Book Review: Love and Other Curses by Michael Thomas Ford

At the Spring event of Frenzy Presents held by Harper Collins Publishers earlier this year, I was lucky to receive an ARC of Love and Other Curses by Michael Thomas Ford. The blurb of the book suggested that the story would be fun to read as well as a little different.

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Blurb:

The Weyward family has been haunted by a curse for generations—if a Weyward falls in love before their seventeenth birthday, the person they love dies. Sam doesn’t plan to fall for anyone in the nine weeks before his birthday. He’ll spend his time working at the Eezy-Freeze with his dad; cooking up some midsummer magic with his grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother (the Grands); and experimenting with drag with the help of the queens at the Shangri-La, the local gay club. But when a new guy comes to town, Sam finds himself in trouble when they strike up a friendship that might be way more than that.

As Sam’s birthday approaches and he still hasn’t quite fallen in love, the curse seems to get more powerful and less specific about who it targets. A mysterious girl Sam talks to on the phone late at night and a woman he’s only seen in a dream might have the answers he’s been looking for—but time is running out to save the people he cares about.

My thoughts:

I enjoyed reading this light-hearted story that centres on a young man who learns about himself through his relationship with others. Not only does he comes to realises who he is, he also discovers what his drag persona is to be. The brief entry that this story gives into the world of the drag queen is a fun and enjoyable one (so much so, that I wished we saw more of this world). Sam learns what is important is his own life as well as realises who plays an important part in his life.

This contemporary young adult read is a perfect story for young teens as they will read about a character who experiences the difficulties of knowing oneself. The young reader will also explore the different aspects of the relationships we have in our lives. Ford’s story also shows the importance of family and how they can support you – even when you are unaware of it. This novel is a beautifully written story that can be enjoyed by adults and teens alike.

I give this novel ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4 stars.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This novel was the 30th in my book pledge for 2019)

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Frenzy Presents Spring 2019 Releases

On Sunday morning I woke up excited to attend the Frenzy Presents event happening at the Harper Collins publishing house in Toronto. I love these events not only because everyone attending loves books and reading, but also because I get to hear of new releases and of stories that I would love to read. This event was extra special because both my daughters decided to come along with me. They were curious to see what the events were about and experience a little the vibe that I often enjoy. It is not often that I get to go out with my girls now that they are older teens and so I was pleased that they were willing to spend their Sunday morning with me (if you know any teens, you would know that giving up a Sunday morning sleep-in does not happen too often!).

There are many exciting Young Adult books that are planned to come out in the Spring. There were 8 titles in particular that I am excited to read:

Fantasy fiction is definitely my preferred genre. Add in romance and a little intrigue and I am sold! The Beholder by Annie Bright fits into this category and sounds like something I definitely want to read and will be available 4 June.

I love fairy tale retellings, don’t you? The Evil Queen by Gena Showalter is a Snow White spin-off told from the point of view of the stepmother. The premise sounds interesting and a little unusual. This tale will be available 25 June.

A Dress for the Wicked by Autumn Krause is a story set in the world of high fashion  – a little like The Devil Wears Prada. This novel is a little historical and touches on the theme of deception. I will have to wait until 6 August to read this one.

Both my daughter and I cannot wait to read The Beckoning Shadow  by Katharyn Blair which comes out 2 July. This is a fantasy novel that depicts a human that has some magic and has to fight for her survival. Sounds exciting!

I am a Jane Austen fan and when I heard that Ordinary Girls by Blair Thornburgh was a retelling of Sense and Sensibility, I was in. This contemporary novel is out 4 June.

Last Things by Jacqueline West sounds a little creepy – but intriguing nonetheless. This is one I will definitely head out to pick up on 7 May.

The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven is a contemporary novel that deals with an important issue – bullying. I believe this novel will be an important one for teens who are currently in a bullying relationship. I look forward to seeing what the author discusses in this one on 11 June.

Isn’t the cover of this novel absolutely stunning? It is for this reason that I would open With The Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo. I am sure this book will attract the eye when it is put on the shelves on 7 May.

The event ended with each blogger receiving a tote bag filled with goodies. I love the pillow slip and will enjoy the tea. I look forward to sharing with you what I think of the ARCs that I received.

Do any of the titles I listed interest you?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

 

Book Review: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

A Cinderella retell, geekiness, and fan fiction. I could not resist reading Geekerella by Ashley Poston.

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Retelling

Blurb:

Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic science-fiction series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck and her dad’s old costume, Elle’s determined to win – unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons – before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he has ever wanted, but Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake – until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again?

Part-romance, part-love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom.

My thoughts: 

This was a sweet romance between two young people that reminded me of my young daughter – who  definitely has her fandoms. Not only does she have her fandoms, but as a young girl she loved the Cinderella story. I enjoyed the modern retelling of her favourite Disney princess – and loved how the aspect of fandom was woven within it. When reading the blurb, I was intrigued by the suggestion of the combination. Did the writer do a good job? Yes, I believe she did. The utter seriousness of those following fandoms is integrated with the notion of an uncaring stepmother who takes advantage of her stepchild.

Geekerella is a simple story that kept me smiling. It is a modern tale that embraces the magic of fandom, and which encouraged me to keep turning thepages. It is the perfect read for those like my daughter – a teen who will understand the seriousness of fandoms, and who wishes for a little romance. I enjoyed this lighthearted read and look forward to reading Postons upcoming book The Princess and the Fangirl. 

I give this novel ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4 stars

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This novel was the 7th in my book pledge for 2019)