Hello hello! I hope you’re taking care out there. I’m very excited to be chatting about Beating Heart Baby by Lio Min today. Thank you to the publisher for reaching out to me for coverage and sending a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

About the Book

Title: Beating Heart Baby
Author: Lio Min
Publisher: Flatiron
Release date: July 26, 2022

When artistic and sensitive Santi arrives at his new high school, everyone in the wildly talented marching band welcomes him with open arms. Everyone except for the prickly, proud musical prodigy Suwa, who doesn’t think Santi has what it takes to be in the band. But Santi and Suwa share painful pasts, and when they open up to each other, a tentative friendship begins. And soon, that friendship turns into something more. . . . Will their fresh start rip at the seams as Suwa seeks out a solo spotlight, and both boys come to terms with what it’ll take, and what they’ll have to let go, to realize their dreams?

Review

As a self-described band nerd, my little music soul was fed so nicely. The minute I picked up this book, I was moved and taken in. Santi’s voice shines so brightly throughout the book.

The mystery behind Santi and Suwa’s past relationship is unraveled deliciously slow. The tension and growing relationship between them today keeps readers guessing and on the edge of your seat to the very last reveal.

Santi and Suwa were the grumpy friends that everyone envies. I loved the way their relationship was described, and it was exciting to get into everything with them.

In particular the structure of the book was *chef’s kiss*. It’s constructed like an album/tape with an A side (Santi’s POV) and a B side(Suwa’s POV). It’s clever and lyrical and lends itself so nicely to the lyrical writing.

If you’re looking for a book that with a second-chance romance, queer coming-of-age themes, and something to bask your emo emo heart in, this is for you.

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

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Book Review: Beating Heart Baby by Lio Min

Book Review: Tokyo Dreaming by Emiko Jean

Hellllloooo! I hope you’re all taking care of yourselves. It has been too long and certainly so much has happened since I last popped on here. I’ve been at my job for almost a year now (oh how time flies), and it has been wonderful. Perhaps I’ll do a separate post on all that jazz.

ANYWAY! I’m thrilled to be chatting about Tokyo Dreaming by Emiko Jean, which is also a New York Times Bestseller! TD was released on May 31, and it’s the follow up to the well-loved and one of my favorite books from recent years, Tokyo Ever After. Thank you to the publisher for sending me an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. As always, my review will be spoiler-free.

About the book

Title: Tokyo Dreaming
Author: Emiko Jean
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Release date: May 31, 2022
My rating: 4/5 stars

Return to Tokyo for a royal wedding in Emiko Jean’s Tokyo Dreaming, the sequel to the Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick and New York Times bestseller Tokyo Ever After

When Japanese-American Izumi Tanaka learned her father was the Crown Prince of Japan, she became a princess overnight. Now, she’s overcome conniving cousins, salacious press, and an imperial scandal to finally find a place she belongs. She has a perfect bodyguard turned boyfriend. Her stinky dog, Tamagotchi, is living with her in Tokyo. Her parents have even rekindled their college romance and are engaged. A royal wedding is on the horizon! Izumi’s life is a Tokyo dream come true.

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Posted in Blog Tours, Reviews, Sophie

Blog tour: The Lost Dreamer by Lizz Huerta

Hi everyone!! I hope you’re trucking along and taking care of yourself well, whatever that means for you.

Today I’m here to chat about The Lost Dreamer by Lizz Huerta, which came out this past Tuesday! Thank you to the publisher for sending me an eARC and asking me to participate in this blog tour.

About the book

Title: The Lost Dreamer
Author: Lizz Huerta
Publisher: FSG BFYR
Release date: March 1, 2022

Synopsis: A stunning YA fantasy inspired by ancient Mesoamerica, this gripping debut introduces us to a lineage of seers defiantly resisting the shifting patriarchal state that would see them destroyed—perfect for fans of Tomi Adeyemi and Sabaa Tahir.

Indir is a Dreamer, descended from a long line of seers; able to see beyond reality, she carries the rare gift of Dreaming truth. But when the beloved king dies, his son has no respect for this time-honored tradition. King Alcan wants an opportunity to bring the Dreamers to a permanent end—an opportunity Indir will give him if he discovers the two secrets she is struggling to keep. As violent change shakes Indir’s world to its core, she is forced to make an impossible choice: fight for her home or fight to survive.

Saya is a seer, but not a Dreamer—she has never been formally trained. Her mother exploits her daughter’s gift, passing it off as her own as they travel from village to village, never staying in one place too long. Almost as if they’re running from something. Almost as if they’re being hunted. When Saya loses the necklace she’s worn since birth, she discovers that seeing isn’t her only gift—and begins to suspect that everything she knows about her life has been a carefully-constructed lie. As she comes to distrust the only family she’s ever known, Saya will do what she’s never done before, go where she’s never been, and risk it all in the search of answers.

