3 Day Blog Blitz: Holding Out for a Hero by T.E. Kessler @TE_Kessler @zooloo2008 #HoldingOutForAHero #JelviaNotHuman #ZooloosBookTours

About the Book:

Who says your boyfriend has to be human?

Macy’s life changed forever when, as a child, her mother was murdered. The killers were never found, and Macy grew up looking for injustices and making them right.
She became a journalist, interviewing celebrities but lately found stardom shallow and pretentious.

There was just no putting right a teen-idol rockstar.

Things changed when her best friend was attacked but rescued by an unlikely hero.
The hero was a Jelvia.

Humans lived in fear of the Jelvia.

The Jelvia killed humans for fun.

Macy just saw a hero that she’d been looking for all her life.

About the Author:

If T.E Kessler were Daenerys Targaryen (Game of Thrones), the introduction would read something liAke this:

T. E Kessler the first of the Midlands in Great Britain, Queen of sci-fi romance, Mother of the Jelvia: Not Human series, Writer of books, Ruler of the TV, the Unburnt in the kitchen and the Breaker of promises (when it comes to diets).

On a serious note, Kessler enjoys writing sci-fi because of the blank canvas it presents to her. While she can invent science, worlds, aliens and creatures, she also injects strong emotion into the core of her books. She likes to explore human failures and victories in modern-day society and mix them with sci-fi themes, so expect to find human tragedies while turning the pages.
Her books contain mature themes.

Series so far…
HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO book 1
SURVIVING HER DOMINANT book 2
SPIDER book 3
…with another three books to conclude the Jelvia: Not Human series. Each book has its own story with satisfying endings.

Contact T.E. Kessler:

Follow her at:Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kessler69
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18902601.T_E_Kessler
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/t-e-kessler
TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@t_kessler
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TE_Kessler
Website : https://louisewis3.com/

Where to Buy:


Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07RJSP169/
Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RJSP169/

Excerpt:

Macy Shaw, a journalist, has become obsessed with Jelvias, a species living alongside the human. Taking advantage of her obsession, her boss calls on her to interview Narcifer, a Jelvian man, over the whereabouts of the Jelvian leader, Aldarn. Ultimately, Macy falls for Narcifer until it becomes clear to her that she’s a pawn between her world and the world of the Jelvias.

Someone was watching her movements. The sensation had been with her all the while she had been talking to the man with the dog. She’d tried to ignore it earlier, but now the feeling had strengthened.
She looked toward the police and the forensic team. They hadn’t noticed her—or were ignoring her. The body was brought out in a body bag and loaded into the back of a waiting van.
She opened her car door as invisible eyes scorched her back. She turned and looked; there was no one. She was paranoid. Then something caught her eye on the roof of the shop nearby.
She stared at the unmoving, crouching shadow on the roof and felt it stare back at her. The dawn light caught its reflective eyes, and the gaze pierced right through her. The Jelvia rose until he was standing. The wind tugged at his coat, making him appear even more outlandish.
He turned superhumanly fast and jumped from the shop’s roof to land on the top of the next building. He made no sound. And then he was gone from sight. Macy was freaked out. It was dark, her friend had been attacked, and someone had died. She scrambled inside her car. She closed the door and dug in her pocket for the keys, but her car shuddered, and Macy’s head snapped up in alarm. The Jelvia stood in front of her car, hands on the bonnet as if to prevent it from moving. He leaned in to peer through the windscreen.
Macy began another frantic search of her pockets for the car keys as he took one hand off the bonnet and beckoned her out of her car.
Macy shook her head.
The Jelvia cocked his head at her as if regarding her. The black eyes appeared to be empty black orbs in the Jelvia’s skull.
He dangled her car keys in front of her.
Macy stared into eyes that were nothing but complete darkness and felt a shiver trickle down her spine. She’d never been this close to a Jelvia before and could finally appreciate the words of those who encountered them: It wasn’t only their eyes that were black. Their whole being was as well.
As she looked into those eyes, it really did feel as if his soul was enveloped in darkness. She waited for the feeling of intense terror that people were said to experience, but none came. Logic told her his venom could pierce through the windscreen and kill her where she sat, and she should be scared, yet scared wasn’t an adjective she could use.
She felt… electrified.

Competing with the Star (Star #2) by Krysten Lindsey Hager @KrystenLindsay @rararesources #ya #love #romance

About the Book:


The perfect guy, the perfect location. What could go wrong?
Hadley Daniels’s life seems perfect. Before the beginning of sophomore year of high school, Hadley and her family move to a beautiful beach town, where she makes amazing new friends and lands the boyfriend of her dreams. She and Nick form a deep bond, but insecurity sets in when Hadley discovers her boyfriend once had a huge crush on her friend—who just happens to be the beautiful teen TV star, Simone Hendrickson. Nick claims to be over Simone, but then Hadley is blindsided with the news that Nick and Simone kissed after school. Now Hadley must determine who is telling the truth.
Love, betrayal, friendship…who needs TV drama when you’re busy competing with a star?


Where to Buy:


US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08W7M7FGW
UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08W7M7FGW


About the Author:

Krysten Lindsay Hager writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. Her work includes YA contemporary, middle grade fiction, and adult and young adult rom-coms. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, Next Door to a Star, Landry in Like, and Competing with the Star, Dating the It Guy, Can Dreams Come True, and In Over Her Head: Lights, Camera, Anxiety.
Krysten’s work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times, Springfield News-Sun, Grand Blanc View, Dayton Daily News and on the talk show Living Dayton. She received her BA in English and master’s degree in liberal studies from the University of Michigan-Flint.

Contact Krysten:


Website: http://www.krystenlindsay.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/krystenlindsay/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KrystenLindsayHagerAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KrystenLindsay
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/krystenlindsay/

My Review:

When Hadley moves to Grand Haven, she is not sure what to think, After all, she has to change everything about her life: home, school, friends….

One of her good friends cut contact with her little by little when she moved and so that has left her scarred. The girls at school go round in a group and son’t seem to want to have Hadley around. The fight is on….but who will win Nick’s heart?

Hadley is quite strong-willed and she does the best she can with what she has.

When she meets Nick, she can’t believe he’d be interested in her and is sure he is interested in someone else. Simone is a former TV star and part of the group of girls who make her school life not great.

