Hello there! Today is the first day of the We Are Not Free book tour, organized by Colored Pages Bookish Tours. I’m very excited to be part of this tour because I’ve really enjoyed Chee’s writing, and this book delivers on all counts. Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Image description: Text over cover of book — About the Book.
Image description: Cover of We Are Not Free.

Title: We Are Not Free

Author: Traci Chee

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Publication Date: September 1, 2020

Genres: Historical YA Fiction 

Synopsis:

All around me, my friends are talking, joking, laughing. Outside is the camp, the barbed wire, the guard towers, the city, the country that hates us. 

We are not free. 

But we are not alone.”  

From New York Times best-selling and acclaimed author Traci Chee comes We Are Not Free, the collective account of a tight-knit group of young Nisei,  second-generation Japanese American citizens, whose lives are irrevocably changed by the mass U.S. incarcerations of World War II. 

Fourteen teens who have grown up together in Japantown, San Francisco. 

Fourteen teens who form a community and a family, as interconnected as they are conflicted. 

Fourteen teens whose lives are turned upside down when over 100,000 people of Japanese ancestry are removed from their homes and forced into desolate incarceration camps. 

In a world that seems determined to hate them, these young Nisei must rally together as racism and injustice threaten to pull them apart. 

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

Continue reading “Blog Tour: We Are Not Free by Traci Chee”

Blog Tour: We Are Not Free by Traci Chee

Book Review: The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed

Happy happy book birthday to The Black Kids and Christina Hammonds Reed for writing such an exquisite, breath-taking novel! I am really excited to be sharing this book with you all today, and I can’t wait for the rest of you to read it!

A note about this review: I received an eARC of this book back in early April. I was approached by the publisher, and I accepted the review request. After recent discourse on the importance of getting ARCs into the hands of more OwnVoices readers, I reached out again in July to see what was happening for The Black Kids and offered to provide names of OwnVoices individuals but received no reply. Seeing that the publisher was working with a book tour specifically geared toward #OwnVoices reviewers and readers and seeing more OwnVoices readers in my feed have copies of the book, I decided to move forward with my own reading and review. Moving forward, I am planning on declining review requests for books that need #OwnVoices reviewers, instead offering names of reviewers who are part of the represented community. In the event I receive any of these, I will confer with the publisher and further announce this on my social media channels. I apologize for taking this spot, and I’m working on being better about this in the future.

Continue reading “Book Review: The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed”
Posted in Bloggers, Reviews, Sophie

Book Review: Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon

HAPPIEST OF RELEASE DAYS TO TODAY TONIGHT TOMORROW AND RACHEL! I’m so so so excited to bring you a review of this book today! I’ve been a fan of Rachel’s since she debuted back in 2017, and getting to know her over the years has been really awesome. Thank you so much to the publisher for getting me a copy.

Title: Today Tonight Tomorrow

Author: Rachel Lynn Solomon

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Release date: July 28, 2020

Format: ARC

Rating: 5/5 Goodreads stars

The Hating Game meets Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by way of Morgan Matson in this unforgettable romantic comedy about two rival overachievers whose relationship completely transforms over the course of twenty-four hours.

Today, she hates him.

It’s the last day of senior year. Rowan Roth and Neil McNair have been bitter rivals for all of high school, clashing on test scores, student council elections, and even gym class pull-up contests. While Rowan, who secretly wants to write romance novels, is anxious about the future, she’d love to beat her infuriating nemesis one last time.

Tonight, she puts up with him.

When Neil is named valedictorian, Rowan has only one chance at victory: Howl, a senior class game that takes them all over Seattle, a farewell tour of the city she loves. But after learning a group of seniors is out to get them, she and Neil reluctantly decide to team up until they’re the last players left—and then they’ll destroy each other.

As Rowan spends more time with Neil, she realizes he’s much more than the awkward linguistics nerd she’s sparred with for the past four years. And, perhaps, this boy she claims to despise might actually be the boy of her dreams.

