ARC Review: Furia- Yamile Saied Mendez

Title: Furia

Author: Yamile Saied Mendez

Publisher: Algonquin Books

Pages:368

Ratings: 5/5

** spoiler alert ** “I’d leave this house the first chance I got, but not by chasing after a boy, including my brother. I’d do it on my own terms, following my own dreams, not someone else’s”.
-Camila (Furia)

Let’s just start off by saying that this book was everything and more. It was a tale of strength, of a girl pushing against all odds, and a girl chasing her dreams no matter what. Futbol is Camila’s life and she’s determined to become a huge star and eventually make it to the states. There is many obstacles in Camile’s way however. She has to worry about her parents finding out that she plays futbol, she has to worry about measuring up to her brother’s standards and she has to worry about her abusive father. Set in the country of Argentina, Camile has to be careful, there’s just so much sexism towards women who don’t except their roles in society. But, Camile doesn’t care. She’s fiery and her personality shines throughout the book. I really was looking forward to seeing her succeed and eventually for her mother to also be happy. Living with Camile’s abusive father has really killed the spirit of her mother. It was a stressful household and life for Camile and everyone involved. But, eventually in the end Camile and her mothers relationship starts to patch up and their bond is unbreakable. 

Camile isn’t the only facing adversity. There’s a lot going on with her teammates as well, especially one whose little sister goes missing. In Camile’s town there’s girls that are going missing everyday, and their bodies are coming up. This creates major chaos and instills fear in everyone, especially Camile’s mother whose always worried about Camile as is. These poor girls’s never had a chance at life. Their stories floating in the air as non-exist. Mendez does a great job of sprinkling some politics in there but, not a lot to steer away from the main story itself. It really makes you think of what
is truly going on in the country of Argentina.

I really enjoyed this story, and I can proudly say it’s one of the best books I have read this year. Mendez has a way with her writing that really pulls you in and makes you apart of the story. The relationship between Diego and Camile is just enough not to take away from the premises of the story which is Camile’s passion of playing futbol and becoming a star that all little girls and women can look up to. While abuse was mentioned throughout the book and wasn’t really shown as much as it was talked about, please be aware there’s two instances of abuse in the book. One of which is animal abuse. Huge thanks to NetGalley and Algonquin Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

You can purchase ‘Furia’ in hardcover, audiobook, and kindle format here. You can also follow the author at their social media platforms:

Twitter|Instagram|Website

ARC Review: His Only Wife- Peace Adzo Medie

Title: His Only Wife

Author: Peace Adzo Medie

Publisher: Algonquin Books

Pages: 288

Rating: 5/5

Afi lives in a small town in Ghana. Her and her mother have lived in poverty for a while, depending on the help of her extended family especially Aunty, who is a major money maker in their town. Aunty wants Afi to wed her son Eli, but of course there’s a catch, Afi is to wed Eli because he’s in love with another woman his family doesn’t approve of (shocking). Afi’s job here…to try and make Eli fall in love with her, but he’s not cracking so easily; he’s standing his ground. This book started off with a bang. Afi was a firecracker with good intentions in her heart. She basically sits around trying to adapt to her rather new and lavish lifestyle. All while waiting for her new “husband” to come and at least meet her you know? She’s done all she can to make her marriage work, especially since she actuations;lly starts to fall in love with Eli. So will Afi finally get to conquer Eli’s heart and live happily ever after?

I enjoyed this book a lot. I love reading books set in other countries, it really gives you an inside look at how things normally are for them; refreshing to see. Thanks to NetGalley and Algonquin for providing me with a physical copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

You can purchase ‘His Only Wife’ in hardcover, audiobook, and kindle format here. You can also follow the author at their social media platforms:

Twitter|Instagram|Website

ARC Review: Alone Together- Jennifer Haupt

Title: Alone Together

Author: Jennifer Haupt

Publisher: Central Avenue Publishing

Pages: 288

Rating: 5/5

We can all agree that 2020 has been one of the worst years of our lives. In these unprecedented times full of uncertainty there’s nothing quite like getting lost in the pages of a book. Jennifer haunt did any amazing job with created this book along with a plethora of authors who are feeling the harsh times during COVID. Social distancing and the shutdown of virtually everything has made it difficult for everyone, especially writers, authors, and bookstores. Jennifer came up with the concept of reaching out to authors to donate a writing piece about their COVID experiences to fundraise for indie booksellers. Within hours, dozens of authors were on board to help. 

Through the words of these amazing writers you got to experience what it was like having COVID, when your “Lungs felt like cement”, discussing a pandemic, talking about the isolation that came with social distancing, hiding behind a mask, helping others by delivering their groceries to them for the fear of them being high risked, watching a person going through grief because they can’t be there because of social distancing, and many other stories, poems, and interviews. I absolutely loved the concept of this book. I myself am high risk and have been home for over 150 days, especially since my job seems to continue testing positive. At least I still have the comfort of my books. I really enjoyed this book and the cause supported. In the print book there’s 68 stories, and in the e-book
there’s 22. Whenever I get a chance I’m definitely getting the physical copy. Thanks to NetGalley and Central Avenue Publishing for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Blog Tour ARC Review: Road Out of Winter- Alison Stine

Title: Road to of Winter

Author: Alison Stine

Publisher: Mira books

Pages: 320

Rating: 5/5

Wylodine (Wil) lives in Appalachian Ohio where she’s left to tend to her mom’s marijuana farm (imagine inheriting a marijuana farm?) after she up and leaves with her boyfriend. Wil is looking forward to Spring, as is everyone, but for the past two years snow is all everyone’s been seeing. Things are looking pretty scarce. Will goes into town and is faced with an even scarier situation and a major crisis happening.

There’s lines in town for basic necessities, schools are closed because of the lack of funds for heating, food is impossible to find, and food supplies are down. There’s seems to be no hope for humanity or the wildlife. Everyone is off to find warmer weather. Wil decides to up and leave herself with all the needs for the marijuana farm. Along the way to California she encounters questionable characters on her way there whom are pretty desperate and taking violent measures themselves to survive.

‘Road out of Winter’ is a fantastic dystopian novel, honestly more people should be talking about it. The writing was superb, all the little details made the book so interesting. A definite eye opening story that shows what choices people will make to save their own kind, and the relationships one makes when put in the same situation. Huge thanks to NetGalley and Mira Books for a copy of this book in exchange for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Road out of Winter comes out September 1, 2020 in Paperback, Kindle, and Audiobook format and can be pre-ordered here.

You can also connect with Alison Stine at her social media:

Instagram|Twitter

Harlequin Blog Tours ARC Review: The Last Story of Mina Lee- Nancy Jooyoun Kim

Title: The Last Story of Mina Lee

Author: Nancy Jooyoun Kim

Publisher: Park Row Books

Pages: 384

Rating: 5/5


‘The Last Story of Mina Lee’ is one of those stories that sticks with you long after you finished reading it. A mother/daughter story always tugs at my heart strings. When Margot calls her mother while on a road trip to L.A. and she doesn’t pick up, she immediately feels like something is wrong, and she’s not wrong. The story is told from two perspectives, Margot and her mother (Mina). Margot feels there’s more to the story of her mother’s mysterious death. Her curiosity and grief lead her to start investigating what went wrong. 

This story is amazing and shows the struggle of being in immigrant in the United States, falling in love with the wrong person and where it leads to, and also the struggle between a mother/daughter relationship. I love books that show people’s struggles that have arrived to a new country (not in a bad way), because we’re all human and have to adapt. Just like myself and countless others. Thank to Harlequin Blog Tours, Park Row Books, and NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
You can purchase ‘The Last Story of Mina Lee’, (which comes out September 1, 2020) here -Kindle, Hardcover, and Audiobook available for pre-order.

You can also find the author at her social media platforms:

Twitter|Instagram|Website

ARC Review: Ordinary Girls- Jaquira Diaz

Title: Ordinary Girls

Author: Jaquira Diaz

Publisher: Algonquin Books

Pages: 336

Rating: 5/5

“Some girls grow up to be the kind of women who fall for men like their fathers. Some girls grow up to be just like them”
-Jaquira Diaz

Ordinary Girls is a gut wrenching memoir from Jaquira Diaz. Growing up in Puerto Rico in poverty, along with a schizophrenic mother, drug dealer father, and a sick brother was no easy feat. She knows what it’s like to struggle and be lost without a way. As a young girl she spent her time in the streets hanging out with the wild crowd, and getting into trouble. She had no-one that cared for her or her well being, except for her grandmother, but even with that she couldn’t completely trust that she would always be there for her. Half the time her mother prostituted herself for her guilty pleasures.

Jaquira and her family moved to Miami to see if being in a different area would somehow make life a bit better, but life was just the same if not worse. Consistently moving around, Jaquira turned alcohol, sex, drugs, and other things that were normal in her life. She also was in and out of jail. Her life was bound to stay a continuous disaster if things didn’t change quickly. Diaz felt lost without no support. School was never her forte either so she didn’t even have that either. So how did a young girl with such a horrible life make it to her passion as a writer? You have to find out for yourself. 

This was such a great memoir. I’m so glad Diaz was able to take some control of her life and used it towards her writing. Huge thanks to NetGalley and Algonquin books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Mental Illness Buffet- Kunal Roy

Title: Mental Illness Buffet

Author: Kunal Roy

Publisher: n/a

Pages: n/a

Rating: 4/5

“Unforgiveness sparks when you are wrongly treated as the faulty party. But it really takes off when your proudest strengths/efforts are faulted because someone else can’t or won’t admit their own faults”.
-Kunal Roy
Kunal did an amazing job capturing mental illness and putting to on paper. He gives you a deep look into his life and dealing with the violent convulsions, the ghosts that would talk to him, and all the whispers and sounds he would hear on a regular basis. I will tell you to read this book with caution as it has a lot of elements that can be triggering and hard to read. I mean that’s the whole point of the book right? Talking about things that you’re uncomfortable about, especially when it’s you that’s that going through it. Kunal also gives you great insight on how it is to deal with people that don’t take you seriously when you’re dealing with your own demons, such as as your own psychiatrist. I think that was the one part of the book that made me absolutely enraged. To have someone you’re supposed to trust to help you and be unbiased tell you awful things….it really hits home for me. One of the main reasons I haven’t looked for another therapist. 

Kunal was very brave in sharing his experiences so openly and bluntly. I think mental illness shouldn’t be looked at like it’s taboo. It should be normalized and people shouldn’t have to feel ashamed for being how they are. Huge thanks to the author for reaching out and providing me with a copy of the book for an honest review.

ARC Review: The Black Kids- Christina Hammonds Reed

Title: The Black Kids

Author: Christina Hammonds Reed

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing

Pages: 368

Rating: 5/5

‘The Black Kids’ is a amazing story that I urge everyone to read. It has so many lessons, it especially focuses on an issue that’s still prevalent in today’s society. Ashley is the protagonist of ‘The Black Kids’. She’s always known for letting their little jokes go over her head. Ashley lived a privileged life so she really hasn’t faced an injustices as well as her sister Jo. Jo has the right idea of fighting for injustice, but does she really know what those injustices are despite being privileged as well? All they both really know are parties and good times with their friends. 

While Ashley and her friends are in their own worlds, in the real world you have the Rodney King riots and trials going on. For those that don’t know who Rodney King is, Rodney King was a black American man who was brutally beaten by the LAPD after a high speed chase during his arrest for drunk driving. After the video went viral on news in the media. After the officers were acquitted major riots and protests broke out. It was complete and utter chaos. This painful situation is starting to awaken something in her.

Ashley was never a stupid girl, but I felt she needed some enlightenment and to see something that would open her eyes. I loved seeing her grow from naive young girl to a enlightened adult. Learning about racial injustices, dealing with secrets, and other issues that are impacting her personal life, family, and friendships. Huge thanks to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Harlequin Blog Tours ARC Review: Mayhem- Estelle Laure

Title: Mayhem

Author: Estelle Laure

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Pages: 304

Rating: 3/5

I wanted to love this book, but there was something missing for me. I don’t hate it. I liked what the author was trying to do however. I’ve seen the comparison to certain movies such as ‘The craft’ and “The Lost Boys’. I haven’t seen The Craft but, I’ve seen snippets of The lost Boys and the similarities are there…ALOT…so I guess that turned me off because I felt it wasn’t authentic enough. Roxy and her mother decide to escape Santa Monica, California and the abusive ways of Roxy’s dad… Lyle. However, Roxy’s mom did a 360 and started relying on alcohol and drugs to escape the bad memories. Big mistake. Lyle’s abusive ways have gone unhinged even further.

Mayhem has the opportunity to learn more about the family she never knew about. At the same time she’s learning about her family’s history. There’s another thing brewing in their quiet little town. A serial killer is on the loose and hurting young women. It’s freaking everyone out, especially Mayhem and her mother. Leaving them wondering if all it is really worth it, especially going after the killer. Thanks to Wednesday Books, Netgalley, and Harlequin Blog Tours for an opportunity to obtain a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

ARC Review: Breath Like Water- Anna Jarzab

Title: Breath Like Water

Author: Anna Jarzab

Publisher: Inkyard Press

Pages: 416

Rating: 5/5

As a person whose only known swimming all her life and wanting to be in the olympics, Susannah fears her body is slowing her down as she gets older. She thinks about the championship she won at 14 years old and if she can reach her potential again. Swimming demands so much out of young people and she’s scared to fail. Two people enter her life that will rearrange her life and career around. A coach that could help her reach that dream and a new fellow swimmer named Harry.

Susannah is such an amazing character. She’s mature, strong, and trying to fight those nagging demons in her head. Harry on the other hand is dealing with his own demons. He’s bipolar. Dealing with constant mood swings and anger throughout his life. He falls in love with Susannah but, he’s afraid his mental condition might scare her away.

This book is far from swimming competitions and the stress from it. It’s about friendship, hope, being opened to new experiences in life and trusting people. I loved how Susannah and Harry connected despite their differences. Sorta hit close to home as my significant other also is bipolar. What an amazing story of two young people and their struggles with life and family. I truly enjoyed the ride this book took me on. Special thanks to NetGalley, and Harlequin Teen/ Inkyard Press for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.