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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#WWWWednesday: 18 June

For the second week in a row I somehow forgot to share my #WWWWednesday posts as it completely slips my mind! Oops… So even though it’s Thursday I thought I’d still share my update!

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

Since two weeks have passed I’ve managed to read more books than has been ‘the usual’ for me this year. This is mostly because of the blog tours I’m participating in and in the last weeks, there have been quite a few! Sadly, it’s still mostly because of those books that I’m pushing myself to read, but otherwise my moods have been in such disarray that I don’t know what I feel like reading, and that’s if I feel like reading at all! 😔 But before I go off on an even bigger tangent, here’s what I’ve read over the last two weeks. I can’t believe I’m about to say this but I’m not including two books that I DNF’d–yep, you read that right! I finally made the decision to DNF two books. Perhaps it’s my erratic mood but I just couldn’t connect with them and it was such a struggle to read one page after another, so I decided to put them away. I feel pretty guilty still but I know I made the right decision!

Promises Forged (Venators #2) by Devri Walls ★★★★½
The sequel to book one was just as fast-paced and full of action, along with some very satisfying character growth! I enjoyed book one but loved book two and can’t wait for the third! Read my full review.

The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones by Daven McQueen ★★★★½
This was equal parts heart-wrenching and heartwarming. This historical YA is so relevant to everything that’s happening right now. McQueen’s writing was wholly atmospheric and both Ethan and Juniper Jones will steal your heart. Read my full review.

Half Life by Lillian Clark ★★★½
This ended up being more of a contemporary with hints of sci-fi rather than the full-on sci-fi that I was expecting. It was still a really good read and I loved the concept and Clark’s observations on perception/truth. That said, I wanted more from the ending! Read my full review.

The Kinder Poison (The Kinder Poison #1) by Natalie Mae ★★★★½
This is probably my favourite YA fantasy read of 2020 so far. It sucked me in from the very beginning and didn’t let go until it spit me out, flabbergasted and clambering for more, at the very end! It had an interesting quest-style plot, loveable complex characters, and magic. Can has book two naow, pls? Read my full review.

The Storm Crow (Storm Crow #1) by Kalyn Josephson ★★★½
I’m so glad I finally picked this one up after having it sit on my shelf since its release! While the world building could’ve been better, I liked learning about the characters and loved the crow magic. I’m very curious to see how everything is resolved in the final book of this duology. Review coming very soon!

Royal Decoy (Fate of Eyrinthia #1) by Heather Frost ★★★☆☆
I can’t remember the last time I read a romantasy but this book has sparked up my interest in the sub-genre! It’s a fast paced fantasy with a deliciously slow burn romance. While it’s a bit cookie cutter to what’s out there in the fantasy world, it was still an enjoyable read! Read my full review.

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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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Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp

We’re back with another Sundays in Bed With… meme! This meme dares to ask you what book has been in your bed this morning and is hosted by Midnight Book Girl. Come share what book you’ve been you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed with, or which book you wish you had time to read today!

I spent Sunday morning in bed finishing my read of The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones and let me tell you friends… The tears did not stop for the last 30%! Oh granola, I’m an emotional reader and we all know how intense emotions have been running these last few weeks but… This book was just… so everything? It was heartwarming and heartbreaking. It’s a poignant YA historical fiction coming-of-age story about race, friendship and family. It’s out later this month (16 June) and it couldn’t be more relevant right now. I’ll be sharing my review for it as part of the FFBC blog tour on Wednesday, so keep an eye out!

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.

What are you currently reading?

Continue reading “Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp”

Goodreads Monday – Romanov by Nadine Brandes

Welcome back to Goodreads Monday! 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 Romanov by Nadine Brandes. This is a standalone Young Adult Historical Fiction/Fantasy re-telling about the famous Romanov family. This was released in May 2019 and currently has a 3.80 rating on Goodreads!

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First Lines Friday – 29 May

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:

“As seems to be the custom, bad news comes with the afternoon mail: the news that his granddaughter was rejected from her top-choice college, then a call to jury duty. Today, though, it is much worse.”

Do you recognize the book these first lines come from?

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April Monthly Wrap Up!

To say that April was a bit of a wretched month for reading would be a bit of an understatement. Echoing the sentiment that many fellow bloggers have been saying in their wrap ups, while March felt like it crawled by, April was pretty much gone in a blink. I’m honestly not mad about it though. I’d ideally like to have a do-over of this shite month, but it is what it is. By now we all know that my reading took a huge nosedive this month is mainly because of Animal Crossing New Horizons… I had no idea how dangerous this game would be for me as I let my sister convince me to finally buy it–not that it was very difficult, mind you.

So here we are today… With the first exams I’ve ever failed in my life (O.W.L.s), a seemingly unscalable (e)ARC Mountain still to climb, and a total of seven books read this month. At least I have a nice (in game) island though, right? 😅

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#WWWWednesday: 22 April

Holy wow, can someone tell me where April went to because it has seriously zoomed by! I can’t believe we’re just a few days from the last week of the month. I’m not ready for April to be over because I literally still have all the things to do and all the books to read!

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

Well, we’re back to my reading taking a hit thanks to Animal Crossing (yes, still)! Although we’re quite late into the month of April and my reading game has been thrown completely off this month (because what are books even), I feel like I’m slowly coming off the AC high. I’m not trying to jinx myself but I can feel it. That said, I only managed to finish one book since last Wednesday and it was another blog tour read.

The Silence of Bones by June Hur ★★★★½
This book was so different and so much more than I thought it’d be in all the best ways. I’ve never read a YA historical fiction, murder mystery/thriller before and it was incredible. It’s a bit slow to start but once you get sucked in you can’t put this book down. I’d also never read about this Korean dynastic empire before but despite being clueless to it, Hur’s writing was so immersive and I could still picture it clearly. Loved the characters and the exploration of sociopolitical themes of the era. Did I mention that it’s also highly quotable? Loved it and would definitely recommend it! Check out my full review.

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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

Continue reading “The Silence of Bones Review and Favourite Quotes”

Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp

We’re back with another Sundays in Bed With… meme! This meme dares to ask you what book has been in your bed this morning and is hosted by Midnight Book Girl. Come share what book you’ve been you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed with, or which book you wish you had time to read today!

This Sunday I spent half the day in bed with The Silence of Bones. I’m reading this for a blog tour and tomorrow is my tour date! Have I made much progress? No, and I’m actually concerned about finishing it on time. Yikes! That said, I’m finding it interesting and I’m really enjoying it. There’s so much going on with the sociopolitical dynamics in the plot. It’s such an interesting exploration of a dynastic empire and era that I know basically nothing about. I don’t know why but there’s something about this cover that always makes my brain jump into “fantasy mode” so that already had me shook from the start when I realised this was a historical fiction (I swear I read the blurb before requesting it but my brain just keeps playing tricks on me lol). Hard to believe this is a debut and I gotta say this cover is amazing! I’m looking forward to tucking into this one tonight until well into the morning 😂

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.

What are you currently reading?

Continue reading “Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp”