Spoiler Free Mini Reviews: Faith Takes Flight & The Voting Booth

Title: Faith Takes Flight

Author:ย Julie Murphy

Pub. Date: July 7th 2020

Genre:ย YA Contemporary/Queer

Format: Audiobook ALC

Publisher:ย Balzer + Bray

Pages: 304 Pages

GOODREADS |ย BARNES & NOBLE | LIBRO.FM| AMAZON

๐Ÿ–คARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review๐Ÿ–ค

Faith Herbert in many ways is your average teenager living in a small town dealing with friendships, crushes, volunteer work & more. It’s easy to fall in love with Faith who is a plus size teen with a well known fan blog for The Grove, a popular tv series. Faith lives with her grandmother who she loves dearly & is one part of a trio of friends who are queer and super supportive of one another. This is her senior year in High School & things get a bit complicated when The Grove starts filming in her hometown. Faith finds herself having more than one crush, Johnny is very much the boy next door who is trying to get Dakota to notice him. Dakota Ash is the star of The Grove who also has her eyes on Faith & sets out to take her out on a date.

This was a cute superhero story that had its pacing issues & felt like two different books in one. The first half doesn’t see much plot movement, it really is just small town life as Faith goes about volunteer work at the Vet clinic & dating Dakota. The second half takes off at lightning speed with all sorts of new things introduced to the plot including missing teens, pets & a criminal operation. I’m still unsure about how Faith got a handle on her superhero powers & wished that we’d gotten more on that. What I loved about Faith is that she’s not your typical slim female superhero in tights. Faith is not only plus size but she also dates both genders & explores her sexuality, questioning herself at times but never labeling herself. I felt this came across as authentic for her age when really that’s exactly what is happening, self discovery. I did have some issues with how Faith handled her friends when consumed by her love life but I’m glad things get sorted out on the page. The friend trio itself is #Nerdgoals I LOVED them to pieces, especially Ches who is a queer witch that isn’t above lighting some sage to clear the room of negative energies! LOVED!


Title: The Voting Booth

Author:ย Brandy Colbert

Pub. Date: July 7th 2020

Genre:ย YA Contemporary

Format: Audiobook ALC

Publisher:ย Disney-Hyperion

Pages: 304 Pages

GOODREADS |ย BARNES & NOBLE | LIBRO.FM | AMAZON

๐Ÿ–คARC provided by author/Libro.fm in exchange for an honest review๐Ÿ–ค

If ever there was a timely read, this is it! at its core, The Voting Booth is about voter suppression in black communities. We meet Marva Sheridan, a black teen who has a passion for politics & making sure voter rights are upheld and protected. She is an activist who knows her life has a purpose, to make a difference in the world. Duke Crenshaw is a bi-racial teen on his way to cast his vote before class & also comes from a family who take voting pretty seriously. However, they also had a son who was an activist, who is no longer with them. This is something that Duke carries with him & has created an aversion to politics. As a son of divorced parents, Duke has had to relocate a few times and because of that, voting at the school he is registered under has now become a challenge. Marva steps in to assist Duke throughout the course of one entire day, met with many obstacles but never once being deterred. At the start of their story, Marva is dating someone who she has just found out has opted to not vote at all. She’s completely thrown off & diverts her energies towards helping Duke & in turn spends the day getting to know him. I was very grateful to the author in their decision to not throw Marva into Dukes arms. Boundaries were respected leaving me with the MOST satisfying of endings.

Interwoven throughout this story there’s discussion of police brutality, interracial dating & moments where the characters themselves question their identities within the black community. There’s Duke who until this day hasn’t really wanted to focus too much on his brothers political activism. Then there’s Marva who is attending a white school & recognizes her privilege. There’s so much to unpack but one thing rings loud & clear, that’s the need to end voter suppression. The importance of casting your vote & the change that is needed within communities of color where it is made most difficult to exercise this right.


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The Wonder Woman Book Tag

Diana Prince, my favorite Superhero of all time has a tag! I gave a silent YASSSSS & fist pump when I got the notification from the WONDERFUL Sarah over atย The Clever Reader! Thank you Sarah, this warrior is ready! โค โค โค

Wonder Woman: Your favorite badass female book characterโ€ฆ

Vasya from The Bear and The Nightingale (my review) is the definition of a free spirit! she won’t let anyone dictate her path in life & she knows exactly what she doesn’t want. Vasya reminds me most of Brave’s Merida…

 

Fantasy Island: A book setting you want to escape toโ€ฆ

This may seem odd to some but for those who have read The Bone Witch (my review) & LOVED it…you probably fell for the LUSH beautiful world building Chupeco brought to life through the eyes of young Tea. The Bone Witch gives off Memoirs of a Geisha vibes & I’m SUPER stoked to escape to this world again with The Heart Forger...

 

London: A hyped book that let you downโ€ฆ

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert…this book had all the ingredients to be one of the books I’d end up loving but ultimately it just didn’t work out that way. I am however hoping that the follow up Tales of the Hinterlandย is more up my alley since I’m guessing it will focus more on the dark fairy tales.

 

 

Steve Trevor: A book that has a beautiful cover and a great story (i.e. good personality)โ€ฆ

The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell (my GUSH review). Not only is the cover STUNNING with its embossed coiled dragon, but the story takes place in NYC during the 20’s which is my favorite time period in NYC History…think Gangs Of New York! The follow-up to The Last Magician will hit shelves this October, The Devil’s Thief looks like it will be just as AMAZING as TLM ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Lasso of Truth: A book you hatedโ€ฆ

Hate is such a strong work & I try not to use it on the regular but I will say that I highly disliked Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. Its been YEARS since I read this book but it still maintains the spot on my Goodreads shelves as the only 1 star read. It all came down to plain boredom cause circus stories are actually some of my FAVES! (heart eyes at The Night Circus)..

 

 

Wonder Womanโ€™s Shield: A book so sad that you need a shieldโ€ฆ

Hands down They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera (my review)…CONFESSION: I actually struggled to pick one of the 3 Adam Silvera books cause they all broke my heart into millions of little pieces. However, TBDATE was the only book I actually needed emotional support from my fellow blogging buddies via Twitter DM’s (thanks again Krysti @ YA & Wineย & yawednesdays lol)…

 

Ares: a villain that is scary, but you canโ€™t seem to hate themโ€ฆ

This was perhaps the toughest prompt for me because I tend to really dislike my villains (not counting anti-heroes)ย but after recently reading & becoming OBSESSED with To Kill a Kingdom (RTC), I’d have to say Lira the MC. TKAK is basically Ursula’s story w/out saying as much. Deliciously dark, this book introduced me to Lira who now holds a special place in my <3! Yes she’s a villain. Yes I love her. No I don’t feel bad about this HAHA!

The Amazons: A book that you wish had more/better LGBT+ representationโ€ฆ

The Dangerous Art of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis (my review) means so much to me for personal reasons but it isn’t without its flaws. The relationship between Evan & another guy on the surface seems Ok but in reality it felt like a ton of pressure being placed on the MC coming out as Gay before he was ready. There’s a lot going on in this book & 13 year old Lilly would’ve found strength in Evan’s story. Still I am thankful to have read this book if only to reflect on how far I’ve come in my personal journey. Evan’s story is based on the authors real life experiences & so that would be something to keep in mind when thinking about picking up this read…not everyone’s journey is filled with supportive people.

Justice League: What superhero book friends do you tagโ€ฆ

ย 

Flavia @FlaviatheBibliophile

Beth@ReadingEveryNight

Melanie @Meltotheany

Ashley@Sociallyawkwardbookworm

Larkin@WonderfilledReads

Destiny @HowlingLibraries

Kristin@KristinKravesBooks

Jasmine @Jasmineโ€™sReading

TheBookishChic

Raven @Dreamyaddictions

Kelly @AnotherBookintheWall

Tiana@ TheBookRaven

Amanda @PeaksandPages

Kelly@Kellyโ€™sRambles

I decided to tag some of my closest book blogging buddies that I know enjoy tags along with some new to me book bloggers I’ve discovered over the past couple of days. Friendly reminder if you’re tagging other WordPress bloggers, please choose any of their posts to link back to otherwise they sadly won’t get the notification telling them you’ve tagged them (took me a minute to figure that one out haha!) but most of all, I hope you have fun with this one <3’s!

November Wrap-Up

Hello Bookworms! I come to you with my November Wrap-Up which is only a slight bit different in format than what I typically post here on Lair Of Books. I usually include my Book Haul but that tends to leave me with a lengthy post & so I decided to split them up and I think I may keep it this way. I really didn’t expect to get as many books as I did in November but that’s usually the case whenever I try to convince myself that I can go on a book buying ban smh, check out my My November Book Haulย where I bake my soul for judgment…please be easy, i’m just a woman with a profound love for books, the prettier the better haha!

November was a roller coaster of events for me with close friends and family experiencing loss & sadness. I found myself really wanting to be around my loved ones, people who are known for being strong & always being there for others. It was time to give back & be the source of strength for two very important people in my life. Thanksgiving was bittersweet but I found so much to be thankful for. I’m a little late with this post but I just want to say Thank You to all my blogging buddies both new & old. I’ve enjoyed getting to know a lot of you a bit better & the wonderful conversations we’ve had, many times have changed my day for the better. I appreciate you all & can’t wait to see what 2018 brings us ๐Ÿ™‚

*My reviews for each are linked below

Her Body and Other Partiesย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜… 4 STARS (RTC)

Artemisย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜… 3 STARS

The Closest I’ve Comeย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜… 4 STARS

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstanceย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜… 4 STARS

Renegades โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜… 4.5 STARS

After the EPIC month of October, I knew it would be a tough act to follow lol. No 5 star reads but they definitely came close & so I am satisfied. Renegades was my best read of the month, I was just happy to have a new book by Marissa Meyer but it wasn’t w/out its flaws. My overall enjoyment overpowered the fact that there were large chunks of inactivity & it’s a HUGE book so there’s that. Still though, highly recommend to any superhero/villain lovers out there. Be warned though, that ending will leave you begging for the sequel like yesterday. My biggest disappointment was Artemis by Andy Weir & whelp, I wasn’t expecting that to be the case (review linked above). I may still give The Martian a go but I’m not so sure I’ll be continuing on with the follow-up to Artemis that is rumored to be in the works.

December is already lining up to be a pretty EPIC reading month, I’ve already finished my first read & it is a EPIC 5 stars! currently reading The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden & gahhhhh! how I’ve missed Katherine Arden’s LUSH WORLD BUILDING!!!! her books feel like a warm blanket on a cold winter night & I just don’t ever want to leave *sobs* My December TBR will be going up this Friday so stay tuned <3’s!

I was actually surprised that I managed to squeeze in 2 movie dates with the hubby & a Netflix binge but it happened and it was AMAZING!…

Thor Ragnarok

ย ย ย ย 

SO worth the 5 Butterflies!!! I can honestly say I LOVED this movie so much so that it made the 2011 flick fade to black #jussayin Thor Ragnarok had incredible action sequence scenes, EPIC call to action soundtrack, fun plot, and LOTS of screen time with Tom Hiddleston (still not enough though lol). We also get to catch up with Hulk & see where he’s been, those scenes brought some humor & levity to the flick. Similar to how how I felt about Spiderman Homecoming…this movie made me see Thor in a new light. Whereas before I didn’t really care much for the God and his hammer, now I’d like another movie please ๐Ÿ™‚

