Black Love . . be it between family, friends or strangers is a beautiful thing. Kristina Forest’s latest book Now That I’ve Found You is a reminder that love comes in all forms, can be renewed and embraced at the hardest of times.
Now That I’ve Found You is about 18 year old Evie Jones , the blow she took on her career, the journey she takes to get it back and a boy who is there along the way. This story is about love renewed but not only between people (family, friends and stranger) but for a craft/career.
There were three books that (are currently available for purchase or rent)I instantly thought of once I finished reading this one. Three books that display love on different levels between family, friends and strangers.
Disney-Hyperion TBP July 7th 2020 304 Pages
These books compliment Now That I’ve Found You extremely well and I highly recommend as your next read. As I mentioned, the three books shown above are currently released and are available to read. HOWEVER, there are two other reads that appear to be just as a good compliment to Now That I’ve Found You .
Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera CR: Bloomsbury
It is important to understand that Black love is not just a complicated relationship due to the systematic racism that Black people face. Black Love is joy despite that constant heartache and Now That I’ve Found You as well as all of these books displays that.
Now That I’ve Found You releases on August 25th at major and independent bookstores as well as any store that sells ebooks. You can also request it at your local library (if they don’t have it tell them to get it)
Dastardly deeds aren’t exactly the first things that come to mind when one hears the name “Clementine,” but as the sole heir of the infamous Dark Lord Elithor, twelve-year-old Clementine Morcerous has been groomed since birth to be the best (worst?) Evil Overlord she can be. But everything changes the day the Dark Lord Elithor is cursed by a mysterious rival.
Now, Clementine must not only search for a way to break the curse, but also take on the full responsibilities of the Dark Lord. As Clementine forms her first friendships, discovers more about her own magic than she ever dared to explore, and is called upon to break her father’s code of good and evil, she starts to question the very life she’s been fighting for. What if the Dark Lord Clementine doesn’t want to be dark after all? – Goodreads
This book cleared up my reader’s block in the most adorable coming of age way possible.
I love it when books focus on children wanting to go their own paths and/or seeing that there is a different path to take. The literal wonder in their eyes, speech and movements just builds an excitement like no other.
When you first begin the book, you know that Clementine wants something more. Shoot, I was genuinely surprised that by chapter three, there wasn’t a mention of a mother. The book is literally dripping in Clementine wanting more than the life she already has and that kept me interested throughout the entire read.
Clementine herself is an interesting character to read because she is trying so hard to follow what is “right” in her world but at the same time she is constantly conflicted if she is strong enough to do what is “right”. I loved her drive and her curiosity to explore and at the end of the day the love she has for her father.
The pace of the novel was a bit slow but I am okay with that because it is a lot of build up. The author gets you emotionally invested. Also this book is told in different point of views. Transitions are not in the middle of the page like other novels and it fits. Having the different points of views really works in this novel.
Overall, I was not expecting the emotional aspect to this fantasy read and if you are not paying attention you might miss it.
Beloved author of, The Girl in the Well is Me, Karen Rivers is set to release a new book for middle school readers called Naked Mole Rat Saves the World on October 15th (2019).
Kit-with-a-small-k is navigating middle school with a really big, really strange secret: When she’s stressed, she turns into a naked mole rat.
It first happened after kit watched her best friend, Clem, fall and get hurt during an acrobatic performance on TV. Since then, the transformations keep happening—whether kit wants them to or not. Kit can’t tell Clem about it, because after the fall, Clem just hasn’t been herself. She’s sad and mad and gloomy, and keeping a secret of her own: the real reason she fell.
A year after the accident, kit and Clem still haven’t figured out how to deal with all the ways they have transformed—both inside and out. When their secrets come between them, the best friends get into a big fight. Somehow, kit has to save the day, but she doesn’t believe she can be that kind of hero. Turning into a naked mole rat isn’t really a superpower. Or is it? – Goodreads
My Thoughts: A coming of age story that is deeper than an accident but provides a twist, to keep readers on their toes. Naked Mole Rat Saves the World, gives readers two viewpoints through children’s eyes of an event that changes not only their lives but the lives surrounding them.
An interesting read that will make you think and you should check out the excerpt below and let me know what you think ^_^
In the Blue, the world’s last city, all is not well.
