ARC Review: Can’t Take That Away by Steven Salvatore

An empowering and emotional debut about a genderqueer teen who finds the courage to stand up and speak out for equality when they are discriminated against by their high school administration.

Carey Parker dreams of being a diva, and bringing the house down with song. They can hit every note of all the top pop and Broadway hits. But despite their talent, emotional scars from an incident with a homophobic classmate and their grandmother’s spiraling dementia make it harder and harder for Carey to find their voice.

Then Carey meets Cris, a singer/guitarist who makes Carey feel seen for the first time in their life. With the rush of a promising new romantic relationship, Carey finds the confidence to audition for the role of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, in the school musical, setting off a chain reaction of prejudice by Carey’s tormentor and others in the school. It’s up to Carey, Cris, and their friends to defend their rights–and they refuse to be silenced.

Told in alternating chapters with identifying pronouns, debut author Steven Salvatore’s Can’t Take That Away conducts a powerful, uplifting anthem, a swoony romance, and an affirmation of self-identity that will ignite the activist in all of us.

Continue reading “ARC Review: Can’t Take That Away by Steven Salvatore”

ARC Review: Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers

With her newly completed PhD in astronomy in hand, twenty-eight-year-old Grace Porter goes on a girls’ trip to Vegas to celebrate. She’s a straight A, work-through-the-summer certified high achiever. She is not the kind of person who goes to Vegas and gets drunkenly married to a woman whose name she doesn’t know…until she does exactly that.

This one moment of departure from her stern ex-military father’s plans for her life has Grace wondering why she doesn’t feel more fulfilled from completing her degree. Staggering under the weight of her father’s expectations, a struggling job market and feelings of burnout, Grace flees her home in Portland for a summer in New York with the wife she barely knows.

In New York, she’s able to ignore all the annoying questions about her future plans and falls hard for her creative and beautiful wife, Yuki Yamamoto. But when reality comes crashing in, Grace must face what she’s been running from all along—the fears that make us human, the family scars that need to heal and the longing for connection, especially when navigating the messiness of adulthood.

Continue reading “ARC Review: Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers”

ARC Review: Amelia Unabridged by Ashley Schumacher

A major thank you to Wednesday Books for the opportunity to read and review this ARC! All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own, and were not influenced by the gifted ARC in any way.

Eighteen-year-old Amelia Griffin is obsessed with the famous Orman Chronicles, written by the young and reclusive prodigy N. E. Endsley. They’re the books that brought her and her best friend Jenna together after Amelia’s father left and her family imploded. So when Amelia and Jenna get the opportunity to attend a book festival with Endsley in attendance, Amelia is ecstatic. It’s the perfect way to start off their last summer before college.

In a heartbeat, everything goes horribly wrong. When Jenna gets a chance to meet the author and Amelia doesn’t, the two have a blowout fight like they’ve never experienced. And before Amelia has a chance to mend things, Jenna is killed in a freak car accident. Grief-stricken, and without her best friend to guide her, Amelia questions everything she had planned for the future.

When a mysterious, rare edition of the Orman Chronicles arrives, Amelia is convinced that it somehow came from Jenna. Tracking the book to an obscure but enchanting bookstore in Michigan, Amelia is shocked to find herself face-to-face with the enigmatic and handsome N. E. Endsley himself, the reason for Amelia’s and Jenna’s fight and perhaps the clue to what Jenna wanted to tell her all along.

Continue reading “ARC Review: Amelia Unabridged by Ashley Schumacher”

13 Book Recommendations Based off of Taylor Swift’s Fearless Era

With Taylor Swift announcing the Fearless re-release (We’re counting down the days till April 9th), Caitlyn and I wanted to team up again to give you another book recommendations list! To us, Fearless reminds us of high school, fairytales – modern or not, self-discovery, and being completely honest and open with your emotions. Without further ado, here’s thirteen YA book recommendations that remind us of the Fearless era!

Continue reading “13 Book Recommendations Based off of Taylor Swift’s Fearless Era”

ARC Review: Down Comes the Night

Honor your oath, destroy your country.

Wren Southerland is the most talented healer in the Queen’s Guard, but her reckless actions have repeatedly put her on thin ice with her superiors. So when a letter arrives from a reclusive lord, asking Wren to come to his estate to cure his servant from a mysterious disease, she seizes the chance to prove herself.

When she arrives at Colwick Hall, Wren realizes that nothing is what it seems. Particularly when she discovers her patient is actually Hal Cavendish, the sworn enemy of her kingdom.

As the snowy mountains make it impossible to leave the estate, Wren and Hal grow closer as they uncover a sinister plot that could destroy everything they hold dear. But choosing love could doom both their kingdoms.

Allison Saft’s Down Comes the Night is a snow-drenched, gothic, romantic fantasy that keeps you racing through the pages long into the night. 

Continue reading “ARC Review: Down Comes the Night”

Interview with Wren Southerland from Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft

Hello, tea party attendees! Today, we’re incredibly stoked to have Wren Southerland, from Down Comes the Night as a guest at our tea party today. I first read an ARC of Down Comes the Night in December of 2020, and ever since then, I’ve been screaming from the rooftops about how much I loved it (check back tomorrow for my review), so you can only imagine how excited I was when author Allison Saft agreed to be interviewed as Wren Southerland!

He saw the darkness in her magic. She saw the magic in his darkness.

Wren Southerland’s reckless use of magic has cost her everything: she’s been dismissed from the Queen’s Guard and separated from her best friend—the girl she loves. So when a letter arrives from a reclusive lord, asking Wren to come to his estate, Colwick Hall, to cure his servant from a mysterious illness, she seizes her chance to redeem herself.

