folklore but make it fantasy: Among the Beasts & Briars by Ashley Poston Blog Tour review + giveaway

The blog tour banner for Among the Beasts & Briars. The banner is off-white with the book's cover on the left side. On the right side is the text Tour Banner in big red letters. Below says Among the Beasts and Briars by Ashley Poston in a medium-sized purple font. Below is October 20-24 in smaller red letters.

 Hi, friends! I know it's been a little while, but *gestures to world* there's a lot going on out there, and sometimes it's hard to find the mental space to write and blog. I have struggled this year. But that's why I'm especially excited to participate in the blog tour for Among the Beasts & Briars. I preordered this book back in March because I knew I'd need it during this frustrating and difficult year, and this book DID NOT DISAPPOINT. Scroll down to read my 5 star review and some of my favorite quotes from the book. Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a finished copy!

The book cover for Among the Beasts & Briars. The cover is off white with textured pictures surround the font in gold. There are three purple ravens made of purple flower petals, a pinkish red crown made of roses and lilies, and twisting branches with green leaves. At the very top is the tagline "The forest took everything from her. Now it's her only hope." Below the title is a stump with twisting roots and a red and white fox.
Rating: 5 stars
Release Date: October 20, 2020
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: young adult fantasy
Format/Source: ARC, from the publisher
Status: standalone?
Links: Geekerella review (also 5 stars)

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book before voluntarily joining the blog tour, which does not affect the content of my review. The tour was organized & hosted by The Book Terminal, and the full tour schedule can be found HERE. Please go give my fellow tour hosts some love!

Cerys is safe in the kingdom of Aloriya.
Here there are no droughts, disease, or famine, and peace is everlasting. It has been this way for hundreds of years, since the first king made a bargain with the Lady who ruled the forest that borders the kingdom. But as Aloriya prospered, the woods grew dark, cursed, and forbidden. Cerys knows this all too well: when she was young, she barely escaped as the woods killed her friends and her mother. Now Cerys carries a small bit of the curse—the magic—in her blood, a reminder of the day she lost everything. The most danger she faces now, as a gardener’s daughter, is the annoying fox who stalks the royal gardens and won’t leave her alone.
As a new queen is crowned, however, things long hidden in the woods descend on the kingdom itself. Cerys is forced on the run, her only companions the small fox from the garden, a strange and powerful bear, and the magic in her veins. It’s up to her to find the legendary Lady of the Wilds and beg for a way to save her home. But the road is darker and more dangerous than she knows, and as secrets from the past are uncovered amid the teeth and roots of the forest, it’s going to take everything she has just to survive.

Blog Tour: The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Today I'm reviewing my first-ever Jennifer Lynn Barnes book, The Inheritance Games, which I really enjoyed. Be sure to scroll down to see all the tour stops and enter the tour-wide giveaway!

Rating: 4 stars
Release Date: September 1, 2020
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: young adult thriller
Format/Source: DRC, from the publisher
Status: Book 1 of The Inheritance Games series

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour, which was organized & hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. The full tour schedule can be found below. Please go give my fellow tour hosts some love!

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour. This does not affect the content of my review.

A Cinderella story with deadly stakes and thrilling twists, perfect for fans of One of Us is Lying and Knives Out.

Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why--or even who Tobias Hawthorne is. To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room bears the old man's touch--and his love of puzzles, riddles, and codes. Unfortunately for Avery, Hawthorne House is also occupied by the family that Tobias Hawthorne just dispossessed. This includes the four Hawthorne grandsons: dangerous, magnetic, brilliant boys who grew up with every expectation that one day, they would inherit billions. Heir apparent Grayson Hawthorne is convinced that Avery must be a con-woman, and he's determined to take her down. His brother, Jameson, views her as their grandfathe's last hurrah: a twisted riddle, a puzzle to be solved. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege, with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive.

Blog Tour + Giveaway: What I Like About You by Melissa Kanter

Today I'm talking about an adorable new YA debut: Marisa Kanter's What I Like About You! This sweet story is about a teen book blogger & bookstagrammer famous for her bookish cupcakes and the love "triangle" she finds herself in when she meets her online bestie IRL. It may be about cupcakes, but poor Halle is in quite a pickle! Keep scrolling to find out more about the book and enter to win a signed copy!

Release Date: April 7, 2020
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: young adult contemporary romance
Format/Source: ARC, from the publisher
Status: standalone

Can a love triangle have only two people in it? Online, it can…but in the real world, it's more complicated. In this debut novel that’s perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Morgan Matson, Marisa Kanter hilariously and poignantly explores what happens when internet friends turn into IRL crushes.

Is it still a love triangle if there are only two people in it?

There are a million things that Halle Levitt likes about her online best friend, Nash.

