#HOVForestofSouls: 8 DIVERSE + QUEER NECROMANCY Books on My TBR!

Hello, friends! I am so happy to be bringing you this feature post as part of the surprise book release tour for Forest of Souls organized by Hear Our Voices Book Tours!

The release of Forest of Souls is just around the corner and I am looking forward to the day I get myself a copy of this one and finally be able to read it! I mean, who wouldn’t want a book about surprise necromancy powers with a strong focus on friendship which, by the way, is authored by a Southeast Asian? *squeals in glee*

In light of this awesome book’s release, I was inspired to peruse through the never-ending void which is my TBR shelf on Goodreads and share with you 8 diverse and/or queer books that feature necromancy! Also, I’ve included links to reviews from bloggers I love for each book.

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Blog Tour: Happy Messy Scary Love by Leah Konen [REVIEW, FAVORITE QUOTES + GIVEAWAY]

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Book Title: Happy Messy Scary Love
Author: Leah Konen
Published by: Amulet Books
Publication Date: May 14th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

As everyone at her Brooklyn high school announces their summer adventures, Olivia harbors a dirty secret: Her plan is to binge-watch horror movies and chat with her online friend, Elm. Olivia and Elm have never shared personal details, apart from their ages and the fact that Elm’s aunt is a low-budget horror filmmaker. Then Elm pushes Olivia to share her identity and sends her a selfie of his own. Olivia is shocked by how cute he is! In a moment of panic, assuming she and Elm will never meet in real life, she sends a photo of her gorgeous friend Katie. But things are about to get even more complicated when Olivia’s parents send her to the Catskills, and she runs into the one person she never thought she would see. This sweet and funny summertime romance is perfect for fans of Love and Gelato and The Unexpected Everything.


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club.

MY THOUGHTS

Having read and loved the author’s other work, The Romantics (you can read my review here), I was pretty psyched to find out I was given the opportunity to read and review her latest book. The premise of this book was just as interesting for me as The Romantics’ premise was, so I had no problem getting into this one.

Olivia Knight, also known as CarrieRevenge on Reddit, is an aspiring screenplay writer and is a huge horror buff. That’s why, on her late night escapades on Reddit, she met a fellow horror fan on there with the handle named Elm. They’ve hit it off right from the start and after months of online friendship, Elm sends a picture of him to Olivia (or Carrie) and asks one in return. So, in typical teenage fashion, Olivia lets her uncertainties get the best of her so she sends a picture of Katie, her best friend, instead. It’s totally fine because there’s no chance in hell that they would meet, right? Wrong!

From the beginning, readers get to be well-versed on who our main character is and what events prompted the mess that would eventually befall her. Olivia was an okay main character for me. Because although I do enjoy her enthusiasm for horror films and understand the self-issues she’s been dealing with, she never really warmed up to me all that much. Still, I really loved getting to explore about her happy, messy and scary summer romance.

Elm, on the other hand, was a character in the book that I absolutely adored. For a fictional character, he just seemed so real to me. He is so charming, nerdy and an overall sweet guy. That, amongst other things! Katie was another one that made the book so enjoyable! Another touch of spice and realism to an otherwise fictional story. She’s honestly the best best friend anyone can ask for; the one that’s always got your back but isn’t afraid to let you know when you’re being too much. Her own character was explored for a bit in this book too, despite the story not revolving around her, which I appreciate a lot.

The romance itself was sweet, because Olivia and Elm are perfect for each other, and thrilling, in the sense that I have this anticipation of when Olivia’s facade will all come tumbling down. The banter that they had, both online and in person, were a delight to read and I can see how they get on so well together. However, I do think that the ending wasn’t what I hoped it would be. It was a bit rushed, in my opinion.

Overall, though, this was a good read! Happy Messy Scary Love is a cute and fun read whenever you’re in the mood for something quick, especially during the summer season!


FAVORITE QUOTES

“Photos are a different level. Photos have flaws, pimples, and pores. You can’t capture your witty banter, your love for 1930s noir, in a photo.

“I know I’m playing with fire. I know that this is unsustainable, that it can’t go on this way. Only it’s so lovely, it’s so wonderful, seeing every side of him like I do.”

“When it comes to romance, sometimes right and wrong isn’t always so black and white.”

“I know I’m playing with fire. I know that this is unsustainable, that it can’t go on this way. Only it’s so lovely, it’s so wonderful, seeing every side of him like I do.”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

p-1Leah Konen is a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied journalism and creative writing. She’s the author of the forthcoming HAPPY MESSY SCARY LOVE, LOVE AND OTHER TRAIN WRECKS, THE ROMANTICS, THE LAST TIME WE WERE US and THE AFTER GIRLS. She lives in Brooklyn and Saugerties, NY, with her husband and their dog, Farley.

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GIVEAWAY

Win a copy of Happy Messy Scary Love by Leah Konen (US Only)

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Blog Tour: The Hummingbird Dagger by Cindy Anstey [REVIEW + GIVEAWAY]

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Hummingbird.jpgBook Title: The Hummingbird Dagger
Author: Cindy Anstey
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: April 16th 2019
Genres: Historical, Mystery, Young Adult
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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From the author of Suitors and Sabotage comes a suspenseful and enthralling new Regency novel, perfect for readers who like their Jane Austen classics with a side of mystery and murder.

1833. A near-fatal carriage accident has deposited an unconscious young woman on the doorstep of Hardwick Manor and into the care of young Lord James Ellerby. But when she finally awakens, it is with no memory of who she is or where she came from.

Beth, as she calls herself, has no identity; the only clue to her circumstances is a recurring nightmare of a hummingbird, blood dripping from its steel beak.

With the help of James and his sister, Caroline, Beth tries to solve the mystery of her own identity and the appalling events that brought her to their door. But nothing could prepare her for the escalating dangers that threaten her and the Ellerby clan. From the hazardous cliffs of Dorset to the hostile streets of London, Beth will fight to reclaim her past, hunted by a secretive foe with murderous intentions.

Fans of Cindy Anstey’s previous novels won’t want to miss The Hummingbird Dagger, a dark and twisty new offering that blends romance, danger and mystery.

Praise for Duels & Deception:

“Delightful … It is Jane Austen spiced with action, suspense, and humor.” —VOYAstarred review

Jane Austen fans in need of a good new book, look no further.” —Entertainment Weekly


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours.

MY THOUGHTS

It’s been a while since I’ve read historical fiction and The Hummingbird Dagger is one definitely made me wonder why I don’t read this genre more often! There’s just something about the 18th century time period that fascinates me.

I loved the mystery aspect in this one so much! The dilemma got me really thinking most times since I always try to solve them on my own. Plus, with the historical genre added, it somehow gave the book a more eerie vibe to it. This, of course, did wonders for my reading experience. I was a bit spooked to read this during the night but I literally could not put the book down at times.

Also, I can understand how others would dislike the pacing of this one as it is a bit slow most of the time. However, I liked the lethargic pace in this one (which is largely unusual for me) since it allowed for a more immersive reading experience.

The only thing is… I found it hard to give my rating an extra star for this since I think that all the characters fell flat. They don’t seem all that real for me and that kind of distracted me for the most part.

Overall, The Hummingbird Dagger is still a great book that kept me on my toes and a mystery worth reading!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Whenever she is not sitting at the computer, throwing a ball in the backyard, gardening or reading, Cindy can be found–actually, not found–adventuring around the world with her hubby.

She has lived on three continents, had a monkey in her yard and a scorpion under her sink, dwelt among castles and canals, enjoyed the jazz of Beale St and attempted to speak French.

Cindy loves history, mystery and… a chocolate Labrador called Chester.

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GIVEAWAY

Print copy of The Hummingbird Dagger (US/CAN)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour: The Pretender by Katie Ward [REVIEW + GIVEAWAY]

Book Title: The Pretender
Author: Katie Ward
Series: None (Standalone)
Publication Date: September 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon UK

In rural France, two babies are born just two hours apart but to two very different lives. Isabella is born as a Princess into a life of opulence and love while Sophia is born into a life of poverty and abuse at the hands of her father. ‘The Pretender’ follows the journey of Isabella and Sophia as their paths cross and after discovering how alike they look, they decide to switch places with each other. Sophia is seeking sanctuary from her abusive home while Isabella is seeking freedom from the tightening burden of her Royal title.‘The Pretender’ is a story of friendship, love and the strange power of destiny.


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour hosted by YA Bound Book Tours.

MY THOUGHTS

*Just to let you know, this book touched up on themes of abuse.*

This is such a heartwarming read that it got me turning the pages constantly! With a more young adult twist on the classic The Prince and the Pauper, this book is absolutely charming.

The story started off interestingly with the horrific childhood of Sophia. I sympathize for her deeply as the abuse she put up with was entirely too much, especially for a child at such a young age. Yet, despite that, she shouldered on and continued to be the kind person that she is, so I admire her for that.

On the other hand, there’s Princess Isabella, privileged with a royal title yet shackled by the restraints that it holds, all she wants is to experience life unfettered. Her strong personality is what I love most about her. She is willing to take huge risks just to pursue the direction she set her heart into.

I really enjoyed reading The Pretender as I have a soft spot for royalty. This one also gives profound life realizations that may or may not have dawned on you before. I love that reading this book doesn’t just entail leisure but it provides an essential takeaway to its readers as well.

Overall, I recommend you try this one out, especially if you’re a fan of retellings!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Katie Ward always knew that she wanted to write for a living. After completing a degree in Journalism at theUniversity for the Creative Arts in Farnham, she moved to Dublin. While there, she had a short story publishedin an anthology titled Do the WriteThing which was part of a competition being run by Irish TV show Seoigeand O’Shea. This story was originally written when Katie was 14 after she was inspired by an article in herfavourite teen magazine. The anthology reached the Irish Bestsellers List. Katie was also shortlisted for acompetition judged by Man Booker Prize-winning author Roddy Doyle a few months later.The Pretender is her first Young Adult novel.

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GIVEAWAY

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Blog Tour: All That We See or Seem & A Dream Within a Dream by Kristina Mahr [PROMO POST + GIVEAWAY]

Thank you to YA Bound Book Tours for organizing this blog tour!


all that we see or seem.jpgBook Title: All That We See or Seem
Author: Kristina Mahr
Genres: Dark Fairy Tale, Young Adult
Publication Date: May 2018
Published by: Uncommon Universes Press LLC

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Every night, seventeen-year-old Reeve Lennox finds herself under a noose.

By day she is a lady of Acarsaid’s royal house, daydreaming of adventure and love. But every night in sleep she wanders through a nightmarish city, an invisible witness to the screeches of monsters and the screams of their victims. Her only consolation is Bran, a battle-torn young man with a selfless heart and eyes that reflect the stars.

Yet while Reeve falls deeper into her dreams, in truth she is engaged to Arden, a mercurial nobleman who has long been cured of his belief in love and breathes fire and flattery like other people breathe air.

Torn between two lives, Reeve struggles to remember what’s real, until night and day collide, with a revelation that threatens all of Acarsaid.

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Book Title:
A Dream Within a Dream
Author: Kristina Mahr
Genres: Dark Fairy Tale, Young Adult
Publication Date: March 2019
Published by: Uncommon Universes Press LLC

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Invisible to the man she loves, Reeve Lennox fights to reclaim him from a dark world.

As her wedding day nears in Acarsaid, her betrothed Arden offers only his wayward soul and saucy tongue. At night she desperately tries to reach Bran, the young soldier of nightmarish Tenebris who holds her heart. However, her king insists that the realms of Tenebris and Acarsaid must remain separate, lest the evil wizard Rancore brutally conquer all.

But the dark magic of Tenebris defies mere distance. A war is coming, one only Reeve may be able to prevent, if she can reunite her family on opposing sides.

With two kingdoms at stake, Reeve must discover her strength and her family’s legacy before all is lost. Yet righting the wrongs of the past may require the sacrifice of her truest love.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kristina Mahr.jpgKristina Mahr devotes her days to numbers and her nights to words. She works full-time as an accountant in the suburbs of Chicago, where she lives with her two dogs and two cats, but her true passion is writing. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, and waking up at the crack of dawn every weekend to watch the Premier League.

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