Hiatus Announcement!

Hello, dear friends. In the past, I’ve taken periodical breaks from blogging when I was feeling really overwhelmed by it. If you’re not careful, blogging can go from a hobby that you enjoy to a chore on your to-do list. It’s usually around July that I feel this need to step away from the blog before diving back in for what’s usually a busy second half of the year when it comes to blogging. This year is a little different as I haven’t been as consistent with blogging as I would like to be and I have some definitive plans not to stress myself out over posts in the latter part of the year (I will share more on this when I come back). Still, I need a break. Maybe not necessarily from the stress of blogging, but more from the stress and guilt I’ve been feeling because I haven’t been blogging very much. I plan to be back mid-August, but if I’m still not feeling it, I may drop in with an ARC review I have planned and then bail out until September. I can’t promise that I will be on Twitter or Instagram in the meantime. I haven’t spent a lot of time on either of those apps in the last month and that’s something I don’t necessarily want to change right now. I will be checking DMs periodically, so if you need me, you can reach me there. See you soon, friends ❤

Blog Tour – Muse Squad: The Mystery of the Tenth by Chantel Acevedo

Thank you to Paola @ Love, Paola for organizing this tour for Chantel Acevedo’s Muse Squad: The Mystery of the Tenth. Check out the tour schedule for more Muse Squad content from fellow readers here. You can also check out my review of the first book in this duology, Muse Squad: The Cassandra Curse, here.

Title: Muse Squad: The Mystery of the Tenth
Author: Chantel Acevedo
Series: Muse Squad, #2
Pages: 352
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: July 6th 2021

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this tour which does not influence my review**

      “The finale of an action-packed middle grade fantasy duology about a young Cuban American girl who discovers that she’s one of the nine muses of Greek mythology. Perfect for fans of The Serpent’s Secret, the Aru Shah series, and the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.
      Callie Martinez-Silva is finally getting the hang of this whole goddess within thing. Six months after learning she was one of the nine muses of ancient myth, she and the other junior muses are ready for new adventures. Except first Callie has to go to New York City for the summer to visit her dad, stepmom, and new baby brother.
      Then the muses get startling news: an unprecedented tenth muse has been awakened somewhere in Queens, putting Callie in the perfect position to help find her. And she’ll have help—thanks to a runaway mold problem in London, Muse Headquarters is moving to the New York Hall of Science.
      But balancing missions and family-mandated arts camp proves difficult for Callie, especially once mysterious messages from spiders (yikes!) begin to weave a tale of ancient injustice involving Callie’s campmate Ari.
      Now Callie and her friends have to make a choice: follow orders and find the tenth muse or trust that sometimes fate has other plans.”

Chantel Acevedo delivers a heartfelt sequel with Muse Squad: The Mystery of the Tenth, the final book in her middle grade duology inspired by Greek mythology. Callie Martinez-Silva’s life changed when she discovered she is one of the nine muses, tasked with inspiring humankind. While visiting her father over the summer in NYC, Callie finds herself caught between her responsibilities as a muse and helping a new friend. Like its characters, this sequel feels a little more grown up. Callie struggles with being a good leader and whether it’s ethical to use her gift on people without their consent. Callie and her friends face even more difficult challenges in this sequel as their journey pits them against dangerous mythical creatures and cunning gods. If that wasn’t enough, Callie must adjust to being a big sister for the first time and finding where she belongs in her father’s new family. Being a muse has never been more complicated, especially when it starts affecting her relationships. Callie has to figure out how to balance and navigate two very different parts of her life. Callie also finds herself clashing with her dad more and more. Growing up to her means being given more freedom, but to her father it also means being true to your word and understanding how your actions impact those around you, lessons Callie still needs to learn. Muse Squad: The Mystery of the Tenth captures the perils of growing up, including making difficult decisions, but also the undeniable joys of finding friends who truly understand you and discovering who you want to be.

★ ★ ★ ★
(4/5)

Muse Squad: The Mystery of the Tenth is available for purchase now:

Amazon

IndieBound

Barnes & Noble

Apple Books

About the Author:
Called “a master storyteller” by Kirkus Reviews, Chantel Acevedo is the author of the novels Love and Ghost Letters, A Falling Star, The Distant Marvels, which was a finalist for the 2016 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and The Living Infinite hailed by Booklist as a “vivid and enthralling tale of love and redemption.” Muse Squad: The Cassandra Curse, Acevedo’s new middle grade duology (called “Riveting and suspenseful” by School Library Journal) was published by Balzer + Bray in 2020. The sequel, MUSE SQUAD: THE MYSTERY OF THE TENTH, will be published in July of 2021. She is Professor of English at the University of Miami, where she directs the MFA program.

Follow Chantel Acevedo: Website, Twitter, Instagram

2021 Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

I have not had the best reading year so far, but that has less to do with what I’ve been picking up and this general feeling of slumpiness. I am about to take a hiatus from the blog and hopefully recover some of my energy. I want to try and focus on reading more, but not necessarily reviewing every title. As a blogger I feel obligated to review all the books I read, but I’ve learned that this does not always translate to an overall enjoyable reading experience. Sometimes I need a break from writing reviews. Anyone else feel like this sometimes? But enough of that, let’s take a look at some of the books that standout to me so far this year. Covers are linked to Goodreads.

1. Best Book You’ve Read in 2021?

My favorite book so far this year has to be Hafsah Faizal’s We Free the Stars. I’ve had a good amount of five-star reads this year, but this one was just everything I hoped for in a sequel to We Hunt the Flame. It made me crave more stories in this world (I’m hoping) and guaranteed that I will preorder anything Hafsah Faizal writes.

2. Best Sequel You’ve Read in 2021?

I won’t go with We Free the Stars for this one, but I am tempted. I have not read a ton of sequels this year, but one that stands out is Maya Motayne’s Oculta. It had me screaming!!!!!!!!!

3. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To?

Sooooo many! Number one on my list is Tasha Suri’s The Jasmine Throne and it’s actually not my fault that I haven’t read this one yet. If you can believe it, I am still waiting for my preorder of this one. The delivery date has been pushed back twice and if it is again, I’m going to cancel and order somewhere else because I need this one already.

4. Most Anticipated Release For the Second Half of 2021?

If you are interested in my top ten most anticipated releases, you can check out my post on that here. If I had to choose only one, I think I have to go with Tiffany D. Jackson’s White Smoke. I am ready for TDJ to pull the rug right from under me again.

5. Biggest Disappointment?

There isn’t one book for me that stands out as a major disappointment. There were a few reads that I liked less than I thought I would, but none so much so that I feel like I should name them here.

6. Biggest Surprise?

I am going to go with C.L. Polk’s Witchmark. I’ve been hearing how good this one was for a couple of years now, but I did not anticipate loving it as much as I did. It’s my most recent five-star read that was a novel.

7. New Favorite Author?

I’ve picked up a few debuts this year, but one author I now have my eye on is Daka Hermon. Her middle grade horror, Hide and Seeker, was just so good and I cannot wait to read more from her.

8. Newest Fictional Crush? Favorite Ship?

So I don’t have any new fictional crushes, so I am changing this question to favorite ship. I loved loved loved Julián and Mat from Jonny Garza Villa’s Fifteen Hundred Miles From the Sun. They had me grinning throughout the novel.

9. Newest Favorite Character?

This is a harder question than I thought it would be. I am going to name a character who I’ve already met, but who I am getting reacquainted with with rereads. Kippa from the Monstress series by Marjorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda. I am very stressed anytime she is in danger.

10. Book That Made You Cry?

This is a tie between three different books. Tiffany D. Jackson’s Grown, Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite’s One of the Good Ones, and Anna-Marie McLemore’s The Mirror Season all made me ugly cry.

11. Book That Made You Happy?

I should have picked up Leah Johnson’s You Should See Me in a Crown sooner, but it put a big smile on my face.

12. Favorite Book to Movie Adaption You Saw This Year?

The only book to movie adaptation that I’ve watched this year that I know of is Always and Forever, Lara Jean. I definitely prefer the book over the movie though.

13. Favorite Review You’ve Written This Year?

I don’t think there is any one review that stands out to me, but I liked my review of We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal, which you can read here.

14. Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year?

So I haven’t read this one yet, but Namina Forna’s The Gilded Ones has one of the most gorgeous covers I have ever laid eyes on.

15. What Books Do You Need to Read By the End of the Year?

I don’t want to think too hard about how many books I need to get to by the end of the year, but I will highlight these three sequels that I want to read hopefully by the end of summer: Fonda Lee’s Jade War, S.K. Ali’s Misfit in Love, and Susan Dennard’s Witchshadow.

What’s your favorite book of 2021? Which book are you hoping to get to by the end of the year? Leave me a link in the comments to your own Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag post, so I can visit.

Monthly Wrap-Up: June ’21

Oh June, we did not get along. I have not felt as slumpy this year as I did in June. I wanted to read, but making myself read was incredibly difficult. Honestly, the only reason I read an average amount this month was because of a blog tour I had coming up. If it wasn’t for that, I probably would have read two books at most. So this month I picked up five books (special shout out to graphic novels for keeping me afloat the latter part of the month). Not my best, but you know, not my worst either. I did post more reviews than I have been averaging and I feel kind of proud of this. There have been months where I’ve only posted one or two reviews which is not great. So here’s the deal with my upcoming blog hiatus. I’ve been planning this for a while and will have an official announcement next weekend, but basically I won’t be back until mid-August. Usually when I take these breaks, I still read a lot, but I think I am going to make myself take at least a week and not read on purpose. I don’t remember the last time I did that. We’ll see how that goes.

(Book covers below are linked to my reviews, unless otherwise specified.) 

Favorite Book This Month:

C.L Polk’s Witchmark was easily my favorite read of the month. I loved the world-building and the romance. It’s one of those books that I would consider a quiet fantasy and I just love those so much.

Least Favorite Book This Month:

No book received lower than three stars from me.

Reviews Posted This Month:

(Covers linked to reviews)

Notable Blog Posts:

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases for Second Half of 2021 – The second half of 2021 has some great titles coming out. Here is a look at my top ten most anticipated releases.

Book List: Twenty Summer 2021 Release I’m Excited For – If you’re interested in summer releases I have on my radar, check out this list.

What I Watched/Am Watching:

Vagabond – I really enjoyed this K-Drama. It made me super emotional and I have a real soft spot for the lead. It made me want to watch more thrillers, so if you have any recs, let me know in the comments. As much as I love K-Dramas for the romance, it’s nice to get a break and the action scenes in this one were phenomenal. I didn’t know it was going to end on a cliffhanger though and season 2 hasn’t even been announced, so that’s a special kind of torture.

The K-2 – I haven’t finished this one yet, but started it because of how much i enjoyed Vagabond. I feel kind of eh about it though. I will say that it features this really great dynamic between the lead who is a bodyguard and the stepmother of the girl he is supposed to fall for. They have more chemistry than the main ship, so much so that I had to look it up to see if I was imagining all that tension and I wasn’t. There are a lot of people who love them and it’s probably my favorite thing about this show even though it clearly wasn’t done on purpose.

July Releases I’m Excited For:

What was your favorite June read? Let’s discuss in the comments and feel free to leave me a link to your own wrap-up post and I’ll be sure to visit!