Friday, September 15, 2017

Book Review: Swan Song

Title Swan Song
Author Charlotte Wilson
Release Date September 12, 2017


When iconic ballerina Beatrice Duvall died, a nation mourned – and a legacy was born. Sixteen years later, her daughter Ava comes to London to take part in a high-profile tribute to Beatrice, and to learn about the mother she never knew.

There’s just one snag: the tribute is a ballet, Swan Lake. Which is infinitely painful for Ava, because she can’t dance. Won’t dance. Not since she quit the Royal Ballet School last year and walked away from everything that defined her.

But this is London, colourful and crazy, and with actor Seb at her side, there’s so much to discover. Like Theatreland razzmatazz and rooftop picnics and flamingo parties. And a whole load of truths Ava never knew about her mother – and herself.

When the time comes to take the stage, will Ava step out of the shadow cast by her mother’s pedestal? And who will be waiting for her there, in the bright lights?

A coming-of-age novel about family and first love, in the city of hopes and dreams.

Swan Song was a lovely novel. I definitely recommend it if you're a fan of coming-of-age books.

Both the story and the characters were great. I really appreciated that the main focus of the book was on Ava and her grieving the mother she never got the chance to know. The romance, though, was sweet and adorable. I'd love more of Ava's story if it ever came about.

Reading Swan Song reminded me of how much I enjoy Charlotte's writing and that I should really pick up and finisher her Ceruleans series.


* This book was received from the author in exchange for an honest review. *

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday (#30)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event that's hosted by Breaking the Spine. It spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, I'm waiting on...

Title The 57 Bus
Author Dashka Slater
Release Date October 17, 2017

One teenager in a skirt.
One teenager with a lighter.
One moment that changes both of their lives forever.

If it weren't for the 57 bus, Sasha and Richard never would have met. Both were high school students from Oakland, California, one of the most diverse cities in the country, but they inhabited different worlds. Sasha, a white teen, lived in the middle-class foothills and attended a small private school. Richard, a black teen, lived in the crime-plagued flatlands and attended a large public one. Each day, their paths overlapped for a mere eight minutes. But one afternoon on the bus ride home from school, a single reckless act left Sasha severely burned, and Richard charged with two hate crimes and facing life imprisonment. The case garnered international attention, thrusting both teenagers into the spotlight.

* What are you waiting on this Wednesday? Share your links in the comments below and I'll be sure to drop by! *

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Book Review: The Border

Title The Border
Author Steve Schafer
Release Date September 5, 2017

One moment changed their lives forever.

A band plays, glasses clink, and four teens sneak into the Mexican desert, the hum of celebration receding behind them.

Crack. Crack. Crack.

Not fireworks―gunshots. The music stops. And Pato, Arbo, Marcos, and Gladys are powerless as the lives they once knew are taken from them.

Then they are seen by the gunmen. They run. Except they have nowhere to go. The narcos responsible for their families' murders have put out a reward for the teens' capture. Staying in Mexico is certain death, but attempting to cross the border through an unforgiving desert may be as deadly as the secrets they are trying to escape...

What drives someone to flee their country? What drives someone to leave everything they've ever known? What drives someone to risk their lives to get to a country that may ultimately turn its back on them? Unlike anything else I've ever read, The Border gives us a fictional look at what drove four teens to make the decision to cross.

In the author's note at the end, he says "This political discourse often loses sight of the individuals at the heart of the issue. [...] They leave desperate situations to find an opportunity for a better life. And they risk everything along the way." That couldn't be more true for our main characters in the novel. I think Schafer does a fantastic job at providing a candid look at a heavy situation that most never to get to see.

The best way that I can think of to describe The Border is heartbreaking, but with hope of better. It's an emotional read that feels pretty on point in terms of realism. I highly recommend it.


* This book was received from Sourcebooks Fire via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. *