Review: 27 Hours | Queer Teens Fighting Dragons in Space

I am well aware of the controversy surrounding this book. I’ve read a lot of negative reviews, but I also have read positive reviews. Still, I was really looking forward to reading this book and I am glad I did.

dividersynopsis

27 Hours by Tristina Wright28526192

Rumor Mora fears two things: hellhounds too strong for him to kill, and failure. Jude Welton has two dreams: for humans to stop killing monsters, and for his strange abilities to vanish.

But in no reality should a boy raised to love monsters fall for a boy raised to kill them.

Nyx Llorca keeps two secrets: the moon speaks to her, and she’s in love with Dahlia, her best friend. Braeden Tennant wants two things: to get out from his mother’s shadow, and to unlearn Epsilon’s darkest secret.

They’ll both have to commit treason to find the truth.

During one twenty-seven-hour night, if they can’t stop the war between the colonies and the monsters from becoming a war of extinction, the things they wish for will never come true, and the things they fear will be all that’s left.

27 Hours is a sweeping, thrilling story featuring a stellar cast of queer teenagers battling to save their homes and possibly every human on Sahara as the clock ticks down to zero.

Continue reading “Review: 27 Hours | Queer Teens Fighting Dragons in Space”

Blog Anniversary + 800 Followers + Giveaway + Semi-Hiatus Announcement

This is probably going to be a long post but oh well, stick to it because I’ll end with a giveaway. I have literally been saying I wanted to do a giveaway when I reached 500 followers?? But then I never did??? But today is the day!

First the least exciting thing of all (don’t go scrolling down yet, this is important!), I will be on vacation starting from today until probably Monday, August 14th. This means that I will be absent for almost an entire month. I have a lot of posts scheduled (mainly tags but also newbie bloggers and reviews) so you won’t miss me too much I hope, but I will probably have problems answering all messages, comments, emails etc. So don’t despair when I don’t answer within a few days. It could take me a while. Sadly, this also means I won’t be able to keep up with all of your wonderful posts.

Continue reading “Blog Anniversary + 800 Followers + Giveaway + Semi-Hiatus Announcement”

The Thieves of Nottica: Lovely Diverse Fantasy & A GIVEAWAY (whoohoo)

When I was contacted by the author to review this book I was immediately intrigued, it is namely not only a fantasy book, but it is also very diverse. Diverse fantasy is very rare and I love it. I’m really into diverse fantasy lately, I love it that often, compared to diverse contemporary books, it is not really about the things that makes it diverse, while it is often the main focus in contemporary (there’s nothing wrong with that, I love those books too).

The Thieves of Nottica by Ash Gray34092357

In a world where humans are evil, invading aliens, Rigg is the youngest member of the Keymasters, a band of professional thieves who use their skills to defy an overbearing government known as the Hand. It is a world full of pollution, intrusive surveillance cameras, and injustice, where any who “give the finger to the Hand” are punished with death. The Keymasters are hired to steal a highly sought after treasure, but when one of their number is lost during the job, they find themselves the tools in a power play for said treasure — a mysterious lockbox that no one can open. To ultimately survive in the end, the Keymasters must battle their way through mechanical monsters, airships, and politics, literally going through shit (they travel through a sewage pipe) to make it out alive.

The book is about a group of thieves called the Keymasters, they are three women who are demons. They are not exactly demons, but that is what they were called by the humans. The story takes place in a futuristic but steampunk-ish world where the demons are oppressed by the humans that one took over their world. There are also automatons/humanoids and cyborgs, which is pretty cool. I really liked the worldbuilding in this book, there is this whole background about the world and the characters, which was very cleverly made. 

The characters themselves were great. I loved especially Hari and Rigg a lot, and Lisa was just so sweet and naive, I adored them. Morganith is a badass woman who really speaks her opinion and I can always appreciate a character like that in a book. The relationships between the characters felt really mature, they had a long background together and you could really see that in the way they acted around each other. Lisa is the new addition to their crew but I loved how, once she gained her trust, she was completely accepted as one of theirs. I also loved the love story which was not a large part of the book, but added a lot to the story.

“I solemnly swear that every word I utter is a lie,” whispered Rigg unhappily.
Lisa tilted her head. “What was that?”
Hari glanced at Lisa with hesitation. “It’s the Keymaster oath,” she said with a sad smile. “Nell, Arda and me made it up when we first formed the group. See, the Keymasters aren’t just a bunch of wild bandits. We’ve got rules.”

