You Have a Match | Book Review

“If you learn to capture a feeling, it’ll always be louder than words.”

You Have a Match by Emma Lord

Last March, I read Tweet Cute by Emma Lord and it was the escape and lightheartedness I needed at the time to get through the start of lockdown. Given everything happening in the US right now, I am really grateful that You Have a Match was able to provide that escapism for me again. This book left me smiling and happy crying and had me reading to find out what happens until 3AM last night.

You Have a Match is a fresh spin on Parent Trap, and as someone who grew up on the Lindsay Lohan movie, this made me so happy!

Synopsis

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.

Review

Like I said at the beginning of this post, I could not get enough of this book!! There was a relatively diverse cast of characters, the mystery of how Savannah and Abby were separated, family dynamics, summer camp, and a lot of cute romantic relationships!! As someone who never got to attend summer camp, it was fun to read a book set in one, and it definitely would be the perfect summer read! The side characters made me laugh and were well fleshed out. The mystery of Savannah’s adoption was not one that I saw coming and I definitely couldn’t put the book down until I found out what happened.

The pacing in this book was excellent, once Abby discovered Savannah, things moved quickly to summer camp and all the various shenanigan’s that happen there. Abby and Savannah both grow as characters as the summer continues and watching them bond was heartwarming. There was plenty of drama to mess with my emotions just a bit and some excellent quotes. I also love books that can poke fun at themselves so I loved all the jokes about Abby’s life becoming a CW drama. If you’re looking for a little escape or a book that will leave you smiling, look no further! I highly recommend this book and am giving it 5/5 stars!

Disclaimer: I was given an E-ARC of this book I’m exchange for an honest review.

The Camelot Betrayal | Book Review

Review

I was so lucky to be sent an ARC of The Camelot Betrayal by GetUnderlined and Penguin Random House!! Thank you so much for sending me a copy of the 2nd book in Kiersten White’s The Camelot Rising series!!

This book was a little slow to start and it took me a minute to get pulled back into Camelot, however, I really enjoyed this book! I loved new side characters introduced in the novels and seeing more of Camelot and the surrounding kingdoms. The book had me shouting at the characters at time, face palming, and rooting for them. It absolutely did not suffer from second book syndrome and I can’t wait to read the next book!

One aspect of the book I really enjoyed (and felt it merited it’s own section) is the character development. I really feel like Guinevere and Lancelot evolved a lot as the novel progressed. Without giving away any spoilers, it was interesting (and at times stressful) to see their relationship change too as they both grew more into their roles as queen and knight. I feel like they’re both more confident and it was great to see how they got there.

Overall rating: 4/5 stars!

I definitely recommend this series, if you’re interested be sure to pick up a copy ASAP! I think Camelot is the perfect setting of a book for this time of year!

Book Summary

The second book in a new fantasy trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White, exploring the nature of self, the inevitable cost of progress, and, of course, magic and romance and betrayal so epic Queen Guinevere remains the most famous queen who never lived.

EVERYTHING IS AS IT SHOULD BE IN CAMELOT: King Arthur is expanding his kingdom’s influence with Queen Guinevere at his side. Yet every night, dreams of darkness and unknowable power plague her.

Guinevere might have accepted her role, but she still cannot find a place for herself in all of it. The closer she gets to Brangien, pining for her lost love Isolde, Lancelot, fighting to prove her worth as Queen’s knight, and Arthur, everything to everyone and thus never quite enough for Guinevere–the more she realizes how empty she is. She has no sense of who she truly was before she was Guinevere. The more she tries to claim herself as queen, the more she wonders if Mordred was right: she doesn’t belong. She never will.

When a rescue goes awry and results in the death of something precious, a devastated Guinevere returns to Camelot to find the greatest threat yet has arrived. Not in the form of the Dark Queen or an invading army, but in the form of the real Guinevere’s younger sister. Is her deception at an end? And who is she really deceiving–Camelot, or herself?

Born at Dawn Review | TBR and Beyond Tours

I’m back with another review thanks to TBR and Beyond Tours! I am so excited to participate in the Born at Dawn tour, for a look at the full tour schedule, click here! This book drew me in straight from the cover- isn’t it absolutely stunning?!

