Book Tour: Tweet Cute by Emma Lord | A review of an amazing YA contemporary

Hi everyone! Before getting into the review, I want to thank St. Martin’s Press & Wednesday Books for inviting me to be part of the blog tour for this amazing book and for giving an eARC of it so I could read it. I also want to say that this is my honest opinion about the book and it was in no way influenced by being part of the blog tour.

Title: Tweet Cute

Author: Emma Lord

Published by: Wednesday Books

Publishing date: January 21st 2020

Genre: YA Contemporary

Pages: 368

Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming ― mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.

Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.

All’s fair in love and cheese ― that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life ― on an anonymous chat app Jack built.

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate ― people on the internet are shipping them?? ― their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.

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Tweet Cute is a fun, adorable and witty book full of mouth-watering food, Twitter wars, sassy teenagers and complicated family relationships.

The main characters, Pepper and Jack, are both lovable characters; Pepper is determined and sassy, while Jack is kind and funny and both of them have flaws and insecurities that make them feel like real people. Pepper and Jack’s relationship starts with them feeling a mix between curiosity and irritation towards each other and it evolves into a tentative friendship then a very close frienship and finally a romantic relationship. Seening the development of their relationship is heartwarming and sweet and one of the best parts of the story. This book has a slow-burn, adorable romance between two very different people who have a strong connection.

Twitter plays an important part in the development of their relationship because Pepper and Jack run the social media accounts for their family restaurants and get into an anonymous Twitter war, which was really entertaining to read because both Pepper and Jack can be incredibly snarky and also because the author uses very current references to memes and pop culture to make the Twitter exchanges feel real and be engaging for the reader. Nonetheless, the Twitter war doesn’t remain anonymous for long and it ends up both bring Pepper and Jack closer together but also creating conflict in their relationship.

But Twitter is not the only online space where Jack and Pepper’s lives anonymously entertwine becuase it turns out that they have been talking to each other through an anonymous app for students of their school. After reading the synopsis, it’s easy to believe that this is gonna be a big part of the story, but that’s not the case and it actually feels like adding this element to the story doesn’t really contribute much to Pepper and Jack’s relationship because most of their interactions in the app happen before the book starts. Nonetheless, the few exchanges on the app that are present in the book are entertaining and including this element doesn’t take anything away from the story, so it’s not a big deal.

While the online exchanges play a part in Pepper and Jack’s relationship, this book focuses a lot on their interactions and their connection in real life and that works really well and it makes the story more charming and appealing. Another thing that works really well is the dual perspective because that way we get to know both characters better and they feel more three dimentional but also because it makes this story actually feel like the story of both of them as individuals and as a couple. Lastly, this book does a very good job of depicting complicated relationships with family members, wether it’s with parents or siblings. This element adds depth to the story and it makes it more relatable.

Overall, Tweet Cute is an engaging and entertaining story which focuses on an adorable romance between two characters that are very different from each other but that have an amazing relationship.

Have you read this book? How did you feel about it? Do you agree with my opinion?
About the Author

Emma Lord is a digital media editor and writer living in New York City, where she spends whatever time she isn’t writing either running or belting show tunes in community theater. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a major in psychology and a minor in how to tilt your computer screen so nobody will notice you updating your fan fiction from the back row. She was raised on glitter, grilled cheese, and a whole lot of love. Her sun sign is Hufflepuff, but she is a Gryffindor rising. TWEET CUTE is her debut novel. You can find her geeking out online at @dilemmalord on Twitter.

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Con Sabor Reading Challenge 2020: let's read Latinx books!

Con Sabor Reading Challenge is hosted by Dani @ metamorphoreader, Astrid @ Book Love Book Reviews, Natalia @ Books.Build.Life, and Nox @ Nox the Reader and the goal of the challenge is to motivate people to pick up as many books by Latinx authors as they can. The challenge ends December 31st and the sign up sheet, which you can find here, is open all year, so anyone can join at any time they want. The hosts have also created prompts that you can participate in each month if you so wish. You can earn badges by either reading a certain number of books or by participating in these prompts.

*Click the book titles to go to the Goodreads page*

GOALS

Like I have mentioned in other posts, my goal for this year is to read 35 books by Latinx authors, which means I’m trying to get the badge of Latinx Historian.

I will also be trying to follow the prompts that the hosts have set up for each month and I won’t make a tbr for all of them yet because I’m a mood reader and I like hving the freedom to choose what I read every month, but will be sharing the books I’ll read to fulfill the first three prompts. But before that I’ll share the prompts:

  • January- Book with mental health representation
  • February- Romance
  • March- Fantasy
  • April- Contemporary
  • May- A genre out of your comfort zone
  • June- LGBTQI+ representation
  • July- Afrolatinx main character
  • August- Fat representation
  • November- Retelling

MY READING

  • I already finished one Latinx book in January, which was More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera and it helped me complete the prompt for mental health representation. Also, this means I have already earned a badge!
  • In February, I’ll read The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa, which is romance with an Afro-Latinx main character and by a Afro-Latinx authors and that helps me fulfill the prompt for the month and it’s also perfect to read during Black History Month.
  • In March, I’ll read Incendiary by Zoraida Cordova. I have an earc of this book and I want to read it before it comes out and it helps me fulfill the fantasy prompt, so it’s perfect for March.

I’ll update you on my progress with this challenge in three months and then I’ll choose the next books that I’ll read to fulfill the prompts of the next three months.

Are you joining the Con Sabor Reading Challenge? What are some books by Latinx authors that you love? What books by Latinx authors are on your tbr?

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9 Books with Depression Representation

9 Books Monday is a feature here on Bookish Wanderess, where I talk about 9 books that have positive representation of diverse experiences including the experiences of people of the LGBTQIA community, Native people, people of color, people with physical and cognitive disabilities or mental illnesses, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.

In the past, I have done posts about 9 book with: 

This time I talking about 9 books with Depression Representation and before getting into them, I want to put a trigger warning because most of these books deal with suicide, so be careful if that’s something that triggers you.

5 BOOKS I READ AND LOVED

Darius the Great is not Okay by Adib Khorram

Darius is a biracial, gay boy, who has depression, and this is a story that centers around family, tradition and mental health. Thsi book does something very special because Darius’ father also has depression and this depicts the way depression affects their relationship and it shows them as they realise that they need to be more open and honest with each other. This also shows the way cultural beliefs can affect the way mental illness is view and understood.

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

This book starts with the death of the main character’s mother, who commits suicide after years of struggling with depression. This book talks about the stigma surrounding depression and how it makes it hard to discuss it with family and friends; it also shows the feelings and thought process of the loved ones of someone who has depression; it portraits how hard depression is and how there’s no easy fix and how suicide affects the loved ones that are left behind.

When Reason Breaks by Cindy L. Rodriguez

This book portraits depression through the stories of two girls – one of them a Latinx girl- that experience this mental illness in very different ways. One is loud and angry and the other tries to pretend everything is okay and hides her problems from everyone. This book does a wonderful job of showing contrasting experiences with depression and it also shows that different kinds of relationships can help you go through periods where you are struggling with mental health, but only because they bring company and support, never as a cure.

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

This book is a memoir that focuses on living with depression, on how that looks like in the day to day basis, it includes the good and bad that comes with it, and it handles those topics in a brilliant way. This book manages to be humorous while still being touching and powerful. Jenny Lawson does an incredible job finding the words necessary to explain certain feelings and experiences, the way she translates her experience with depression into words is magnificent.

In the Country We Love by Diane Guerrero

This memoir covers a lot of different events from Diane Gurrero’s life going from her parents deportation when she was a child to her being casted in Orange is the New Black. One of the things this book touches on is her struggle with depression and anxiety, and while it’s small part of the book, Guerrero is so honest and raw about it that it makes it a very powerful and touching account of living with mental illness.

3 BOOKS ON MY TBR

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

This is Matt Haig’s memoir about his struggle with depression and it’s full of in-depth descriptions of his dark thoughts and feelings, which is why most people say that this needs to be read when a person is in a good place mentally. This book is a collection of experiences, thoughts, practical tips and affirmations on one man’s experience with mental illness

The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork

This book focuses on the recovery from a suicide attemp instead of the events leading up to it . It’s a books about living when life doesn’t seem worth it. This takes place in a hospital’s mental ward, so it includes characters with different mental illness and it’s inspired by the author’s own experience with depression.

Ghost of a Feeling by Celestine Trinidad

This is a romance book where the main characters meet when one of them is about to commit suicide and the other stops them. This book looks at the harsh reality of mental health struggles and the repercussions of denying people the help and support that they need.