The mansion is crumbling, icy winds haunt the caved-in halls, and her eccentric host forbids her from leaving her room after dark. Worse, Wren’s patient isn’t a servant at all but Hal Cavendish, the infamous Reaper of Vesria and her kingdom’s sworn enemy. Hal also came to Colwick Hall for redemption, but the secrets in the estate may lead to both of their deaths.

With sinister forces at work, Wren and Hal realize they’ll have to join together if they have any hope of saving their kingdoms. But as Wren circles closer to the nefarious truth behind Hal’s illness, they realize they have no escape from the monsters within the mansion. All they have is each other, and a startling desire that could be their downfall.

Allison Saft’s Down Comes the Night is a snow-drenched romantic fantasy that keeps you racing through the pages long into the night.

Love makes monsters of us all. 


Links for Down Comes the Night: Goodreads | TheStorygraph | Bookshop | Indie Bound

Continue reading “Interview with Wren Southerland from Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft”

Interview with Jonny Garza Villa

Hello, tea party attendees! We’re so excited to have Jonny Garza Villa, author of Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun as a guest at our tea party today. Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun has the cutest cover (which was revealed just yesterday if you missed it, along with an excerpt), and has already stolen a place in our hearts!

Julián Luna has a plan for his life: Graduate. Get into UCLA. And have the chance to move away from Corpus Christi, Texas, and the suffocating expectations of others that have forced Jules into an inauthentic life.

Then in one reckless moment, with one impulsive tweet, his plans for a low-key nine months are thrown—literally—out the closet. The downside: the whole world knows, and Jules has to prepare for rejection. The upside: Jules now has the opportunity to be his real self.

Then Mat, a cute, empathetic Twitter crush from Los Angeles, slides into Jules’s DMs. Jules can tell him anything. Mat makes the world seem conquerable. But when Jules’s fears about coming out come true, the person he needs most is fifteen hundred miles away. Jules has to face them alone.

Jules accidentally propelled himself into the life he’s always dreamed of. And now that he’s in control of it, what he does next is up to him.

Links for Fifteen Hundred Miles from the SunGoodreads | TheStorygraph | Bookshop | IndieBound

Continue reading “Interview with Jonny Garza Villa”

ARC Review: Yesterday is History by Kosoko Jackson

A major thank you to NetGalley and SOURCEBooks Fire for the opportunity to read and review this ARC. 

Weeks ago, Andre Cobb received a much-needed liver transplant.

He’s ready for his life to finally begin, until one night, when he passes out and wakes up somewhere totally unexpected…in 1969, where he connects with a magnetic boy named Michael.

And then, just as suddenly as he arrived, he slips back to present-day Boston, where the family of his donor is waiting to explain that his new liver came with a side effect—the ability to time travel. And they’ve tasked their youngest son, Blake, with teaching Andre how to use his unexpected new gift.

Andre splits his time bouncing between the past and future. Between Michael and Blake. Michael is everything Andre wishes he could be, and Blake, still reeling from the death of his brother, Andre’s donor, keeps him at arm’s length despite their obvious attraction to each other.

Torn between two boys, one in the past and one in the present, Andre has to figure out where he belongs—and more importantly who he wants to be—before the consequences of jumping in time catch up to him and change his future for good.

Continue reading “ARC Review: Yesterday is History by Kosoko Jackson”

Book Recs: 10 Book Recommendations based on your Favorite Disney Parks Attraction

Like a lot of other people, I hold a lot of nostalgia for Disney — My mom used to work for Disney, and I grew up going to the parks quite frequently (back when I lived in Hong Kong). I’ve made many friends through my love of Disney — Caitlyn and Mary included. In a spout of Disney-nostalgia, I reached out to Mary and asked if she wanted to collaborate on a Book Recs post based off of Disney attractions! 

Like many others, Mary and I have also been incredibly frustrated with how Disney has treated their cast members, and wanted to shine a light on Cast Member Pantry, which is based in Florida (venmo: @castmemberpantry, amazon wishlist here), Second Harvest Food Bank Orange County which supports those laid off at Disneyland, as well as these two google sheets – How to Help Disney Cast Members, and Laid off and Furloughed CM Support Sheet

Without any further ado, here are 10 book recommendations based off of your favorite Disney attractions! 

Continue reading “Book Recs: 10 Book Recommendations based on your Favorite Disney Parks Attraction”

Spotlight: While I Was Away by Waka T. Brown

Blackbird Fly meets The Farewell in this empowering middle grade memoir from debut author Waka T. Brown, who takes readers on a journey to Japan, where she was sent as a child in the 1980s to reconnect to her family’s roots.

When twelve-year-old Waka’s parents suspect she can’t understand basic Japanese, they make the drastic decision to send her to Tokyo to live for several months with her strict grandmother. Forced to say goodbye to her friends and what would have been her summer vacation, Waka is plucked from her straight-A-student life in rural Kansas and flown across the globe, where she faces the culture shock of a lifetime.

In Japan, Waka struggles with reading and writing in kanji, doesn’t quite mesh with her complicated and distant Obaasama, and gets made fun of by the students in her Japanese public-school classes. Even though this is the country her parents came from, Waka has never felt more like an outsider.

If she’s always been the “smart Japanese girl” in America but is now the “dumb foreigner” in Japan, where is home? And who will Waka be when she finds it?

Continue reading “Spotlight: While I Was Away by Waka T. Brown”