ARC Review: The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

Thanks to NetGalley and Faber & Faber for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads: The Death of Vivek Oji
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publication Date: 20 August 2020
Genre: Literary Fiction, Realistic Fiction

Panda Rating:


What does it mean for a family to lose a child they never really knew?

One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious. Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens—and Osita struggles to understand Vivek’s escalating crisis—the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom.

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

TL;DR: This was an incredible and heartbreaking story about the complexities of love, sexual and gender identity, and self-acceptance in a society that doesn’t accept or acknowledge your existence. It’s about loss, grief, fear and secrets. It’s a stunningly written book that I would highly recommend, although I will say it might not be for everyone as it does involve taboo relationships (sexually explicit) that some readers might find uncomfortable or disturbing. There are still months left to go in 2021, but so far, this is hands down one of my favourite reads of the year!

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Blog Tour Review: Aether Ones by Wendi Coffman-Porter

Hey friends! I’m excited to be back for another tour with @TheWriteReads for Aether Ones by Wendi Coffman-Porter. Be sure to check out all the other bloggers participating in this tour: here! 😍

Special thanks to the author for providing a digital copy in exchange for an honest review!

Goodreads: Aether Ones
Publisher: Brown Books Publishing Group
Published: 13 October 2020
Genre: Science Fiction
Panda Rating:

Leilani Falconi is a top agent for the Imperial Investigative Service, tasked with policing the veil between two realities. Long ago, the Great Sundering tore the universe into two mirrored halves; aether space, which progressed using magical energy or eldrich, and kuldain, which advanced via electromagnetic technology. But now a series of suspicious deaths stretching back more than a decade has the agent trapped directly between secretive bureaucracies and their peoples. If she can’t solve the mysterious crimes in time, existence as she knows it could erupt into chaos.

BUY NOW: Book Depository | Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble

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Goodreads Monday – Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malindo Lo

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.*

*Sorry if a book has been featured twice. I need to make better note of which ones I’ve done already!

This week’s featured book is Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo. This is a YA LGBTQ+ historical fiction that was released just last month (January 2021) and it has some a pretty high rating!

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Blog Tour Review: Bad Habits by Flynn Meaney

Hey friends! I’m excited to be back for another tour with @TheWriteReads for Bad Habits by Flynn Meaney. Be sure to check out all the other bloggers participating in this tour: here! 😍

Special thanks to Penguin & Netgalley for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Goodreads: Bad Habits
Publisher: Penguin
Published: 11 February 2021
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Panda Rating:

Hilarious, bold, sparky and surprising, this is the funniest feminist book you’ll read all year.

Alex is a rebel from the tip of her purple faux-hawk to the toes of her biker boots. She’s tried everything she can think of to get expelled from her strict Catholic boarding school. Nothing has worked so far – but now, Alex has a new plan. Tired of the sexism she sees in every corner of St Mary’s, Alex decides to stage the school’s first ever production of The Vagina Monologues. Which is going to be a challenge, as no one else at St Mary’s can even bear to say the word ‘vagina’ out loud . . .

BUY NOW: Book Depository | Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)
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Blog Tour Review: The Death of Honor by Lyra Thorsson

I’m back with another blog tour today and this time it’s for The Death of Honor by Lyra Thorsson. Special thanks to Heather Fitt from Overview Media for asking me to be part of this blog tour and to the author for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review!

Goodreads: The Death of Honor (Honor Trilogy #1)
Published: 12 January 2021
Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera
Panda Rating:

All Rebecca wants in life is to sail through space in her ship—is that too much to ask? The moment she lays eyes on her old military buddy Jonathan, Rebecca knew there was no running away from her duties. With her best friend, sometimes with benefits, Nik, she desired to return home to the Nreff Nation, one of the four government powers of the systems, to serve on one last mission.

However, the problem with returning is that they all are wanted for treason. It wasn’t their fault, however, as they had been framed by their old admiral, Sebastien Wilde. Fortunately, succeeding in this mission might give them a clean slate, as they are to find evidence of Wilde’s involvement in the illegal human experimentation ring that goes against the Treaty Of World Equality and Rights (T.O.W.E.R.).

Rebecca and Nik agree to the mission, hoping to earn a more peaceful life, however Rebecca hides a dark secret: she was once closer to Sebastien than any of them ever realized, and the evidence incriminating him might also implicate her.

Now Rebecca has a choice: turn her back on her comrades and run for her life, or face her sins in order to prevent an all-out war.

CW/TW: This book contains sexual content, violence, drug abuse, and physical, sexual, and mental abuse.

