Synopsis: From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes The Tea Dragon Society, a charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons.
After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives—and eventually her own.
Oh my goodness, where to even begin. I don’t have the words to express how adorable this graphic novel is!
It’s middle grade graphic novel with LGBTQ+ & disability rep and the most wholesome vibes ever. Despite being for children, anyone could pick this up and enjoy it. It’s such a lovely, comforting read. Honestly, I was just in awe of the cuteness throughout.
It’s all about dragons – Tea Dragons, to be more specific. It’s such a cute and cool concept. Who doesn’t love dragons?! It’s also about friendship and love and it’s just a beautiful story about finding your place in the world. *sheds tear*
THE ARTWORK – Oh how I wish I could draw even half as well as K. O’Neill. The art is simply stunning. Here are some examples (taken from the Amazon preview):
I am obsessed with this cutesy art style! It’s so beautiful. Such a joy to look at!
Contrary to popular belief, best friends Kate Garfield and Anderson Walker are not codependent. Carpooling to and from theatre rehearsals? Environmentally sound and efficient. Consulting each other on every single life decision? Basic good judgment. Pining for the same guys from afar? Shared crushes are more fun anyway. But when Kate and Andy’s latest long-distance crush shows up at their school, everything goes off-script. Matt Olsson is talented and sweet, and Kate likes him. She really likes him. The only problem? So does Anderson. Turns out, communal crushes aren’t so fun when real feelings are involved. This one might even bring the curtains down on Kate and Anderson’s friendship.
I’m going to be honest, the first half had me worried I wasn’t going to like it. It was slow and I struggled to be invested initially. The second half though!! Complete flip. I was hooked.
It’s a fun book. The teenage drama with crushes and such is always interesting to me. It’s so different to my teen years, I can’t relate but it’s interesting to read. I like the books focus on friendship rather than romance. I thought this would be romance-heavy, to my surprise it was more of a tale of friendship.
The setting of the theatre was interesting. I have never read anything that’s centred around theatre kids or school plays/musicals. The story is full of theatre kid antics, which is entirely new to me. I have never been a theatre kid, not even sure we had them in my school. The difference in schools and teenagers is so crazy to me. It all seems very fictional and not relatable. I guess that’s the culture difference between the US and UK.
The characters themselves, although completely unrelatable for me, were fun to read. It has a great cast of diverse characters, all were very unique and different. Each of the side characters were developed enough for me to know each one individually. I actually ended up enjoying some of the side characters more.
Kate is a bit of an annoying teen, as is Anderson… (am I becoming too old for YA?!) I didn’t hate them, but I didn’t love them. I did like their friendship though. However, Kate, Anderson and their general group of theatre friends come across as so snobby! It was quite jarring. Very judgemental, they reminded me of ‘popular’ kids.
Even though Noah was supposed to be the annoying one, he was the star. I wish there was more of him. He was such a great side character!
My biggest complaint: the way these teenagers speak. f-boy/fuckboy. JUST STOP. It was AWFUL. It was so very overused. It was cringeworthy and could’ve been left out.
Rating: 3 Stars
*Disclaimer: Book was sent to me by Penguin/ PrideBookTours in exchange for a review/Bookstagram post. All opinions are my own.
Hey guys! So, this post is a *little* late, as we’re half way through the month but there’s still time to get some non-fiction into November. Since BLM seems to have died down again, I’d like to bring it back into discourse. Today I will be recommending some non-fiction books by Black authors, that I believe are must reads!
I’m not a huge non-fiction person, in general, so I don’t have many recs but the few I have read are very thought provoking and eye-opening. These books I’ve recommended are easy to get through and very informative. I think everyone should give them ago, even if non-fiction isn’t your usual thing. We could all stand to learn a thing or two!
Goodreads Synopsis: “This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.” In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?
Goodreads Synopsis: In 2014, award-winning journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge wrote about her frustration with the way that discussions of race and racism in Britain were being led by those who weren’t affected by it. She posted a piece on her blog, entitled: ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’ that led to this book. Exploring issues from eradicated black history to the political purpose of white dominance, whitewashed feminism to the inextricable link between class and race, Reni Eddo-Lodge offers a timely and essential new framework for how to see, acknowledge and counter racism. It is a searing, illuminating, absolutely necessary exploration of what it is to be a person of colour in Britain today.
Goodreads Synopsis: A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin’s early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document. It consists of two “letters,” written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism. Described by The New York Times Book Review as “sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle…all presented in searing, brilliant prose,” The Fire Next Time stands as a classic of our literature.
Have you been reading any non-fiction so far this month? Leave any recs in the comments!
I’m trying to diversify my TBR and in light of the BLM I have been exposed to so many books I hadn’t previously heard about! Some of these have been on my TBR a while and some are new additions.
Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callender
I have the audiobook for this and I’m excited to get to it soon! I have so many audiobooks this month, I think it’s going to have to wait until July/August.
The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter
I have been meaning to read this since it came out. I wanted to wait for the paperback, as it would be cheaper but then I ended up liking the cover for the hardback better… Now it’s out of stock. *sigh*
The City We Became by N.K Jemisin
I have yet to read a Jemisin book… I know shame on me. I own two of her books already so I will be reading them soon. I really like the sound of this one! All her books sound so unique and cool, cannot wait to get to them!
The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow
I love sci-fi yet I don’t read enough of it. I especially don’t read much diverse sci-fi, which I definitely need to amend that! The premise sounds interesting, so I’m hopeful!
Side note – the cover is gorgeous!
Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
I got rejected for the NetGalley arc so I’ll have to wait for this to be released. [sad face]
I love retellings!! I need more retellings in my life, always. Cinderella is not as retold often, so I’m eager to see this version!
Here’s two audiobooks I listened to recently, I recommend giving them a listen.
Both are fantasy-ish but have really important themes and messages in them. They’re must reads, in my opinion.
Hey guys, hope you’re having a great Saturday!
I *still* don’t have wifi at my uni flat. I just got back yesterday and they still haven’t sorted it. Such a nightmare. Don’t they know my life revolves around the internet?!
I thought I’d share some LGBT recs today
Up first: Simon vs the Homo Sapien Agenda by Becky Albertalli
I LOVE THIS! It’s such an adorable story.
I read this in a few hours in one sitting – it’s addictive and adorable but has some serious themes about coming out and being blackmailed. Everyone talks about this book but seriously, it’s worth the hype.
This is a queer retelling of Ovid’s myth of Iphis – this was a required read in uni for me and I was pleasantly surprised. It really shows how fluid gender and sexuality is. I never hear anyone talk about it but it definitely needs more hype. The title doesn’t really show that it’s LGBT but it is a nice surprise in the story.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Bisexual MC, Gay/Lesbian side characters)
This isn’t a favourite book of mine, not even close, but I think the representation was great. I loved seeing LGBT characters in this era, it was interesting to read about and different from the other LGBT stories I’ve read.
I hardly ever talk about upcoming books but I thought I’d change it up.
I noticed I hardly talk about diverse books here which I’m super keen to change!
So here I’m talking about POC books that I’m excited to read!
These are in order of when they come out:
*Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron
Out September 3rd
This sounds SO good! I was lucky enough to win a pin on twitter inspired by this book and then I even luckier and had my wish granted on NetGalley for an ARC of this! I am SO HAPPY! I will definitely be reading this asap!
*The Good Luck Girl by Charlotte Nicole Davis
Out October 1st
I was lucky enough to be sent this for review! I saw the premise and immediately requested a copy. It’s a Wild West-inspired fantasy/ alternate history – which sounds so cool and interesting! I cannot wait to pick this up soon.
A River of Royal Blood by Amanda Joy
Out October 29th
Another STUNNING cover. Look at it.
The cover alone is enough to interest me; the artwork is beautiful! The premise has me even more interested: ‘North African-inspired fantasy world where two sisters must fight to the death to win the crown’. – this sounds incredible.
Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme, GoodReads group here with all the topics + discussion! T5W is currently on a hiatus for the summer, so no new topics. So I’ll be revisiting old ones 🙂
This week I picked to do LGBTQ+ Reads in honour of Pride month!
1) Simon vs The Homo Sapien Agenda by Becky Albertali
I adored this book! I read it in one sitting, it had me captivated from beginning to end. It was the perfect light afternoon read.
I still haven’t watched the film adaptation of this. What is wrong with me?!! I need to correct this asap.
2) Vicious/Vengeful by V.E. Schwab
Victor is ace, it’s kinda hinted at in book one, but becomes canon in book two, I believe. (Correct me if I’m wrong!)
I love these books so much. It has such an interesting plot, it’s kinda X-Men in regards to powers and it’s friends to enemies – which is a trope I LOVE.
3) The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
(Gay + Bi MC)
I’m pretty sure Adam is bisexual and Ronan is gay.
Adam and Ronan are freaking adorable! I love this series, it’s one of my favourites and Pynch is definitely one of my top ships!
4) Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
(Bi, Gay and Ace MC)
Kaz is ace, I believe. Jesper and Wylan are either Gay/Bi and Nina is Bi.
I’m definitely due a reread on this series but I remember really enjoying it! It has a great cast of diverse characters.
5) The Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan
(Apollo is Bisexual)
I love that Rick Riordan caters to EVERYONE.
His has a wide range of diverse characters, which I think is really important in MG/Kids books.
Girl Meets Boy by Ali Smith
Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron
Not my favourite books but they’re still a good read!