What made this book stand out, for me, was the huge representation of diversity. All of the characters are in a way diverse. All of them had to deal with oppression, due to their physical attributions (being a demon and all :P), but they were also black, had varied sexual orientations and Morganith is disabled. There was representation of lesbian, asexual, intersexual and bisexual characters. This was actually the very first time I read about an asexual character in a book so I was super excited! (I identify as aromantic-asexual so YAYY)

“No matter how much you loved and respected me, it wouldn’t change society. You cannot change the world for me, Rigg.”
“I can sure as hell try.”

I am giving this book 4.25 stars (I’m breaking my own rules here, I only give half stars but oh well) because it was a lot of fun to read. One minor point was that due to the large amount of information you got in the beginning of the book it was a little hard to come into but once I did, I loved it. The characters and world were great and I loved the diversity!

The Giveaway

The writer was so kind as to allow me to have a giveaway for this book. It’ll be an ebook, which I will send to you. It is a MOBI file which you can open on your Kindle but also on the free Kindle app, which means you can also read it on your phone or laptop or pretty much any device. If you’re interested in the book, enter below!

Enter the giveaway here!

The giveaway will end on Monday July 3rd (and is obviously international :P)

Would you be interested in this book? Have you entered the giveaway?

Sovereign: The Transgender Superhero is Back!

A couple of months ago I reviewed Dreadnought, which is the first installment in the Nemesis series. I don’t know whether this is going to be a trilogy or a full-blown long series, but it doesn’t state it anywhere so we’ll see, I guess. I was lucky enough to get a free copy of Dreadnought back then and I was lucky again to be able to read this one.

Regular rating: 3.5 stars
Diversity rating: 3 stars (LGBT+, POC, disabled)

Warning: this is the second book in the series, and though I will try to avoid major spoilers, it could happen that you get spoiled. I marked one in white, so be aware!

Sovereign (Nemesis #2) – April Daniels32565582

Only nine months after her debut as the fourth superhero to fight under the name Dreadnought, Danny Tozer is already a scarred veteran. Protecting a city the size of New Port is a team-sized job and she’s doing it alone. Between her newfound celebrity and her demanding cape duties, Dreadnought is stretched thin, and it’s only going to get worse.

When she crosses a newly discovered supervillain, Dreadnought comes under attack from all quarters. From her troubled family life to her disintegrating friendship with Calamity, there’s no trick too dirty and no lever too cruel for this villain to use against her.

She might be hard to kill, but there’s more than one way to destroy a hero. Before the war is over, Dreadnought will be forced to confront parts of herself she never wanted to acknowledge.

And behind it all, an old enemy waits in the wings to unleash a plot that will scar the world forever.

Having lived as a girl for months now, Danielle’s struggles as a transgender are not yet over. There are still people (ahem Greywytch) not accepting her as a girl and not only that, the aftermath of her separation from her (abusive) family has left her in tricky situations. In court, she has to fight her father to be able to live with Doc Impossible, while the whole world is watching. The lines between what is right and what is are slowly fading, because through her job of saving people and hunting bad guys, a lot of people get hurt.

“Falling apart can come later, when people aren’t shooting at me.”

In this second book, we meet old and new characters. We meet Calamity (a black morally gray bi superhero with a prosthetic hand), who became Danny’s friend in the first book. Luckily, I didn’t think she was as irresponsible in this book and I liked Calamity a lot more. We meet a few new faces, a genderqueer, Iranian-American superhero called Kinetiq, a magical boy called Charlie and Karen, a half-American, half-Scandinavian death goddess (her own words) who is afflicted by her death mother’s memories (literally). We also meet new enemies (VERY EVIL, WORTH ALL MY HATE), supervillains who want to take over the world, and Dany has to save it.

I loved the added characters a lot, especially Kinetiq, but Doc Impossible and Danielle are still my favourites. Danielle is a strong character, who, even though she always gets in trouble, finds her way out. She makes mistakes, does things she shouldn’t have done, but in the end, you keep rooting for her. Doc Impossible is Danielle’s new mother figure, who also has her troubles laid out for her. *SPOILER FOR BOOK 1 marked white* Now that she involuntarily betrayed her friends, and is no longer perceived as the human she liked to be, she has to figure out how to live as an android. *end of spoiler*

There is also some romance added to the story and I won’t tell you exactly who or what but I did like it a lot. I thought it brought some extra dimension to the story and I loved that.

I also loved how well-researched and developed the story was. From the way Danielle determines the course to fly to get to her destination to how calculated every move is. You can see in everything how much time and devotion April spent on writing this book.

“There are two things I never get tired of looking at. The stars from low orbit and human brains.”

