad. I went home and cried like a baby for hours. I had so many questions that night, but only one stuck out- Why does the color of my skin offend you so much? And I don’t think we’ll ever know.

The Black Kids was beautifully written. It is important and relevant book to read especially now and the recent murder of George Floyd. I would highly suggest everyone to read it and would also love to see this book in school classrooms.

“A riot is the language of the unheard.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Recent NetGalley Arcs

Hey you guys! Happy Monday

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It’s been a long time for obvious reasons. I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe in these crazy times.

I wanted to share some of the recent and not so recent NetGalley arcs that I have received.

Shielded ( Sheilded #1) by Kaylynn Flanders-

This cover is absolutely amazing.

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Mayhem by Estella Laure

  1. Mayhem

Throwaway Girls by Andrea Contos

A Curse of Gold by Annie Sullivan

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The Gilded Ones (Deathless #1)  by Namina Forna

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True L1f3 by Mr. Jay Kristoff

TRUEL1F3 (Lifelike, #3)
Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards, #1)

And last but certainty not least

OMG this cover is giving me so much life!!!

Have you received any of the ones I’ve received?

Are you excited about any of these?

I hope you all stay happy and healthy. Until next time

My Owlcrate TBR

I seriously do not want to talk about my Owlcrate TBR list!!

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I’ve been subscribed to Owlcrate  for a full year and have read two of the book they featured in their boxes! Horrible I know! It’s so much harder when I have no self control and just keep buying books (please tell me I’m not the only one) and I have a ton of arcs that needs to be read and reviewed. I also have set books that I read monthly. So, to say the least last year was pretty hard to get through a lot of these.

Well, I have decided to take on one 2019 Owlcrate book a month two if I’m bold enough!

Here are the books that I plan on tackling each month!

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I just want to point out that those listed above are not the covers that were included in the OC boxes! The books that have been included were all so nice in my opinion. My favorite cover change would have to be Winterwood. I love the all white cover, it seems so fitting for the season.

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Now that I have completely  shocked myself and most of you, lets start with the one I have started.

So, I’ve started with the auidiobook of  Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw and Narrated by Emma Lysy and Mark Turetsky. I am more than 50% into it and have to say I’m really enjoying it.

Have you read it and what were your thought on it?

I always find it hard to chose my next read, which book should I pick up next?

Down below I have linked the Goodreads links to these books in case you would like to know more about them.

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https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41951626-crier-s-war

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42815556-spin-the-dawn

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37825423-amber-dusk

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35715518-crown-of-feathers

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43568394-the-guinevere-deception

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43822698-winterwood

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36492488-we-hunt-the-flame

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43699608-i-hope-you-get-this-message

 

Color Me in by: Natasha Diaz

Published: 8/20/2019

Genre: YA

Rated: 4 Stars

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Goodreads Synopsis: Debut YA author Natasha Díaz pulls from her personal experience to inform this powerful coming-of-age novel about the meaning of friendship, the joyful beginnings of romance, and the racism and religious intolerance that can both strain a family to the breaking point and strengthen its bonds.

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?

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I requested this book from NetGalley because I knew I was going to love this story and just look at that cover. It’s stunning.

We are introduced to a 16 year old girl name Neveah who is biracial,  Jewish and African American. Her parents  are divorced and forced to moved to Harlem from her suburb home in NYC. She moves in with her extended family only to have her cousins dislike her because they think she privileged and looks more white than black with perfect hair ( I can remember kids not liking me in school because (in their words) I have “white people hair”. Which really did bother me. I guess as an African American your hair is only to look a certain way). Her father also wants her to have a belated  Bar Mitzvah and start attending  Temple. To educate her and be more connected with their heritage, and because of all this  she now struggles with her identity.

One Day Neveah travels up to her attic and finds her mothers diary and discovers reasons as to why her parents got divorced and more about her mother’s struggles in her marriage.

I really enjoyed this coming of age debut novel. I loved character development, it was beautifully written and feel like many can relate to this story.  I would so recommend this book.

And if you’re wanting to know how pronounce Neveah it’s Nuh-vay-uh.

I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

100 Days of Sunlight

 

Rating: 5 Star

Pages: 311

Published: 8/7/2019

NetGalley Arc

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

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

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

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

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

This was an easy 5 star for me. OMG Weston is so romantic and is now my new book boyfriend.

We are introduced to a girl name Tessa who was in a car accident with her grandparents which cause her her sight. Her doctor’s told her that within 100 days she will get a sight back. With loosing her sight she has lost all motivation in writing and just living life. Her Grandparents thought it would be a good idea to have someone assist her in writing her blog and placed an ad in a newspaper for an assistant position.

This is where we meet Weston who decides to show up to her house even though she asked for the ad the be removed. When he shows up the first couple of times she resist his help and is rude towards him because she feels that no one can relate to her and her situation. Little does she know Weston lost both his legs. Even though she is crude he actually likes it. He enjoys someone treating him like a real person instead of instantly showing pity because of his missing legs. Weston lost both legs skateboarding off a roof, and even with his disability; he is strong willed and very determined and doesn’t let his impairment hold him back, which he wanted to show Tessa.

At some point Tessa gives in and accepts his help. His assistance insists of writing her blog and helping her appreciate her other senses, He starts of with scent and brings her flowers each day without telling her he brought them and having her identify each one. With Taste he makes her waffles and brings her chocolates. With hearing he finally took her outside for walk and even an adventurous trip to a fair. With all the help that Weston is giving he still doesn’t admit that he is also disabled. With time spent with each other on a daily they both grow feeling for each other.

On the 100th day Tessa get her sight back and Weston refuses to see her, return her calls until she threatens to just pop up to his house like he did. He finally confesses that he is disabled and despite all that she still loves him.

I rated this book a 5 star and wish I could give it more. Even though I don’t live with a disability, but she made me feel everything Tessa was feeling. I felt the hurt, the sadness, when she felt joy. This is everything I look for in a book.
Thank you NetGalley for the advanced copy Continue reading “100 Days of Sunlight”