When Nick talks to her and only her one day, something unique happens in Hadley’s life. She is loved by someone other than her parents.

Competing with the Star is the first novel by Krysten Lindsay Hager I have had the pleasure of reviewing. I absolutely loved it as it stirred up my own experiences of falling in love.

I identified with Hadley since I was bullied at school and pushed out of groups and my response was to try and relate to people as best I could in my quest to be included. I wasn’t lucky enough to find love as a teen but I always believed I was capable of loving and of being loved.

Both Hadley and Nick were such real characters and Nick’s grandfather’s journey with Lewy body dementia was eye-opening and humbling, told in a respectful and sensitive way. I had heard of this condition before as found it mentioned in the synopsis of another book and immediately got online to find out more.

I always congratulate authors who raise awareness of a medical condition in their novels as I find it’s something that rarely happens, even today. I immediately identify with the character with a medical condition since I live with various disabilities and naturally find empathy easy.

Competing with the Star is far from a slushy romance. It is real, gritty heartwarming sweet and heartbreaking. I was cheering Nick and Hadley on and wanted to start the book again after finishing it.

The ice cream parlor was somewhere I wanted to go and the town was interesting.

I am a fan of realistic romances and this reminded me of All the Bright Places which I am also currently listening to, because of the excellent depiction of sudden bonds formed in unexpected ways and places.

I think I have found a new favourite author and I cannot wait to review more books by Krysten Lindsay Hager.

Thanks to Krysten Lindsay Hager, Rachel’s Random Resources for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

5 well-deserved stars.

Excerpt:

In this scene, Hadley is on a group date with Nick and his popular friends. She’s insecure being around teen TV star, Simone, and Nick’s ex, Reagan. Hadley feels like she and Nick have a great, comfortable relationship. She’s happy, but then everything seems off kilter when Simone keeps insinuating that Nick is going to get bored with Hadley and want something more exciting. I wrote this scene because I had some readers mention they felt caught between wanting the safe, stable relationship and the exciting one that often lacked a true connection.
“Are there any rides you like?” Nick asked me.
“I’m kind of a scaredycat about anything with heights and speed,” I said.
“I’m not into speed or anything that spins too much.”
“I can do spin-y, it’s the rest I don’t care for,” I said.
Reagan smirked. “I guess you guys aren’t ride compatible, huh? One likes fast, one likes slow.”
Nick turned to me. “How about the merry-go- round? Everyone likes that, right?”
I agreed and we all headed over. We were about to go through the gate when Morgan handed her purse off to Pilar.
“Will you hold my bag while I ride?” she asked her.
Reagan passed off her purse as well and soon the rest of the group was through the gate while Pilar stood there like acoat rack. She snapped her gum and looked annoyed, but then I saw Lucas wink at her. She just stared back at him.
I got on a horse that was between Asia and Nick. He looked over and smiled at me. It felt like the perfect moment until Simone turned around on her horse and said, “Hey, Hadley, look into the future,” and nodded at an old couple sitting on one of the merry-go-round benches.
Nick glanced at me, confused. “What is she talking about?”
“Nothing. We were just talking about older married people one day. That’s all.”
“Oh. Well, they look like they’re having fun,” he said.
Simone shot me a knowing look and turned back around.
“What’s with her?” Nick asked, leaning over to me.
I shrugged.
“Are you having fun? You got kind of quiet all of a sudden. Everything okay?” He reached out and touched my hand.
The music started and we started to move. “Yeah, I’m having a good time.”
“You sure?” he asked.
I was with the perfect guy—someone sweet and thoughtful who cared if I was having fun. How could I not have a good time? But I just kept wondering if Simone was right and I was just his safe option until he got bored with me and wanted one of those girls who made your heart pound just by walking by.
“Yeah, and I love the red panda you won me. It’s the cutest thing ever,” I said.
“Nah, not as cute as you,” he said, winking.
My face got warm. How could Simone not see how amazing our relationship was? He was perfect. But I guess I might be bored too if I was used to Hollywood parties and celebrity guys. That’s probably all that was—she was putting herself in my shoes and thinking how boring we were as a couple compared to what she was used to.

Harlequin Trade Publishing Blog Tour: Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers

HONEY GIRL
Author: Morgan Rogers
ISBN: 9780778311027

About the Book:


HONEY GIRL (Park Row Books; publication date February 23, 2021; $17.99) by Morgan Rogers is a stunning #ownvoices debut, a charming, lyrical, and introspective romantic coming-of-age story about Grace Porter – millennial, Black woman, astronomy Ph.D. – who wakes up after a wild night in Vegas married to a woman she doesn’t know.
Strait-laced and structured all her life, Porter now faces life without a plan for the first time ever. Between her disappointed military father, the competitive job market, and a consuming sense of aimlessness, finding and falling in love with her wife across the country seems to be the only right answer. But Porter’s problems are just as big in Brooklyn as they are anywhere else, and she realizes she’s going to have to face adulthood whether she’s ready or not.

Where to Buy:


Harlequin
Barnes & Noble
Amazon
Books-A-Million
Powell’s

Social Links:


Author Website
Twitter: @garnetmorgue
Instagram: @garnetmorgue
Goodreads

About the Author:


Morgan Rogers is a queer black millennial. She writes books for queer girls that are looking for their place in the world. She lives in Maryland and has a Shih Tzu named Nico and a cat named Grace that she would love to write into a story one day. HONEY GIRL is her debut novel.

