[ARC Review] The Night Of The Virgin by Elliott Turner

The Night Of The Virgin tells the story of Emmaneul “Manny” Hernandez, a young soccer prodigy living in Texas who one day wants to become a professional soccer player. There’s one big problem, though — he’s undocumented. But his legal status will not crush his dreams entirely. One day, he and his best friend Hector leave their lives in Texas behind and head to California to see what surprises and opportunities life has in store for them there. Over the course of the novel, we will see Manny grow from a brash young man into a loving father, but before he gets from point A to point B Manny will experience many triumphs, failures, mistakes, and regrets.

Click the image to read the full review.

[Review] The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera

I read The Education of Margot Sanchez a few days after hearing the devastating news that Donald Trump had been elected as the next president of the United States. I’m sure the feelings of loss and despair are still fresh in our minds for many of us. I tried distracting myself by reading a good book but nothing was a good enough distraction. I started and put aside three adult literary fiction novels until I came to Lilliam Rivera’s wonderful YA contemporary novel. The Education of Margot Sanchez was the perfect light and fast read with captivating characters and riveting family drama. I devoured the novel in two sittings because it was that good!

Click the image to read the full post.

[Review] Deceit And Other Possibilities by Vanessa Hua

I’ve read many excellent short story collections and anthologies in 2016, all of them written by people of color or Indigenous people. But Vanessa Hua’s Deceit and Other Possibilities stands out as one of the finest one’s in my collection. One of the things I appreciate about short story collections is the variety that they innately offer and that is especially true in Hua’s stories. Not only are circumstances and scenarios presented in her stories wildly different from each other, there is also great diversity in the backgrounds of the characters around which the stories center.

Click the image to read the full review.

Review: Reputations by Juan Gabriel Vásquez

Juan Gabriel Vásquez’s Reputations was originally published in 2006 in the author’s native Spanish. Ten years after publication, English-speakers finally get the chance to read this novel by the award-winning and often-lauded Colombian writer. I don’t read nearly enough translated fiction, especially from South American authors, so Reputations sounded like the perfect book for me.

Click the image to read the full review.

[Review] Not A Self-Help Help Book: The Misadventures of Marty Wu – by Yi Shun Lai

I have never read a self-help book myself, at least not all the way through, but I’ve heard that they’re a multi-billion dollar industry just in the U.S. alone. It seems Americans are willing to spend big money on self-improvement or ways to “fix” themselves. I can certainly see the appeal. Who doesn’t want to be the best version of themselves? Some people’s problems run too deep, however, and may need more than a couple of self-help books found in the Barnes & Noble bargain section. Marty Wu is someone with a complicated life who also sees the appeal of self-help books. In fact, this novel itself is a collection of diary entries that were motivated by a self-help book she found in the used-book section of a local bookstore. This book is called “The Language of Paying Attention to YOU,” which has a silly title, but has resonated profoundly with Marty Wu, as she constantly refers to the advice it offers.

Click the image to red the full review.

Review: The Marauders’ Island (Hen & Chick #1) by Tristan J. Tarwater & A Book Giveaway!

The Marauders’ Island is the kind of book that is so delightful and refreshing that you can’t help but share with everyone you know. During the week or so that I read it, I plastered the book’s image all over social media hoping it would reach as many people as possible. I want you to read this book! It has powerful mages, a diverse cast of characters, a gorgeous tropical setting, positive representation of LGBTQ people, a complex relationship between a mother and daughter, and so much more! All this goodness makes a reader like me giddy with joy.

Click the image to read the full review.

Guest Review: Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Esperanza Rising is a book I can wholeheartedly recommend to everyone. (How often do you get to say that?) It’s a middle-grade novel, published in 2000, and it won the Pura Belpré award, which is the award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. (From the ALA website: The award, established in 1996, is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.) This engaging, warm-hearted novel not only made me feel, it made me think, opening my eyes to a chapter of American history I’d regretfully never been aware of.

Click the image to read the full review.

Review – Radiance: Poems by Emanuel Xavier

I decided to read Radiance because poetry is the literary genre that I have neglected to explore most, even more than nonfiction. So I figured a good way to conquer this long-standing aversion to reading poetry would be to create a reading list to start off and adhere to it stubbornly. Radiance jumped to the top of the list because it is an #ownvoices collection of poems by an openly gay Latino. But also because it is a slim collection and a perfect starting point for poetry novices!

Click the image to read the full review.

Review: Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor #DSFFBookClub

Who Fears Death is not your typical post-apocalyptic, “Chosen One” narrative set in a magical Africa. It’s obviously atypical because in Europe and North America, these kinds of stories simply aren’t published often. That’s not to say that African writers are not writing Sci-Fi and Fantasy prolifically, far from it. It’s just that most western audiences aren’t familiar with such narratives for a variety of reasons, such as lack of easy access to these stories and, in many cases, apathy or rejections of these narratives.

Nnedi Okorafor serves an important role in American SFF because she writes imaginative stories set in a fantastical Africa that many readers seldom get to see elsewhere. One of her more ambitious works is the World Fantasy Award winning novel Who Fears Death. It gets tons of credit from me for being original and bold in concept. I have never read a Fantasy novel quite like this.

Click the image to read the full review

Guest Review: The Moon In The Palace by Weina Dai Randel

A guest review by Adria J. Cimino.

#30Authors is an event started by The Book Wheel that connects readers, bloggers, and authors. In it, 30 authors review their favorite recent reads on 30 blogs in 30 days. It takes place annually during the month of September and has been met with incredible support from and success in the literary community. It has also been turned into an anthology, which is currently available on Amazon and all author proceeds go to charity. Previous #30Authors contributors include Celeste Ng, Cynthia Bond, Brian Panowich, and M.O. Walsh. To see this year’s full line-up, visit www.thebookwheelblog.com/30authors or follow along on Twitter @30Authors.

Click the image to read the full post.