1 BOOK RELEASING SOON

Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera

This is a YA retelling of Orpheus and Eurydice set in the Bronx, that doens’t have a cover yet. Eury is a girl who lost everything in Hurricane Maria and is haunted by the trauma—and by an evil spirit. This book deals with anxiety, ptsd and depression.

What books with depression rep have you read and loved? Which ones are on your tbr?

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8 Books with Afro-Latinx Characters by Afro-Latinx Authors for Black History Month

Hi everyone! Since Black History Month is just around the corner, I thought it would be a good idea to share some of my favorite books with Afro-Latinx characters by Afro-Latinx authors, in case you are looking for some books to add to your tbrs!

Without further ado, here are my recommendations for you:

*Click the title of the book to go to the Goodreads page*

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

This is a story told in verse, it’s touching and powerful, and it explores a Dominican-american girl’s struggle with inhabiting her body, a body that is unwillingly subjected to the male gaze; it also deals with growing up in a conservative latinx family that it’s extremely religious and that imposes faith and leaves no room for questions. It’s a book about trying to figure who you are in an enviroment that doesn’t leave much room to do so and it’s fantastic (full review)

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

Elizabeth Acevedo expertly executes the recipe of an amazing book mixing loveable characters, complicated family dynamics and mouth watering descriptions of food. This book has a realistic depiction of a teenage mother and there’s also a cute romance that doesn’t take over the story but allows Acevedo to address sex and intimacy in a positive way. Moreover, Acevedo addresses being Afro-latinx and the experience of not being considered black enough or Latinx enough in a thoughtful and engaging way (Full review)

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

This is a Pride and Prejudice retelling and the main characters are Zuri and Darius, who are Afro-Latinx and Black respectavily. Zuri and Darius are always bantering and bickering and it is a fun dynamic to read. But the main reason this book is interesting and powerful is the way it discusses gentrification and class; incoporating these subjects adds to the original story and makes it more relevant to our time. Also, the representation of a Haitian-Dominican family in terms of the religion, the food and the family dynamics is so fascinating to read.

Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika & Maritza Moulite

This book is told in diary entries, tweets and emails, which makes it a very quick read, and it’s the story of Alaine, the daughter of Haitian immigrants. Big part of this book is set in Haiti, which it’s not a common setting in YA books, and I think it’s something that adds to the story inmensely. This book has a lot of different storylines revolving around complicated family relationships and dynamics, but my favorite one is about discovering a family member has early-onset Alzheimer, which is depicted in what I think it’s a very heartbreaking and realistic way.

Acting on Impulse by Mia Sosa

This book has a strong, determined, likable Afro-Latinx heroine, who is a phisical trainer, and this is the story of her falling in love with a Hollywood star, who is really sweet. The main couple has lots of chemistry and the book includes great dialogue, captivating writing, complicated family dynamics and descriptions of delicious Puerto Rican food.

Dreamers Series by Adriana Herrera

These books are about a group of 4 friends that are Afro-Latinx and each book is the story of one of them falling in love. Great writing, fantastic friendships, some of the sweetest romances I have ever read, mentions of amazing Latinx food and music, conversations about important subjects like domestic violence and police brutality are some of the reason why I love this series and why I totally recommend it!

What are you reading for Black History Month? Do you have recs for books by Afro-Latinx or Black authors?

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Book Review: Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey

Title: Love Her or Lose Her

Author: Tessa Bailey

Series: Hot & Hammered #2

Published by: Avon

Publishing date: January 14th 2020

Genre: Romance

Pages: 384

Rosie and Dominic Vega are the perfect couple: high school sweethearts, best friends, madly in love. Well, they used to be anyway. Now Rosie’s lucky to get a caveman grunt from the ex-soldier every time she walks in the door. Dom is faithful and a great provider, but the man she fell in love with ten years ago is nowhere to be found. When her girlfriends encourage Rosie to demand more out of life and pursue her dream of opening a restaurant, she decides to demand more out of love, too. Three words: marriage boot camp.

Never in a million years did Rosie believe her stoic, too-manly-to-emote husband would actually agree to relationship rehab with a weed-smoking hippy. Dom talking about feelings? Sitting on pillows? Communing with nature? Learning love languages? Nope. But to her surprise, he’s all in, and it forces her to admit her own role in their cracked foundation. As they complete one ridiculous—yet surprisingly helpful—assignment after another, their remodeled relationship gets stronger than ever. Except just as they’re getting back on track, Rosie discovers Dom has a secret… and it could demolish everything.

