Books · Discussion

New to Me Authors I Want to Read More From

BeFunky-collage (1)

Talia Hibbert

I discovered Talia Hibbert last December when I read Get a Life, Chloe Brown. It became one of my favourites and I absolutely adored the sequel too! I cannot wait to get more books by her. Her sense of humour is amazing and perfectly aligns with mine! She creates such ‘normal’/relateable but swoon-worthy romances without the cringe. I need everything she’s written. It’s so addictive and amazing!


Tiffany D. Jackson

I borrowed Let Me Hear a Rhyme on a whim from my library’s app. I had never read anything by this author and had never heard of her either. I ended up really enjoying it!
The writing style was engaging and easy, yet dealt with some really important topics. I knew after finishing this book I wanted to pick up more from her. I look forward to reading her other books!


Emily Henry

Oh my god, Beach Read.
Discovering this book was the best thing ever. I loved every moment.
I assumed this was a debut as I’d never heard of her before but NOPE! Emily Henry has more books and since I loved Beach Read with every fibre of my being, I will be picking up more of her books for sure!


Alice Oseman

I read the Heartstopper graphic novels this year and fell in love!
I’d seen Alice Oseman’s books around booktube & bookstagram a lot but I had never read anything before. I picked up vol 1 of Heartstopper as it was cheap on kindle and I DEMOLISHED it in one sitting. It was the cutest thing ever!
I can’t wait for more Heartstopper and to pick up Alice’s other novels!

 

 


What new-to-you authors do you want to read more from?

 

Books · WWW Wednesday

The Reading Slump Continues & The Queen of Nothing| WWW Wednesday 08/07/20

WWW-Wednesday

Happy Wednesday!

Hope you’re all well and staying safe.

I’ve been in and out of a reading slump since May, it’s been super annoying.
I’m mostly consuming audiobooks these days, which isn’t a bad thing. I do hope to read more physical books this month!

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words.  It’s a super simple meme, you just answered the three W questions.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?
Currently reading:

Nothing.
I’m currently between books!


Recently Finished:

The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black (audiobook)

The Queen of Nothing Audiobook by Holly Black - 9781549150173 ...

I binge listened to this audiobook.
After disliking The Wicked King a lot, I didn’t think I’d pick this one up. Then I decided I actually wanted to finish this series and give this last one ago. I’m very glad I did! I enjoyed it very much, I think it may even be my favourite in the series.
I listened to the whole book in one day! I was addicted.
I played Animal Crossing and listened to this and I had a grand time!

(Review coming soon)

Rating: 4 Stars


Reading Next:

My next audiobook is:
Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes

My library’s audiobook app has had an influx of POC books over the last week-ish, which is awesome! This one was available right away so I decided to grab it.
It’s super short (4.5) so this will probably be another one day read!

As for physical books, I really want to get to
The Burning White by Brent Weeks

The Burning White: Book Five of Lightbringer: Amazon.co.uk: Weeks ...

I haven’t been in the mood for fantasy (SHOCK) in a while but I think I’m finally ready to dive back in. I have been waiting to read this book for ages!! It’s the final in the Lightbringer series and I’m worried! It’s also over 900 pages, it’s a big boy.
I’m hoping this will not put me more into a slump and maybe get me back into fantasy! I miss fantasy but I cannot read it when I’m in a slump for some reason.


What have you been reading lately?

Books · Tag

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag | 2020

Hey Bookworms!

Can you believe half the year is gone?! Crazy.
This year has been an odd one for sure, it hasn’t been my best year of reading, quantity-wise but I’ve read some great books!

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2020

Beach Read by Emily Henry

Oh my god, this book!! It was SO good. I loved every moment of this book.
I honestly couldn’t fault it.
My review is here.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020

Starsight by Brandon Sanderson

I loved this book!! I literally want the whole series right now. I am SO SAD I have to wait years for the next one. It left off on a killer cliffhanger. It was INSANE!

My review is here.

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.

The Love Square by Laura Jane Williams
& The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

I actually don’t have one. I’m trying not to keep up with new releases too much as I need to get my tbr down! It’s getting out of hand and I need to stop adding to it (lol).