He’s an incredibly talented graphic novelist. He loves books almost as much as she does. And she never has to deal with the awkwardness of seeing him in real life. They can talk about anything…

Except who she really is.

Because online, Halle isn’t Halle—she’s Kels, the enigmatically cool creator of One True Pastry, a YA book blog that pairs epic custom cupcakes with covers and reviews. Kels has everything Halle doesn’t: friends, a growing platform, tons of confidence, and Nash.

That is, until Halle arrives to spend senior year in Gramps’s small town and finds herself face-to-face with real, human, not-behind-a-screen Nash. Nash, who is somehow everywhere she goes—in her classes, at the bakery, even at synagogue.

Nash who has no idea she’s actually Kels.

If Halle tells him who she is, it will ruin the non-awkward magic of their digital friendship. Not telling him though, means it can never be anything more. Because while she starts to fall for Nash as Halle…he’s in love with Kels.

Purchase Links:

Tour Schedule:

Week 1
3/30: Novel Novice - Giveaway
3/31: Book Bratz - Review
4/1: The Novel Knight - Author Guest Post
4/2: Book Princess Reviews - Review
4/3: eleven thirteen pm - Author Q&A

Week 2
4/6: Vicky Again - Creative Post 
4/7: Pub Day (Marisa) - Creative Post
4/8: Kayla Reads and Reviews - Author Q&A
4/9: The Heart of a Book Blogger - Author Q&A
4/10: Mary Had a Little Book Blog - Giveaway

Week 3
4/13: Jen Ryland Reviews - Review
4/14: Love in Panels - Giveaway
4/15: Forever and Everly - Review
4/16: I'm All Booked Up - Review
4/17: Awkwordly Emma - Author Q&A

Week 4
4/21: Read By Tiffany - Author Q&A
4/24: Bookishly Jules - Giveaway

Week 5
4/27: Lost in a Book - Review
4/28: Pages and Pugs - Review
4/29: Skye's Scribblings - Review
4/30: Kait Plus Books - Giveaway

About the Author:
Marisa Kanter has worked in publicity for major publishers and covered YA books for MTV. Currently, she works in sales, on the distribution side of the publishing industry. She can often be found searching for the best iced chai in NYC, or reading on the 3 train. What I Like About You is her first novel. Follow her at and on Twitter @marisakanter

Author Links:

One winner will receive a signed copy of What I Like About You. Open to the US. Entrants must be 13+ with parents' permission. Giveaway is open until 12 AM CDT April 20. Please enter via Rafflecopter below; winner will be chosen at random, and odds are determined by number of entries. I reserve the right to disqualify any entries that are not in accordance with my giveaway policies as stated in the Review & Site Policies tab at the top of the page. Good luck! 

Review + Giveaway: Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff: The irreverent space romp

Rating: 5 stars
Release Date: 
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genre: young adult sci-fi + ?????

From the internationally bestselling authors of THE ILLUMINAE FILES comes an epic new science fiction adventure.

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They're not the heroes we deserve. They're just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. This does not affect the content of my review.

Cover Reveal: Sure Shot by Sarina Bowen

Once again I have the pleasure of sharing a new Sarina Bowen cover with you all today! Sure Shot is the next installment featuring a player on the Brooklyn Bruisers hockey team, and this time, sports agent Bess Beringer is our lovely heroine. Longtime Sarina readers will recognize Bess as the sister of Bruisers player Dave (from the True North/Brooklyn crossover novel Bountiful) and as the wise woman who helped Eric figure out his life post-playing career in Moonlighter. I've been so excited to know more about Auntie Bess since I read Bountiful so I'm THRILLED it's finally time for her story!

Photo by Wander Aguiar, Design by Hang Le

Release Date: May 12, 2020
Publisher: Tuxbury Publishing LLC
Genre: adult romantic suspense

A new stand-alone hockey romance from USA Today bestseller Sarina Bowen.

On the eve of her thirtieth birthday, sports agent Bess Beringer is ready to make some changes. Armed with a five-year plan—indexed and color coded—she’ll tackle her personal life with the same zeal that she brings to her successful agency.

A big, tall, ripped hunk of hockey player who’s just been traded to the Brooklyn Bruisers is not a part of that plan. Mark “Tank” Tankiewicz has a lot of baggage. He’s a ride-or-die loner with a bad reputation. He’s on the rebound. He’s also the sexiest thing on two legs, and for some crazy reason it’s Bess that he wants.

She knows better. But then she falls stupid in love with him anyway. And for a while it seems like maybe he’ll do the same.

Until she asks him for the one thing he can never give her…  

Purchase Links:
Audio coming soon! 


Interested in Sure Shot? Check out this Goodreads giveaway for 3 signed copies!


About the Author:
Sarina Bowen is the RITA® Award winning author of over thirty contemporary novels. She most recently hit the USA Today bestseller's list last week with Top Secret (co-written by Elle Kennedy) and in January, with Overnight Sensation. Formerly a derivatives trader on Wall Street, Sarina holds a BA in economics from Yale University.

Sarina Bowen is a New Englander whose Vermont ancestors cut timber and farmed the north country since the 1760s. Sarina is grateful for the invention of indoor plumbing and wi-fi during the intervening 250 years. On a few wooded acres, she lives with her husband, two boys, and an ungodly amount of ski and hockey gear.

Sarina's books are published in a dozen languages on four continents. In 2016, The Romance Writers of America honored Him by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy with a RITA award for Best Contemporary Romance, Mid-Length.

Author Links:

Book Blitz: What I Like About Me by Jenna Guillaume


What I Like About Me is one of my most anticipated reads of 2020! I've been a fan of Jenna Guillaume's work for a long time so when I heard she was publishing a fat positive YA book, I wanted it INSTANTLY. The book released last year in Australia, and it has finally made its way to the US! So check it out and be sure to scroll down to the giveaway at the end!

Author: Jenna Guillaume
Release Date: April 1, 2020 (US pub date)
Publisher: Peachtree Publishing
Genre: young adult contemporary
Status: standalone

You know all those movies where teenagers have, like, THE TIME OF THEIR LIVES? This vacation is probably not going to be that.

The last thing sixteen-year-old Maisie Martin thought she’d be doing over vacation is entering a beauty pageant. Not when she’s spent most of her life hiding her body from everyone. Not when her Dad is AWOL and her gorgeous older sister has returned to rock Maisie’s already shaky confidence. And especially not when her best friend starts flirting with the boy she’s always loved. But Maisie’s got something to prove.

As she writes down all the ways this vacation is going from bad to worse in her school-assignment journal, what starts as a homework torture-device might just end up being an account of how Maisie didn’t let anything, or anyone, hold her back.

Jenna Guillame’s American debut features a plus-size protagonist with a compelling, funny, and authentic narrative voice. This relatable and charming novel about friendship, confidence, and self-love will draw readers in as Maisie’s realistic emotional journey unveils the importance of embracing one’s body and celebrating one’s self.

Praise for What I Like About Me:
“Debut author Guillaume's novel features funny dialogue and fresh takes on body image and personal relationships as well as a plucky heroine who slowly but surely comes into her own…. Perfect for fans of Dumplin’, a hilariously sweet yet complex romance.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Guillaume’s delightful debut deals with teenagers and their self-esteem, as Maisie’s story is relayed through her journal entries. This intimate lens will invest readers in Maisie’s journey to self-acceptance and confidence. A fun story, abounding in humor, romance, and inspiration and filled with multifaceted characters that readers will enjoy.” ―Booklist

“This book draws obvious parallels to Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’, but Maisie and her diverse cast of friends are fresh and distinctive, as is the Australian setting…. A fun, upbeat, and tender coming-of-age story written in an engaging and lively diary format.” ―School Library Journal

Available from:

About the Author:
Jenna Guillaume was editor-at-large for BuzzFeed Australia, where she wrote about very important things like pop culture, identity, feminism, social media, and Chris Hemsworth's biceps. Previously, she spent more than half a decade in the features department of Girlfriend magazine, editing the sealed section (yes, all those questions are real), and writing about everything from bullying and body image to bad kisses and boy bands. She was also a contributor to Girlfriend Life Hacks, an essential guide to navigating a girl's completely-awkward-but-totally-awesome teen years. 

Author Links:


5 Winners will receive a copy of What I Like About Me and a book branded pocket mirror. Open internationally. Ends April 20. Must be 13+ to enter.

Many thanks to Jean of Jean Book Nerd for giving me the opportunity to be part of this Nerd Blast.

Review: Go with the Flow by Lily Williams & Karen Schneemann

Rating: 5 stars
Release Date: January 14, 2020
Publisher: First Second
Genre: young adult realistic graphic novel
Format/Source: finished copy, from the library
Status: standalone

Good friends help you go with the flow. Best friends help you start a revolution.

Sophomores Abby, Brit, Christine, and Sasha are fed up. Hazelton High never has enough tampons. Or pads. Or adults who will listen.

Sick of an administration that puts football before female health, the girls confront a world that shrugs―or worse, squirms―at the thought of a menstruation revolution. They band together to make a change. It’s no easy task, especially while grappling with everything from crushes to trig to JV track but they have each other’s backs. That is, until one of the girls goes rogue, testing the limits of their friendship and pushing the friends to question the power of their own voices.

Now they must learn to work together to raise each other up. But how to you stand your ground while raising bloody hell?