ARC Review: Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron

Reena Manji doesn’t love her career, her single status, and most of all, her family inserting themselves into every detail of her life. But when caring for her precious sourdough starters, Reena can drown it all out. At least until her father moves his newest employee across the hall–with hopes that Reena will marry him.

But Nadim’s not like the other Muslim bachelors-du-jour that her parents have dug up. If the Captain America body and the British accent weren’t enough, the man appears to love eating her bread creations as much as she loves making them. She sure as hell would never marry a man who works for her father, but friendship with a neighbor is okay, right? And when Reena’s career takes a nosedive, Nadim happily agrees to fake an engagement so they can enter a couples video cooking contest to win the artisan bread course of her dreams.

As cooking at home together brings them closer, things turn physical, but Reena isn’t worried. She knows Nadim is keeping secrets, but it’s fine— secrets are always on the menu where her family is concerned. And her heart is protected… she’s not marrying the man. But even secrets kept for self preservation have a way of getting out, especially when meddling parents and gossiping families are involved. 

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Let’s Talk: Mary Reads Books like The Night Circus

Hi, hello! If you didn’t know, I really love The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I can’t really put into words why I love it so much, but it’s my all time favourite book, and I comfort read it a lot: it’s super special to me. The only problem is, I am always looking for a book that feels just as special and magical as this one. While The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern meets the criteria, I’m always on the hunt for other books that are similar. 

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Blog Tour + Review: Like Home by Louisa Onomé

Fans of Netflix’s On My Block, In the Heights, and readers of Elizabeth Acevedo and Ibi Zoboi will love this debut novel about a girl whose life is turned upside down after one local act of vandalism throws her relationships and even her neighborhood into turmoil.

Chinelo, or Nelo as her best friend Kate calls her, is all about her neighborhood Ginger East. She loves its chill vibe, ride-or-die sense of community, and her memories of growing up there. Ginger East isn’t what it used to be, though. After a deadly incident at the local arcade, all her closest friends moved away, except for Kate. But as long as they have each other, Nelo’s good.

Only, Kate’s parents’ corner store is vandalized, leaving Nelo shaken to her core. The police and the media are quick to point fingers, and soon more of the outside world descends on Ginger East with promises to “fix” it. Suddenly, Nelo finds herself in the middle of a drama unfolding on a national scale.

Worse yet, Kate is acting strange. She’s pushing Nelo away at the exact moment they need each other most. Nelo’s entire world is morphing into something she hates, and she must figure out how to get things back on track or risk losing everything⁠—and everyone⁠—she loves.

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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.

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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. 

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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

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Let’s Talk: Book Series I Haven’t Finished (and Probably Won’t)

I find myself worried to write this post, because I know that, inevitably, it’s going to offend someone. But that’s such a lovely thing about reading, isn’t it? Your favourite book might not be someone else’s and that’s ok! But, I will preface this by saying that I’m not hating on these books – they just weren’t for me, and I could use my time better by reading books I will actually enjoy. But anyway, without further ado, let’s get into the list.

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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

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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! 

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