You Have a Match | Book Review

Oh my goodness, y’all…this book felt like reading all my favorite tropes in one book!!!

You Have a Match by Emma Lord is a tale of sisters, found family, and my favorite love trope (hint, it’s not enemies-to-lovers, but you’ll just have to read it to find out).

Here’s a quick blurb about it:

“When Abby signs up for a DNA service, it’s mainly to give her friend and secret love interest, Leo, a nudge. After all, she knows who she is already: Avid photographer. Injury-prone tree climber. Best friend to Leo and Connie…although ever since the B.E.I. (Big Embarrassing Incident) with Leo, things have been awkward on that front.

But she didn’t know she’s a younger sister.

When the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, shimmery-haired Instagram star Savannah Tully, it’s hard to believe they’re from the same planet, never mind the same parents — especially considering Savannah, queen of green smoothies, is only a year and a half older than Abby herself.

The logical course of action? Meet up at summer camp (obviously) and figure out why Abby’s parents gave Savvy up for adoption. But there are complications: Savvy is a rigid rule-follower and total narc. Leo is the camp’s co-chef, putting Abby’s growing feelings for him on blast. And her parents have a secret that threatens to unravel everything.

But part of life is showing up, leaning in, and learning to fit all your awkward pieces together. Because sometimes, the hardest things can also be the best ones.”

Emma’s debut novel, Tweet Cute, was one of my favorite reads last year, so I was excited about the opportunity to read a free eARC of this one. (Thanks St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley.)

I expected to find a cute YA romance, and there was plenty of that to give me all the sappy feels, but more than anything, the story focuses on the two sisters who didn’t know about each other. Their journey of finding a sister-relationship with a stranger, and discovering the story of why neither of them knew they had a sister is a roller coaster of emotions, and I loved being along for the ride!!! The main character, Abby, was quirky, brash, awkward, and anxious – and so very relatable. The summer camp setting is totally fun. And the story made my heart break for Abby and her sister. It made me root for love for Abby, cheer her on as she struggled to pursue her passions, and ultimately grin ear-to-ear at the heartwarming conclusion.

It has beautiful diverse representation, from her Filipino best friend, Leo, to her sister who has a girlfriend. And, of course, adoption is a huge part of the story and it’s something that I rarely read about.

I think it’s my favorite contemporary I’ve read this year. A total 5 star read. And I’d recommend it for fans of Tweet Cute, Geekerella, P.S. I Like You, and Parent Trap!

Book Review | Warriors of Wing and Flame

This beautiful book by Sara B. Larson is the sequel to Sisters of Shadow and Light, which was one of my FAVORITE reads last year!

Here’s a synopsis for book 1 (sharing for book 2 would be a spoiler if you haven’t read 1 yet):

The night my sister was born, the stars died and were reborn in her eyes….

Zuhra and Inara have grown up in the Citadel of the Paladins, an abandoned fortress where legendary, magical warriors once lived before disappearing from the world–including their Paladin father the night Inara was born.

On that same night, a massive, magical hedge grew and imprisoned them within the citadel. Inara inherited their father’s Paladin power; her eyes glow blue and she is able to make plants grow at unbelievable rates, but she has been trapped in her own mind because of a “roar” that drowns everything else out–leaving Zuhra virtually alone with their emotionally broken human mother.

For fifteen years they have lived, trapped in the citadel, with little contact from the outside world…until the day a stranger passes through the hedge, and everything changes.

The relationship between the sisters, and the unexpected twists and turns of this book stuck with my long after I read it, and I couldn’t wait to read book 2!!! I’m so thrilled that NetGalley and Tor Teen gave me the opportunity to read a free advanced e-copy of Warriors of Wing and Flame.

This book was AMAZING! It started out slow, as pretty much all sequels do, because the author has to try to work in reminders for the reader of all the important things they may have forgotten from the previous book. (Side note, I wish sequels would just start putting a “previously on” section at the front, quickly reminding you of everything you need to know, so you can jump right into the story after you read it…or you could skip it, if you’re binging a series and don’t need to be reminded.)

When we first see the sisters in this book, both of them are grieving and traumatized and I love the way Sara lets us see that, and be with them as they  deal with it, rather than quickly brushing it away.  Once the action really began, I couldn’t put the book down. I loved where the story took us, from developments in relationships, to personal character arcs for the sisters. Inara’s story in book 2 was especially poignant to me. This book had its share of both joy and heartbreak…but there was a thread of hope, no matter how dark the sisters’ situations became.

Sara concluded the series beautifully, and I felt very satisfied. It definitely earns a spot on my favorites shelf. 5 stars.

I would recommend this duology to fans of Strange the DreamerThe Girl of Fire and Thorns,  and Sisters of Sword and Song.  And I’ll definitely be going back and picking up Sara’s previous books, now!

Feel free to message me if you’ve read it. I’d love to chat. Have a great day, lovelies!

Book Review | Burn Our Bodies Down

I loved the gripping, unique voice in Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power (who also wrote Wilder Girls). The story was eccentric and eerie, and one of those odd tales where I wasn’t really quite sure what sort of book it was until near the end, and that made the experience of reading it immersive and delightful.