So by now, you might wonder why I am not giving this book a solid 4 stars or even more, and I don’t really know. I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I’d hoped. In my review of Dreadnought, I mentioned that I always get confused while reading fight scenes, and that still happened. I am giving this book 3.5 stars, because again it gives so much insight and diversity. The diversity makes this story so important. Every character has its own background story and each of them is unique in a way. I really enjoyed reading this book so I will definitely recommend it if you like superhero stories with diversity. Also if you want a badass protagonist, you’ve found one.

*** I want to thank the publisher and NetGally for the chance to review this book, which will come out July 25th 2017**

The Bad Book Project #2 | Writing Diverse Characters (by Hannah)

This is the second post in a series called The Bad Book Project in which I (Lia) attempt to prepare for Camp NaNoWriMo in April. The first post in this series is here. I now give the word to Hannah!


Hey!  My Name is Hannah, and I have a blog called The Book Thief Without Words. I’m 17 years old, live in Canada and love everything fictional. I have been writing actively for about six years, but I’ve always loved to come up stories. As of yet, I’ve written two novels and countless short stories. Currently I’m working on two projects: Dried Roses and Petra Pan. Dried Roses is about Rosanna: a psychologist and Leila: a teacher. Leila seeks the help of Rosanna without realizing that they knew each other as kids and that Rosanna has a big part in her troubled past. They eventually become friends, and then gradually fall in love. My other project Petra Pan is a genderbent peter pan retelling about Petra Pan a muslim bisexual who falls in love with Wendy Darling’s descendant:Darla who’s a bi-racial lesbian.

For the past three years or so, I’ve become more conscious about the characters I write. As you can see, I try to incorporate diverse characters into everything I write.It’s really important to me, and I think that all books need diverse elements. This post will be explaining a little about diverse characters, and how to write them.

The #weneeddiversebooks movement has become a booming one ever since it began in 2014. Diversity is so important whether it be in the form of race,sexuality,religion or mental illnesses. Our world is a very diverse one, and it’s unrealistic and harmful to have books that feature white,straight,neuro-typical characters all the time. It doesn’t matter what type of story you’re writing,if you’re writing about humans there needs to be diversity. I know that if you’re not part of the minority that you’re writing about, you may be scared that you’ll offend people, but if you research properly and talk to people of that minority and  get an authentic feel of the character you’re writing about, it isn’t very hard. Diversity shouldn’t be a quota that you have to fill,it should come naturally.Don’t just write the gay best friend, or the sassy black woman because that’s really harmful and stereotypical. Marginalized groups can have the same type of stories that non-marginalized do and shouldn’t be reduced to a stereotype.

Tips on writing diverse characters

1.Don’t write stories that aren’t yours to tell.

While writing diverse characters is very important, it’s also important you don’t speak over the marginalized. So while you can write a book about say an african american, you can’t write a book that talks about say police brutality in the perspective of that character. You’re not black, you don’t need how it feels to live through that, and you’re speaking over others. There are millions of stories that you can tell, so leave the struggles and difficulties to those who have experienced it.Obviously I can’t stop you from writing those stories, but think about it before you do.

2. Do Research.

It is soo soo important to do research. You want your book to be authentic, so research is inevitable. Research can be reading books with similar representation,asking about people’s experiences or just looking up stuff online. Research is especially important when you’re writing about mental illness.It’s really important that you don’t stereotype or generalize because such  representation is kind of worthless.

3. Don’t let your genre limit you.

A lot of people seem to be under the impression that diversity is limited to the real world. There is no excuse for not having diversity in your fantasy or sci-fi. If there’s dragons, and robots I think you can include some diversity. Diversity should encompass all genres, and not just be related to the real world.

4.Include all types of diversity.

Don’t just have  one lesbian or one black character. It’s really unrealistic and feels as though you’re filling a quota. Write stories about people who don’t get representation. If you’re part of a minority that doesn’t have a lot of representation, write the story you want to read. I’m a biromantic asexual, but there’s no rep for me so I wrote my own story.

So that’s it. Please don’t be afraid to write diverse books. Trust me it’s not hard, and honestly makes the story 100x more authentic and enjoyable.  Good luck and I hope you have fun creating diverse characters!


I would like to thank Hannah for writing this excellent post! It is really helpful and I am now going to try to incorporate all her tips in my characters 🙂 Next week’s post will be from Trisha from Autumn of 2003 and it will be about writing a strong secondary cast!

In The Hope of Memories: The best book I’ve read this year and yes it’s also the second one but hey that doesn’t mean anything okay

In The Hope Of Memories by Olivia Rivers is not only one of the first books I read this year but also one of the best I’ve read in a while. This book gives me everything I’ve been looking for and more. Also, it’s super diverse!