With a detailed, supernaturally-charged setting and topical themes of patriarchal power and female strength, Lizz Huerta’s The Lost Dreamer brings an ancient world to life, mirroring the challenges of our modern one.

Continue reading “Blog tour: The Lost Dreamer by Lizz Huerta”

Blog Tour: The Red Palace by June Hur

Hi everyone! I’m excited to be writing again. Work has been crazy busy with all the different books coming out. I’m pleased to report I really enjoy what I’m doing so far and we have an awesome list. BUT !!! I’m here actually to chat with you about The Red Palace by June Hur, a book I was absolutely in love with! While the focus of my post today isn’t a review, I’ll include a bit of what I wrote on review sites.

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Posted in Reviews, Sophie

Book Review: We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Hello, beautiful people! I can’t believe it’s already June. It feels like this year is flying by much faster than last year. I’m here today to chat (read: scream) about one of my most anticipated (and favorite!) books of the year. We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon is the fourth YA novel from the author, and it’s her fifth published book. If you remember I have been a fan of Rachel’s since before her debut, You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone. From Our Year of Maybe to Today Tonight Tomorrow, Rachel has delivered on every single novel. Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an early copy for review. Without further ado, let’s get into it!

About the book

Title: We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This

Author: Rachel Lynn Solomon

Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR

Release date: June 8, 2021

Rating: 5/5 stars

Description:

A wedding harpist disillusioned with love and a hopeless romantic cater-waiter flirt and fight their way through a summer of weddings in this effervescent romantic comedy from the acclaimed author of Today Tonight Tomorrow.

Quinn Berkowitz and Tarek Mansour’s families have been in business together for years: Quinn’s parents are wedding planners, and Tarek’s own a catering company. At the end of last summer, Quinn confessed her crush on him in the form of a rambling email—and then he left for college without a response.

Quinn has been dreading seeing him again almost as much as she dreads another summer playing the harp for her parents’ weddings. When he shows up at the first wedding of the summer, looking cuter than ever after a year apart, they clash immediately. Tarek’s always loved the grand gestures in weddings—the flashier, the better—while Quinn can’t see them as anything but fake. Even as they can’t seem to have one civil conversation, Quinn’s thrown together with Tarek wedding after wedding, from performing a daring cake rescue to filling in for a missing bridesmaid and groomsman.

Quinn can’t deny her feelings for him are still there, especially after she learns the truth about his silence, opens up about her own fears, and begins learning the art of harp-making from an enigmatic teacher.

Maybe love isn’t the enemy after all—and maybe allowing herself to fall is the most honest thing Quinn’s ever done.

Review

Oh man, where to begin? First, if you couldn’t already tell, I love Rachel’s writing. She is one of my auto-buy authors, and I am so happy that her books are out in the world. We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This is one of Rachel’s most personal books to date. Quinn especially is a character she wrote with a lot of the author’s personal journey with OCD. I will note some content warnings for this book are descriptions of depression and OCD.

WCKMLT is a laugh-out-loud book that made me love Quinn and Tarek even more than I thought I would. Quinn is quiet and trying to find herself. She is trying to do her best navigating her family business and searching for her passion. I loved to see how much Quinn grew throughout the book. She begins as someone who is self-conscious and timid, but by the end of the book she is proud and uncovers the bravery that was there all along. Also, I loved that Quinn was a musician. As someone who loves music and considers myself a musician (at least in some capacity lol), I loved seeing Quinn rediscover her love for the harp.

All the other characters, from Tarek (I love him, must protecc) to Quinn’s best friend to Quinn’s sister, bring life and depth to this book. Quinn’s relationships are affected deeply by her past experiences with love (umm, hello parents), and I loved seeing her take charge of her mental health. It’s refreshing to read a book with mental health rep without it being The Thing.

One thing I love most about Rachel’s writing is how she creates a world I want to live in. You can tell how much she loves the places she writes about. The people in her books are individuals I want to be friends with. It’s rich in inclusion of various identities without those being the focal point of the novel. It’s a book about joy. It’s a book about people living their lives, and that’s truly what is at the core of Rachel’s books. If they fall in love along the way, well who’s to say no to that!

Overall, the structure and plot of the story was engaging and fast-paced. I waited to read it a bit when I received it because I knew that I would speed through it. Of all the RLS books I’ve read so far, this one is my favorite to date, which is hard because T3 was amazing. I highly recommend this book to those looking for a witty summer read.

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Posted in Blog Tours, Reviews, Sophie

Blog Tour: Counting Down with You by Tashie Bhuiyan

Hi everyone! I’m here again with yet another blog tour, and I’m very excited to share this with you. I have had the pleasure of reading Counting Down with You by Tashie Bhuiyan early thanks to Caffeine Book Tours and the publisher providing me a copy.