Here’s a quick synopsis:

“Ever since Margot was born, it’s been just her and her mother. No answers to Margot’s questions about what came before. No history to hold on to. No relative to speak of. Just the two of them, stuck in their run-down apartment, struggling to get along.

But that’s not enough for Margot. She wants family. She wants a past. And she just found the key she needs to get it: A photograph, pointing her to a town called Phalene. Pointing her home. Only, when Margot gets there, it’s not what she bargained for.

Margot’s mother left for a reason. But was it to hide her past? Or was it to protect Margot from what’s still there?

The only thing Margot knows for sure is there’s poison in their family tree, and their roots are dug so deeply into Phalene that now that she’s there, she might never escape.”

You can find links to a Pinterest mood board, and a playlist on Rory Power’s site.


I thoroughly enjoyed the complicated family relationships, blooming friendships, zero romance (other than a mentioned attraction), lesbian representation, and an ever-present sense of mystery and otherworldliness. There’s also grief, and loss, and heartache. It was a solid 4 star read for me, and I’ll be on the lookout for more books from Rory Power in the future.

A big thanks to NetGalley and Random House Children’s for a free eARC of the book.


Book Review | Cinderella is Dead

Hello lovelies. Today I’m sharing my thoughts on a recent read, Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron.

Here’s a quick blurb about the book:

“It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again.

Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . .

This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them.”


I love the cover (and the UK cover, even more…click here to see it), and I really wanted to love this book…unfortunately I didn’t. It’s probably about a 2.5 star book for me, though I suppose I’ll round up to 3 since that’s not an option. I saw this book praised as a book that uses a fantasy world to critique misogyny and homophobia…and it does. BUT, it didn’t do much more than that, for me. The pacing was slower than I like, the world-building wasn’t the most rich or in-depth, and the characters were on the shallow side.

The two things I struggled with the most were:
1) It felt like everything  (plot, character development, world building, etc.) took a back seat to the story as a platform to bash the aforementioned misogyny and homophobia. I’m all for novels that leave you thinking about issues in the real world, but I want to be so sucked into the story along the way that I get lost in it and can’t stop turning the pages.

2) The romance was a love-at-first-sight trope, while also having an almost love triangle drama, and it wasn’t for me. I mean, Sophia, who we’ve just been told is completely in love with Erin, is running for her life, and stops to lust after a total stranger who could be about to try to kill her, for all she knows. I know some people love this trope, but it made me cringe. And it continued for a long time, and never felt believable for me.

I’m sure this book will be a highly enjoyable read for those who just want to read about queer black girls teaming up to overthrow the patriarchy, especially if they enjoy love-at-fist-sight romance. If you’ve read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

{Thank you so much NetGalley and Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books for a free eARC to review. }

Book Review | Splinters of Scarlet

I absolutely loved Splinters of Scarlet, by Emily Bain Murphy. Here’s a quick description:

“Enchantée meets Downton Abbey in this atmospheric YA historical fantasy set in nineteenth-century Denmark, where secrets can kill and magic is a deadly gift.

For Marit Olsen, magic is all about strategy: it flows freely through her blood, but every use leaves behind a deadly, ice-like build-up within her veins called the Firn. Marit knows how dangerous it is to let too much Firn build up—after all, it killed her sister—and she has vowed never to use her thread magic. But when Eve, a fellow orphan whom Marit views like a little sister, is adopted by the wealthy Helene Vestergaard, Marit will do anything to stay by Eve’s side. She decides to risk the Firn and uses magic to secure a job as a seamstress in the Vestergaard household.

But Marit has a second, hidden agenda: her father died while working in the Vestergaards’ jewel mines—and it might not have been an accident. The closer Marit gets to the truth about the Vestergaard family, the more she realizes she and everyone she’s come to love are in danger. When she finds herself in the middle of a treacherous deception that goes all the way up to the king of Denmark, magic may be the only thing that can save her—if it doesn’t kill her first.”

This book!!! Wow. I LOVED Emily’s first book (The Disappearances), so I was excited to read this, and it absolutely did not disappoint!!! The unique magical system was PERFECT. The main character’s magic allows her to stitch thing up, with just a glance, and the way Emily describes it is utterly enchanting. There are also other characters with magic, each one original and distinctive. The magic flooded the story with whimsy, while making the stakes intense, since the act of using magic eventually kills everyone who uses it, and it absolutely kept me turning pages.

I also loved the rich details of the historical Denmark setting, that were woven in seamlessly without bogging down the story. And as a former dance major, I loved that two of the characters were ballerinas, and the terms used to describe everything they did were perfectly accurate, and dance was described as almost its own kind of magic, which I related to so much.

I loved the themes of found family, and sacrifice, and the writing itself was always lovely without ever being too flowery, or wordy. This one makes it into my top three books that I’ve read so far this year, and I can’t wait for everyone to get a chance to read it! I’d recommend it for fans of Romanov, Woven in Midnight, and Everless, plus anyone who loves unique magic, and found families.

Thank you so much, NetGalley, for the free ebook to review.