In The Hope Of Memories by Olivia Rivers29011221

Hope is dying. 

Hope Jackson has lived her short life to the fullest, but her four closest friends are dangling on the brink of disaster. Right before dying of a rare heart condition, Hope sets up a scavenger hunt across New York City using her graffiti art. The directions she leaves her friends are simple: Solve the clues hidden in her art, and theyll solve the problems haunting their lives.

Hope is dead. 

Two days after her heart fails, Hopes friends are thrown together: 

Aiden, her best friend, whose plans to attend college have been scattered by his OCD.
Kali, her foster sister, whose last ties to sanity are as razor-thin as her anorexic waistline.
Erik, her high school crush, whose success as an athlete is based on a lie with no end in sight.
And Sam, her online pen-pal, whose perfect life exploded into chaos in the aftermath of a school bombing.

Together, the four teens take to the streets of New York to complete Hopes scavenger hunt and fulfill her dying wishes. But in order to unravel the clues hidden in Hopes graffiti, her friends will need to confront their personal demons head on. 

Hope is within reach.

The book has four main characters (Erik, Aiden, Kali, Sam), and they are all amazing and wonderful and also really broken.

My favourite character is possibly probably certainly Sam. Sam does not identify as either a girl or a boy. I knew the moment someone asked what gender they had, and they responded simply with “I’m Sam”, I was going to love them. They’re so unique, and I’ve never read any book with a nonbinary character and it honestly opened my eyes. ALSO they have a cat named Schrodinger and if that doesn’t make you love them I don’t know what does. Aiden is definitely my second favourite character. But I loved all of the characters, in their own silly/weird/funny way they were all amazing.

“You throw punches like a girl.”
“That’s sexist and rude.”
“You know what’s also rude? Punching perfect strangers in the face.”

 

KALI: ok, so maybe jensen ackles is cute. kind of.
AIDEN: no maybes. he’s really hot.
we all whip our attention toward the corner aiden’s in, but he just shrugs.
AIDEN: i don’t need to be homosexual to know if a guy’s handsome.
ME: amen.

If you’re looking for representation of a certain disease, disorder or personality trait, you’ve probably found the right book. The book is so diverse: it hase characters of different races (black (sorry I don’t know what country), Filipina-Latina (biracial), Russian), and so many different disorders/traits/issues etc. I’m just going to list the majority of them: autism spectrum disorder, OCD, colour blindness, anxiety, depression, photographic memory, suicidal thoughts, anorexia, growing up without parents/in the foster system, LHON syndrome (going blind), allergies, claustrophobia, and maybe even more. Even though the story has so many heavy topics, it’s not a heavy book. The book is actually quite funny sometimes and it’s not written in a way that it will make you feel depressed. Which is something I really appreciated, I don’t like books that make you feel bad.

The story is not about love, there are some love interests, but they’re not what the story is about. There also is not that much told about the sexual orientation of the characters (except for Erik and Sam, but I wouldn’t know how to define Sam’s sexual orientation, since they’re nonbinary). What the story is about is four very broken teens, who all have problems in their lives, with their health and with their family, and it is about Hope brought them together. It is about their love for Hope and the difference between being live and living.

ME: something wrong?
AIDEN: hope’s dead.
ME: other than out best friend being dead?
AIDEN: we live on earth.
ME: other than our best friend being dead and us being stuck on the galactic capital of unfairness?
AIDEN: they have the geology section next to the books on romantic relationships.

The four of them get together and have to solve clues in order to follow Hope’s scavenger hunt. The story itself is not what makes this book special, it is the characters. The book is build upon the characters and I love the way they interact. I love how they all have such a distinct voice, way of speaking and have their own opinions. The chapters are all written from a character’s point of view, and what I think Olivia did incredibly well was to make it so apparent from the writingstyle who’s POV it was.

I would recommend this book to anyone. If you love books with good representation, with a very diverse cast and and amazing characters, this is the book for you (and I honestly can’t imagine anyone not loving books like that). The only reason I think you could dislike this book was if you don’t like the characters, and I can’t imagine that either because they’re wonderful. I don’t understand why this book isn’t a major best-seller yet, it has been out for almost a year and I haven’t even heard of it before. I am giving it 5 stars because it is just so good! It is one of my favourites and NOW GO READ IT!

(seriously what are you still doing here? Read it)

Good things don’t disappear just because you can’t see them.

I have received this book via NetGalley, but this has not affected my opinions in any way.