About the Book overlaid the cover

Genre: young adult, contemporary, romance

Diversity tags: author of color (bangladeshi american); poc representation (bangladeshi-american mc; black, indian, and chinese side characters); religion representation (muslim mc); lgbtq+ representation; mental health representation (mc with anxiety)

Publication date: 04 May 2021

Publisher: HarperCollins

Cover: Samya Arif (artist), Gigi Lau (art direction)

Synopsis: A reserved Bangladeshi teenager has twenty-eight days to make the biggest decision of her life after agreeing to fake date her school’s resident bad boy.

How do you make one month last a lifetime?

Karina Ahmed has a plan. Keep her head down, get through high school without a fuss, and follow her parents’ rules—even if it means sacrificing her dreams. When her parents go abroad to Bangladesh for four weeks, Karina expects some peace and quiet. Instead, one simple lie unravels everything.

Karina is my girlfriend.

Tutoring the school’s resident bad boy was already crossing a line. Pretending to date him? Out of the question. But Ace Clyde does everything right—he brings her coffee in the mornings, impresses her friends without trying, and even promises to buy her a dozen books (a week) if she goes along with his fake-dating facade. Though Karina agrees, she can’t help but start counting down the days until her parents come back.

T-minus twenty-eight days until everything returns to normal—but what if Karina no longer wants it to?

Content/trigger warning: In-depth discussions of mental health (specifically anxiety) and mentions of parental abuse (emotional and psychological)

Bookshop | Goodreads | Amazon

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Hello and welcome to another new release Tuesday! I’m so excited to be here with another wonderful book, this time it’s Lucky Girl by Jamie Pacton. Similar to Joan He’s book, Lucky Girl also focuses on climate change and ocean conservation/environmental activism. Let’s get into it!

ID: Cover of Lucky Girl, which has tones of sea foam green with a girl in a red shirt and black jeans leaning against a blue truck.

Title: Lucky Girl by Jamie Pacton
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publishing Date: May 11, 2021

Synopsis:
Content Warning: deals with parental mental health (hoarding, depression caused by grief) and loss of a parent.
A hilarious and poignant reflection on what money can and cannot fix

58,643,129. That’s how many dollars seventeen-year-old Fortuna Jane Belleweather just won in the lotto jackpot. It’s also about how many reasons she has for not coming forward to claim her prize.

Problem #1: Jane is still a minor, and if anyone discovers she bought the ticket underage, she’ll either have to forfeit the ticket, or worse…

Problem #2: Let her hoarder mother cash it. The last thing Jane’s mom needs is millions of dollars to buy more junk. Then…

Problem #3: Jane’s best friend, aspiring journalist Brandon Kim, declares on the news that he’s going to find the lucky winner. It’s one thing to keep her secret from the town, it’s another thing entirely to lie to her best friend. Especially when…

Problem #4: Jane’s ex-boyfriend, Holden, is suddenly back in her life, and he has big ideas about what he’d do with the prize money.

As suspicion and jealousy turn neighbor against neighbor, and no good options for cashing the ticket come forward, Jane begins to wonder: Could this much money actually be a bad thing?

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indigo | IndieBound

Continue reading “Blog Tour: Lucky Girl by Jamie Pacton”

Blog Tour: Lucky Girl by Jamie Pacton

Blog Tour: The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He Review

Hello, there! Thanks for joining me again today. I’m really excited to be here as a member of Joan He’s street team. I was with Joan and Hesina’s Court for her debut, and I’m glad to be here once more for her sophomore novel. I marvel at Joan’s ability to craft words so well, and I’m so happy to be sharing my review for the street team tour today. A huge thanks goes out to Paola for organizing this wonderful tour!

[ID: Banner with the words “About the Book” overlaid the cover for the book.]

Title: The Ones We’re Meant to Find
Author: Joan He
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Release Date: May 4th, 2021
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction/Dystopian
Rating: 4/5 stars

ID: Cover of The Ones We’re Meant to Find. Two young women have their faces coming out of waves. They both have dark brown hair and the woman on the left has her face partially hidden by the one on the right.

Synopsis: One of the most twisty, surprising, engaging page-turner YAs you’ll read this year—We Were Liars meets Black Mirror, with a dash of Studio Ghibli.

Cee awoke on an abandoned island three years ago. With no idea of how she was marooned, she only has a rickety house, an old android, and a single memory: she has a sister, and Cee needs to find her.

STEM prodigy Kasey wants escape from the science and home she once trusted. The eco-city—Earth’s last unpolluted place—is meant to be sanctuary for those commited to planetary protection, but it’s populated by people willing to do anything for refuge, even lie. Now, she’ll have to decide if she’s ready to use science to help humanity, even though it failed the people who mattered most.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Books-a-Million | Bookshop.org | Booktopia | IndieBound | Indigo | Powells | Waterstones | Signed and Personalized Copies

Continue reading “Blog Tour: The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He Review”