Julia is stuck within its walls. She serves the nobility from a distance until she meets Lucas, a boy who believes in fairytales that Julia’s world can’t accommodate. The Blue is her prison, not her castle, and she’d escape into the trees if she didn’t know that contamination and death awaited humanity outside.
But not everyone in the Blue is human, and not everyone can be contained.
Beyond the city’s boundaries, in the wild forests of the Red, Cameron has precious little humanity left to lose. As he searches for a lost queen, he finds an enemy rising that he thought long dead. An enemy that the humans have forgotten how to fight.
One way or another, the walls of the Blue are coming down. The only question is what side you’ll be on when they do. – Goodreads
This is not your typical vampire story and I am here for it. I am just going to jump in and say it that although Julia’s and Cameron’s story are connected (they told separately but trust me its completely fine and works fantastically), I found myself more engaged with Julia’s side than Cameron’s. Normally, I would figure it was due to me be able to empathize with her because she is a human that was dealt with a trash card but I actually liked her beyond that. She had a grit to herself that didn’t completely define her. She was able to still open herself to experiences outside of what she has always known or thought of and it made her an easier and enjoyable character to read.
Cameron was a bit. . . not annoying but a “alright, I get it. You have a chip on your shoulder, you’re trying to find the girl and life sucks.” His emotions became a bit redundant because it was constantly being repeated “I won’t come back until I find her.”
However despite this, I fully enjoyed reading both point of views because they provided, very clearly, details about what was going on each side. Although one side was human and the other vampire, as a reader you are able to sympathize with both of them and understand why things are happening in the way that they are.
The pace of the novel was really good. It was easy to get sucked into the world because you know it is full blown mess with hope of redemption once you meet Julia. The setting was clear and detailed without dragging on. Although I wish more for some more history and intensity, a reader couldn’t go wrong picking up this book.
YAY! Today is my stop on this massive and amazing The Write Reads Book Tour!!
Keith Nolan falls in love with a remarkable young woman from the past, talking to him on a home video she recorded in 1989.
To keep their conversation going, he must find more of her tapes—while forces work against them both, and time is running out.- Goodreads
The first thing that came to mind, once I finished reading this book, was how beautiful it was. From beginning to end, I had a overwhelming feeling of nostalgia and that was because this story reminded me of one of my favorite movies called the Lake House with Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves.
Side Note: I love me some Keanu Reeves and will watch/support almost anything he does.
But this nostalgia had me on the edge of my seat. It was a form of rush because the story is dripping in romance and the race against time.
A Different Time is a simple story. I loved every bit of it. Keith is 22 when he finds the video and at and first I was like hmm this isn’t genuine at all and he is just smitten and wants some excitement in his life. But as the story continues I change my tune. His heart is coming from a good place and as a reader you feel that, so if you pick up this book give it a chance.
The pace of the novel is a bit slow, so if you looking for face action race against the clock speed style (see what I did there) this isn’t exactly it. This book hits you on an emotional level about true love, destiny and what you are willing to do for it.
What stood out to me, although a simple story, was the twist and the ending. It was not something I saw coming nor was expecting but it was a slow build getting there. I would recommend this book. Its light, refreshing and romantic.
In a realm where one’s magical power determines one’s worth, Lady Everleigh’s lack of obvious ability relegates her to the shadows of the royal court of Bellona, a kingdom steeped in gladiator tradition. Seventeenth in line for the throne, Evie is nothing more than a ceremonial fixture, overlooked and mostly forgotten.
But dark forces are at work inside the palace. When her cousin Vasilia, the crown princess, assassinates her mother the queen and takes the throne by force, Evie is also attacked, along with the rest of the royal family. Luckily for Evie, her secret immunity to magic helps her escape the massacre.
Forced into hiding to survive, she falls in with a gladiator troupe. Though they use their talents to entertain and amuse the masses, the gladiators are actually highly trained warriors skilled in the art of war, especially Lucas Sullivan, a powerful magier with secrets of his own. Uncertain of her future—or if she even has one—Evie begins training with the troupe until she can decide her next move.
But as the bloodthirsty Vasilia exerts her power, pushing Bellona to the brink of war, Evie’s fate becomes clear: she must become a fearsome gladiator herself . . . and kill the queen.- Goodreads
Jumping right into this, I didn’t think I would like this book. For the first 4 chapters, I wasn’t into it. I was having a hard time figuring out how gladiator connected with Evie’s story. But not too long after I mentally said, this isn’t going to work, everything started to work.