Tomorrow…maybe she’s already fallen for him.

I can do nothing but love Rachel’s writing. She is such a lovely and talented writer, and I fall in love with her characters every time.

Rowan is someone I loved. She is a Jewish biracial woman coming into her own voice as a writer. Her affinity for romance novels reminded me a lot of myself. (Her parents were awesome, btw! They’re so fun, and we see them a couple times throughout the book.) I loved Rowan’s voice and the way it shined. While I can’t speak directly about her rep, I love Rowan as a character. I also know that Rachel is writing as a Jewish #OwnVoices author.

Neil was also a really interesting character. We only really understand and see him through Rowan’s eyes, so it’s really fun to see him evolve and change based on her relationship to him. No matter how hard Rowan tried to hate him, I loved Neil. He seemed really grounded and sure of himself, and as we get to know him better, I couldn’t help but adore him.

The setting of the story is like an ode to Seattle. It made me want to visit even more than I already do. The record shop was probably one of my favorite scenes. And the zoo scene was so funny! As Rowan and Neil travel throughout the city, you get to learn the ins and outs as a local. You can tell how much love was put into this book just by the way Rowan admires her city.

In terms of premise, I love the idea of a class-wide scavenger hunt! It was so exciting to read, and it made me wish there was something like that for my high school. The sense of build up and camaraderie was excellent. The ending of the scavenger hunt was both epic and exactly not what I thought it would be. But it still was heartwarming and fun, and I loved every minute of reading it.

Overall, I highly recommend this book. It’s such a cute, fun romance that will have you dreaming of your own scavenger hunt.

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Book Review: Agnes at the End of the World by Kelly McWilliams

Hi there! I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy. I have been doing okay. Since graduating, I have been on the job hunt, which is long and hard and seemingly endless. What’s comforting is being able to take breaks and read, and I’m very grateful to be able to stay at home.

Today I wanted to share my review of a recent release by debut Kelly McWilliams! I was sent this by the publisher for review, and it was a great read. So without further ado, here we go!

Title: Agnes at the End of the World

Author: Kelly McWilliams

Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR

Format: ARC

Release date: June 9, 2020

My rating: 4/5 Goodreads stars

The Handmaid’s Tale meets Wilder Girls in this unique, voice-driven novel from Kelly McWilliams.

Agnes loves her home of Red Creek–its quiet, sunny mornings, its dusty roads, and its God. There, she cares tirelessly for her younger siblings and follows the town’s strict laws. What she doesn’t know is that Red Creek is a cult, controlled by a madman who calls himself a prophet.

Then Agnes meets Danny, an Outsider boy, and begins to question what is and isn’t a sin. Her younger brother, Ezekiel, will die without the insulin she barters for once a month, even though medicine is considered outlawed. Is she a sinner for saving him? Is her sister, Beth, a sinner for dreaming of the world beyond Red Creek?

As the Prophet grows more dangerous, Agnes realizes she must escape with Ezekiel and leave everyone else, including Beth, behind. But it isn’t safe Outside, either: A viral pandemic is burning through the population at a terrifying rate. As Agnes ventures forth, a mysterious connection grows between her and the Virus. But in a world where faith, miracles, and cruelty have long been indistinguishable, will Agnes be able to choose between saving her family and saving the world?

Wow, this book was such an interesting read! I’m not sure I would have picked it up if I hadn’t been sent a review copy, but I was pleasantly surprised by it, and I definitely would recommend it to pretty much anyone who will let me.

Agnes, at first, appears to be the perfect disciple of Red Creek. She is thought of by many as the obedient one, the one with perfect virtue. Her strength as a character grows and shines as the story progresses. I really admired how much courage she had. Her dedication to her family and faith to do what was right was unwavering, and I loved that about her.