5. Biggest disappointment.

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas

I am seriously sad to put this book here. I fully expected it to be my favourite book of 2020 but BOY was I wrong. I haven’t been this disappointed in a while.

Review / Rant here.

6. Biggest surprise.

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

I didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. The Handmaid’s Tale was such a great book and even though I did want more I didn’t think anything could compare. It didn’t have as much impact on me as the first book but this one was more enjoyable! I saw so many negative reviews for this, I was worried going in but it is definitely worth picking up in my opinion!

Review here.

7. Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you)

New to me – Alice Oseman
I read the graphic novels Heartstopper for the first time this year and OH MY GOD! WHY didn’t I read sooner?! It’s the most adorable series ever.

8. Newest fictional crush.

Zaf from Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

9. Newest favourite character.

Dani Brown!

10. Book that made you cry.

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas

Considering it was my biggest disappointment, this might be a surprise that it also made me tear up a bit. One thing that was done right in this novel was the emotional impact, it had all the feels!

11. Book that made you happy.

I’ve read so many happy books this year!!
So I don’t keep using the same books I’ll go with Heartstopper by Alice Oseman.

Review here!

12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

Already mentioned these two but oh well:
House of Earth and Blood & Starsight
They’re GORGEOUS!

13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

SO MANY!

Here are a few that are high priority:

The Burning White by Brent Weeks
You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black
With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson


What’s the best book you’ve read so far this year? What are you looking forward to reading next?

Books · Review

Book Review: Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

 

Take a Hint, Dani Brown (Kobo eBook) | The Elliott Bay Book Company

 

Synopsis:

Danika Brown knows what she wants: professional success, academic renown, and an occasional roll in the hay to relieve all that career-driven tension. But romance? Been there, done that, burned the T-shirt. Romantic partners, whatever their gender, are a distraction at best and a drain at worst. So Dani asks the universe for the perfect friend-with-benefits—someone who knows the score and knows their way around the bedroom.

When brooding security guard Zafir Ansari rescues Dani from a workplace fire drill gone wrong, it’s an obvious sign: PhD student Dani and ex-rugby player Zaf are destined to sleep together. But before she can explain that fact, a video of the heroic rescue goes viral. Now half the internet is shipping #DrRugbae—and Zaf is begging Dani to play along. Turns out, his sports charity for kids could really use the publicity. Lying to help children? Who on earth would refuse?

Dani’s plan is simple: fake a relationship in public, seduce Zaf behind the scenes. The trouble is, grumpy Zaf’s secretly a hopeless romantic—and he’s determined to corrupt Dani’s stone-cold realism. Before long, he’s tackling her fears into the dirt. But the former sports star has issues of his own, and the walls around his heart are as thick as his… um, thighs.

Suddenly, the easy lay Dani dreamed of is more complex than her thesis. Has her wish backfired? Is her focus being tested? Or is the universe just waiting for her to take a hint?


My Thoughts:

Oh. My. God. This. Book.

It was EVERYTHING!!

I absolutely loved the first book, Get a Life, Chloe Brown, so I had high expectations for this book, and it did not disappoint! It was addicting and engaging from the very first page. From the fact I was already laughing and smiling on the first page, I knew it was going to be amazing.

It was exactly what I needed. I have been in a slump lately and I need something fun, light and easy to read. Take a Hint, Dani Brown is exactly that!

I love the fake dating trope, it is one of my faves! I love it when characters pretend to date and you slowly see them realise their feelings and actions are not faked. *swoon*
I’m so used to this trope in YA but it’s nice to see it in an adult setting – it was sexy and steamy, as you would imagine for an adult romance. It wasn’t cheesy or cringe, which is perfect for me as I get secondhand embarrassment quite easily!
The TENSION, my goodness; I was d y i n g for them to get together. It was everything I enjoy in a romance. I was thriving while reading this.

Anxiety/grief rep: really, really well written. It was very realistic and relatable. (Could be triggering, so be aware if these are your triggers!) The anxiety and grief were well balanced in the novel, though this is a romance and predominantly happy and cheery, it did deal with darker topics – these didn’t feel out of place or forced at all.