Book Info

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Publishing Date: November 15, 2020

Book Links

Amazon

Goodreads

Synopsis

When a heist goes terribly wrong and the binding spell holding 17-year-old Neva’s powers at bay is shattered, the half-human thief knows she’s in trouble.

Neva has always hidden her Da’Valian heritage while working risky jobs to make a name for herself and serving at her family’s tavern, but she won’t be able to hide much longer. She can either risk the safety of those she cares about or seek out her mother’s people to gain control over her emerging powers.

The Da’Valia are beautiful, brutal creatures created by the god of war, and the austere Da’Valian soldier Astiand reluctantly agrees to take Neva to his clan under his protection. She makes unexpected friends, including the handsome fighter Emiliand, and a new enemy in the clan’s ruthless leader.

Spying on her guardian, the sly heroine quickly discovers just how deep she has stumbled into a dangerous, developing clan feud.

Will she be able to embrace who she is in time to keep her loved ones safe?

Review

Whew! This book does not pause! You jump right into the action, which I really loved! You aren’t left for a lack of world building though, and the author does a fenomenal job of weaving the two together. I loved learning about Neva’s history right along with her while she’s sneaking and fighting her way out of some tricking situations! The world is new and not something I’ve encountered before. While the Da’Valian remind me somewhat of fae depicted in a lot of popular YA fantasy novels, there were plenty of differences and their history and culture are new and exciting.

I also really loved Neva as the protagonist- she is strong, sure of who she is, and loyal. Watching her grow as a character was really great to see and I cannot wait to see what happens in the rest of the book!! The side characters were also intriguing and I want to see how they all fare over the series. I highly recommend this book and hope that ya’ll pick it up soon!

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 stars

5 Reasons to Read Born at Dawn

  1. Who doesn’t love a good heist or 2?!
  2. Strong, fierce, and loyal female protagonist
  3. Action packed adventure from start to finish!
  4. Unique new fantasy world for you to explore
  5. A wintery setting perfect for this time of year!

About the Author

Christina Davis was raised in the Santa Cruz Mountains and is a California girl at heart. She spent much of her childhood in and out of hospitals and embraced reading as an escape. After being home-schooled through high school, she graduated summa cum laude from San Jose State University and attended NYU’s Summer Publishing Institute before embarking on a decade-long career in journalism. She enjoys chocolate, cosplay, coffee, and board games, but not necessarily in that order. She now lives in beautiful Monterey County with her husband and daughter. 

Author Links: Website | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour and Review: The King’s 100

Oh my goodness! This book surprised me in the most wonderful ways! I am so excited to bring you another review thanks to TBR and Beyond’s Blog Tours for The King’s 100 by Karin Biggs! Make sure you check out some of the other blogs on the tour!

Book Review

This book surprised me from the get go with its unique world! I absolutely loved not only seeing female characters in a STEM setting- but ruling a STEM driven kingdom! I then quickly fell in love with our main character and her misadventures in trying to navigate totally new territory- it lead to a lot of laughs! All of the side characters had their own quirks and endearing qualities, and the story moved quickly enough to keep me engaged the entire time! The dynamics of the King’s 100 definitely reminded me of my days in high school theater and the drama that inevitably ensues. There were definitely times when I face palmed at what the characters did- but I actually found that to be part of what I enjoyed about the book, because I felt that the characters 100% acted like the teens they are! By the end of the book I found that I thoroughly escaped the real world for a bit, which was desperately needed, and I sincerely hope there will be a chance to dive back into into these 2 kingdoms again!

Overall Rating: 4/5 stars!

5 Reasons You Should Read the King’s 100

  1. This book takes place during some of the best seasons (hint, it’s fall and winter!) making it a very cozy read!!
  2. There are some delightful cinnamon roll characters you need to meet!
  3. This book will let you get lost in a fun new world!
  4. There is plenty of court intrigue and drama abound!
  5. There’s plenty of young love and romance!

