It's strange to think that ten years ago, I was a sophomore in high school who had just gone to her first National Portfolio Day, and my dream was to get into an art school and become a painter or illustrator. Back then, I was forging some of my most important friendships, and one of my most toxic ones, which I'm still healing from. I used "XD" emojis with abandon, and DeviantArt was my favorite website to waste hours on trying to seek validation for my art. But even then, I was a writer, and I hoped to be published one day. That hasn't changed one bit.
I bought Bloom probably a year ago, but never got around to reading it until last night--when I read it in one sitting. I don't know why I let it languish on my shelves for so long, but I'm glad I read it when I did. I needed something to lift my spirits, and Bloom did exactly that. Not only is this graphic novel a heartfelt, LGBT+ romance, it is also a very affirming account of navigating that scary time gap between graduating high school and whatever comes next.
Today, I’m reviewing one of the most important YA fantasies that I’ll probably read all year: Girls of Paper and Fire, by Natasha Ngan. This sweeping, lyrical YA fantasy left me in a book coma for days.
TW: this book contains sexual assault and violence
I’ve developed a habit of deciding I’m going to love a book before I even pick it up--especially if it’s written by an author I follow on social media. I can’t help it. After seeing the years of buildup and hype from the authors and their friends, it’s difficult not to get a little starry-eyed when you finally see their book on the shelf.
Or, you know, giddy scream inside because you’re the bookseller who gets to gleefully shove aside other books to make room for this sparkly, gorgeous new book you’ve been salivating over.
The book in question is Once and Future, a queer, feminist, futuristic retelling of King Arthur. Readers, it made my little queer heart sing.
Here I am, back with another review of a L.A. Ashton book! I’ve loved Echoes since I first read it when Ashton self-published it on Amazon. I was so excited when I found out that Ashton is having it re-published by Ninestar Press! Reading it a second time for this review was just as engrossing as the first time I picked it up.
It’s been some time since I’ve reflected on where I’m at, and a lot has changed for me recently, in really good ways. I’m in an energetic, yet strangely reflective kind of mood right now, so why not write about where I’m at and where I’m heading?
It’s my blog and I’ll ramble if I wanna.
Sorry. (Not sorry. That song’s been stuck in my head all week.)
L.A. Ashton is an author I’ve been following since I first found their fanfiction on Archive of Our Own many moons ago. I fell in love with the way they craft complex and gripping relationships between characters, and the sensuality of their writing stunned me. Ashton recently tweeted that they were looking for reviewers for their recently-released novella Valhalla, and of course I had to throw my hat in the ring. A chance to read more of Ashton's gorgeous writing and gush about it? Sign me up.
So. Here we are. A year after my review of the The Cruel Prince. Staring my laptop down, with glassy eyes and a haunted soul, about to embark on my review of The Wicked King, the flail-inducing sequel.
Just. Give me a second. I finished this book two (2) days ago, and my brain is still reeling. You know, set itself on fire, cartwheeling off cliffs, screaming like a banshee, that kind of reeling.
I did not expect this book to take me to that place. I honestly do not know if this review is going to be very coherent, or do the book any justice whatsoever, but here I am, ready to give it my best.
Breathe in, breathe out.
Okay. Here we go.
Black Wings Beating is a book that caused me to literally screech in delight when I received it in a Secret Santa exchange with my friends. I’m pretty sure that I told my friend that I would “kill or maim” people if necessary to get my hands on this book.
So, you know, good on her for preventing the harm of innocent individuals.
I received an advanced reader’s copy of Rule several weeks (or months?) ago from Julianne Daly, a lovely book blogger and freelancer I follow on Twitter who does book giveaways. I finally managed to get to Rule after several bookish detours, and, as promised, I am giving it my honest review.
Writer, reviewer, bookseller, book nerd extraordinaire. Fiction reader at Waxwing Magazine.