Goodreads | Amazon

I have been waiting to read Love Her or Lose Her since I finished Fix Her Up, the first book in the series, about six months ago. In that book there were glimpses of Rosie and Dom’s relationship that left me incredibly intrigued and I couldn’t wait to find out more, so off course I read it as soon as it came out and while I enjoyed a lot of things about it, ultimately it didn’t live up to my expectations.

I loved Rosie right away and as I kept reading I could relate more and more to her. She is such a strong, brave, determined character that’s flawed and has insecurities, but works to overcome them. And then there’s Dom, I’ll admite that I have my issues with Dom, he’s very alpha male, the protective guy who can be a bit too possesive and he has some very antiquated ideas about being the provider for his wife and men not showing emotions. I think he had internalized a lot of toxic masculinity and it was hurting him and ruining his marriage and he had to work on that, and while he doesn’t completely change these aspects, he learns to see why they are wrong or why they can be harmful and that’s depicted well in the book, even if I wanted to see those realizations taken further. But despite the things they needed to work on indivudually and as a couple, the chemistry between Rosie and Dom was fantastic and it was so evident anytime they were together in this book.

I actually really enjoyed the first half of this book, mainly because of the way it depicted two people that loved each other but that had stopped putting work into their marriage, two people who had to accept that things in their marriage were not ok and that both of them had played a part in getting to the point they were in and both of them had to be commited to try and work through their issues and choose to stay and fight for their marriage. I think the book did a good job of showing that whole process with all its ups and downs in the first half.

Nonetheless, the second part of the book revolved around such a ridiculous conflict and that’s where my issue with this book was. I spent so much of the second half wanting to scream at Dom “JUST TELL HER ALREADY”. This book uses the miscomunitation trope, which is a trope I strongly dislike, and in this book it’s worse because the first half was spent getting the characters to learn to communicate and then the conflict in the second half relied on them not doing it. And while I understand that growing and changing doesn’t happen in a day, so off course there were still going to be problems with the communication, this conflict was so ridiculous that it was pretty annoying. The worst of all is that the conflict dragged for a long time and I was bored. And then the resolution was incredibly rushed and I kept thinking that if less time was spent in such a ridiculous conflict more time could have been spent seeing the characters getting to a good place again.

Overall, there were a lot of things I liked about Love Her or Lose Her, but my enjoyment was severely affected by the conflict in the second half of the story. Nonetheless, I’m still really excited to read the next book in the series, the glimpses of the main couple that are present in this book left me wanting more.

Rating: 3,6 stars

Have you read this book? How did you feel about it? Do you agree with my opinion?

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Some Books Broke My Heart in 2019 and I Want to Talk About Them

Hi everyone! Today I want to talk about the books that broke my heart and made me cry my eyes out in 2019. I’m not someone who cries often while reading, so when it happens it means I truly cared for the characters and felt connected to their story and what was happening to them. 2019 proved that I mostly cry when a character loses someone they love, it’s something that impacts me deeply and makes me emotional so, before getting into this list, I want to mention that all of these books include either the death of a love one or a loved one with a terminal disease, so a trigger warning for that.

This list goes from the books that made me feel like someone was stabbing me in the heart to the ones that made me feel like my heart was being ripped out of my chest and squeezed until it burst. Without further ado, here they are:

*Click the title of the book to go to the Goodreads page*

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

The Astonishing Color of After wins the award for the book that has made me cry the fastest in my entire life. I was 10% into this when I started crying, which I didn’t think it was possible. This is the only book I have ever read that had it’s more emotional and devastating part (at least for me) at the very beginning. This deals with depression and suicide and with a daughter’s grief after losing her mother and it was very hard to read.

Have You Seen Marie? by Sandra Cisneros

Have You Seen Marie? was a beautiful and heartfelt book, I honestly can’t believe Sandra Cisneros managed to convey so many feelings in such a short and simple story. This was inspired by the death of Cisneros mother and the real and raw emotion is evident in the writing and it makes this book poignant and powerful.

Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

Darius the Great is not Okay deals with very serious issues and it includes a lot of sad and emotional scenes, but the one that made me cry was the most heartbreaking airport scene I have ever read, I felt like someone was stabbing my heart repetively while I was reading it. The combination of complicated family dynamics, immigration and terminal disease made that scene feel so real and devastating.

The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker

The Simple Wild is a bittersweet book in a lot of ways, but the aspect of this story that moved me the most was the complicated father/daughter relationship, seeing it evolve was beautiful, seeing Calla go feeling anger and disappointment to forgiveness and love was touching and if you add the heartbreaking love story between Calla’s parents, then it’s easy to understand why this book broke my heart into a million pieces with the cancer storyline. The whole idea of running out of time just when you want more time the most destroyed me.

Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno

Don’t Date Rosa Santos was supposed to be a fun and fluffy contemporary and it was, but it was also so much more than what I was expecting. Complicated family dynamics are something I love and I enjoy seeing relationships between family members evolve and be more honest and open. But when those relationships get to a better place just for something to happen and cut time short is devastating for me every single time. The idea of running out of time to work on the relationships with the people you love the most is so heartbreaking.

Those were the books that made me cry in 2019, what books made you cry last year? If you have some recommendations of great books that made you cry, let me know!

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Book Review: Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Title: Reign of the Fallen

Author: Sarah Glenn Marsh

Published by: Razorbill

Publishing date: January 23rd 2018

Genre: YA Fantasy

Pages: 375

Odessa is one of Karthia’s master necromancers, catering to the kingdom’s ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it’s Odessa’s job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised–the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin.

A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa’s necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead–and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer’s magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?

Goodreads | Amazon

Trigger/content warnings: substance abuse, talk of suicide, violence and death

Reign of the Fallen is a book that was on my tbr since it came out two years ago, a book I kept hearing great things about, which is why I finally decided to pick it up. Unfortunately, I didn’t end up enjoying it as much as I hoped.

The beginning of the book is very enjoyable, the world and magic are engaging and it has a lot of unique elements. I loved the idea of a world ruled by people who died a long time ago, but keep coming back because they feel a responsability towards the people in their kingdom. In this world, the Dead have prohibited change, inventions and progress, which I found to be an interesting element of the story that’s used in a very organic way to cause conflict.

One element that I found fascinating and unique in this story is that the Dead have to pay a big price for coming back (they must remain shrouded or risk transforming into zombies) as well as the necromancer pay a big price to bring people back (they only get one life). That’s one element that this book handles well: the price of magic. Nonetheless, I have one problem with the magic system, which is that there isn’t a very clear limit to what healers can do in this book, so it felt like unless a character died inmediately, they always survived even the most horrific injuries and I think that lowered the stakes of the book.

A very important element of this story is that it addresses substanse abuse and addiction in a way that reflects this issue in our world and still makes sense for the story. I think the way this book shows how grief can make people vulnerable to addiction is very important and in general, the way this portraits grief feels realistic and devastating. This book also addresses recovery of an addiction and I think the way the first few days of that process are portrait is well done, but I also think that after those initial days, it almost feels like the character is “cured” and that’s not how addiction works and I’m not sure how to feel about it.

The characters in this book are amazing, particulary the side characters. I have a special place in my heart for Valoria and Jax and they are the main reason I’m considering reading the second book. Something I really loved about this book is how diverse the chaacters are, the main character has brown skin and she is bisexual (which is #ownvoices rep), there are two gay characters and two women that are attracted to other women, one of which is black. All of it is seemesly integrated in the story and it’s not made out to be a big deal in this world. The only character I have an issue with is the villain, because it’s so obvious who it is and worst of all, he is a boring villain with plain motivations, cero cleverness and no depth at all.

Now, it’s time to talk about my main issue with the book. First of all, I don’t understand why having so many options of people that had great chemestry and relationships with the main character, the author had to choose someone who is connected to the main character in a weird and complicated way to be the love interest. I actually liked the main character when she was not with the love interest, but the moment they were together I found them to be nearly insufferable.

But beyond all that, the worst part for me is the dynamic between them, the main character spends a big portion of the book being rude and disrespectful to the love interest without reason and there’s a point where she punches the wall next to the love interest face and the love interest actually thought she was going to hit her and honestly that’s just not an acceptable behavior. Also, the relationship didn’t make sense to me because I couldn’t really understand why these two girls would like each other, it’s like a weird instant connection that comes out of nowhere and it’s based on nothing.

Overall, Reign of the Fallen has an interesting world and magic system, as well as lovable character, but a really boring villain and a terrible romance.

Have you read this book? How did you feel about it? Do you agree with my opinion?

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