Book Synopsis

Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 320
Publisher: Immortal Works Press
Published: July 21st, 2020

Sixteen-year-old princess, Piper Parish, is a disappointment to the citizens of Capalon, a STEM-structured kingdom where innovation is valued above all. Her older sister, the queen, views Piper’s tears during their parents’ funeral as a weakness, not to mention her strange affinity for singing. When Piper receives an anonymous note stating her mother is still alive and living in the enemy kingdom of Mondaria, Piper chooses to risk death and flees Capalon to prove once and for all that she’s not just the queen’s defective little sister.

Posing as a Mondarian citizen named Paris Marigold, Piper bumps into a cute black-haired boy named Ari who encourages her to audition for the King’s 100, an esteemed performance court of singers, magicians, and drummers. Piper lands a spot as a singer and dives head-first into a world of glittering dresses, girl-code, sugar, blackmail, and physical contact-all while taking direction from an evil maestro. Under Mondarian law, Piper will be killed if her identity is revealed. But living a life without the freedom to love might actually be the most dangerous risk of all.

Order The King’s 100: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

About the Author

Karin earned her bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Purdue University and served as an event planner for two Big 10 universities and various non-profits for over eight years before becoming a stay-at-home-mom. She enjoys chocolate-covered peanuts, uninterrupted sleep and singing with other people. Karin lives in Ohio with her husband, daughter, cat and dog.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook

Book Blitz: Maya and the Rising Dark by Rena Barron

I am realizing that I am definitely missing out if I don’t start picking up all the amazing middle grade books out there! That’s why I’m really excited to participate in this book blitz hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours for Maya and the Rising Dark by Rena Barron!! Be sure to check out the other blogs on the blitz schedule, you can find a full list of the schedule here!

Book Info:

Maya and the Rising Dark by Rena Barron
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Publishing Date: 9/22/2020

Book Links:

Goodreads
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Book Depository
Indigo

Synopsis

In this highly anticipated contemporary fantasy, twelve-year-old Maya’s search for her missing father puts her at the center of a battle between our world, the Orishas, and the mysterious and sinister Dark world. Perfect for fans of Aru Shah and the End of Time and The Serpent’s Secret.

Twelve-year-old Maya is the only one in her South Side Chicago neighborhood who witnesses weird occurrences like werehyenas stalking the streets at night and a scary man made of shadows plaguing her dreams.

When Papa goes missing, Maya is thrust into a world both strange and familiar as she uncovers the truth. Her father is the guardian of the veil between our world and the Dark—where an army led by the Lord of Shadows, the man from Maya’s nightmares, awaits. Now that the veil is failing, the Lord of Shadows is determined to destroy the human world and it’s up to Maya to stop him. She just hopes she can do it in time to attend Comic-Con before summer’s over.

About the Author

Rena Barron grew up in small-town Alabama where stories of magic and adventure sparked her imagination. After penning her first awful poem in middle school, she graduated to writing short stories and novels by high school.

From a very young age she loved reading stories where kids saved the world, tamed dragons, wielded magic, flew spaceships, became the chosen one. She desperately searched for characters in books who looked like her and was always disappointed to find none, which fueled her early interest in writing.

Before HarperTeen acquired her Young Adult Epic Fantasy, Kingdom of Souls, Rena spent 10 years in the query trends–writing across multiple genres and age groups in the pursuit of publication. In 2017, she entered Pitch Wars, a popular and highly sought-after online mentorship program that included an agent showcase round. Rena’s entry (then titled “The Last Witchdoctor”) received multiple offers of representation. She signed with Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary shortly after, and the manuscript went on to sell in a heated auction.

In addition to the Kingdom of Souls series, Rena also has written a middle grade epic fantasy titled Maya and The Rising Dark debuting in Spring 2020, pitched as Stranger Things meets Percy Jackson, that sold in a pre-empt to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

On a personal note, Rena loves all things science fiction and fantasy, ghosts, and superheroes. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading or brushing up on her French.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

Book Review: Shielded

As soon as I read the synopsis for this book, I knew it was the YA fantasy book I had been craving! I finished this book pretty late at night because I could not put it down! I was sucked in right at the start of the book and instantly felt like I could connect to the main character, Jenna! There were some parts of the book that dragged towards the beginning, which I feel is to be expected in the first book of a series to allow for some world building. However, once I was through the slower part, the book flew by! ⠀