Excerpt:

One

Grace wakes up slow like molasses. The only difference is molasses is sweet, and this—the dry mouth and the pounding headache—is sour. She wakes up to the blinding desert sun, to heat that infiltrates the windows and warms her brown skin, even in late March.
Her alarm buzzes as the champagne-bubble dream pops.
Grace wakes in Las Vegas instead of her apartment in Portland, and she groans.
She’s still in last night’s clothes, ripped high-waisted jeans and a cropped, white BRIDE t-shirt she didn’t pack. The bed is warm, which isn’t surprising. But as Grace moves, shifts and tries to remember how to work her limbs, she notices it’s a different kind of warm. The bed, the covers, the smooth cotton pillowcase beside her, is body-warm. Sleep-warm.
The hotel bed smells like sea-salt and spell herbs. The kind people cut up and put in tea, in bottles, soaking into oil and sealed with a little chant. It smells like kitchen magic.
She finds the will to roll over into the warm patch. Her memories begin to trickle in from the night before like a movie in rewind. There were bright lights and too-sweet drinks and one club after another. There was a girl with rose-pink cheeks and pitch-black hair and, yes, sea-salt and sage behind her ears and over the soft, veiny parts of her wrists. Her name clings to the tip of Grace’s tongue but does not pull free.
The movie in Grace’s head fast-forwards. The girl’s hand stayed clutched in hers for the rest of the night. Her mouth was pretty pink. She clung to Grace’s elbow and whispered, “Stay with me,” when Agnes and Ximena decided to go back to the hotel.
Stay with me, she said, and Grace did. Follow me, she said, like Grace was used to doing. Follow your alarm. Follow your schedule. Follow your rubric. Follow your graduation plan. Follow a salt and sage girl through a city of lights and find yourself at the steps of a church.
Maybe it wasn’t a church. It didn’t seem like one. A place with fake flowers and red carpet and a man in a white suit. A fake priest. Two girls giggled through champagne bubbles and said yes. Grace covers her eyes and sees it play out.
“Jesus,” she mutters, sitting up suddenly and clutching the sheets to keep herself steady.
She gets up, knees wobbling. “Get it together, Grace Porter.” Her throat is dry and her tongue sticks to the roof of her mouth. “You are hungover. Whatever you think happened, didn’t happen.” She looks down at her t-shirt and lets out a shaky screech into her palms. “It couldn’t have happened, because you are smart, and organized, and careful. None of those things would lead to a wedding. A wedding!”
“Didn’t happen,” she murmurs, trying to make up the bed. It’s a fruitless task, but making up the bed makes sense, and everything else doesn’t. She pulls at the sheets, and three things float to the floor like feathers.
A piece of hotel-branded memo paper. A business card. A photograph.
Grace picks up the glossy photograph first. It is perfectly rectangular, like someone took the time to cut it carefully with scissors.
In it, the plastic church from her blurry memories. The church with its wine-colored carpet and fake flowers. There is no Elvis at this wedding, but there is a man, a fake priest, with slicked back hair and rhinestones around his eyes.
In it, Grace is tall and brown and narrow, and her gold, spiraling curls hang past her shoulders. She is smiling bright. It makes her face hurt now, to know she can smile like that, can be that happy surrounded by things she cannot remember.
Across from her, their hands intertwined, is the girl. In the picture, her cheeks are just as rose-pink. Her hair is just as pitch-black as an empty night sky. She is smiling, much like Grace is smiling. On her left hand, a black ring encircles her finger, the one meant for ceremonies like this.
Grace, hungover and wary of this new reality, lifts her own left hand. There, on the same finger, a gold ring. This part evaded her memories, forever lost in sticky-sweet alcohol. But there is it, a ring. A permanent and binding and claiming ring.
“What the hell did you do, Porter?” she says, tracing it around her finger.
She picks up the business card, smaller and somehow more intimate, next. It smells like the right side of the bed. Sea salt. Sage. Crushed herbs. Star anise. It is a good smell.
On the front, a simple title:
ARE YOU THERE?
brooklyn’s late night show for lonely creatures
& the supernatural. Sometimes both.
99.7 FM
She picks up the hotel stationery. The cramped writing is barely legible, like it was written in a hurry.

I know who I am, but who are you? I woke up during the sunrise, and your hair and your skin and the freckles on your nose glowed like gold. Honey-gold. I think you are my wife, and I will call you Honey Girl. Consider this a calling card, if you ever need a—I don’t know how these things work. A friend? A—
Wife, it says, but crossed out.
A partner. Or. I don’t know. I have to go. But I think I had fun, and I think I was happy. I don’t think I would get married if I wasn’t. I hope you were, too.
What is it they say? What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas? Well, I can’t stay.
Maybe one day you’ll come find me, Honey Girl. Until then, you can follow the sound of my voice. Are you listening?

Excerpted from Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers, Copyright © 2021 by Morgan Rogers
Published by Park Row Books

How to Build  a Heart by Maria Padian

About the Book:

All sixteen-year-old Izzy Crawford wants is to feel like she really belongs somewhere. Her father, a marine, died in Iraq six years ago, and Izzy’s moved to a new town nearly every year since, far from the help of her extended family in North Carolina and Puerto Rico. When Izzy’s hardworking mom moves their small family to Virginia, all her dreams start clicking into place. She likes her new school—even if Izzy is careful to keep her scholarship-student status hidden from her well-to-do classmates and her new athletic and popular boyfriend. And best of all: Izzy’s family has been selected by Habitat for Humanity to build and move into a brand-new house. Izzy is this close to the community and permanence she’s been searching for, until all the secret pieces of her life begin to collide.

How to Build a Heart is the story of Izzy’s journey to find her place in the world and her discovery that the choices we make and the people we love ultimately define us and bring us home.

Praise for Maria Padian’s How to Build a Heart

MOST ANTICIPATED / BEST OF LISTS:

Children’s Book Council: “Hot Off the Press: February 2020”

Latinos in Publishing: “January 2020 Latinx Releases”

Kirkus Reviews: “11 Early Books We Love”

Kirkus Reviews: “16 Books We Can’t Wait For in 2020”

“A Pretty In Pink story about grief, family, class, and first love.”

Bustle

“This is not a polemic about racism but an exploration of what identity means… The force of Padian’s storytelling, the pain of watching Izzy’s worlds collide, moved me to tears more than once.”

Portland Press Herald

“Padian creates a world that the reader can easily dive into. Anyone who’s ever been a self-conscious teen will see themselves in Izzy.”

Book Riot

“A balance of vivid description and witty, discerning storytelling [gives] a refreshing zeal to Izzy’s first-person narrative… Padian’s How to Build a Heart encourages us to embrace our authentic selves by letting go, not only of secrets, but of the desire to hide parts of ourselves in hopes that others will accept us.”

Cleaver Magazine

“A sensitively rendered story, but also a fun read, brisk and engaging… Padian’s book demonstrates the importance of home as a source of support and identity for teens.”

BookPage

“Complex, heartrending, and beautifully explored, How to Build a Heart is a deeply poignant read that is not only deep enough to move you, but wonderfully engaging and quirky.”

The Young Folks

How to Build A Heart is, at its core, a contemporary romance. But it also strives to be more than that. It’s a story of family, friendship, and the bonds that get us through… The novel is simple, sweet, and bursting with hope.”

