Jackpot by Nic Stone

Release date: October 15th 2019

Genre: YA Contemporary 

Meet Rico: high school senior and afternoon-shift cashier at the Gas ‘n’ Go, who after school and work races home to take care of her younger brother. Every. Single. Day. When Rico sells a jackpot-winning lotto ticket, she thinks maybe her luck will finally change, but only if she–with some assistance from her popular and wildly rich classmate Zan–can find the ticket holder who hasn’t claimed the prize. But what happens when have and have-nots collide? Will this investigative duo unite…or divide?

Rico Danger

Rico is a fiercely independent black teen who works incredibly hard to keep her family afloat. She is a flawed character that got slightly annoying to read about at times but she was a great lead for our story.

Alexander Gustavo Macklin

Zan is a wealthy bi-racial hunk who may or may not have a slight obsession with Rico. Like Rico, he got annoying to read about at times since he was so angsty and said the wrong thing a lot. I do have a soft spot for him though, don’t get it twisted.

Jaxson Danger

Jax is Rico’s little half-brother and he is the cutest!! He honestly broke my heart a few times but I’m fiNE. 

Stacia Danger

Mama Danger is a wholly flawed character but there is so much strength and resilience to her I couldn’t help but admire her, even when she made terrible decisions. Her heart was always in the right place and I think that’s what counts.

Jessica Barlow

Jess lives in the same neighbourhood as Rico and is Zan’s friend. She has a lot of family issues and Rico and her form a bond over shared hardships. Jessica’s character did confuse me at times as her motives weren’t very clear.

Finesse Montgomery

Ness is Zan’s best friend and Jess’ boyfriend. We didn’t see all too much of him but he seemed like such a sweet guy! I wish he had more page time.

Rico and Zan

I really loved Rico and Zan’s relationship. They had great chemistry and they’re dialogue was hilarious. I laughed out loud several times. I liked how they challenged each other’s belief system. My one gripe with this though, is that I feel like neither character developed as much as I would’ve liked. I think they were both very stubborn and that’s fine but I felt like they never truly overcame that and had a conversation that satisfied me. I also wasn’t super clear on Zan’s opinion of Rico before the story started. We got hints that he liked her before they became friends but it wasn’t something they ever discussed between themselves.

Jessica and Finesse

Jess and Ness were really cute! There was a great conversation about mixed race relationships in here. I did notice the inconsistency with Jess’ relationship with Finesse’s family. At one point in the story they seem to adopt her as part of the family and then later on, one of Finesse’s sisters says to Rico, ‘I wish my brother would date someone like you, not Malibu Barbie.’ 

Rico and Stacia

One of my favourite parts of this novel was Rico’s relationship with her mother. It was really honest and relatable (external circumstances aside) I’m a sucker for mother daughter relationships being depicted accurately so I loved it.

Rico and Jax

Again, one of my favourite aspects of this novel. I always love to see familial relationships being brought to the forefront in ya contemporaries. It was more important than the romance and I really appreciated that because it’s more realistic. 

Zan and Jax

They had the cutest relationship ever. Jax absolutely adored Zan and vice versa. Wholesome all the way around.

This book had an interesting format where interspersed between chapters, there was a chapter from the perspective of an inanimate object that was important to the story. It sounds weird but I think it added a lil pizazz to the story and I’m glad she included them.

The one thing that really bugged me about this novel was Rico’s hatred for girls that went to her highschool in general, whether they were white or not. I understand she was going through a tough time and thought they were judging her for her poverty but I’m just really over girls hating on other girls for no reason. Jess and Rico did form a close bond but it was kind of against Rico’s will and she judged her alot until she found out about her home life. There were also quite a few instances were Zan was hating on the ‘cheerleader’ type of girls and saying Rico ‘wasn’t like other girls.’ I feel like the intent of this was to highlight Rico’s independence and work ethic and it put a bad taste in the mouth, honestly. 

