Review: Whistle

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from the publishers (DC Comics) in exchange for an honest review.

This was a fun origin story for a new superhero!

First off, the art in this is amazing. I loved the color palette of blue, orange, and green. It made for a striking combination. The art style reminded me of the old school cartoons I used to read in the newspaper as a kid. 

The storyline is interesting. Many reviewers mention the ending, in which things are not wrapped up completely. Things are left in a morally gray area so it may leave some readers unsatisfied. Personally, I was fine with the ending because it leaves open the possibility of more installments. Also, the morally gray ending was thought-provoking so I appreciated that aspect. 

Whistle’s powers were intriguing. Her dog-like powers and ability to communicate with dogs reminded me of Marvel’s Squirrel Girl and her squirrel-like powers. However, I would have liked more story development on her powers. There wasn’t a lot of exploration on them, and since this is a new character, it would have been helpful to see the full extent of what she could do. 

I loved the subtle cameos/references to other DC characters. For example, Black Canary makes a brief musical appearance (pg. 135), Willow wears a Flash tee shirt (pg. 139), and there is Harley Quinn graffiti (pg. 142). 

Overall, this was a solid start to a new superhero story. I am curious to see where it goes next. 


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Review: Screen Queens

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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.

I was really excited to read this book since it takes place in the Silicon Valley and that is where I was born and raised. 

The book started off on the slow side and it felt a little superficial. It read like a typical YA novel with high school drama and it dragged in parts because of that. However, once the main conflict happened, the book matured and picked up the pace. The empowering message finally managed to shine through.

The book’s greatest strength is its messages about female empowerment, female friendship, women in STEM, sexism, and sexual harassment. The book touched upon and explored all of these topics in a meaningful way. I was happy to see that the book did not shy away from the realities of the (predominantly male) tech world. 

On the other hand, the book’s greatest weakness were the characters. I didn’t particularly love any of them because I didn’t feel an emotional attachment towards them. 

I typically don’t talk about book covers in reviews, but I have to mention this book’s because the girls on the cover actually depict the girls in the story. They are an exact match, right down to their necklaces. I love that attention to detail! 

Overall, if you’re looking for an empowering YA read or are interested in the tech world, consider picking this one up! 


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Review: Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch (Eva Evergreen #1)

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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 the cutest book ever! Seriously. It was like a Studio Ghibli movie in book form. 

First off, the world building in this book was incredible. I could easily picture the quaint seaside town of Auteri with all its little shops and its Festival of Lights. I wish it was a real place! 

The characters were another highlight. They were all so lovable. I loved Eva’s friends, Davy and Charlotte. Watching their bond and friendship grow throughout the story was so heartwarming. The townspeople were also charming. I loved how they came together and helped Eva. 

The book also had cute illustrations at the beginning of each chapter. The art style is similar to the cover art, very Japanese inspired. The pictures added to the whimsical nature of the book. 

The only thing that this book needed was a map. The world wasn’t overly complicated that it needed a map to be comprehensible, but maps in fantasy books are always so helpful, so I prefer them.

Overall, this was a feel good, wholesome, witchy read, perfect for spooky season. Readers of all ages will love reading about Eva and her adventures. I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel! 


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Review: City of Dragons The Awakening Storm (City of Dragons #1)

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Rating: ★★★★

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

This was a fun and wild ride! 

You can’t review a graphic novel without first talking about the artwork. The art in this book is colorful, vibrant, and full of life. It complemented the story beautifully. Additionally, the dragon illustrations were superb. They were depicted as fierce and majestic. 

The story was so entertaining. I’m a sucker for fantasy adventure quests. Plus, who doesn’t love a tale about dragons? At the same time, there was also a lot of heart and emotion throughout which gave the story some balance. 

However, the ending felt a little convoluted. There was a lot going on. Luckily, this is the first book in the series, so more will be revealed in the coming book. The end does set up the next book nicely. I am very intrigued to see it how unfolds. 

I also loved the characters. Grace and all her friends were fleshed out, dynamic characters. I was glad that their backgrounds were touched upon. It made them feel more real and relatable. 

Overall, this was a highly amusing graphic novel. It’s aimed at middle grade readers, but can be enjoyed by people of all ages. If you’re a fan of dragons or Chinese mythology, be sure to check this one out!


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Review: Kicking Ass in a Corset

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review as part of a book review tour with TLC Book Tours. 

This was a short but very insightful read!

Basically, this book uses 6 Austen heroines to display 6 different leadership principles and explains how to incorporate them into your day to day life.

The book had a slightly academic tone and structure since it is published by a university, but it still flowed well. The first chapter felt very much like an academic paper, but the rest of the chapters were more accessible. The academic structure was very helpful in keeping the book organized and on point. It was very easy to follow the author’s main points. 

I also liked that at the end of each chapter, the author included a short guide on how to use that principle. 

I’ve one ever read two Jane Austen novels, Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility, so I was only familiar with two of the heroines. However, the author does a great job summarizing the stories of the heroines so I was still able to grasp what each one was about. That being said, if you want to avoid spoilers for a particular book, then probably skip that chapter because the summaries are not spoiler free. 

Lastly, I liked the range of the principles. They didn’t reiterate the same things over and over again. Each one was something new and together they made an intricate blend.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one and will be using some of the principles in my life! 


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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: 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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Review: The Rose (The Godwicks #2)

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Rating: ★★★★★

I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher for promotional purposes.

I loved everything about this book! 

I first have to preface this review by saying that I haven’t read the first book in the series but that did not affect my comprehension or enjoyment of this book. It can be read as a standalone. This is also my first Tiffany Reisz book.

This is some damn good erotica. There is a lot of sex, but it was done so well. Sometimes erotica can be a little cringey, but this one wasn’t. Who knew that greek mythology fantasies could be so hot? 

I loved that there was also a plot; it wasn’t just all sex. There was actual substance to it.

The characters were fantastic as well. Lia and August had sizzling chemistry. They were perfect together. Lia’s parents were an unexpectedly hilarious touch. Even though they were barely in the book, I liked Lia’s friends. They seemed so cool and I low-key want a spin-off book about their sexual adventures. 

The book is also incredibly well written. I can tell why so many people love Tiffany Reisz’s book. She knows how to write! 

Lastly, the book was so sex-positive. There was a lot of emphasis on both men and women enjoying sex. 

Overall, this was an impressive erotic romance. I will definitely be reading more from Tiffany Reisz. 


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