Writing style: I love Talia Hibbert’s writing. It is incredibly addictive, so humorous and fun. I literally was obsessed. The banter and sarcasm are just right up my alley, I live for that kind of humour. I laughed out loud at many moments, it was an absolute joy to read. I was laughing and smiling all throughout!

The characters are all incredibly well written and I was instantly attached and invested in all of them. There really wasn’t any negative aspects!


Characters:

Dani:   Nerdy, Black, fat, & Bisexual

I loved Dani!! Such a great protagonist. She’s cool and relatable, I really liked her personality and sense of humour. I found her easy to connect to, I just want her to be my best friend. Her character is so well written and developed, she feels so real.
She’s so unapologetically herself, she’s super sex-positive, and super sassy!

Zaf: Muslim, ex-rugby player with anxiety/dealing with grief.

OH MY GOD, ZAF. What an actual cinnamon roll!! I need me a Zaf in my life. I love that Zaf is a grumpy, broody type but is a total softy underneath. It was too cute!!. He is a total sweetheart and completely swoon-worthy. I loved him. He’s so caring and lovely and troubled. I just want to give him a hug. 

 

Rating: 4.5 Stars
*Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an early copy


Books · Wrap-up

Reading Wrap Up | June 2020

wrap-up-2019

Hey guys!
Happy July! Damn June went fast, I can’t believe it!
June was kind of a bad month for me, I was in such a bad slump. By June 17th I hadn’t finish a book since May 18th-ish and was struggling to find motivation to read. Considering I read basically nothing for the first half of the month I’m surprised I managed 4 in the second half!

 

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-lodge (audiobook)

Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race (Audio ...

This was super informative and interesting. It is a MUST read, in my opinion.
I have tried to write a review but I have no words to express everything. I’ll try and get a discussion post on this book, maybe?

Rating: 4 Stars


Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson (audiobook)

Let Me Hear a Rhyme - Audiobook | Listen Instantly!

This was a surprised. I borrowed from my library on a whim and I actually really enjoyed it. I love the 90s setting and the music theme, it was so cool to listen to.
Full review here.
Rating: 4 Stars


House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City): Amazon.co.uk: Maas ...

And here is the cause of my reading slump. It took me a MONTH to read this. Most of it is pretty boring. I was disappointed in this book. I have full ranty review on this, you can check out here. I have A LOT of feelings about this book.

Rating: 3 Stars


Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

Take a Hint, Dani Brown (The Brown Sisters, #2) by Talia Hibbert

Finally, this book saved my sanity. After reading HOEAB I need something fun, quick and lighthearted. This was ADORABLE!
I will have a review up soon!

Rating: 4/4.5 Stars


 

What books did you read in June? Any new faves?

Books · Review

I’m Disappointed. RANT/Review: House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J Maas

 

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Half-Fae, half-human Bryce Quinlan loves her life. By day, she works for an antiquities dealer, selling barely legal magical artifacts, and by night, she parties with her friends, savouring every pleasure Lunathion—otherwise known as Crescent City— has to offer. But it all comes crumbling down when a ruthless murder shakes the very foundations of the city—and Bryce’s world.

Two years later, her job has become a dead end, and she now seeks only blissful oblivion in the city’s most notorious nightclubs. But when the murderer attacks again, Bryce finds herself dragged into the investigation and paired with an infamous Fallen angel whose own brutal past haunts his every step.

Hunt Athalar, personal assassin for the Archangels, wants nothing to do with Bryce Quinlan, despite being ordered to protect her. She stands for everything he once rebelled against and seems more interested in partying than solving the murder, no matter how close to home it might hit. But Hunt soon realizes there’s far more to Bryce than meets the eye—and that he’s going to have to find a way to work with her if they want to solve this case.

As Bryce and Hunt race to untangle the mystery, they have no way of knowing the threads they tug ripple through the underbelly of the city, across warring continents, and down to the darkest levels of Hel, where things that have been sleeping for millennia are beginning to stir…


My Thoughts:

I had super high expectations for this book, it was one of my most anticipated reads for 2020. I kinda feel let down. I fully expected to adore this, I love SJM books and all the reviews were full of praises and 5-star ratings.