Disclaimer:I understand there is a deeper race issue going on here but I’m not an own voices reviewer so I won’t get into that because I don’t feel educated enough on the on the topic. I did just want to put my thoughts out there because it was something that bugged me.

!!! Potential mild spoilers ahead !!!

Now, the ending. I was disappointed. This is a personal gripe but I really hate open endings. As well as that, the whole lottery ticket plot line felt really rushed to me. They brushed over  a HUGE breakthrough. Also, Zan is a CLOWN. And *clenches fist* I just wanted more dammit.

Overall, this was one of the most entertaining novels I’ve read in a long time. It was such a quick read and it was hard to put down. I did have a few issues with this book but I had such an enjoyable time reading it I couldn’t give it anything less than four stars.

★★★★

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Content and trigger warnings for money problems, oppressive environments, talk of depression, race issues, family troubles.

Contemporary-a-thon TBR | 2019

This is my (tentative) tbr for the week long readathon hosted by Chelsea, Melanie, Natasha and Julie. It takes place from September 23 – September 29! Good luck to everyone participating!

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Release date: 13th August 2019

Description: By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady’s maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, “Dear Miss Sweetie.” When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society’s ills, but she’s not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender. While her opponents clamor to uncover the secret identity of Miss Sweetie, a mysterious letter sets Jo off on a search for her own past.

Challenges completed: Read a 2019 release. Read a diverse contemporary

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Description: In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure. On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever. Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness. That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiance, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.

Challenges completed: Read a contemporary with yellow on the cover. Read a hard hitting contemporary.

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Release date: 14th January 2020

Description: When Nina decides to take a radio broadcasting class her senior year, she expects it to be a walk in the park. Instead, it’s a complete disaster. The members of Nina’s haphazardly formed radio team have approximately nothing in common. And to maximize the awkwardness her group includes Jamie, a childhood friend she’d hoped to basically avoid for the rest of her life. The show is a mess, internet rumors threaten to bring the wrath of two fandoms down on their heads, and to top it all off Nina’s family is on the brink of some major upheaval. Everything feels like it’s spiraling out of control―but maybe control is overrated?

Challenges completed: Read a book with an illustrated cover. Read a contemporary with plants on the cover. (This cover is so damn pretty y’all)

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Description: Rosa Santos is cursed by the sea-at least, that’s what they say. Dating her is bad news, especially if you’re a boy with a boat. But Rosa feels more caught than cursed. Caught between cultures and choices. Between her abuela, a beloved healer and pillar of their community, and her mother, an artist who crashes in and out of her life like a hurricane. Between Port Coral, the quirky South Florida town they call home, and Cuba, the island her abuela refuses to talk about.

Challenges completed: Read a contemporary that is beloved by a member of the book community. Rocky from Blonde With A Book was obsessing about this book on twitter so I need to read this.

I am going to be pretty busy this following week but fingers crossed I’ll get these done. Are you participating in this readathon? What are you reading?

A. Rose

WRAP UP | AUGUST 19

This was a very sad reading month for me.

10 books – 5 novels, 4 graphic novels, 1 poetry collection

Favourite: Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O’Neill

Least Favourite: Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey

Average Rating: 3.2

ARC 🔮

REVIEWED 🍒

TO REVIEW 💭

** NOTE: all these links lead to my review on Goodreads or just the books on Goodreads.

Let me know your August reading statistics! I hope you have a great month of September!!

A. Rose ❣

Books I’m Avoiding | Top Ten Tuesday

This is just a really quick fun post because I’m really busy right now. It did make me slightly more stressed than I already was but I promptly closed this tab and started playing sims so we love love living our best lives.

1.Neverwhere

I have one fear that I’ll not understand this book at all and it’ll put me in a slump for the rest of me life.

2. The Bell Jar

I don’t know if I’ll ever be emotionally stable enough for this not to trigger me. I really want to read it though wahh.

3. Ready Player One

I think the reason I haven’t read this yet is because I’m not particularly interested in the concept but I really want to see what the hype is about.