The Fandom

“A potent coming-of-age story about the courage often required for pulling together multiple threads of a life to create an authentic self.”

BookBrowse

“Padian’s latest book delivers an enjoyable story about how Izzy eventually finds her place in her ever-changing world… This book effectively captured the chaos that can sometimes come with being a young adult.”

The Daily Free Press (Boston University Student Paper)

“Padian shows again and again that a story is always more complicated and more ordinary than it seems.”
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Padian masterfully portrays the internal struggles Izzy goes through in her Catholic faith… An absolutely enthralling depiction of family and self-discovery.”

Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

“Padian creates a compelling world with relatable characters and deals with serious issues without feeling heavy-handed…An excellent classroom or book discussion starter. Hand this to readers who are ready to tackle these issues with a lighter touch.”

School Library Journal

“Padian takes a familiar theme—a girl hiding her background from others—and makes it fresh with her protagonist, Izzy Crawford… The characters around her are well-defined and support Izzy and the plot well. Throughout the novel, Izzy’s strength, candor, and humanity shine through.”

Booklist

My Review:

TRIGGER WARNING: TOUGH SUBJECTS. 

There is some racism, violence and other tough issues in this novel. 

I was intrigued by the synopsis, title and cover of How to Build a Heart. Don’t be fooled, this is not a slushy love story. What is is is a raw, realistic heartfelt and honest portrayal of a teen’s life as she comes to terms with everything it throws at her. 

Izzy loves her mother and young brother Jack, but she’s fed up of not feeling like she belongs. Her father passed away in Iraq six years ago and she lives in a trailer park. 

School is a place she’s challenged and where image is everything. She wonders if life will ever change. 

When her family is chosen for Habitat for Humanity, they have to relocate again. This time, they have to help out building their home and others’ homes. But will they find stability? Is home really where the heart is? 

How to Build a Heart is full of love, family issues and a feeling of yearning to belong. It is much more than a teen romance and is an excellent portrait of what some people have to go through to find themselves. 

Thanks to Maria Padian and Algonquin for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. 

5 stars. 

The pacing, atmosphere and characters are all top notch and I loved this novel for how it all fit together perfectly. Maria Padian’s writing flows so well. I loved all the references to Latino culture, and speak Spanish so thought the smattering of Spanish words throughout were well-placed and carefully chosen so they made the book even more heartfelt and realistic. I really wanted some of Izzy’s “mami’s” arroz con pollo as it’s a favourite dish of mine, too. 

I don’t think there are enough books with Spanish speaking characters and I adored all the cultural references. I am half Irish and married to a Peruvian so there’s plenty of good food in our house. I really identified with the cultural references in this book and the importance of family was such a strong theme and what you have to do to keep it together. 