The first half, so like 400 pages, was SLOW. So very slow. I was reading this for 3 weeks and only got half way. It was a whole bunch of nothing going on. The first 80ish pages are really good and something unexpected happens, which gave me hope for a fast pace, engaging story but nope. After that initial blow, it slowed down dramatically.

The plot feels the same as ACOTAR and TOG. This book lacked originality in terms of plot and character, which is a shame as the world is really, really interesting. At this point, it feels like SJM is recycling plots and characters, the only thing that felt new in this story was the world. The addition of technology in a magical world was really well done and very different to her other worlds. The technology/ modern inspired setting definitely was unexpected. I didn’t hear anyone mention this and it wasn’t in the synopsis or anything, I fully expected it to be more ‘medieval’. I’m glad it wasn’t, it definitely added a lot to this otherwise not very original book.

This book is marketed as SJM’s first adult novel, but honestly, it doesn’t seem much different to her previous novels. I never felt SJM’s previous series were anything but YA, I know a lot of people say it’s not YA but it is in my opinion. At least, in the UK we have ‘teen’ and ‘young adult’ separate and her books fit into my idea of young adult. Other than the very prevalent drug use and mention in this book, I don’t really see any ‘adult’ features. It’s nothing like any adult fantasy I’ve read, it is very similar to the YA adult fantasy books in term of tropes and characters.
PLUS – there’s hardly any sex. This was a huge surprise to me, I fully expected it to be steamier and graphically sexual since this is marketed as adult fantasy and SJM’s YA is filled with sex. Kind of disappointed, kind of not. Some of SJM’s sex scenes are fine and some outrageously cringe, so there’s not of that at least!

The thing I hated the most?
No one can just be normal/average/etc. Everyone has to be someone special, royalty or overpowered. No one can be average looking or below, everyone is obscenely good looking and wanted by anyone who crossing their path. Weaknesses? Doesn’t exist in the SJM universe. This makes the plot and reveals pretty predictable, you just know *something* will happen to the character and boom they’re special/over powered etc.

This review sounds mostly negative but I did actually like the book. It was decent. Once it picked up it was very good and addicting. Like I said at the beginning, it takes 400+ pages to get good, that’s too much in my opinion. It took me a MONTH to get half way through, I read the remaining half in a day, that’s how much it picks up. It goes from 0 to 100 half way through. This book could’ve been great with some good editing, it need like 300 pages cut out, which would’ve improved it by 50%.

Another thing I liked, the different species (?)/creature in this world. There’s fae, demi-fae, angels, wolf-shifters, vampires, etc etc. I wish there was more world-building, for such a chunky book there is a lack of good world-building. The world is interesting SJM, EXPLAIN IT. Tell me more! I hope we get more in the next one.

Also, there were some really beautiful and emotional moments. One thing SJM excels at is making me emotional, I don’t cry or get upset often but this did have me tear up a bit.

Finally, there were really great quotes throughout!
My favourite being: “Through love, all is possible.”


Let’s talk about the characters:

Bryce:
I like Bryce, she’s a great character. It took me a while to connect to her but I definitely did by half way through. Her grief and depression was very well written and I could sympathise with and relate to Bryce on this aspect.
BUT – she is just a hybrid of Aelin + Feyre.
I do like sassy, confident female characters, so that’s not a complaint from me but she is very much like Aelin.

Hunt:
And here we have a Rhys and Rowan hybrid.
I liked Hunt, I really did but was his any different to SJM’s other men? Not by much. HOWEVER, I feel like he’s the only love interest that doesn’t start off as an abusive ass? *cough* Rowan *cough*
I think Hunt may be my favourite SJM main character love interest… he’s not quite my favourite male (vom) but he’s up there with Dorian.

Danika: I wish we had more, I actually really liked Danika. I really loved the friendship between her and Bryce. The emphasis of friendship in this novel was really nice to see! There’s a lack of strong female friendships in fantasy!
But again, she is like Aelin.

Fury: Basically Amren, at least that’s the vibe I got.

Ruhn: Emo/Edgy Aedion

Oh, and everybody is white… Are we surprised?


Is this my favourite SJM novel? No.

Did I enjoy it anyway?
Yes.

Will I continue the series? Yeah, definitely. It has potential and I actually have no idea where this story will go. From the comments I’d heard about House of Earth and Blood I fully expected a huge cliffhanger but there wasn’t. There wasn’t really anything to hook the reader on, despite the epilogue. However, I shall continue!

Rating: 3 Stars

Books · Tag

The Book Snob Book Tag

 

Hey guys!

I’m not sure who made this tag or whose blog I saw it on.
The questions have been in my drafts forever! Oopsy.

 


Adaptation Snob: Do you always read the book before you see the movie?

Not always, some genres I prefer as movies so I’ll watch the movie rather than the book. Sometimes I watch book adaptations without knowing they were a book first and then I read the book after I find out. Doesn’t bother me much!

Format Snob: You can only choose one format in which to read books for the rest of your life. Which do you choose: physical, ebooks, or audiobooks? 

I READ IN EVERY FORMAT. *Cries*
I’d probably go with physical… I would seriously miss audiobooks though.

Ship Snob: Would you date or marry a nonreader? 

Yes, of course??? My partner doesn’t have to have the exact hobbies and interests I do. I’ve only dated one reader in the past… It doesn’t really bother me but I will try to get them to read books I like lol. I can’t imagine being shallow enough to not date non-readers.

Genre Snob: You have to ditch one genre – never to be read again for the rest of your life. Which one do you ditch?

Historical Fiction.
Snoozefest.

Uber Genre Snob: You can only choose to read from one genre for the rest of your life. Which genre do you choose?

Fantasy!
It is limitless, I never get sick of it.

Community Snob: Which genre do you think receives the most snobbery from the bookish community?

Hmm… Classics maybe?
I know a lot of people look down on readers who don’t read classics. Which is dumb, just because you don’t read classic doesn’t mean you’re ‘unculture’ or ‘poorly’ read. Read what you enjoy!

Snobbery Recipient: Have you ever been snubbed for something that you have been reading or for reading in general?

I’ve had men assume I don’t read ‘proper’ books aka I only read romance or chick-lit. Which really annoying me because a) romance & chick-lit are valid genres and are proper books?? and b) why just because I’m a women does that mean that’s all I read. Men. *sigh*


Feel free to say I tagged you if you want to do this tag!

Hope you’re having a great weekend 🙂

Books

Announcement: #ShelvesofDiversity Bookstagram Photo Challenge! July 2020

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Hey Guys!
Just a quick post to share the bookstagram challenge I’m co-hosting. We are looking to keep diversifying bookstagram feeds and highlight AOC + POC Books.
The challenge runs over the first two weeks of July (1st-14th) The prompts are flexible, interpret them how you wish + you can post any of the prompts on any day you want! (Just make sure the books you feature are POC) You can do as many of the prompts as you wish, you can pick and choose or do them all!

We will be giving shout-outs to those who participate, so get your diverse books out and take some fun pics!

Make sure you’re following me (@LiteraryLeisha) & my co-hosts:
@MissMaddyChats
@Literaryxqueen
@Lifebytheink
@Chaptersofmay
@Inkandfables_
@Kingdomofsneks

We would love it if you would join us!
I look forward to seeing all your photos 🙂

 

View this post on Instagram

📢𝐀𝐍𝐍𝐎𝐔𝐍𝐂𝐄𝐌𝐄𝐍𝐓! 📢⁣ Swipe 👉🏼 ⁣ ⁣ July bookstagram photo challenge #shelvesofdiversity !⁣ We aim to keep bookstagram feeds diverse and highlighting POC authored books!⁣ ⁣ The challenge runs for the first two weeks of July. This photo challenge is super easy! You can do any of prompts whenever you wish over the two weeks.⁣ We will be doing shoutouts throughout the whole challenge, make sure you use the #shelvesofdiversity hashtag so we can find your photos! ⁣ I can't wait to see all your photos✨ ⁣ QOTD: What POC authored books have you read lately? _________________________________ #Queenie #CandiceCartyWilliams #bookstagram #books #booksbooksbooks #bookaddicts #bookrecs #booklove #bibliophile #WeNeedDiverseBooks #diversereads #diversebooks #pocbooks #contemporary #fiction #igreads #mybookfeatures #rusticpages

A post shared by Bookstagram 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 🇱🇨 (@literaryleisha) on

 

 

Books · WWW Wednesday

The Reading Slump Cure + Finally Finishing Crescent City | WWW Wednesday 24/06/2020

WWW-Wednesday

Happy Wednesday!

Hope you’re all doing well!

This tag/meme is hosted on Taking on a World of Words. It’s a super simple meme, you just answered the three W questions.

The Three Ws are:

What did you recently finish reading?

What are you currently reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished:

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas

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This book took me ages to get into. The first half was painfully slow.
I have such mixed feelings about this book, I’ll have a review up soon.

*Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

49976087
Holy shit. I loved this book!!
After being in such a slump and HOEAB taking an age to read, I needed something light and quick – this was perfect! Review coming soon.
*Netgalley arc

Currently Reading:

*You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

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I have literally just started this so I don’t have an opinion yet.
I’ve heard such great things about this already, so I’m excited and hopeful!

*Sent to me by Scholastic UK


Reading Next:

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo (audiobook)

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This is finally available at my library so I will be listening to this soon!

Other than that, I haven’t decided yet. I’m a mood reader so I’ll pick when I’m done with my current stuff!


What are you currently reading?
Have you read any of these?
Let me know!

Books · Review

Audiobook Review: Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson

 

Synopsis:
Biggie Smalls was right. Things done changed. But that doesn’t mean that Quadir and Jarrell are okay letting their best friend Steph’s tracks lie forgotten in his bedroom after he’s killed—not when his beats could turn any Bed-Stuy corner into a celebration, not after years of having each other’s backs.

Enlisting the help of Steph’s younger sister, Jasmine, Quadir and Jarrell come up with a plan to promote Steph’s music under a new rap name: The Architect. Soon, everyone in Brooklyn is dancing to Steph’s voice. But then his mixtape catches the attention of a hotheaded music rep and—with just hours on the clock—the trio must race to prove Steph’s talent from beyond the grave.

Now, as the pressure—and danger—of keeping their secret grows, Quadir, Jarrell, and Jasmine are forced to confront the truth about what happened to Steph. Only each has something to hide. And with everything riding on Steph’s fame, together they need to decide what they stand for before they lose everything they’ve worked so hard to hold on to—including each other.


TW/CW: Death/Murder, Grief, Gangs, Gun Violence, Sex (talk of sex but no actual sex scenes)

My Thoughts:

I picked this up on a whim, I saw it available at my library, I needed an audiobook and it was by a Black author – win/win.  I hadn’t ever heard of this author or book before, which is surprising because it’s a great read! I will be picking up more from this author.

It follows three black teens, after the murder of Steph (two are his friends, one is his sister) trying to make him a successful rapper by releasing his music and pretending he’s still alive. I was very intrigued about how Steph died and how they were going to pull off this whole scheme. It was a little slow in places towards the middle, but not boring . It did pick up towards the end more but the very end felt a little rushed. Other than that, it was well written. I really liked the author’s writing style.

The setting – It’s set in the late 90s in New York. I absolutely loved this setting, it was so cool and interesting. I love the 90s vibe, it was right up my alley. It made me wish I grew up in the 90s. (I am a 90s baby, but I remember none of it)
I enjoyed learning about the culture of Brooklyn in the 90s and what growing up during this time was like. The hip-hop scene was super cool and a link in the community, which was really lovely to see.

Characters – I enjoyed each perspective the story had. Which is surprising. I really like Jasmine, she was probably my favourite POV. I really enjoyed the friendship that bloomed between Jasmine and Steph’s friends, Quadir and Jarrell. They bonded in their loss of Steph, which was lovely to see that something happy came out of their grief.

Narrators:

This audiobook had full cast narration – which I’m not usually a fan of because there’s usually at least one annoying narrator.  BUT I actually liked all the narrators for this! (Will add them to my approved narrator lists) I’m super picky with narrators, they can completely ruin a book for me.

The audiobook really brought the story and characters to life. The rhymes are really effective in the audio format, I think this would be better than just reading the text. Also, the slang came through well in the audio, it felt natural and authentic. (Not that I’m an expert on Black slang in the States)

Rating: 4 Stars