‘Velvet Was the Night’ by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Thanks to Quercus Books and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

I’m a really big fan of Silvia Moreno-Garcia and I always feel very privileged to get to read advance copies of her books before release. I like how she doesn’t pigeonhole herself into certain genres and readers can always be sure that they are going to get to read something a little different. Speaking purely selfishly I also like how prolific she is.

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“The Gilded Ones” by Namina Forna

Thanks to Usborne Publishing and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review. 

I'm not really going to spend a whole lot of time talking about the plot of this book. It's a pretty generic YA fantasy story. A young girl finds out she has some mysterious powers, bad things happen, she goes on a journey of discovery in which secrets are revealed and there's a handsome boy of course. 
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“The Last Story of Mina Lee” by Nancy Jooyoun Kim

Thanks to Headline and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book tells the story of Mina, a South Korean immigrant to the United States and her daughter Margot. The story is told from two different viewpoints, Mina in the past and Margot in the present day. The story chronicles Mina’s life as an immigrant and Margot’s journey to find out the cause of her mother’s unexpected death.

Mina’s story is definitely the stronger of the two, but I enjoyed Margot’s too. The narrative explores the dark side of the American dream and the challenges faced by undocumented immigrants and the Korean diaspora in the United States which makes for some tough reading at some points. The novel also delves into the enduring effects of past trauma, grief and loss and was often desperately sad.

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“Mexican Gothic” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

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Thanks to Quercus Books and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review. 

I adored Gods of Jade and Shadow, so I was looking forward to reading this book. This book is touted as a “feminist re-imagining of Gothic fantasy” which sounded like it would be a great book to lose myself in and give myself some fun heebie-jeebies.

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“Chinglish” by Sue Cheung

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Thanks to Penguin Random House UK Children’s for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

When I requested this book, I thought it was for older teens but I think it’s probably aimed more at the younger teen/tween audience – think Jacqueline Wilson age group. The story follows Jo, a young British Chinese girl growing up in the 1980s. As an 80s kid myself, a lot of Jo’s experiences really clicked with me and there are some real laugh out loud moments, particularly in the first part of the book. The text is interspersed with Cheung’s illustrations which are quirky and fun and really enhance the narrative.

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“Girl, Serpent, Thorn” by Melissa Bashardoust

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Thanks to Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

. So Girl, Serpent, Thorn sounded rather interesting despite the fact I’ve gone off YA a bit recently or maybe I’ve become a bit more picky about what I want to read when I don’t have nearly as much time to read as I used to. What piqued my interest in this book was it was clear that it was set in a slightly different world to most of the young adult fantasy settings that are usually a riff on Western European countries. I haven’t come across many Persian inspired settings before, so I was looking forward to seeing a Persian inspired story by an own voices author.

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