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Book Review: Diamond City by Francesca Flores

Book Review: Diamond City by Francesca FloresDiamond City by Francesca Flores
Series: Diamond City #1
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 28th January 2020
Publisher: Macmillan
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-half-stars

Fierce and ambitious, Aina Solís as sharp as her blade and as mysterious as the blood magic she protects. After the murder of her parents, Aina takes a job as an assassin to survive and finds a new family in those like her: the unwanted and forgotten.

Her boss is brutal and cold, with a questionable sense of morality, but he provides a place for people with nowhere else to go. And makes sure they stay there.

DIAMOND CITY: built by magic, ruled by tyrants, and in desperate need of saving. It is a world full of dark forces and hidden agendas, old rivalries and lethal new enemies.

To claim a future for herself in a world that doesn't want her to survive, Aina will have to win a game of murder and conspiracy—and risk losing everything.

I was really impressed by Diamond City! It’s a very strong debut that is action packed and full of assassinations and heists and deceit. Everything you need, right?

I got very strong Aelin vibes from Aina, the main character. I’m not sure if the author has read Throne of Glass, but it wouldn’t surprise me if she was inspired by it. I really enjoyed reading about Aina’s character growth, as she started off very closed off and then slowly opened up around her close group of friends.

I think the friendships were the best part of the book for me. I loved all of the side characters and how they interacted with Aina. They really helped bring out the best in her and helped her realise what was good and what was bad.

I have to put a warning in here about abuse, as Aina is in an abusive almost-relationship with her boss, who she kind of idolises for saving her from dying. She slowly comes to realise that it’s unhealthy though, somewhat with the help of other characters but mostly through her own realisations.

I have to say that there was a lot less diamond stuff and magic than I was expecting. This book is more of a low fantasy than anything, and the fantasy stuff only came up in a few scenes. Most of the book focuses on assassinations and heists, which isn’t a bad thing, but it’s not really how the book is being marketed!

Like I said, I really enjoyed this one and I’m looking forward to reading the sequel when it comes out – hopefully next year!

Book Review: Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales

Book Review: Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie GonzalesOnly Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 3rd March 2020
Publisher: Macmillan
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summer love...gone so fast.

Will Tavares is the dream summer fling―he's fun, affectionate, kind―but just when Ollie thinks he's found his Happily Ever After, summer vacation ends and Will stops texting Ollie back. Now Ollie is one prince short of his fairy tale ending, and to complicate the fairy tale further, a family emergency sees Ollie uprooted and enrolled at a new school across the country. Which he minds a little less when he realizes it's the same school Will goes to...except Ollie finds that the sweet, comfortably queer guy he knew from summer isn't the same one attending Collinswood High. This Will is a class clown, closeted―and, to be honest, a bit of a jerk.

Ollie has no intention of pining after a guy who clearly isn't ready for a relationship, especially since this new, bro-y jock version of Will seems to go from hot to cold every other week. But then Will starts "coincidentally" popping up in every area of Ollie's life, from music class to the lunch table, and Ollie finds his resolve weakening.

The last time he gave Will his heart, Will handed it back to him trampled and battered. Ollie would have to be an idiot to trust him with it again.

Right? Right.

I had a lot of fun with Only Mostly Devastated! It’s the perfect summer contemporary, and a really well written debut, so definitely get your hands on it if you can.

I did think that the main character, Ollie, was a bit whiney at the beginning, but to be fair he’s a teenage boy, and as someone with three younger brothers I can confirm that this is accurate.

I got very invested in the ship, which is something that rarely happens to me with YA romance so that was an added bonus! Ollie’s relationship with Will was emotional and sweet, and they were a much better couple than Danny and Sandy. I got a bit weepy over some of their interactions because they were just so sweet.

The Grease parallels were a lot of fun, which is something I think we can all appreciate!

There was also a lot of bi rep in this book, which I wasn’t strictly expecting going into it. I enjoyed that part a lot, although I do with that one of the bi characters hadn’t been portrayed as overly sxual, as that seems to happen a lot. That’s not really a complaint, but just a personal preference!

Book Review: Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

Book Review: Tweet Cute by Emma LordTweet Cute by Emma Lord
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 21st January 2020
Publisher: Macmillan
Source: Borrowed
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming ― mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.

Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.

All’s fair in love and cheese ― that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life ― on an anonymous chat app Jack built.

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate ― people on the internet are shipping them?? ― their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.
 

Tweet Cute was just as adorable as I thought it would be. It was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and I was loving how much hype it was getting as a debut, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it once it was released. It met my expectations perfectly, and I’m so glad that I nabbed it as soon as it came out.

I went into this ready for a sweet YA romance, and that’s exactly what I got. I really have to be in the right frame of mind for romance in YA because sometimes it gets a bit silly and the author doesn’t manage to pull it off, but the hate-to-love romance in this and the secret Twitter war was well crafted and I ended up really liking the main pairing.

I can’t not mention the food descriptions because OH MY GOD it was beautiful. Not only do the characters go on and on about grilled cheese, Pepper is a baker and makes the most beautiful sounding concoctions. Please bear in mind that I read this during No Sugar January, so I was pretty much DYING while I was reading this because I wanted ALL OF THE FOOD. I’m thinking about doing a vlog in which I talk about the book and also bake a few of the things mentioned because that’s how much I loved the food in this.

Like I said, Tweet Cute met all of my expectations and I’d highly recommend it to you if you’re looking for a fluffy romance based around a viral Twitter war. I think people on Book Twitter will find it quite relatable. Overall, a solid debut!

Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez

Today I’m taking part in the blog tour of Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez! It’s a very solid fantasy debut inspired by Bolivian politics and mythology.

Woven in Moonlight by Isabel IbañezWoven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 7th January 2020
Publisher: Macmillan
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Ximena is the decoy Condesa, a stand-in for the last remaining Illustrian royal. Her people lost everything when the usurper, Atoc, used an ancient relic to summon ghosts and drive the Illustrians from La Ciudad. Now Ximena’s motivated by her insatiable thirst for revenge, and her rare ability to spin thread from moonlight.

When Atoc demands the real Condesa’s hand in marriage, it’s Ximena’s duty to go in her stead. She relishes the chance, as Illustrian spies have reported that Atoc’s no longer carrying his deadly relic. If Ximena can find it, she can return the true aristócrata to their rightful place.

She hunts for the relic, using her weaving ability to hide messages in tapestries for the resistance. But when a masked vigilante, a warm-hearted princess, and a thoughtful healer challenge Ximena, her mission becomes more complicated. There could be a way to overthrow the usurper without starting another war, but only if Ximena turns her back on revenge—and her Condesa.

Woven in Moonlight was a really good read! It took no time at all to get into, and I found myself reading it very quickly as I was completely enamored by the world building. The author has done a fantastic job building this world that is inspired by Bolivian myths and politics, and because she was clearly quite invested in her craft, I was as well.

I think the world building was the strongest point of the book, as the main plot of Ximena being a decoy was a bit of a let down. Ximena’s character or personality may have had something to do with this, as she was far too open about everything she was talking about. Because she kept talking about herself and her background, and because she was so impulsive, the whole decoy plot point fell apart, as it didn’t really make much sense.

I wasn’t too keen on the romance, but this is YA so what can you do? I often feel very meh about YA romances nowadays, so to be honest I wasn’t expecting much.

Overall, Woven in Moonlight is a solid debut, and if you’re into YA fantasy then I would recommend picking it up!

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl by Rainbow RowellFangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: January 30, 2014
Publisher: Macmillan
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they're off to university and Wren's decided she doesn't want to be one half of a pair any more - she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It's not so easy for Cath. She's horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she's experienced in real life. Without Wren Cath is completely on her own and totally outside her comfort zone. She's got a surly room-mate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words ...And she can't stop worrying about her dad, who's loving and fragile and has never really been alone. Now Cath has to decide whether she's ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she's realizing that there's more to learn about love than she ever thought possible ...

After reading Eleanor & Park last year (thank you, Judith), I knew that I would have to check out some of Rowell’s other work. While Eleanor & Park wasn’t a favourite read of mine, I did think that Rowell was very talented and some parts of the story struck a chord with me. So when I was offered Fangirl by the publisher, I was happy to accept.