Such a great read. What pleased me the most about this book was Evie is a grown woman. 28 years old and not some 17 year old girl trying to get by and have a better life. I loved the fact that this was centered around an adult. But most importantly, I loved Evie.
She was such a likable character; sassy, strong, knowledgeable and not whinny. She did what she had to do to not only to survive but to help those as she can. She was honest with herself and with those, as need be.
Man, she was great and I rooted for her throughout the entire book.
Let’s talk about the gladiator aspect of this book. The author made this an important part of the book but it wasn’t exactly the center. What I mean by this is Evie didn’t jump in being a fighter, therefore, it wasn’t always about blood, swords and fight. This was more of a behind the scenes with fighting that transitions into something more. It was well done and the fighting scenes came you exactly what you want and expect when you think of gladiator. The only thing missing was someone shouting “ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!”
Another high point of this book was the romance and the lack thereof. It was great to not have to see two people trying to save the world but also trying to fall in love. Evie knows what she wants; especially after being denied so many things after so many years. However, with this been said, I do suspect that the author will add romance within the next novel. It would honestly make sense after some things not happen.
Once I got through my reading hump in the beginning of the book, I couldn’t put it down and didn’t. I was kept at the edge of my seat as Evie kept growing and kicking butt. Were there twists and turns? After the explosion, not really but that is perfectly okay because you don’t leave this book wanting any other than the second book. I was sucked into this story; between the surrounding characters, the fighting and just genuinely good writing I throughly enjoyed myself.
As much as I love history, this is one of this rare cases, I am glad the author did not spend a lot of time dipping into the past.
After spending her life in foster care, Ava has finally found home. But all it takes is a chance encounter with hot nerd Wyatt Wilcox for it to unravel.
Now, things are starting to change. First, the flashes of memories slowly creeping in. Memories of other lives, lives that Wyatt is somehow in. Then, the healing. Any cut? Gone.
But when Cade and Nick show up, claiming to be her brothers, things get even weirder. They tell her she’s a Phoenix, sent to protect the world from monsters—monsters she never knew existed. It’s a little hard to accept. Especially when they tell her she has to end the life of a Phoenix turned rogue, or Cade will die.
With Wyatt’s increasingly suspicious behavior, Ava’s determined to figure out what he’s hiding. Unless she can discover Wyatt’s secret in time and complete her Phoenix training, she’ll lose the life, love, and family she never thought she could have.-Goodreads
Jumping right into this, I had an issue with Ava. For someone who has spent most of her life in foster care, she is a brat and that is the first impression you get from her. She claims to love her new family so much, that she throws a tantrum and throws it in their face that she is not blood. Its horrible really and for the rest of the book, it left a bad taste in my mouth and I generally did not like or care for her throughout the book. Ava proved to be a very judgmental and stereotypical character. But I kept going through the book. What was the saving grace was the fact that the story is told through different point of views.
But although the idea of the story drew me in, what kept me from fully enjoying the book was how narrow the storyline really was and how there wasn’t enough depth in characters. I wasn’t invested in them and that made me feel some type of way. The romance, cute but not enough for me to ship for them. I liked the build of the story but wished for more mythology. I felt that the author took too much time on little things as opposed giving the characters a deeper history and stronger voice. As for setting the author get points because I saw everything and felt that you know what maybe this could be a thing.
The pace of the novel wasn’t too bad. The author jumps right into the story and I appreciate that. It does stall and plot weakens after a few chapters. The book is just too long and not enough drive to want to finish it.
However, overall I was disappointed in this read because it didn’t provide enough history/mythology, the intensity wasn’t really there, the characters lack substance and the romance wasn’t exactly romantic. Do I think this was a decent start to a series? Kind of. There is a lot of promise and as I see a bunch of conflict in Ava and surround characters’ lives, if the author throws in more past trauma, more once a upon a time this happened, and more chemistry, this will be a great series to look after. I wanted to like this book but it was drawn out without enough passion.
In a realm where toxic mist sweeps the lands and magic is forbidden, all Bleak wants is a cure for her power.
Still grieving the death of her guardian and dangerously self-medicating with alcohol, Bleak is snatched from her home by the Commander of the King’s Army, and summoned to the capital.