Beth was someone I didn’t expect to like. Her character had so many flaws, but I think that is the best part of her. Beth’s humanness and desire to be needed is something I found relatable. I looked forward to reading her POVs, especially in the middle when there is a change in setting for one of the characters. She reminded me a bit of Amy from Little Women. Similar to Amy, Beth wants to stand out and to be noticed among her siblings. She wants to be recognized as her own person, not just because she’s Agnes’s sister.

The story began a bit slow, but I really got into it after the first few chapters. When I got to the end of part one, I had to know what was going to happen next. There is so much action in that end scene. I love how McWilliams built a world so similar to ours that I could easily imagine the same events playing out IRL.

Faith and religion play a major role in this book. I like how religious teachings (from the Prophet, from the Bible, etc.) were used at the beginning of each chapter. Noticing the shift in who is speaking is super important to the rest of the story. This theme definitely had me reflecting on my own faith and what it means to me.

Overall, I highly recommend this to people who are looking for a book with good atmosphere that tackles family, faith, and challenges you to think.

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Posted in Bloggers, General Updates, Sophie

Black Lives Matter

Hi, all! It’s Sophie here, and I wanted to write to you with a small update about *gestures around* all this.

I am writing to say, simply, Black Lives Matter. In the course of the past few months, it has become more and more obvious on mainstream (*white* predominating this mainstream) culture that Black Lives have not mattered. I want to take a minute here on my blog and say that I fully support Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Always Matter.

Continue reading “Black Lives Matter”

Blog tour: By the Book by Amanda Sellet

*****EDIT*****

This tour was conducted with FFBC. Due to the doxxing and threatening/toxic behavior displayed by the tour company toward Black bloggers, I am removing any and all affiliation with them on my platforms. This is unacceptable. However, I am leaving my reviews/posts up for the benefit of the authors I supported. Thanks in advance for your understanding!

Hey, all! I hope you’re staying safe and healthy. I’m really excited to be part of this tour, and you can also check out my Instagram post!

About the Book

By the Book

by Amanda Sellet
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 12th 2020Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis:
Mary Porter-Malcolm has prepared for high school in the one way she knows how: an extensive review of classic literature to help navigate the friendships, romantic liaisons, and overall drama she has come to expect from such an “esteemed” institution. Her love of literature even inspires her to imagine herself the heroine of a nineteenth-century novel. Not the sort who makes poor life choices and ends up dying of consumption while still in her teens, but the noble, virtuous, quick-witted type.
When some new friends seem in danger of falling for the same tricks employed since the days of Austen and Tolstoy, Mary swoops in to create the Scoundrel Survival Guide, using archetypes of literature’s debonair bad boys to signal red flags. But despite her best efforts, she soon finds herself unable to listen to her own good advice and falling for a supposed cad—the same one she warned her friends away from. Without a convenient rain-swept moor to flee to, Mary is forced to admit that real life doesn’t follow the same rules as fiction and that if she wants a happy ending, she’s going to have to write it herself.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple | BookDepository | Kobo | Google Play

Continue reading “Blog tour: By the Book by Amanda Sellet”
Posted in Blog Tours, Reviews, Sophie

Blog Tour: We Are the Wildcats by Siobhan Vivian

Hey y’all! I hope this post finds you healthy and safe. It’s a crazy, crazy landscape we live in right now, but I’m hoping that it will take us to a better future. If you’re cooped up at home like most of us, one of the best ways to pass the time is escaping to another world, through reading of course!

Today I’m reviewing Siobhan Vivian’s latest release, We Are the Wildcats, which came out on March 31st this year. Thank you so much to Simon Teen for asking me to be part of this blog tour!

Continue reading “Blog Tour: We Are the Wildcats by Siobhan Vivian”

*****EDIT*****

This tour was conducted with FFBC. Due to the doxxing and threatening/toxic behavior displayed by the tour company toward Black bloggers, I am removing any and all affiliation with them on my platforms. This is unacceptable. However, I am leaving my reviews/posts up for the benefit of the authors I supported. Thanks in advance for your understanding!