Inkyard Press YA Blog Tour: One of the Good Ones by Maika and Maritza Moulite

ONE OF THE GOOD ONES By Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite On Sale: January 5, 2021 INKYARD PRESS Teen & Young Adult; Prejudice & Racism; Siblings; Self-esteem & Reliance 978-1335145802; 133514580X $18.99 USD 352 pages About the Book: A shockingly powerful exploration of the lasting impact of prejudice and the indomitable spirit of sisterhood that will have readers questioning what it truly means to be an ally, from sister-writer duo Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite, authors of Dear Haiti, Love Alaine.ISN’T BEING HUMAN ENOUGH? When teen social activist and history buff Kezi Smith is killed under mysterious circumstances after attending a social justice rally, her devastated sister Happi and their family are left reeling in the aftermath. As Kezi becomes another immortalized victim in the fight against police brutality, Happi begins to question the idealized way her sister is remembered. Perfect. Angelic.One of the good ones.Even as the phrase rings wrong in her mind—why are only certain people deemed worthy to be missed?—Happi and her sister Genny embark on a journey to honor Kezi in their own way, using an heirloom copy of The Negro Motorist Green Book as their guide. But there’s a twist to Kezi’s story that no one could’ve ever expected—one that will change everything all over again. About the Authors: MAIKA MOULITE is a Miami native and the daughter of Haitian immigrants. She earned a bachelor’s in marketing from Florida State University and an MBA from the University of Miami. When she’s not using her digital prowess to help nonprofits and major organizations tell their stories online, she’s sharpening her skills as a PhD student at Howard University’s Communication, Culture and Media Studies program. Her research focuses on representation in media and its impact on marginalized groups. She’s the eldest of four sisters and loves young adult novels, fierce female leads, and laughing. MARITZA MOULITE graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s in women’s studies and the University of Southern California with a master’s in journalism. She’s worked in various capacities for NBC News, CNN, and USA TODAY. Maritza is a PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania exploring ways to improve literacy in under-resourced communities after being inspired to study education from her time as a literacy tutor and pre-k teacher assistant. Her favorite song is “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire. Contact Maika and Maritza: Author website Maika’s Twitter Maritza’s Twitter Marika’s Instagram Maritza’s Instagram Facebook Marika’s Goodreads Maritza’s Goodreads Where to Buy: Amazon B& N IndieBound Books-a-Million Apple iBooks Google Play My Review: After having reviewed and loved The Hate you Give by Angie Thomas, I was curious to see this recommended as a book to watch out for if you liked that. I was hooked from the start to the end. I love books about sisters and the fact that two sisters wrote this meant it was going to be powerful for me. WHAT a novel! Three sisters experiences. One (Kezi) is a YouTube influencer. Her death in mysterious circumstances leads her sister Happi and her best friend Genny on a road trip Kezi planned using The Green Book, a motorist’s guide.  One of the Good Ones explores relationships, race love hate and more and is written in a way that sucked me in. I had seen the movie The Green Book during the time I was listening to this and so it was good to have background about the how and why behind this guide. The road trip in that movie was just as interesting to me as the one in One of the Good Ones.  The title begs us to consider who and what is considered good and bad in this world. Experiences and circumstances shape us. I really felt for Happi upon the loss of Kezi and did for Genny too, but with one being a sister and the other a best friend, their life experience with Kezi was different.  I have tried YouTube and have a channel. I’m not sure how much of an “influencer” I am, but I had fun making the videos I have. The book explores what influencers go through via Kezi’s experiences which were interesting to witness.  I definitely wanted to continue the book once I started and felt the warmth of bonds between sisters and Genny as well as fear for Kezi then sorrow for them all. The writing is incredibly strong and well-thought out in a way that provokes emotions from readers. And there’s a twist….. Thanks to Maika and Maritza Moulite as well as Inkyard Press for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.  5 stars. chapter two   Kezi Monday, April 16—1 Day Before the Arrest Los Angeles, California I must have died and gone to hell. Right? Because why else would I have heard that outrageous bleat- ing from my alarm at 5:30 (in the morning!) and chosen to wake up? It was mid-April of twelfth grade. I should have been suffering from a severe case of senioritis that could be cured only by sleeping in. But there I was, doing my Mon- day morning countdown to study. “Eight…seven…six…five…four…four…four…three… why, oh, why…two… ONE!” I yanked the covers shielding my head down to my waist and leapt out of bed before the just-right firmness of my mat- 24 MAIKA MOULITE AND MARITZA MOULITE tress and perfectly f luffed pillows could lure me back into their warm nest. Bang bang bang. Couldn’t even blame her. I dragged my feet over to the wall I shared with my baby sister, Happi, and knocked twice. Two syllables. Sor-ry. (For counting so loudly that I woke you up while I was trying to wake myself up.) Silence. I slipped on cozy padded knee socks and plodded to my desk, where my notes were spread neatly across my laptop, right where I’d left them the night before. Mr. Bamhauer, my AP US History teacher and the miserable Miss Trunchbull to my precocious Matilda, was a stickler for the “old way” of doing things and insisted our notes be handwritten on wide- ruled paper so that the letters were big enough for him to see without his glasses while grading. I skimmed over the major moments of the Civil Rights Movement that I knew the Advanced Placement test makers were likely to ask about when I sat for the exam in less than a month: Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. Emmett Till. The March on Washington. The Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Voting Rights Act of 1965. Each bullet point was like a twist unscrew- ing the faucet of my brain, f looding my skull with facts. To me, Brown v. Board of Education wasn’t just some case. It was the rebuttal to Plessy v. Ferguson, the racist court decision that dictated the “separate but equal” ideology. It was one of many nails in the giant coffin of Jim Crow laws and had ushered in the legacy of the Little Rock Nine. But before the Nine, we’d had students like Linda Brown, the Topeka One. Mr. Bamhauer lectured about the past, of course…but he made it stale and removed. To him, the people involved in all this ONE OF THE GOOD ONES 25 world-changing were just names and dates in a book. Noth- ing more. They hadn’t had souls. Or dreams. Brown v. Board of Education propelled my thoughts directly to that little girl. I envisioned how Linda Brown must have felt when she’d learned at nine years old that she couldn’t go to the school down the road, the one her white friends in the neighborhood attended, just because of her skin color. I felt her heart hammering when she saw how shaken up her daddy was on the walk home after his talk with the school principal. I imagined the hushed conversations Oliver and Leola Brown had over the kitchen table when they decided to move for- ward with the case, knowing what it would mean. I thought of all the parents hunched over in exasperation, fear, and de- termination, the folks in Delaware, Washington DC, South Carolina, and Virginia, who decided they could no longer accept segregation either. I drank in American history, in all its problematic glory, like water. It was mine after all. My dad’s grandmother Eve- lyn had embarked on the Great Migration to California after her husband was killed overseas in World War II. He died for a country that didn’t think he deserved to call it home. My mom’s grandfather Joseph had been killed right here in America’s Jim Crow South. And their tales were just the fam- ily history that had been passed down. I wasn’t much of a morning person, but once I rubbed the crust out of my eyes, I couldn’t close them again. Not with all these stories of individuals insisting they be remembered calling out to me at once. I had to listen to them. After almost an hour of studying, my alarm rang again to drag me out of my bubble. I walked back over to my and Happi’s shared wall and knocked out another syllabic mes- sage: Hap-pi! Wake! Up! Her groan was loud and miserable. I 26 MAIKA MOULITE AND MARITZA MOULITE chuckled. The only human being on earth less of a morning person than me? Her. As I waited to shower, I checked the email account I used for my YouTube page, marking off the usual spam, replying to short messages, and noting the invitations and requests I had to think on more and get back to. But then. I paused. Oh Kezi. I was reading this ridiculous article about parasocial relationships. It was describing those pathetic people who feel like they know media personalities but don’t. You know, those freaks who get excited when they catch a glimpse of a celeb- rity’s baby or read every interview to see what brand of sham- poo they use. Like that would make them closer. I thought it was fine. But I stayed up all night. All night. All night wondering if you would see me that way too. Like some random weirdo on the internet. But I told myself over and over, she’s much too good, way too smart, to not realize that some of her subscribers are more special than others. And I’m more than a subscriber. I’m a sup- porter. A lifeline. We get each other. No one understands the struggle and what you’re fighting for like I do. But all night I thought of this. Going insane. Running in circles in my mind until I tripped on something that made me stop. It was some- thing you said, actually. I tried to swallow but couldn’t get past the sand in my throat. Nausea washed over me in waves, and I clutched my stomach to steady myself. You said: We’re in this together. You remember that don’t you? It was that youth panel you spoke on two weeks ago at ONE OF THE GOOD ONES 27 city hall and you made this beautiful, beautiful comment on how to have hope in the face of hopelessness. You promised that “even in the darkest moments, when you feel completely alone, like you’re the only one who cares, just remember that I care. Our community cares. And the people who came be- fore us and behind us and the ones who come up beside us care too. So long as we keep caring and trying, there is hope.” I cried when your words came to me. And I’m going to sleep well tonight knowing that I’m not alone. I’m not hopeless. I have you. There was a video attached to the email, sent from an ad- dress named mr.no.struggle.no.progress. My eyes widened and my pulse pounded against my ears when I registered whose face was in the thumbnail. Mine. I clicked on the preview button with a shaky hand and watched myself at the event the email sender mentioned. There I was, speaking animatedly and pro- nouncing the very words this stranger had taken the time to transcribe. The camera panned slowly across the room as my voice continued in the background. I remembered that day. I almost hadn’t made it in time, be- cause Happi’s audition for our school’s Shakespeare play had gone longer than planned. Instead of taking my sister home after her tryout, I had dragged her with me straight to the panel. There she was in the video, seated between Derek and Ximena, who’d also come to show their support. The cus- tomary sounds of an audience wove in and out of the audio, a fussy baby babbling merrily, a chorus of a dozen sheets of paper rustling, a sniff ly man’s sneezes punctuating every few sentences. The camera continued its survey of the room, and I noticed a group of people standing along the back wall. The space had 28 MAIKA MOULITE AND MARITZA MOULITE been remarkably packed for a city hall meeting, and I recalled that quite a few members of the audience had come because they were subscribers to my YouTube channel, generationkeZi. When the meeting was adjourned, more than half in atten- dance had made a beeline to where I was seated, to chat. I’d greeted a lot of people, but others had stood on the sidelines and watched from afar, never approaching. Who was the person who had sent this message? A fan I hadn’t gotten to speak with? The cameraperson? A local citi- zen who was feeling particularly inspired? The slow creak of the bedroom door opening diverted my attention. I spun in my chair, not even sure when I’d grabbed the silver plaque I’d received from YouTube for reaching one hundred thousand subscribers, noting the instinct I had to hold it in the air menacingly. “Bathroom’s all yours,” Happi said, pausing midyawn to look at me strangely. “Thanks, I’ll be right in,” I replied to the back of her head as she stumbled to her room. Instead, I gripped the plaque in my lap and sat there, frozen. Him again. Excerpted from One of the Good Ones Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite © 2021 by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite, used with permission by Inkyard Press/HarperCollins. 

Blog Tour: We Didn’t Ask for This by Adi Alsaid

We Didn’t Ask for This by Adi Alsaid

On Sale: April 7, 2020

Inkyard Press

Young Adult

978-1335146762; 1335146768

$18.99 USD

352 pages

 

About the Book

From Adi Alsaid, the acclaimed author of Let’s Get Lost, Never Sometimes Always, and North of Happy

 

 

Every year, lock-in night changes lives. This year, it might just change the world.

 

Central International School’s annual lock-in is legendary — and for six students, this year’s lock-in is the answer to their dreams. The chance to finally win the contest. Kiss the guy. Make a friend. Become the star of a story that will be passed down from student to student for years to come.

But then a group of students, led by Marisa Cuevas, stage an eco-protest and chain themselves to the doors, vowing to keep everyone trapped inside until their list of demands is met. While some students rally to the cause, others are devastated as they watch their plans fall apart. And Marisa, once so certain of her goals, must now decide just how far she’ll go to attain them.

 

About the Author

Adi Alsaid was born and raised in Mexico City. He attended college at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He’s now back in Mexico City, where he writes, coaches basketball, and makes every dish he eats as spicy as possible. In addition to Mexico, he’s lived in Tel Aviv, Las Vegas and Monterey, California. His books include Let’s Get Lost, Never Always Sometimes, and North of Happy. Visit Adi online at http://www.SomewhereOverTheSun.com, or on Twitter: @AdiAlsaid.

Social Links:

Author website: https://www.adialsaid.com/

Facebook: @adialsaidauthor

Twitter: @adialsaid

Instagram: @uhhdee

Goodreads

My Review:

A different type of plot to anything I’d ever come across before. I could feel the anticipation of the big night.
This book actually reminded me straight away of a night my own secondary school (high school) did when I was 13. The difference was that there were no chains involved and no focus on environmental issues. But the concept was similar: a night of fun and spending time with friends (for us it was 7PM to 7AM). It was called A Night to Remember and it really was!
Anyway, getting back to the review of this book. The characters are quickly but clearly introduced and we get a clear idea of who’s who and their individual personalities and motivations for the night and in life. The scene was set within the first few chapters and the pacing was good for the theme and subject matter of the book.
I liked how there was such a mix of nationalities at the school too.
A very interesting novel about friendship between genders, gender relations and the ups and downs facing teens on a night they are all together in a place where they are more used to spending their days.
Thanks to Adi Alsaid and Inkyard Press for an eyeopening multicultural fun novel which includes serious current affairs that I think will make an impact on everyone, whether young or older adults.
Thanks also to them for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.
4 stars

Q&A with Adi Alsaid

Q: What’s your favorite thing about Marisa Cuevas?

A: Her willingness to fight for what she believes in.

Q: I love the juxtaposition of a lock-in against a political protest. What was the most challenging part of threading those two very different pieces together?

A: Honestly, it was the logistics of actually keeping the students locked in. The political protest wouldn’t work without it, nor would the plot. So I had to find a whole lot of justifications that felt reasonable within the story. Other than that, one of my goals was to show, embodied in different characters, all the ways people react to political protests, and to make them feel like actual people, not just symbols.

Q: What do you most hope that readers take away from the story?

A: Getting others to care about what you care about is hard, but you’re allowed to try, and it’s possible to succeed.

Q: What inspired you to write this book?

A: I’ve been wanting to write a book that felt like my favorite book, Bel Canto, for a while now. So the very initial inspiration was a group of characters all stuck in the same place for an extended period of time. Then, to make it feel more YA, I thought of The Breakfast Club, but instead of cliques, just bring people with different passions together. Then, because of my increasing awareness over the last few years about environmental issues, combined with the fact that I was traveling and seeing those issues play out around the world, I brought in the fight for climate change.

Q: Is there a character that you found challenging to write? Why?

A: All my characters come easily to me. The challenge is working to get them right in revisions. Jordi Marcos, a sort of villain in the story, was one that was hard to get right, in order to make his actions feel justified. I also have a queer Muslim character in Amira, and I had to work—and had the fortune of being guided by a great sensitivity reader—to not make her representation be harmful.

Q: How does a typical writing day look like for you?

A: Assuming this means not in the time of COVID-19. I wake up and go straight to a coffee shop, where I work/avoid looking at my phone for about 3 hours or so. Then I usually have lunch, take a break by watching a movie, running errands, or something in that vein. Then another work session in the afternoon or late evening at another coffee shop or perhaps a bar, followed by cooking dinner. During deadline times there’s also usually a late night session at home.

Q: What are your current reading?

A: I’m about to finish The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy, listening to The Art of Logic in an Illogical World by Eugenia Chang, and my next read will probably be Incendiary by Zoraida Cordova.

Q: Is there something secret you can share with us about anything in the book or your experience writing it?