BUY NOW: Amazon US | Amazon UK | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble

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Blog Tour Review + Giveaway (INT): The Viscount’s Unconventional Lady by Virginia Heath

Today’s my stop on the blog tour hosted by Rachel’s Random Resources for The Viscount’s Unconventional Lady by Virginia Heath. Thanks to the author for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads: The Viscount’s Unconventional Lady
Publisher: Mills & Boon Historical
Release Date: 21 January 2021
Genre: Historical Romance
Panda Rating:

The notorious viscount
And the most gossiped-about lady…
After years as a diplomat in the Napoleonic Wars, Lord Eastwood is reluctant to return to London society. His scandalous divorce has made him infamous, not to mention cantankerous! To halt the rumor mill, he should marry a quiet noblewoman—instead it’s bold, vibrant artist Faith Brookes who’s caught his attention. They are the least suitable match, so why is he like a moth to a flame?

BUY NOW: Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)

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Blog Tour Review: White Trash Warlock by David R. Slayton

Hey friends! I’m excited to be back for another tour with @ TheWriteReads for White Trash Warlock by David R. Slayton. Be sure to check out all the other bloggers participating in this tour: here! 😍

Special thanks to the author for the gifted copy in exchange for an honest review!

Goodreads: White Trash Warlock (The Adam Binder Novels #1)
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Published: 13 October 2020
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Fantasy
Panda Rating:

Guthrie was a good place to be from, but it wasn’t a great place to live, not when you were like Adam, in all the ways Adam was like Adam.

Adam Binder hasn’t spoken to his brother in years, not since Bobby had him committed to a psych ward for hearing voices. When a murderous spirit possesses Bobby’s wife and disrupts the perfect life he’s built away from Oklahoma, he’s forced to ask for his little brother’s help. Adam is happy to escape the trailer park and get the chance to say I told you so, but he arrives in Denver to find the local magicians dead. It isn’t long before Adam is the spirit’s next target. To survive the confrontation, he’ll have to risk bargaining with powers he’d rather avoid, including his first love, the elf who broke his heart. The Binder brothers don’t realize that they’re unwitting pawns in a game played by immortals. Death herself wants the spirit’s head, and she’s willing to destroy their family to reap it.

BUY NOW: Indiebound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon
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Blog Tour Review: The Little Swiss Ski Chalet by Julie Caplin

I’m back with another blog tour today with Rachel’s Random Resources for The Little Swiss Ski Chalet by Julie Caplin. Thanks to NetGalley and One More Chapter for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Be sure to click on the banner below to check out the other bloggers on tour!

Goodreads: The Little Swiss Ski Chalet
Release Date: 30 January 2021
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance
Panda Rating:

It’s time to pack your bags and head to the breathtaking, snow-covered peaks of the Swiss Alps for velvety hot chocolates, delicious cheeses and a gorgeous love story…

Food technician Minna has always believed that chocolate will solve everything – and it’s just what she needs when her latest relationship mishap goes viral! So with her bags packed and a new determination to sort her life out, Minna decides to drown her sorrows with the best hot chocolate in the world at her godmother’s cosy Swiss chalet. Chocolate: yes. Romance: no. Until she has a run in on an Alpine train with a mysterious but oh-so-gorgeous stranger…

BUY NOW: Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)

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#TopTenTuesday: New-to-Me-Authors from 2020…

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2020 (if you didn’t read 10 new authors, that’s fine! Just do what you can)

I thought this was gonna be hard because my memory fails me but I took a quick look at my 2020 reading challenge and had to give myself a smack upside the head because the majority of the books I read last year were by new to me authors. 😂 If you’ve seen my December monthly wrap up and my 2020 yearly wrap up none of these titles will come as a surprise because I’ve mentioned some of them quite a few times (*cough* House in the Cerulean Sea *cough*), but all of these books and authors deserve to be read so I won’t stop gushing about them! Also, I’m mentioning 15 authors because there were so many new and amazing discoveries! 😍

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Blog Tour Review: At the Edge of the Haight by Katherine Seligman

Special thanks to Algonquin Books for inviting me to be on the blog tour and for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads: At the Edge of the Haight
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Release Date: 19 January 2021
Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Maddy Donaldo, homeless at twenty, has made a family of sorts in the dangerous spaces of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. She knows whom to trust, where to eat, when to move locations, and how to take care of her dog. It’s the only home she has. When she unwittingly witnesses the murder of a young homeless boy and is seen by the perpetrator, her relatively stable life is upended. Suddenly, everyone from the police to the dead boys’ parents want to talk to Maddy about what she saw. As adults pressure her to give up her secrets and reunite with her own family before she meets a similar fate, Maddy must decide whether she wants to stay lost or be found. Against the backdrop of a radically changing San Francisco, a city which embraces a booming tech economy while struggling to maintain its culture of tolerance, At the Edge of the Haight follows the lives of those who depend on makeshift homes and communities.

As judge Hillary Jordan says, “This book pulled me deep into a world I knew little about, bringing the struggles of its young, homeless inhabitants—the kind of people we avoid eye contact with on the street—to vivid, poignant life. The novel demands that you take a close look. If you knew, could you still ignore, fear, or condemn them? And knowing, how can you ever forget?”

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