November 20, 2019

Ryan La Sala: "Reverie" (ARC Review)

Title: Reverie  [on Amazon | on Goodreads]
Series: None
Author: Ryan La Sala [Site | Goodreads]
Genres: Supernatural, Paranormal, Fantasy
Year: 2019
Age: 14+
Stars: 4.5/5
Pros: Unique premise. Mind-blowing scenarios. Powerful cast. Puts queer characters front and center as heroes and villains.
Cons: Over-the-top story that builds and builds up and hardly gives the reader any breathing space.
WARNING! Some instances of brutal/unsettling imagery (including zoomorphic monsters). One brief sexual innuendo (no actual sex on page though).
Will appeal to: Those who like adventures in alternate realities, normal kids with preternatural powers, and a logic behind it all - plus a strong queer rep.

Blurb: All Kane Montgomery knows for certain is that the police found him half-dead in the river. He can't remember anything since an accident robbed him of his memories a few weeks ago. And the world feels different - reality itself seems different. So when three of his classmates claim to be his friends and the only people who can tell him what's truly going on, he doesn't know what to believe or who he can trust. But as he and the others are dragged into unimaginable worlds that materialize out of nowhere, Kane realizes that nothing in his life is an accident, and only he can stop their world from unraveling. (Amazon excerpt)

Review: First off...DISCLAIMER: I requested this title on Netgalley. Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for providing a temporary ecopy. This didn't influence my review in any way.


I went into Reverie expecting a wild ride through alternate realities (which I have to admit was my first hook - OK, I'm trash 😂), a bunch of teen heroes saving the day (maybe even at a high cost, because we all know there's nothing like sacrifice to make a book more grand) and, well, a drag queen sorceress of course (because early reviewers couldn't stop screaming about her). And I did get all of that. But somehow, the book surpassed my expectations. The dreams made real were even more detailed and outrageous than I anticipated, the stakes higher, and the drag queen sorceress more flamboyant (AND terrifying)...while she was also able to surprise me with her metamorphosis - or more precisely, with the way she revealed her true nature. Plus, for a story so steeped into opulent, crazy dream-logic, the world-building was surprisingly well-thought. Under the reveries' flashy/deadly facade, under the protagonists' powers, under the villain's motives, there was a lot of rhyme and reason, and even some psychological ground - not to mention a spot-on take on the power of dreams. [...]

November 15, 2019

Reintroducing..."A Reader's Quirks"

Hello sweeties!

I've got news for you - though for now I'm simply (re)introducing a blog feature that won't go live until sometime in the new year. A while ago, I used to (sporadically at best) unleash my opinionated self in a post series called A Reader's Quirks. For some reason (OK, laziness) I have long stopped coming up with prompts for it, which resulted in my not having written a single ARQ post in more than one year (not to mention, the post before that was from 2015...). But when my friend Lissa from The Memory of Rain did a graphic giveaway, and she later informed me that I was one of the winners, my first thought was "I need a logo for my A Reader's Quirk series, and I'm going to start anew with it!" (yep, I didn't even have a logo for it. I can't design, and free digital art programs are of little use to me without an already existing graphic that I can tweak). So, Lissa designed this fabulousness (with just a couple of heads-ups from me, because she's awesome like that...she even incorporated the little books from my banner on her own accord!), and I'm proud to present it to you!

ARQ logo by digital artist Lissa

November 10, 2019

Taste the Books: Review Morsels #16 Ryan La Sala, Parker Peevyhouse, Rob Rufus


Hello beauties!

Welcome again to my own brand of mini reviews! I never thought I'd do minis, until I recapped a few of my long reviews in some digest post in 2014, and then guest-posted some shorties for a blogging event in 2015. And Karen from For What It's Worth started praising my short recs/recaps 😊. Just to be clear,  I'm NOT taking a break from writing long reviews - no such luck LOL. But while I'm making up my mind about a new book I've read, or in case I want to draw attention to some old ones I've already reviewed, I might as well give you the short version 😉. Just be warned - this feature will be VERY random!

NOTE: I've fallen into a routine where I post a mini-review round every two months. However, I'm making an exception and posting one just three days after my latest because these are all NetGalley ARCs, some of which are coming out soon - the first on December 3rd - so I wanted to post my minis before I started to share my full reviews closer to pub date. Here's my official full-review calendar for them:

Reverie by Ryan La Sala: November 20th

Strange Exit by Parker Peevyhouse: December 14th

The Vinyl Underground by Rob Rufus: February 10th

So, here goes...