Review: Inheritance

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Rating: ★★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher for promotional purposes. 

This was a beautifully illustrated and powerful poem!

Being a huge poetry lover, I surprisingly have not read any of Elizabeth Acevedo’s previous works. I’ve heard countless amazing things about her work, so I was excited to finally read something by her. I was not disappointed! 

The poem was short yet so impactful. It beautifully highlighted the struggles of natural hair as well as the complexities of being Afro-Latinidad. It’s personal, real, and authentic, which are all qualities I look for when reading poetry. 

Since it is a visual poem, I have to talk about the illustrations and the role they played. The illustrations were gorgeous. They were so colorful, bold, and vibrant. They complemented the poem and its message very well. I can tell a lot of thought went into the illustrations. For example, some of the words are written in cursive which mimics the curves and coils of curly hair. 

Overall, I highly recommend this little book! Get it for yourself, or gift it to a friend who loves poetry and/or Elizabeth Acevedo (I cannot reiterate how stunning this book is. It would make a great gift).


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Review: Sari, Not Sari

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free as part of a read along.

This was such a simple and sweet story! 

I loved the premise of the story. I love stories about women reconnecting with their heritage and roots, so naturally I liked this. I enjoyed learning more about Indian culture, especially their wedding customs. I also liked that the book explored being “white-washed” and how it can make people feel disconnected towards their culture. 

The book is a very light and easy read. The prose flows nicely and the chapters are short which makes reading a breeze. The beginning of each chapter includes an email from a client that added a consistent touch of humor throughout the book. 

However, the book is very heavy on instalove. The characters fell in love after only knowing each other for a week which did not feel realistic. Also, Manny’s company, Breakup, did not seem like a viable company (it was an interesting concept but I don’t think that many people want to breakup via email). But this book is a romantic comedy so some suspension of disbelief is needed. 

Overall, despite a few flaws, I still enjoyed this debut novel and am looking forward to seeing what else the author publishes in the future. If you’re looking for an entertaining romance with some Indian culture woven throughout, consider picking this one up! 


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Review: Far From The Shallow

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

The thing I love most about poetry is how personal it can be. This collection was the epitome of that. I could tell that every poem came from the heart.

I really liked the water theme that was woven throughout the poems. It made the collection very cohesive. 

The end included a note from the author that further explained the meaning behind the collection. The author’s note really helped bring the collection full circle. 

My one critique is that I would have liked to see the poems divided into sections. A lot of poetry collections, especially ones centering around trauma and healing, often use sections to help guide the reader through their journey. The poems clearly told a story and sections (perhaps one dealing with water) would have elevated the book even more. 

I loved a lot of the poems. Here is a list of the ones that really stood out to me: 

  • Lilac Notes (pg. 12)
  • Needle and Thread (pg. 21)
  • Peace in the Rain (pg. 24)
  • Blooming (pg. 32)
  • My Guardian Angel (pg. 34)
  • Brave (pg. 56)
  • Lost Girl (pg. 72) 
  • Recollections of Unlearning (pg. 75) 
  • Natural Love (pg. 80)
  • Irreplaceable (pg. 88)
  • Abandoned (pg. 99)
  • You’re Not Alone (pg. 102)
  • Write Your Way (pg. 105) 
  • Be Mindful (pg. 110)
  • Her Love (pg. 112)
  • Bouquet (pg. 120)
  • Break Free (pg. 125)
  • A Bright Girl (pg. 156)
  • Nostalgia (pg. 159)
  • A Rare Soul (pg. 166)
  • Peace (pg. 171)
  • Dreamer (pg. 189)
  • Moonflower (pg. 193)
  • Dear Gentle Soul (pg. 202)

Overall, this was a powerful poetry collection! 


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Review: Fake

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Rating: ★★★★½

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (Harper Books) for promotional purposes. 

I previously read the author’s debut book, The Boys’ Club, and loved it, so I knew I just had to read this one. Once again, I was not disappointed! 

Like her previous novel, this one is highly engaging. From the very beginning it takes you on a roller coaster of a ride through the glamorous world of high art. 

The storyline unraveled at a steady pace. The use of the interview transcripts at the beginning of each chapter were a great foreshadowing tool. The book was a little predictable towards the end, but it was still an entertaining read. 

The characters are all fascinating and dynamic. I particularly liked the juxtaposition of Emma’s three friends, Sienna, Leah, and Jules. It was interesting to see her friend dynamic with each of them since they all came from different art backgrounds. 

I enjoyed the theme of being a “fake” and how it was explored throughout the book. I liked how the book incorporated being an Instagram influencer. I found its portrayal of what is “real” and what is “fake” to be so relevant and current. 

Overall, I found this book to be an enthralling read. I can’t wait to see what the author comes up with next!


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Review: Mao, Vol. 2 (Mao #2)

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Rating: ★★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free for promotional purposes.

This volume was so good!

This installment was jam packed with action. So much happened and I enjoyed every page of it. There was a lot of world building that helped move the story along. I liked that more of the story was revealed in this volume. The first volume did not explain much and I was a little confused about the world. This volume provided some answers and got me hooked. I have to know what happens next. 

This volume also made me love the main characters. Mao is so intriguing and mysterious. I’m excited to learn more about him and his past. Nanoka is turning out to be quite the heroine! Also, Mao’s assistant, Otoya, is so adorable. 

Overall, I loved this volume and cannot wait to read volume 3! 


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Review: Snapdragon

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free as part of an Instagram book tour (Storygram Tours) I did to promote the book.

This was such a cute graphic novel!

