Goodreads Monday – The Unadoptables by Hana Tooke

Welcome back to Goodreads Monday! It’s been a very hot minute since I did one but I figured I might as well get back into it! This weekly meme was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners and it invites you to pick a book from your TBR and explain why you want to read it. Easy enough, right? Feel free to join in if you want to! I’ll be using a random number generator to pick my books from my insanely long GR Want-to-read list.

This week’s featured book is The Unadoptables by Hana Tooke. This is a middle grade historical fantasy that was released in May 2020 and it has a 4.13 star rating on Goodreads.

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#5OnMyTBR: 2020 Release

Hello Mondays, welcome back to #5OnMyTBR, a meme created by the wonderful E @ The Local Bee Hunter’s Nook. This bookish meme gets us to dig even further into our TBRs by simply posting about five books on our TBR! You can learn more about it here or in the post announcing it. You can find the full list of prompts (past and future) at the end of this post!

This week’s prompt is: 2020 Release

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Blog Tour Review: The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed

I’m so honoured and excited to share my review today as part of the book blog tour for The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed. Special thanks to Shivani at Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing for reaching out and asking if I’d like to be part of their tour for this incredible book. Thanks to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Goodreads: The Black Kids
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: 04 August 2020
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Coming-of-Age
Panda Rating:

Perfect for fans of The Hate U Give, this unforgettable coming-of-age debut novel explores issues of race, class, and violence through the eyes of a wealthy black teenager whose family gets caught in the vortex of the 1992 Rodney King Riots.

Los Angeles, 1992
Ashley Bennett and her friends are living the charmed life. It’s the end of senior year and they’re spending more time at the beach than in the classroom. They can already feel the sunny days and endless possibilities of summer.

Everything changes one afternoon in April, when four LAPD officers are acquitted after beating a black man named Rodney King half to death. Suddenly, Ashley’s not just one of the girls. She’s one of the black kids.

As violent protests engulf LA and the city burns, Ashley tries to continue on as if life were normal. Even as her self-destructive sister gets dangerously involved in the riots. Even as the model black family façade her wealthy and prominent parents have built starts to crumble. Even as her best friends help spread a rumor that could completely derail the future of her classmate and fellow black kid, LaShawn Johnson.

With her world splintering around her, Ashley, along with the rest of LA, is left to question who is the us? And who is the them?

Buy: Publisher | Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | Book Depository

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Blog Tour Review: In the Neighborhood of True by Susan Kaplan Carlton

I’m back with another blog tour and this time it’s for In the Neighborhood of True by Susan Kaplan Carlton. Thank you to Algonquin Young Readers for asking me to take part in it!

Thanks to NetGalley, Algonquin Young Readers for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads: In the Neighborhood of True
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Release Date: 07 July 2020 (PBK pub)
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction, Own Voices
Panda Rating:

A powerful story of love, identity, and the price of fitting in or speaking out.
After her father’s death, Ruth Robb and her family transplant themselves in the summer of 1958 from New York City to Atlanta—the land of debutantes, sweet tea, and the Ku Klux Klan. In her new hometown, Ruth quickly figures out she can be Jewish or she can be popular, but she can’t be both. Eager to fit in with the blond girls in the “pastel posse,” Ruth decides to hide her religion. Before she knows it, she is falling for the handsome and charming Davis and sipping Cokes with him and his friends at the all-white, all-Christian Club.

Does it matter that Ruth’s mother makes her attend services at the local synagogue every week? Not as long as nobody outside her family knows the truth. At temple Ruth meets Max, who is serious and intense about the fight for social justice, and now she is caught between two worlds, two religions, and two boys. But when a violent hate crime brings the different parts of Ruth’s life into sharp conflict, she will have to choose between all she’s come to love about her new life and standing up for what she believes.

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First Lines Friday – 03 July

Happy Friday book lovers! We’re back with another First Lines Friday, a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? Here are the rules:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

First lines:

“It is better to be a coward than a corpse.
The phrase was a cacophonous jingle in Tillie Pembroke’s mind.”

Do you recognize the book these first lines come from?

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The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones Review and Favourite Quotes

Thanks to NetGalley, Wattpad Books and author Daven McQueen for providing the eARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones
Publisher: Wattpad Books
Release date: 16 June 2020
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction

Panda Rating:



It’s the summer of 1955. For Ethan Harper, a biracial kid raised mostly by his white father, race has always been a distant conversation. When he’s sent to spend the summer with his aunt and uncle in small-town Alabama, his Blackness is suddenly front and center, and no one is shy about making it known he’s not welcome there. Except for Juniper Jones. The town’s resident oddball and free spirit, she’s everything the townspeople aren’t―open, kind, and full of acceptance.

Armed with two bikes and an unlimited supply of root beer floats, Ethan and Juniper set out to find their place in a town that’s bent on rejecting them. As Ethan is confronted for the first time by what it means to be Black in America, Juniper tries to help him see the beauty in even the ugliest reality, and that even the darkest days can give rise to an invincible summer.

Amazon (US) | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | IndieBound

Note: The quotes below are taken from an advanced/unfinished copy and are subject to change in the final version.

“It is also, first and foremost, a story about race. It’s a story about the struggle that it was and is to be black in America. And because that is a hard thing, this story deals heavily with racism in the attitudes and languages of certain characters.”

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The Disney Parks Book Tag!

Ah, Disney. Who doesn’t love Disney and the Disney parks? It’s been a freaking long ass time since I went to one of the parks but it’s definitely on my bucket list to go back and experience it as an ‘adult’! A few years ago I discovered some childhood photos taken at Disney (world or land I can’t be sure) and well, while you can’t say much about my fashion sense (coz clearly I didn’t have any and neither did my brother), you can definitely tell these were happy times!

But back to this tag… I was tagged to do the Disney Parks Book Tag by the wonderful Kay @ Hammock of Books and awesome Brittany @ Perfectly Tolerablego check out both their blogs because they have great content and they’re lovely people to follow so you won’t regret it! Thanks for tags, lovelies and I’m sorry its taken so long for me to get around to doing this tag. First up, the rules!

The Rules

☆ Mention the creator and link back to original post [Alexandra @ Reading by Starlight]
☆ Thank the blogger who tagged you [done above!]
☆ Answer the 10 questions below using any genre
☆ Tag 5+ friends
☆ Feel free to copy the heading graphics

Oof, it took me a hot minute to recall a title set along the river but this heart-stopping thriller certainly ticks that box! I’m still amazed by Caine’s writing versatility 😍 Wolfhunter River is book three in the Stillhouse Lake series — which is crazy and absolutely thrilling!


You guys… I’m kind of shook because scouring the dark corners of mind (and Goodreads), I’ve realised that… I haven’t read (m)any ‘swashbuckling high seas adventures’… Wot wot?! Can it be true? It sadly is. Many of them adventures are still on TBR though! For now, I’m leaving you with A Gathering of Shadows because there’s certainly some swashbuckling in this favourite series of mine!


Ooh, just looking at this cover again already covers me in mad goosebumps and makes me wanna cry! But I have to give a shout out to Rules for Vanishing because even I, most Ultimate of Chickens™️, managed to read this and loved it! Ugh, this book was drowning in eerie vibes.


Surprisingly absolutely no one, the Illuminae Files absolutely takes the cake for this one! Ugh, I love this series so much 💞 Kristoff and Kaufman can take all of my monies!


Ugh, Where the Crawdads Sing was just beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! I loved Kya and the lyrical descriptions of the marsh lands and of nature swept me away to an enchanting but also dangerous world that I’d love to one day see IRL.

I feel like I also have to give an honorary shout out to The Natchez Burning Trilogy for this prompt. This trilogy is one of my all-time favourite thriller/court drama and is just *chefs kiss*!


A Curse So Dark and Lonely was of course the first book I thought of. There’s no Beauty & the Beast (retelling) without that eerie and beautiful enchanted castle!


The Trials of Morrigan Crow, book one of the Nevermoor series, was an utterly enchanting and whimsical read! There were fantastical adventures, magical and terrifying creatures, and otherworldly settings. This was an absolute treat to read! 💞


Okay, I’m cheating a little bit with The Mountains Sing. There is some trekking through mountains but that’s not what the whole book is about. It is an absolutely stunning, heartbreaking and hopeful read though and I would highly recommend this debut for those interested in own voices reads!


I haven’t read very many Spanish inspired fantasy books (I could also be totally wrong because my memory very often fails me) so Incendiary was a refreshingly set fantasy world with a cool magic system that I can’t wait to learn more about in the next book!


Another non-surprise here with Aurora Rising (this is totally a space opera, right?)! This book was a fabulously crazy, fast-paced space adventure that was full of all the things! Seriously, just read it.

I’m tagging:

Becky | Ali | Leah | Evelyn | Katie

No pressure to do this if tags aren’t your thing. Also, even if I haven’t tagged you here, feel free to go for gold if you want to do this one and link back to me so I can check out your answers too 😍

#5OnMyTBR: Hyped from the Past

Hello Mondays, welcome back to #5OnMyTBR, a meme created by the wonderful E @ The Local Bee Hunter’s Nook. This bookish meme gets us to dig even further into our TBRs by simply posting about five books on our TBR! You can learn more about it here or in the post announcing it. You can find the full list of prompts (past and future) at the end of this post!

This week’s prompt is: Hyped from the past.

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The Silence of Bones Review and Favourite Quotes

Thanks to NetGalley, Feiwel & Friends, and author June Hur for providing the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Silence of Bones
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release date: 21 April 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Panda Rating:



I have a mouth, but I mustn’t speak;
Ears, but I mustn’t hear;
Eyes, but I mustn’t see.


1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seol is living out the ancient curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Indentured to the police bureau, she’s been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman.

As they delve deeper into the dead woman’s secrets, Seol forms an unlikely bond of friendship with the inspector. But her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect, and Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder. But in a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly.

June Hur’s elegant and haunting debut The Silence of Bones is a bloody tale perfect for fans of Kerri Maniscalco and Renée Ahdieh.

Amazon (US) | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Google Books

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#TopTenTuesday: Books I Heart But Rarely Talk About…

We’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Books I Enjoyed but Rarely Talk About (This is for the books you liked, but rarely come up in conversation or rarely fit a TTT topic, etc.)!

OK, I have to admit that I struggled a bit with this one because a lot of the books I loved/enjoyed I DO talk about quite often? I feel like maybe I talk about all of them too much? Admittedly these books are more “recent” reads over the last few years because my memory is truly terrible. It’s weird and (I know) doesn’t make sense but it is what it is! So I went digging through Goodreads and found some reads that I think qualify (sorry if I end up cheating just a little bit)! I don’t talk about these books much because there’ve never really been any prompts in tags, award questions, or TTT topics that necessarily fit it!

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