4. Norweigan Wood

I think I’ll love this book so much I’m afriad to read it. A form of self destruction? Maybe.

5. A Little Life

This explain itself tbh. I don’t want to be HURT, okay?

6. Cujo

I’ve been putting this off foe October but everytime October comes around I have no inspiration to read it. And I don’t want a dog to die.

7. Anne of Green Gables

I’ve had this book on my shelves for agesss. I’m don’t want every Canadian to hate me if I don’t like this. I really want to watch the tv show too I don’t know why I’m a dumbass.

8. The Goldfinch

Out of all of these books this is the one that has a valid-ish reason for me avoiding it. The Secret History by Donna Tartt is my favourite book of all time and I’m so so scared I won’t like this. It’s very irrational because it sounds amazing and has amazing reviews so hopefully it’ll be chef kiss.

9. Prisoner of Night and Fog

I don’t know how much I want to read a book with a living breathing Hitler in it but it has fantastic reviews and I can’t lie that I’m intrigued for days.

10. Leah on the Offbeat

I was dying for this release but a year later I still haven’t picked it up. I heard from multiple people that the bisexual rep in this is horrendous and as a bi bitch I don’t want to be OFFENDED. I deserve better than shitty not own voices rep.

A. Rose ❣

TBR | SEPTEMBER 19

I never stick to my tbrs so we’ll see how this goes lmao. Also! I’ll be posting a separate contemporary-a-thon tbr so keep you’re eyes peeled baby!

Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron

Seven Death of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

Well of Ascension by by Brandon Sanderson

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S King

And finally… I’m re-reading the raven cycle!! It’s about time lads. Lala from BooksandLala on booktube is hosing a readathon for this series for the month of September!

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

I have such a busy month ahead of me with school and stuff so… pray for me dudes. I hope I get to at least some of these cry emoji.

A. Rose ❣

Yellow Books | Six for Sunday

This is my first six for Sunday post! I’m excited because yellow is one of my favourite colours and I’m going to be talking about some new/upcoming releases with yellow covers I’m looking forward to reading!

1. Let’s Call It a Doomsday – Emily Henry

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Description:

There are so many ways the world could end. There could be a fire. A catastrophic flood. A super eruption that spews lakes of lava. Ellis Kimball has made note of all possible scenarios, and she is prepared for each one. What she doesn’t expect is meeting Hannah Marks in her therapist’s waiting room. Hannah calls their meeting fate. After all, Ellis is scared about the end of the world; Hannah knows when it’s going to happen.

Despite Ellis’s anxiety — about what others think of her, about what she’s doing wrong, about the safety of her loved ones — the two girls become fast friends. As Ellis tries to help Hannah decipher the details of her doomsday premonition, she learns there are secrets Hannah isn’t telling her.

Release Date: August 6th 2019

Available now.

1.Frankly In Love – David Yoon

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Description:

High school senior Frank Li is a Limbo–his term for Korean-American kids who find themselves caught between their parents’ traditional expectations and their own Southern California upbringing. His parents have one rule when it comes to romance–“Date Korean”–which proves complicated when Frank falls for Brit Means, who is smart, beautiful–and white. Fellow Limbo Joy Song is in a similar predicament, and so they make a pact: they’ll pretend to date each other in order to gain their freedom. Frank thinks it’s the perfect plan, but in the end, Frank and Joy’s fake-dating maneuver leaves him wondering if he ever really understood love–or himself–at all.

Did y’all hear that?? Fake dating and Korean rep!!

Release date: September 10th 2019

Available to request on Edelweiss.

5. The Ten Thousand Doors of January – Alix E. Harrow

The Ten Thousand Doors of January

Description:

In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.

Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

Release Date: September 10th 2019

Available to request on Edelweiss and Netgalley.

6. The Bone Houses – Emily Lloyd Jones

The Bone Houses

Description:

Seventeen-year-old Aderyn only cares about two things: her family, and her family’s graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don’t always stay dead.

The risen corpses are known as “bone houses,” and legend says that they’re the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it about Ellis that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good?

Release Date: September 24th 2019

Available to wish for on Netgalley.

3. 10 Blind Dates – Ashley Elston

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Description:

Sophie wants one thing for Christmas-a little freedom from her overprotective parents. So when they decide to spend Christmas in South Louisiana with her very pregnant older sister, Sophie is looking forward to some much needed private (read: make-out) time with her long-term boyfriend, Griffin. Except it turns out that Griffin wants a little freedom from their relationship. Cue devastation.

Heartbroken, Sophie flees to her grandparents’ house, where the rest of her boisterous extended family is gathered for the holiday. That’s when her nonna devises a (not so) brilliant plan: Over the next ten days, Sophie will be set up on ten different blind dates by different family members.

Release Date: October 1st 2019

Available to request on Edelweiss.

2. Mooncakes – Suzanne Walker, Wendy Xu

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Description:

Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers’ bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town.

One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home.

Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help.

I’ve already read this and enjoyed it so so much!

Release date: October 15th 2019

Available to download on Edelweiss and Netgalley.

What Autumn releases are you looking forward to?

A. Rose ❣

Favourite Tropes | Top Ten Tuesday

1. Tall, dark and Damaged ™

We all love a tortured soul. The worlds done them dirty but they’re still kicking (even though they’re probably kinda mean.) Seeing them reconnect with the world again and opening up to people is just so precious. Cherry on top is if there’s a romance just saying.

Favourite example:

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2. Tall, dark and Damaged ™ gets a cinnamon roll side kick

Then, said tortured soul meets a cinnamon roll. The sweetest, happiest ray of sunshine ever. They try to pretend like they hate them but everyone knows they would protect this kid with their life. Iconic and never gets old.

Favourite example:

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3. Fake dating

Everybody loves this!!! It’s classic. Someone needs a date to a wedding, someone needs to make their ex jealous. The obvious solution, call your number neighbor and offer to buy them a plane ticket to San Diego and come to Aunt Jackie’s wedding. Snog a random passerby in front of your ex. Boom! ! They fall in love. Get’s me every time.

Favourite Example:

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4. The gentle giant

They’re twelve times your size and could crush you like a bug. But they’re actually sweethearts. Need I say more?

Favourite Example:

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5. Oh my god, they were roommates…

Pretty self explanatory. Always better if there’s an enemies to lovers/friends to lovers trope also.

Favourite Example:

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6. High school romance

Whether it’s a YA contemporary or a fantasy with a magic school setting, I LOVE this trope. This is definitely due to the fact that I’m currently in high school and very single. I’m living vicariously through cute couples in books and I’m not mad about it.

Favourite Example:

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7. Enemies to lovers

NOT ab*ser/r*pist to lover. I mean silly misunderstanding to lover. I was so sexually attracted to you I pretended to hate you so I didn’t pounce on you to lover. The tension, the bickering, the life it gives me. Be still my beating vagina.

Favourite Example:

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8. Forbidden romance

This can mean so many different things. I don’t mean forbidden like incest. I don’t mean forbidden like being a gay couple in a homophobic country (I can’t deal with the heartbreak sis) I mean, oh no there’s this weird law that means we can’t be together in this fantasy world!! But I can’t stop loving you!! But if we act on this we’ll die!! The scandal, the secrecy, the stakes, the TEA.

Favourite example:

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9. Found family

If a series doesn’t have the found family trope I don’t want it. I love having a wide array of characters who are all completely different in ever way and seeing them interact. I love all the different dynamics and ships. It’s so pure and fills my heart with so much joy.

Favourite Example:

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10. Finally calling their love interest by their real name

Character A has a cute nickname for character B. Character B hates their nickname (but secretly thinks it’s cute.) Character A refuses to use character B’s real name until there’s an emergency, or someone’s in danger, or they think they’re dead, or whatever.

Favourite Example:

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