I really enjoyed the characters and their relationships and it made me ache for my family that’s spread out across the US. I kept startling my cats because I would get excited or nervous for the characters. I cannot wait to see what happens in the rest of the series! ⠀

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 out of 5 stars! ⠀

Synopsis
For fans of Sorcery of Thorns and Furyborn comes a thrilling new fantasy about a kingdom ravaged by war, and the princess who might be the key to saving not only those closest to her, but the kingdom itself, if she reveals the very secret that could destroy her. The kingdom of Hálendi is in trouble. It’s losing the war at its borders, and rumors of a new, deadlier threat on the horizon have surfaced. Princess Jennesara knows her skills on the battlefield would make her an asset and wants to help, but her father has other plans. As the second-born heir to the throne, Jenna lacks the firstborn’s–her brother’s–magical abilities, so the king promises her hand in marriage to the prince of neighboring Turia in exchange for resources Hálendi needs. Jenna must leave behind everything she has ever known if she is to give her people a chance at peace. Only, on the journey to reach her betrothed and new home, the royal caravan is ambushed, and Jenna realizes the rumors were wrong–the new threat is worse than anyone imagined. Now Jenna must decide if revealing a dangerous secret is worth the cost before it’s too late–for her and for her entire kingdom.

Thank you so much, TBR & Beyond Tours, Kaylynn Flanders, and Penguin Random House for the eARC in exchange for my honest review!!

Introduction and Book Blog Newbie Tag

Hi everyone!

My name is Megan and welcome to my new blog, Thorana Reads!

A little backstory on my name! Back when Facebook Messenger first introduced nicknames, a few of my friends and I (#burrowsquad) decided that it would be fun to have Avengers nicknames which then evolved into Disney nicknames. I loved both the nicknames I had (Thor and Moana) so I ended up combining them!

I’ll be completing the Book Blog Newbie Tag today as a way to introduce myself! I’m not sure who originally came up with this tag, but I’ll link them if I figure it out!

Why did you start this blog?
I wanted to be able to post more robust book reviews and rave about so of my favorite books in a new avenue! Also, I’m that person when (COVID 19 aside) I like to go to coffee shops and work on my computer, so this will actually give me something to do when I can go again eventually!

What are some fun and unique things you can bring to book blogging?
I would like to think that I have unique opinions, too many popular culture references, and rants about how many feels a book may have given me haha!

What are you most excited for about this new blog?
I am excited to have a new place to interact with my bookish friend and learn more about how websites and such work!

Why do you love reading?
Reading has been my escape since I was a kid and continues to be the biggest way I ensure I take care of myself as an adult. Reading gives me a place to go when the real world is too much (and let’s be real, it’s been too much in 2020) and forces me to unplug.

What book or series got you into reading?
I distinctly remember a teacher of mine reading the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books to us in 1st grade and I absolutely loved them and I still have my very well loved copies on my book shelf now! I also was very into The Magic Attic and Nancy Drew series at a young age!

What questions would you ask your favorite authors?
I would ask them probably some of the most generic questions- like where did your inspiration come from and WHY DID YOU KILL MY FAVORITE CHARACTER! However, I also like knowing about people’s day to day lives so I would also probably want to know what a day in the life might look like!

What challenges do you think starting a book blog will be the hardest to overcome?
Definitely technology. I haven’t done much with websites and have been frantically messaging one of my friends who is a blogger with a bunch of questions.

When did you start reading?
My parents always read to me when I was young, and apparently I used to try to get them to read to me pretty late into the night. Once I learned how to read myself I never left the house without at least 2 books and I haven’t stopped since!

Where do you read?
Anywhere! My favorite places to read are my designated reading chair and my couch where I can curl up with my cats, Amren & Juno! I never leave the house without a book and/or my Kindle and I try to read at work if there’s down time or on break, or if I have to wait somewhere for an appointment!

What kinds of books do you like to read?
Fantasy is definitely my most read genre (YA and adult), followed by thrillers, sci-fi, and contemporary romance. I have been getting more into graphic novels and nonfiction books this year but they haven’t made it onto my most read genre list quite yet!

Thanks for reading this! Hope to be back with another post soon!