The story was so heartwarming. I loved how Jacks and Snapdragon’s backgrounds and pasts were connected. There were some parts where I was wondering on the relevance of some things (like the story of One-Eyed Tom), but it all came together at the end. 

However, in regards to the plot, I wanted more about the magic. Since this is a book about a witch, naturally there is magic, but it was a little vague on how it all worked. I would have loved to seen it explored in more detail. 

The diversity and representation in this book is amazing! There was so much black and LGBTQ representation. For example, Snapdragon’s friend, Lulu is transgender. I loved seeing how Lulu slowly came out to be the person she was meant to be! 

The art style worked well with the story. The color use in particular was incredibly well done. I liked how vibrant the art was. 

Lastly, I thought they should have stuck with the original name of the novel, Roadkill Witch. Snapdragon is too basic of a name for this slightly odd (in a good way) graphic novel.

Overall, this was a charming graphic novel with a dash of magic. If you’re looking for a quick read this spooky season, give this one a try! 


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Review: It Takes Heart (Heart Resort #1)

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Rating: ★★★

I received an ARC of this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

I thought this was a solid second chance romance and start to a new series.

First off, I really enjoyed seeing all the Filipino culture. I am half Filipino myself so it was so amazing seeing the representation. From the Filipino names of the tiny homes to a discussion on “Filipino time,” there was so much culture woven throughout the book. Additionally, the family dynamic of the Puso family was very typical of a Filipino family. Side note, I loved that the resort was named Heart Resort because their last name, Puso, is Tagalog for heart. That was very clever.

I also liked “cozy” feeling of the storyline. The plot was so family oriented and you could tell there was a lot of love between the family members themselves and their friends. 

My biggest issue with this book is the pacing. The book dragged in parts, mainly in the beginning and middle. There wasn’t a whole lot happening besides set up for future books in the series (i.e. relationship issues for Brandon’s other siblings). At times there was little focus on Brandon and Geneva’s romance. Towards the end the book finally picked up speed and became more exciting. 

Overall, I can tell this will be an amazing series. This book just fell a little short on Brandon and Geneva’s story. 


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Review: So We Meet Again

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Rating: ★★★★

I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I had previously read the author’s other book, Loathe at First Sight, and liked but didn’t love it. I knew I wanted to give her books another shot, so I jumped at the chance to read this one. This book was so much better! 

First off, I liked the romance in this one. This book had more of a romantic story than Loathe At First Sight. Daniel was a swoon-worthy love interest for sure! I loved his interactions with Jess. They had the most adorable meet-cute. As soon as I read their meet-cute, I knew I was going to like them as a couple. 

I also loved that the book was more than a romance and focused a great deal on Jess’s career change. It explored all the ups and downs of starting over. It was wonderful seeing Jess grow from an unsure former investment banker into a full fledged businesswoman. 

As for the supporting characters, Jess’s parents were so precious! You could tell that they really loved Jess, even if they didn’t always show it in the best way. I could relate to Jess’s experiences with her critical mom. 

I did find the book to be a little unrealistic at times. The book wasn’t super clear on the passage of time, but it felt like Jess’s business took off too quickly. But I will admit I don’t know that much about business so maybe it was realistic. Also, Daniel did something at the very end that could have got him in trouble as a lawyer. It wasn’t anything egregious (just a conflict of interest issue). It was only something I noticed since I am a recent law graduate. Most lawyers would have foresaw that conflict of interest and handled the situation differently. 

Overall, I enjoyed this read! If you want a light and fun romance and/or women’s fiction novel to read, pick this one up! 


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Review: More Bad Days in History

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free as part of a review tour hosted by TLC Book Tours. 

What an outrageously fun book! 

I haven’t read the first volume (Bad Days in History) so I cannot say how it compares. 

I’ve always loved learning about history, so naturally I found this book to be fascinating. I loved learning about all the weird, strange, and terrible things that have happened throughout the course of history. Some events were hilarious, others were more tragic, and a few were a little disturbing. 

I appreciated the use of footnotes and the extra information they provided. They were utilized well and not overdone (some authors go a little overboard with footnotes). 

There are also a few illustrations scattered throughout that added to the comedic appeal. 

My one critique is that I wished it was more global. The majority of the events were US or Europe based. For example, there were numerous events about various US presidents. I would have loved to seen more diversity in the events and people showcased. Bad days are a universal experience after all. 

Overall, this was an intriguing read. I recommend it to anyone who loves weird history or is having a bad day and needs a pick-me-up. It’s a book you can read all at once, or read daily. It would also make a great gift to the cynics and pessimists in your life.


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Review: Conquer the Day

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (Harper Design) in exchange for an honest review.

This was a strange yet inspiring book!

Essentially, this is an illustrated cartoon style book of affirmations. It features classic affirmations such as “I attack the day with energy and conviction” alongside tongue-in-cheek pictures. That particular affirmation was paired with the cover photo, showing an unamused, not ready to get out of bed person. This contrast and duality made the book very fun and relatable. I find typical affirmation materials to be a little too upbeat and saccharine, so I appreciated this take on affirmations. My favorite one was a doodle of a man wearing headphones and listening to the affirmation, “I am sexy and people want to be around me.” That one was hilarious and also resonated with me. 

I am not familiar with the author’s work (@PantsPants on Instagram and @Pants on Twitter if you want to check out his stuff), so this was my first exposure to it. I found the illustrations to be cute but also weird and sometimes disturbing (but not in a bad way). It’s unique to say the least, but it worked so well for this book. 

Overall, this was an amusing little book and would make a great gift! 


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