A: I don’t know about secret, but I’ll say that I had the unique experience of traveling the world while writing it. So, many of its words were written in the communal areas of hostels, on airplanes, trains, on an island in Fiji, and in many, many coffee shops.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon (US) 
Barnes & Noble

IndieBound

Books-A-Million
Apple Books
Google Play
Excerpted from We Didn’t Ask for This by Adi Alsaid. © 2020 by Adi Alsaid, used with permission by Inkyard Press.

 

The lock-in was going fairly well until Marisa unleashed her cronies and chained herself to the main entrance.

 

No one really noticed right away, busy as they were taking part in a number of lock-in-related activities: laser tag in the parking garage, a sanctioned food fight in the cafeteria, a photo shoot tutorial with a renowned YouTube influencer.

 

Once a year, in April, the doors at Central International School’s K-12 campus closed—though they didn’t literally lock—to allow the high school students to roam free for the whole night. Having the next day off school was nowhere near the best part. Nor, strictly speaking, were the activities themselves, though they were extravagant and wonderful and distracted everyone from what Marisa was doing.

 

People fell in love on lock-in night. They stumbled upon new passions that would shape the rest of their lives, discovered friendships they could not imagine living without, before or after. Traumas were resolved on lock-in night, anxieties disappeared, never to return, not even after the buses arrived in the morning to take the students back home.

 

This was well known to the few students who had been lucky enough to have attended before, or who had siblings who had attended in years prior. At Central International School, the student body ebbed and flowed, changing drastically from year to year, and often even more frequently. It was common to have different classmates every semester, and sometimes students would find the person who sat next to them in class—the alluring redhead who scribbled song lyrics on the margins of their textbooks, who one time turned and asked to borrow a pen they never returned, though they had offered a smile that carried with it joy beyond a simple gesture; the redhead who might have one day soon become more than just a classmate—was simply gone from one day to the next.

 

Even by international school standards, the turnover rate of both students and faculty had always been high, though it had a great academic reputation, and the city in which it sat was a diverse and world-class cosmopolis. Yet people never seemed to stick around for long, as if families were carried in by the seaside breeze, and carried away by the same. Most students had multiple passports, and their parents were multinational, or transient because they were diplomats, or titans of industry, or missionaries, or digital nomads, or teachers within the international school world. They had roots in many places, thought of no one place as home—or rather, thought of everywhere they’d been as home.

 

So it was rare for a student to be around for several lock-in nights. Even the locals, who made up a mere fifteen percent of the school’s population, often temporarily relocated during their high school years—a boarding school exchange in Switzerland, a South American road trip in a van with their family, a missionary excursion in Central America.

 

Despite all this, the lore surrounding lock-in night was always momentous, starting as an excited murmur the first day of school and building to a frenzy by the night before the event itself a month or so before the end of the year. Students wondered how, exactly, their life would be improved by the evening. There was no question it would—they could feel it on their skin, their heartbeats thudded with the knowledge that things were about to change, they had absorbed the gossip, not just a rumor or two, but dozens and dozens of first-hand accounts or verifiable secondhand stories, so many of them that it did not feel like hearsay but like fact—it was the how that was exciting. Would the redheaded classmate return to slip a hand into theirs during the movie marathon on the roof garden? Would their fear of heights be cured by the trapeze the school had set up on the football field? Or would it simply be a night of such fun that the joy would sink into their bones and change them into happier people?

 

Lock-in night, simply put, was magic. Even all those who had never experienced it knew it to be true.

 

Which, of course, was why Marisa planned her protest for that well-loved night. To make people pay attention, disrupt what brings them joy.

 

The mad desire to act had existed long before her plan did. Marisa loved the water as a baby. Her parents told the stories to anyone who would listen. She always feigned embarrassment at their anecdotes about her hour-long baths and surprising performance in toddler swimming classes, her dark, curly hair unfurling in the water behind her like a mermaid, her brown eyes huge within the goggles she always carried around. But the truth was that she loved the stories. They confirmed this was not a passing fad, not a childhood obsession that would lose its significance over time, not a baby blanket carried around charmingly until age ten, when

 

it was shoved into a box and donated.

 

When she discovered snorkeling and, later, diving, that love blew wide open. This? This had been possible this whole time?

 

Though Marisa was only seventeen, her parents’ constant relocations for work meant she’d seen a hefty percentage of the world’s waters. She’d snorkeled in Mexico, Fiji, the Philippines, the Great Barrier Reef, Belize. And the more she did it, the more her heart broke. Human beings had found a way to kill water.

 

The places famed for their snorkeling were heart-­ wrenching. The destroyed beige reefs littered the oceans like ornate gravestones. They should have been resplendent with color. Books and scientists told her as much, and other divers did, too. Of course, though, they weren’t. Not anymore. The world had ruined that particular beauty before Marisa had ever had a chance to see it, killing the corals with spilled chemicals, suffocating the oceans with heat. Every time she surfaced, she would dive into the internet, trying to find a way to help. Changing her sunscreen to the reef-safe kind, cleaning up plastic on the beach, asking her parents to donate yet again; nothing felt big enough.

 

Then came the three-day weekend at the start of the school year that changed it all. She had convinced her parents to take the family to the beach, and the Cuevases, who knew their frequent moves could be hard on the children, relented de-spite the fact that neither of them felt settled in at work yet, and they would have really liked to stay in the city and run errands.

 

Marisa had heard amazing things about the snorkeling in the region surrounding the beach. She was always skeptical when she heard anything like that; she’d been disappointed enough. She was fine just swimming among whatever fish remained in the area and pretending this was what it had al-ways been like, this was the wondrous alien world other divers described. After their most recent move, she’d done her usual research and found on the most trustworthy sources that an untouched blip still existed, not too far from her new school.

 

She convinced her parents, who knew it was better to indulge Marisa than fight her, to take a boat to an island, then another, smaller boat to another, smaller island. Arriving at the clear, turquoise waters, which were peppered with butterflies from who knows where fluttering across the surface, whole waves of them outnumbering the tourists she had seen even on the mainland, Marisa allowed herself to hope. Well before her family was ready, Marisa was in her flippers and mask, and she sat on the edge of the boat and let herself fall backward into the warm waters. At first, her heart had soared: greens! Purples! Oranges! Bright colors in the reefs, finally. The schools of fish were more like armies, numbered not in dozens but in hundreds, maybe even thousands, various species all swimming in their separate schools, like great big flags unfurling mightily in the water.

 

Marisa followed them, kicking delightedly, her heart flooding with joy. Then she turned a corner around some rocks and her breath caught, as if someone had reached inside her chest and closed a massive fist around her lungs. Even here, she found murk and drudgery, the reef not on display so much as its dying was.

 

She emerged from the water and took off her mask, tears mixing with the waves. People and the trash with which they suffocated the world. She looked around, shading her eyes from the shimmering sunlight with her free hand. Maybe it was time to accept the world as it was.

 

As she turned to swim back to shore, she caught sight of something on the far end of the island. A construction site. Large, acres and acres of it, from what Marisa could tell, and a handful of bulldozers. She swam closer and saw the sign announcing the coming resort. Nearby, a trickle of brown-gray water weaved its way from below the makeshift wall around the site and dribbled onto the sand.

 

Yes, it was a travesty, an outrage that the world had been ruined before her arrival. But that trickle hadn’t reached all the way to the shore, not yet.

 

As soon as she and her family made it back to their eco-hotel that day, Marisa decided she had to stop that waste from reaching the ocean. Whatever she could do for the reefs, she was going to do it. If it was just shutting down that one construction site, or if it was something much bigger, she had to try. What else was there but to try?

 

Months of stewing later, of planning, of seeing the ruined remains of the ocean floors every time she closed her eyes, of thinking of a way to make everyone else see what she saw. It all led up to this moment, when Marisa hoisted a chain from the duffel bag she’d hidden on campus a few days ago. She weaved it through the handles on the double doors that led into the main school building, then she wrapped it three times around her own body, uncomfortably tight, so bolt cutters could not break through the metal without snagging on her skin. When she was satisfied, she grabbed three giant padlocks from the bag and locked herself in, meaning to stay.

 

She set the keys in the middle of her palm, rubbing them each in a pad of butter procured earlier from the cafeteria, and which had warmed nicely in her pocket throughout the afternoon. Then Marisa, rehearsing her speech in her mind one last time, looked up. She expected to see a sizable crowd already gathering. What she saw instead was a lanky blond sophomore leaving the bathroom across the open expanse of the building’s foyer. The boy was checking to see if he’d re-membered to zip up. He had not.

 

When his eyes met Marisa’s, he could tell she had seen him checking, and he stepped quickly away from her line of sight, failing to notice the heavy metal chain wrapped around her torso.

 

Review: Vampire’s Kiss Book 1- Blood Curse  (Point Horror) by Julie Harrell 

About the Book: 
Rina is beautiful, mysterious and a vampire. Bound to a blood curse aginst her will over 200 years ago, she is compelled to wander the earth alone. She then meets James who soon falls under her spell but her rival, Chelsea, will do anything to keep him in what becomes a bloody battle for supremacy.

My Review: 

Rina is 200 years old and is a vampire. A blood curse means she is destined to live life as an immortal. 
James is a high school student who sparks an interest in Rina. She poses as a student and is in all his classes but his girlfriend Chelsea sees something wierd in Rina from the start. 
Who will win James’ heart? 
Blood Curse is the first Point Horror book I have read and also the first in this mini series. 
The author, Janice Harrell, had me hooked right from the first word in the book. 
The doubt and mystery James and Chelsea felt surrounding Rina, her personality and presence was extremely well portrayed and the love battle between Rina and Chelsea in their fight for James was well done, too. 
I felt for Rina when she missed her human life and disliked Chelsea. 
A quick, fast- paced read. I’ll be on the lookout for more Point Horror books as well as Blood Spell, the second one in the series (an extract of which is at the end of book 1 which I was pleased to find). 
5 stars. 

My Favourite Books: Falling for Claire (Making Out/Boyfriends and Girlfriends #27) by Katherine Applegate. 

From today, I’ll be posting a new blog  series, My Favourite Books, so every time I come across a book I love, I’ll share a review here.

 I started with these books when I was a teenager and love each and every one of them. 

All the Chatham Island teens and what happens in their lives create irresistible plot lines. I bought this and books 21 and 24 to complete my collection and am fascinated by Claire as a character, her mysteriousness her relatively serious demenour and her love of the weather. 
I still remember all her trips up to the crow’s nest above her room in book 5 during a raging storm. The book allowed me to know Aaron better and every character in the book. 

The Making Out series is very well fleshed out. I have book #28, Zoey Comes Home, sao Falling For Claire allowed me to fill in some gaps before the end of the series.

Being A Witch, And Other Things I Didn’t Ask For by Sara Pascoe

Rachel, or Raya, is a teenage girl who has been bounced around the foster system and for whom her life so far has not been easy. She seems feisty, bitchy and a rebel at the start of the book, but also just a typical teen with a Goth streak (hair and makeup) in her case. 

She really wants to leave the foster home she’s at. She has a hard time making friends and relating to people, but she does have a good friend called Jake who is also at the foster home, and who stays there when she leaves. She wants to be independent and live her own life. 
She seems very determined in her quest for that, and ends up meeting some interesting characters. I wasn’t sure about Bryony at first. Bryony is Raya’s social worker and becomes more like her tutor as the story goes on. I liked Emma and wasn’t sure about Ian. I liked what I saw of Jake’s character and how Raya was able to contact him even after having left the foster home where they lived together.
Raya has the power to associate people and experiences with colors and sounds. She worries she may be going crazy or that she has scizophrenia like her mother. In fact, she’s a witch.
She and a talking cat called Oscar time travel to various places, including 1645 Essex where the Worst Witch trials are due to take place, and Oscar is a real character. I liked him. 
The plot had good parts and sad parts too. It was a little slow in places, and some of the language was very young sounding and not really what I could imagine a 15 year old saying. Overall, quite a fast-moving plot but I would have liked to have the other characters (Bryony, Pavel Jake and Emma) fleshed out more. 
Thank you to Sara Pascoe and her publisher for my ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

3.5 stars.

I can see this appealing to 12-15 year olds. The title and cover are very fun!

Beastia by Zoe Cruz

Beastia is a great YA book! The plot and characters are spot on and the book’s pace kept me entertained. The quotes at the beginning of each chapter complement the story very well and the characters are likable. I really recommend this to young adults and older adults alike. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the amazing opportunity to review this stand out book. This is the first book I have read by Zoe Cruz but after having read this I will
read more by her.