But the king isn’t the only one interested in Bleak’s powers.
The leader of an infamous society of warriors, the Valia Kindred, lays claim to her as well, and Bleak finds herself in the middle of a much bigger battle than she anticipated.- Goodreads
What made me want to read this book is Bleak and how she cannot control her grief and uses alcohol as means to forget her problems. You don’t see that often in books where the protagonist is female. So for me, I was like alright, let’s shake things up a bit. I enjoyed how realistic she was. She was emotional yes, but not so much where I my eyes hurt from rolling them so much.
I wasn’t expecting a whole lot from this book as the story has been told before. But the author was able to bring something new and she did that through her characters. They were good. Like, I was excited to read them good. As the book is told in different point of views, you can get a feel of who is who and I enjoyed that.
I also liked the fact that this book didn’t use romance as a clutch and allowed the plot to get you sucked in and not a juicy romance. It was like a breathe of fresh air. The author really took her time with this book and created a world that you get sucked into and although at times there did seem to be either a stretch or too much going on, you’re wanting more and more as you keep going.
This is definitely a read you should do. Its like the author read enough YA books and was like nope I don’t want to read this anymore and wrote what she wanted to read.
As this is a book tour, check out what is happening for the remainder of the tour:
#MistPH Twitter chat (9:00 AM Philippines / 9:00 PM EST) on October 27th
I would like to first off begin saying that this author knows how to write a story. This is not to say other authors I read don’t but Ms. Farah turned a simple story into a beautifully crafted series.
What makes your style of writing different from other YA fantasy writers?
At first glance, this story can be seen as a traditional YA fantasy story, and I have had people wondering if it is a basic Cinderella, Harry Potter type story that is so commonly seen; the evil queen, magical schools, the lost orphan who turns out to be a princess. But what makes The Avalonia Chronicles truly unique is the character of Aurora Firedrake.
All literature is an amalgamation of past stories and although there are parallels between Aurora and other protagonists throughout literature, that is where the similarities end.
These stories may appeal to the same audience, but I think readers will find an exciting new adventure with Aurora.
Where did Aurora come from? What inspired you to write her?
I started thinking about this story nearly ten years ago. Building the world of Avalonia, whenever I got time. The actual world creation started with a tapestry in my grandmother’s house. One day I stood before it and wondered, what if I could step into the tapestry, where would I end up?
And so the world of Avalonia sprang into existence.
From then on, the person who stepped into the tapestry was a young 16-year-old girl who didn’t know who she really was, her name was Aurora, and this is her story.
I wanted my main character to be one whom young teenage girls could relate to. But at the same time I wanted her to be strong-willed, capable and someone whom they could look up to as well. Aurora is 16 years old; she’s an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. But when she is thrust into a magical world unprepared, that’s when her character starts her journey of discovery. It is not only a journey of learning about the world of Avalonia and its many societies, cultures, and magic. It is also an inner journey for Aurora, a journey of life.
In essence this is a coming of age story, and revolves around a time in Aurora’s life when she has to learn to grow up and face life’s responsibilities on her own. She’s very naive in at first and she is brave and curious too, not always the best combination. She ends up making mistakes and gets into trouble just like a regular teenager would. It is only in book 2, The Rise of the Dawnstar, that we get to see the change in her character. It is a gradual process, and takes time but she will eventually adapt to her situation and grow up in the process, becoming the warrior queen she was always destined to be.
How do you feel about love triangles in fantasy novels? Are they a necessity to keep a book going or do you consider them spice to the main story?
That’s a good question. I don’t particularly like reading about love triangles, but I do think that sometimes they can be vital to the plot of the story and cannot be avoided.
Book 1, The Last of the Firedrakes, didn’t have a love triangle, and I did try and avoid it altogether, but not for long…
Book 2, The Rise of the Dawnstar, does have one.
Will you always write fantasy or are you interesting in trying other genres?
My main love has always been fantasy, in all it’s variations. So I might try my hand at contemporary, steampunk, fairytale retellings, dystopias etc. But every story I write will always have some element of magic.
Finally, any spin offs in the Avalonia Chronicles? Will Aurora have a happy ending? :)
I think spinoffs are definitely possible. Aurora’s story is vast and complicated. I think she will be around for a while. :)
Making and breaking your favorite reads since 2017