Justice League

ย ย ย 

ย 4 stars to the movie that surprised the heck outta me! I was not expecting to enjoy JL as much as I did after not quite loving Batman VS. Superman but I did! Ben Affleck toned it down several notches & I found him to no be as annoying this time around. I actually really enjoyed his Bruce Wayne scenes especially those with The Flash who wonder & awe added some comedic relief. Didn’t think I’d love this Flash because I LOVE Grant Gustin’s version so much on the CW but surprise surprise lol. Aquaman legit made my heart skip beats & yes! yes I would like more Jason Momoa on the screen please lol. Gal Gadot friggin Killed it, she can do no wrong in my eyes at this point. Cyborg is a essential & awesome new addition to the team, he is constantly evolving as he is part machine which I thought made him all the more interesting. Overall, I really enjoyed Justice League & hope it continues in this new direction.

Punisher

ย ย ย ย 

There’s a new order to my fave Netflix Marvel series & it goes like this…Luke Cage (#1), Punisher, Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Defenders. I haven’t had a Netflix binge since Luke Cage & when I sat down with the hubby for some Pizza & the pilot episode to Punisher, I wasn’t expecting to watch 8 episodes back to back but again, I did. This month was definitely filled with some unexpected goodies in my viewing so yay for that! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  this show is not for the feint of heart, there is a lot of violence & revenge taking place but I just couldn’t tear my eyes away. Frank Castle is seriously bad a**!& I’m here for it! haha!


Happy reading in December Bookworms!!! Hope you all had a wonderful November & an even better start to December. What are you currently reading/watching? drop your comments down below <3โ€™s!


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Review: Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Title:ย Renegades (Renegades #1)

Author:ย Marissa Meyer

Pub. Date:ย November 7th, 2017

Genre:ย YA Fantasy

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends/Fierce Reads

Pages:ย 576

Format: Physical ARC

Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigiesโ€”humans with extraordinary abilitiesโ€”who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justiceโ€”and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

ย ย ย ย 

Are you a Renegade or a Anarchist? is it really as simple as choosing a side? and is it really good vs. evil?ย The city of Gatlon has been divided by those who admire the Renegades & those who detest them. Our MC Nova aka Nightmare is a Prodigy, someone born with superhuman abilities. Nova at a very young age was raised by her parents to trust in the Renegades to save the day however, too soon she learned this was not the case for her. When tragedy struck Nova at the age of 6, everything she believed in crumbled & the seed of resentment towards the Renegades began to grow deep within. Vowing vengeance, Nova takes to life underground with other Anarchists intent on the destruction of the Renegades. The overall consensus is that Renegades aren’t out on the streets saving lives, they are glorified super stars that the people have come to idolize through parades and intense media coverage. The Renegades themselves believe everything they do is in the best interest of society. However, not just anyone can become a Renegade, Prodigies interested in joining must go through what is known as the Renegade Trials. Based on your super human ability, Renegade teams can choose you to join their squad very much like the American tv show The Voice haha!

We follow Nova as she sets out to get back at those she believes have failed her and the city she lives in. I enjoyed seeing how Nova went about positioning herself to enact her plan however, I do believe plot pacing took a hit. Renegades is generous on the page count & although I LOVED every single one of the characters, there were some moments of no real activity. That being said, my enjoyment wasn’t too impacted & towards the end there are certain elements introduced that serve sort of as a jet-pack concluding with a strong and unsuspecting finish.

Although the story does focus mostly on Nova, we meet a slew of characters both Renegades and Anarchists alike. The finished copy actually has a small glossary in the front of the book. Nova was pretty much raised in a underground subway tunnel surrounded by a handful of other Anarchists. It’s made clear that the Anarchists ranks have taken a severe hit and not many are left. Nova spends her time with her adopted family of Anarchists Queen Bee (has a special connection to bees), Cyanide (King of poisons & natural gasses), Phobia (will draw the fear right out of you), The Detonator (BOOM!), and The Puppeteer (creepy as hell lol) who are all Prodigies with innnnneresting abilities. I REALLY liked all of the Anarchists which speaks to how well Meyer blurs the lines between who is good and who is evil.

The Renegades are more of a corporation expanding world wide with many arriving in Gatlon city to train. We meet Adrian Everheart at the start of the story while he is experimenting with his abilities (vague for fear of spoilers).ย Adrian is the adopted son of Captain Chromium & Dread Warden who are both leading political figures and part of the Council which governs over the Renegades in protecting Gatlon. I appreciated the LGBTQ representation with Adrian’s dads who although they are side characters, are still very important people in leading roles in fictional Gatlon city & that’s pretty damn awesome!ย  Adrian is team leader of his squad & we are introduced to Red Assassin (Gem & Rubies manipulator), Monarch (special connection with butterflies), and Smokescreen (smoke manipulator who is also disabled). However, Adrian is the character we spend most our time with & I ended up loving him to pieces.ย Although we get some moderate page time with Adrian’s squad, I do wish they were as fleshed out as the Anarchists were.

Any time I can get my hands on a Marissa Meyer story, I will! One of my all time favorite YA authors, I cannot resist her writing and the worlds she creates full of complex & morally gray characters. By the time you reach the end of Renegades, it will be hard for you to choose a side. Although the Renegades mean well, are they really helping or hurting the people of Gatlon city? & although the Anarchists claim to want independence for the people of Gatlon city, is full fledged freedom with no government really the answer? I myself haven’t chosen a side yet & love that about this story. Start to finish I enjoyed my time with these characters & found myself at times rooting for both sides lol. The plot could’ve been paced a bit better & I would like to see the other characters fleshed out a bit more, particularly on the Renegade side. Other than that, I CANNOT WAIT for the sequel!!! anyone who has already devoured this knows that with that ending, the suffering will be long & hard haha! MARISSA HAS DONE IT AGAIN!!!! โค โค โค

*Special thanks to Fierce Reads for providing ARCS of Renegades in exchange for an honest review

*Images not my own, gathered from Marissa Meyer’s Pinterest Board. She has loooooads of pics but these called out to me most ๐Ÿ™‚

Hello bookworms! many of you are either in the middle of or finishing up Renegades…isn’t it sooo good?!?! I finished it in the tub & tweeted my reaction to the finale while trying my hardest not to drop the book smh LOL! more importantly, are you a Anarchist or a Renegade? ๐Ÿ˜‰


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#ARCstravaganza #10

#ARCstravaganza is a weekly meme hostedย by the wonderful Flavia over @Flavia the Bibliophileย whereย book bloggers/bookstagrammers have a chance to show off their ARCs/eARCs/Galleys!

Hello Readers! This is my 10th week participating in #ARCstravaganza Monday & this week Iโ€™ve chosen Renegades (Renegades #1) by Marissa Meyerย which is one of my highly anticipated books of 2017! Meyer is a auto-buy author for me at this point, I enjoyed her writing & fresh take in the Lunar Chronicles & have high hopes for the next chapter in this authors journey. Renegades will follow a new story line, set of characters, and world. I’ve tried my hardest to stay away from early reviews on Goodreads but I did see mention of the main character being half Filipino which is automatically a plus in my book & on this blog. I guess what I’m also very excited to see is the villain Meyer has conjured up this time. Levana is still top 5 evil for me & I’m curious to see if there will be a new villain in town to dethrone her. Also, superhero powers are my Achilles Heel & no I can’t resist these stories, truth be told they take up the majority of my shelves.

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From #1 New York Times-bestselling author Marissa Meyer, comes a high-stakes world of adventure, passion, danger, and betrayal.

Secret Identities.
Extraordinary Powers.
She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigiesโ€”humans with extraordinary abilitiesโ€”who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justiceโ€”and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

What are some ARCS/eGalleys youโ€™re excited to have Bookworms? are you a fan of Marissa Meyer? looking forward to Renegades? sound off in the comments belowย ๐Ÿ™‚


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