Hi all!! I’m so so excited to bring you this amazing book that will be released TOMORROW! Without further ado, let’s jump right into my review!

About the Book

Loveboat, Taipei(Loveboat, Taipei #1)

Author: Abigail Hing Wen

Publisher: HarperCollinsRelease

Date: January 7th 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Travel, Asian Literature

For fans of Crazy Rich Asians or Jane Austen Comedy of Manners, with a hintof La La LandWhen eighteen-year-old Ever Wong’s parents send her from Ohio to Taiwan to studyMandarin for the summer, she finds herself thrust among the very over-achievingkids her parents have always wanted her to be, including Rick Woo, the Yale-boundprodigy profiled in the Chinese newspapers since they werenine—and her parents’yardstick for her never-measuring-up life.Unbeknownst to her parents, however, the program is actually an infamous teenmeet-market nicknamed Loveboat, where the kids are more into clubbing thancalligraphy and drinking snake-bloodsake than touring sacred shrines.Free for the first time, Ever sets out to break all her parents’ uber-strict rules—buthow far can she go before she breaks her own heart?

Goodreads | Amazon | BookDepository | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Apple Books | Google Play

About the Author

Abigail was born in West Virginiato a family of immigrants: Her mother is from thePhilippines and her father from Indonesia, and her grandparents emigrated to those countriesfrom Fujian and Shandong provinces in China.Abigail grew up in Ohio and graduated from Harvard University andColumbia Law School.She worked in Washington DC for the Senate, as a law clerk for a federal judge. and now inSilicon Valley in venture capital and artificial intelligence. She also earned her Master of FineArts in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.In her spare time, she enjoys long walks with her husband and two boys, and hanging out withfriends and over 100 family members in the Bay Area. She loves music and dances to it whenno one is watching.

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Instagram

Review

This book was an absolute HOOT. I loved Ever from the get go, and she gets into such shenanigans. I loved getting to know Ever and her gang so much.

Sophie was definitely one of my favorites — is it because she and I share a name? Possibly. But it’s more than just that. She seems like an easy read from the surface, but there’s a depth once you get to know her more.

I love how the characters are written and the setting of the whole novel. I think Wen really captured the experience well.

Playlist

Tour Schedule

January 1st

The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club – Welcome Post

January 2nd

We Live and Breathe Books – Review

Read.Sleep.Repeat. – Review + Favourite Quotes

Kayla Reads and Reviews – Review

Young Adult Media Consumer – Review

Write, Read, Repeat – Promotional Post

January 3rd

Library of a Book Witch – Review

Bookishaestha – Review + Favourite Quotes

Jinxed Reviews – Review + Playlist

Mahkjchi’s Not-So-Secret Books – Review + Favourite Quotes

Heart’s Content – Review + Favourite Quotes

January 4th

Sometimes Leelynn Reads – Review + Favourite Quotes

The Layaway Dragon – Review + Favourite Quotes

Cluttered Books – Review + Favourite Quotes

Yna the Mood Reader – Review + Favourite Quotes

My Bookish Escapades – Promotional Post

January 5th

Novelishly – Review

String of Pages – Review + Favourite Quotes

Fanna Wants The World To Read – Review

Playita reads – Review

Kait Plus Books – Promotional Post

January 6th

The Mind of a Book Dragon – Review + Playlist

Books and Blends – Review

The Baroness of Books – Review

Words of Hannah Kay – Review

Utopia State of Mind – Promotional Post

January 7th

Magical Reads – Playlist

Confessions of a YA Reader – Review

Reads and Thoughts – Review + Favourite Quotes

biblioxytocin – Review + Playlist

To All The Books I’ve Read Before – Promotional Post

Giveaway

Prize: Win (1) of (2) copies of LOVEBOAT, TAIPEI by Abigail Hing Wen (USOnly)

Starts: 1stJanuary 2020

Ends: 15thJanuary 2020

Link to giveaway: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d9681b86439/

Blog Tour: Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen