Thursday, July 2, 2020

July Author of the Month



Hello readers! I am opening up my blog again to bookish content. I am still continuously posting and sharing stories about the Black Live Matter movement over on my Twitter. I am no just intermixing some of my own bookish content. 

I am starting the month off with an Author of the Month post for Tanaz Bhathena, a YA Canadian author who's release her third book. 

So yes my July "Author of the Month" is Tanaz Bhathena, author of A Girl Like That, The Beauty of the Moment and the book that helped me chose her for this feature, Hunted By the Sky.  Her new release, Hunted By the Sky, hit the shelves on June 23rd, 2020.






Tanaz Bhathena writes books for young adults. Her sophomore novel, The Beauty of the Moment, won the Nautilus Gold Award for Young Adult Fiction and has also been nominated for the Ontario Library Association’s White Pine Award. Her acclaimed debut, A Girl Like That, was named a Best Book of the Year by numerous outlets including The Globe and Mail, Seventeen, and The Times of India. Her latest book, Hunted by the Sky, is the first of a YA fantasy duology set in a world inspired by medieval India. Her short stories have appeared in various publications including The Hindu, Blackbird, Witness, and Room. 
 Born in India and raised in Saudi Arabia and Canada, Tanaz lives in Mississauga, Ontario, with her family.
    

Sabrina: Hello Tanaz, and welcome to my blog. I just want to start off by saying thank you so much for joining me, and being my June Author of the Month.

Tanaz: Thanks so much for inviting me, Sabrina!


Sabrina: While touring for Beauty of the Moment, did you have a favourite event or one that stuck out for you?

Tanaz: I think one of my favourite and most memorable events was the Room of Your Own Book Club in Toronto. Teen girls read the book and asked me questions. One reader said that Susan’s interactions with her mom allowed her to understand her own mother better—which I thought was amazing!


Sabrina: Between fantasy and contemporary, which genre is easier to write? OR does it depend on the type of story you are telling?

Tanaz: It really depends on the story I have to tell. I really enjoy both genres and the challenges they bring. I usually need to feel challenged on some level to get interested in writing a book.


Sabrina: A Girl Like That and Beauty of the Moment are both contemporary stories, did you find one easier to write than the other? Or did the both prove to have their challenges?

Tanaz: I found it harder to write The Beauty of the Moment after finishing A Girl Like That. I’d spent the past twelve years writing gritty short stories and later a whole novel exploring dark issues, so writing a happy contemporary romance was tricky!


Sabrina: If you could have lunch with any 2 fictional characters, who would they be?

Tanaz: Hermione Granger and Peeta Mellark! We’d talk about books and baking cheese buns.


Sabrina: What is the last book you read and loved, and why?

Tanaz:The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee. It’s a historical novel set in Atlanta and the protagonist is a Chinese American girl who poses as an anonymous advice columnist named “Miss Sweetie.” The writing and research is impeccable and I love the novel’s wit and humor.

 

Sabrina: Hunted by the Sky releasing on June 23rd is going to be your latest release, can you describe it in five words or less?

Tanaz: Magic + romance + fierce women warriors.


Sabrina: Did you have a favourite chapter while writing Hunted by the Sky?

Tanaz: Chapter 1. It begins with…a bang. :)


Sabrina: Thank you so much for joining me today on my blog, and for being my Author of the Month for June. I look forward to reading Hunted by the Sky when it releases!

Tanaz: Thanks, Sabrina! I hope you enjoy the book! :)




Title: Hunted by the Sky
Author: Tanaz Bhathena 
Publication Date: June 23rd, 2020 
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, Giroux 
Pages: 384 
Format: Hardcover
Description: Gul has spent her life running. She has a star-shaped birthmark on her arm, and in the kingdom of Ambar,girls with such birthmarks have been disappearing for years. Gul's mark is what caused her parents' murder at the hand of King Lohar's ruthless soldiers and forced her into hiding to protect her own life. So when a group of rebel women called the Sisters of the Golden Lotus rescue her, take her in, and train her in warrior magic, Gul wants only one thing: revenge.
Cavas lives in the tenements, and he's just about ready to sign his life over to the king's army. His father is terminally ill, and Cavas will do anything to save him. But sparks fly when he meets a mysterious girl--Gul--in the capital's bazaar, and as the chemistry between them undeniably grows, he becomes entangled in a mission of vengeance--and discovers a magic he never expected to find.
Dangerous circumstances have brought Gul and Cavas together at the king's domain in Ambar Fort . . . a world with secrets deadlier than their own. Exploring identity, class struggles, and high-stakes romance, Hunted by the Sky is a gripping adventure set in a world inspired by medieval India.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Black Lives Matter Movement









In light of the protests and the injustices being done to Black people, I will be stepping away from this blog for a little bit. I plan on devoting my social media time to amplifying Black voices, and spreading awareness of the events that need attention.

I plan on taking the time to listen to the voices that need be heard, and sharing the stories that need to be spread. I am also taking the time to educate myself more, and read a lot of resources that are out there and available.

However, because this is a book blog, I thought I would take the time to share some reading material that would be of some interest. Reading material that could be used to educate oneself and learn  more about the things going on around them.

Also, if you want to help but are unsure about where and how, I am linking a google doc containing information about petitions, ways to call, and things needed:



























































Resources pulled from: https://www.itsnicethat.com/news/resources-supporting-black-lives-matter-movement-creative-industry-010620


Wednesday, May 27, 2020

WoW [33]


"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're all eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:


Monday, May 25, 2020

Review~ Caraval Series


Hey all! I am such a terrible fan who loved this series so much, that I only ever reviewed the first book.... I think Legendary is part of the reason because it just stole my heart away. So much so that I never came down from a book high. It's fine though, because I am doing an overall series review now!




Title: Caraval, Legendary, Finale 
Author: Stephanie Garber
Publication Date: 2017, 2018, 2019
Publisher: Flatiron
Format: Available in hardcover & softcover
Description: Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over. But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.
Welcome, welcome to Caraval . . . beware of getting swept too far away.

I don't think there are enough words in the english dictoinary to desribe what the Caraval series meant to me. Stephanie Garber crafts a world full of magic that readers never know what is real and what is an illusion. That idea itself is one of the highlights of the series for me as a reader. I fell in love with Caraval and the idea of not knowing if things are real, becuase it allowed readers to transport into Scarlett's mind. As the series contiuned, I began to understand the world and magic more, and it amazed me more than I could have ever imagined.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

WoW [32]


"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're all eagerly anticipating. This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Monday, May 18, 2020

ARC Review ~ FireBlood






Title: FireBlood
Author: Elly Blake
Publication Date: September 12th, 2017
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Pages: 416
Format: ARC
Description: Against all odds, Ruby has defeated the villainous Frost King and melted his powerful throne. But the bloodthirsty Minax that was trapped inside is now haunting her kingdom and everyone she loves. The answers to its demise may lie to the south in Sudesia, the land of the Firebloods, and a country that holds the secrets to Ruby's powers and past.... 
Despite warnings from her beloved Arcus, Ruby accompanies a roguish Fireblood named Kai to Sudesia, where she must master her control of fire in a series of trials to gain the trust of the suspicious Fireblood queen. Only then can she hope to access the knowledge that could defeat the rampaging Minax--which grows closer every moment. But as sparks fly in her moments alone with Kai, how can Ruby decide whom to trust? The fate of both kingdoms is now in her hands.


FireBlood wasn’t exactly what I was expecting it to be. I had read FrostBlood, and felt a numbness towards it because of the sense that everything had been done before. I grew worried going into this book, however, I was still intrigued to find out what happened and how the plot progressed. FireBlood surprised me in a good way, I did enjoy it much more than book one and I even felt like there was less déjà vu taking place with some of the plotlines. Overall It was a better read.

My issue with book one was that it was a good introduction to the fantasy genre, but not meant for someone who had already picked their way through many fantasy reads. The plot felt familiar and the choices did too. I was surprised to find that FireBlood wasn’t exactly like the first book in this way. Though it had some of the classic clichés, I felt like some of the plot was new to me. I ended up connecting to the story and reading this book in one sitting. I liked the choices made in this book and the consequences as well. Not everything Ruby did was predictable, and I enjoyed that. Though some of Arcus choices were seen coming, I still did enjoy his part in this novel. The ending was satisfying and will leave readers wanting more, without feeling like a cliffhanger. Overall the plot felt a lot newer in this book than the first one.

I found that I enjoyed these characters a lot more in this sequel. I think Ruby really developed as a character in this book. She was faced with troublesome choices as well as some interesting plot twists. I also loved how she developed as a FireBlood in this book as well.  I still didn’t connect with Ruby as much as I would’ve liked, however, the supporting cast in this book made me enjoy the read a lot more. I love Kai, as one of the main male characters in this book, he had a different humor than our frost boy does. He was interesting to find out all his motives and keep the readers guessing. I also really loved Prince Eiko, because to me he felt like one of the better dignitaries in this novel. Overall the characters to me felt a lot stronger, and it really showed in the writing.

All in all, I did enjoy this book a lot more than I had the first book, and honestly, I am looking forward to the third in this series. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy fantasies with heavy reliance on royalty and order. I would also recommend this book to anyone who read book one, even if you didn’t enjoy it as much because it did get a lot better in this book.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

WoW [31]


"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're all eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is: