Girls of Storm and Shadow eARC Review

 

 

 

Girls of Storm and Shadow (Girls of Paper and Fire, #2)

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GoodReads:
In this mesmerizing sequel to the New York Times bestselling Girls of Paper and Fire, Lei and Wren have escaped their oppressive lives in the Hidden Palace, but soon learn that freedom comes with a terrible cost.
Lei, the naive country girl who became a royal courtesan, is now known as the Moonchosen, the commoner who managed to do what no one else could. But slaying the cruel Demon King wasn’t the end of the plan—it’s just the beginning. Now Lei and her warrior love Wren must travel the kingdom to gain support from the far-flung rebel clans. The journey is made even more treacherous thanks to a heavy bounty on Lei’s head, as well as insidious doubts that threaten to tear Lei and Wren apart from within.
Meanwhile, an evil plot to eliminate the rebel uprising is taking shape, fueled by dark magic and vengeance. Will Lei succeed in her quest to overthrow the monarchy and protect her love for Wren, or will she fall victim to the sinister magic that seeks to destroy her?

Purchase Links

Amazon UK | Amazon US

**The links to the book used in this post are Affiliated links, should you click on my links and use them to purchase this book, it will gain me some monies, and will cost you nothing, but gotta disclose this first.**

 

My Review

Content/Trigger Warning: This book has death, alcohol abuse, violence/gore, and the dealing with PTSD/Long term trauma due to sexual assault, abuse/violence.

Hi, my name is Haley, and this book broke me.

Which means 5/5 of course.

Onto the review.

This pretty much picks up where ‘Girls of Paper and Fire’ left off, just letting a bit of time lapse [like a matter of a weeks].

Lei escaped the Moon Ball, she had done a service to Papers everywhere with her actions that night, and now?

Now it’s time to prepare for War. The time is near to strike a blow to the Royal Court that will completely end the reign of terror that has been the life of papers everywhere since the first Bull King ascended to rule.

Wren and Lei must go on a ‘quest’ to get more allies for the Hannos and they’re joined by fellows all joined together for the same mission.

Bo and Nitta were hands down my favorite characters though I also really enjoyed Merrin our demon owl and flier extraordinaire.

Wren’s instructor Caen teaches Lei how to handle a weapon and I really enjoyed the fact that Lei is having to learn while surrounded by basically masters. But where she likes in weapons training, Lei makes up with heart, she’s still kind and strong in other ways.

One thing this book deals with is the long term effects of trauma, how, just because you’ve left/escaped a situation doesn’t mean that you can just leave it all behind. It will follow you in a lot of ways, so, while Lei and Wren are together and out of the clutches of the Hidden Palace, they’re still struggling to deal with the events they went through there.

This also means that while Lei and Wren are going on adventures and still having fun, they are in some heart breaking ways, not the same girls they were before.

Ngan’s handling of this was SO well done. Both girls deal with what happened to them in different ways, and with what they’ve been through, this also means that in a lot of ways they’re closer than before, as they’re no longer surrounded by girls who understand their situation but others who can’t truly understand what they’ve been through.

Still, as all couples do, Wren and Lei have their own set of relationship challenges. AND ON MY WORD THEY BREAK YOUR HEART. NGAN DESTROYS YOU BETWEEN THAT AND OTHER HAPPENINGS THAT I SHALL NOT SPEAK OF.

Anyway, this book is the lead up to what promises to be an epic showdown, and I’m 100% there for their mission and challenges they’ve faced.

The thing is, war comes at a cost, but what will the cost be for Lei and Wren, and who is willing to pay too much?

Pros:
– Lei and Wren
– Bo and Nitta
– Queer love to make your heart soar
– Desert ship
– More amazing world building
– Adventures galore
– Squad Goals
– Sobering look at what trauma can do to people in the long term
– Still get to have quick flashes of what’s going on in the Hidden Palace
– Lei who is a cinnamon roll, wielding a dagger.

Cons:
– This book will break your heart
– This book ruins your life [albeit in the best ways]
– Chapter 23. You know what you did.

Thank you to NetGalley and Hodder for a chance to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

If you’re wondering how I’m handling this book, well, I’m not lol.

 

About the Author

Natasha Ngan

Natasha Ngan is a NYT bestselling author and yoga teacher. She grew up between Malaysia, where the Chinese side of her family is from, and the UK. This multicultural upbringing continues to influence her writing, and she is passionate about bringing diverse stories to teens. Natasha studied Geography at the University of Cambridge before working as a social media consultant and fashion blogger.
She recently moved to Paris, where she likes to imagine she drifts stylishly from brasserie to brasserie, notepad in one hand, wineglass in the other. In reality, she spends most of her time getting lost on the metro and confusing locals with her French.
She is represented by Taylor Haggerty at Root Literary. Her YA novels THE ELITES, THE MEMORY KEEPERS, and GIRLS OF PAPER AND FIRE are out now. GIRLS OF STORM AND SHADOW will be published in November 2019 by Hachette.

Author Links

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Coral – Blog Tour

 

 

Bringing you the spotlight on ‘Coral’ today! Thanks TFFBC for a chance to take part in promoting this book!

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Synopsis:
Multiple award-winning young adult author Sara Ella reimagines The Little Mermaid in a powerful and unexpected way.Sixteen-year-old mermaid Coral has always been different, standing out from her stoic sisters in a society where blending in is key. Worse yet, she fears she has been afflicted with the dreaded Disease. Said to be carried by humans, the Disease imposes emotions on its victims, causing them to commit unspeakable acts. The growing illness inside her, while terrifying, fascinates her very core. Where others see danger, Coral sees life. Could it be the colorless merfolk who are truly ill?
Above the sea, seventeen-year-old Brooke Jordan has nothing left to give. A homeless girl abandoned and forgotten, the only thing Brooke can rely on is the ocean. Her aching feet find refuge within the cool and comforting waves, while her broken heart grows harder with each passing day. When Brooke’s and Coral’s worlds collide, everything alters in an instant. From learning to stand alone, to discovering the strength it takes to rely on another, the girls find that living requires taking that first painful breath. Each must make sacrifices, and when it comes to finding true love? Let’s just say the boys in their lives must learn to swim if they’re ever going to survive the storms.
Battling the odds against them, the girls will do whatever it takes to survive. But what must end for love and life to finally begin?Taking a new twist on Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved fairy tale, this modern-day story explores mental health from several perspectives, questioning what it means to be human in a world where humanity often seems lost.
Book Information:
Title: Coral
By: Sara Ella
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: November 12th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings, Mermaids, Fairy Tales

Purchase Links

GoodReads | Amazon | BookDepo | Barnes&Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Google Books

My Review

Hey all, let me start off by giving you all the trigger warning that Ella was amazing enough to include herself in her book.

Trigger Warning & A Note to My Readers:

(*You will find this note at the beginning of this book as well.*)

For my friends who have experienced trauma, a warning—this story may be triggering. I have done my best to approach the mental health topics addressed in this book in the most sensitive and caring way possible. But even all the research and sensitivity readers in the world would never make it so I could approach every aspect of mental health from every perspective. Your experience is unique to you.

Potential triggers include suicide, self-harm, emotional abuse, anxiety, depression, PTSD, eating disorders, and unwanted/non-consensual advances.

With that said, while some of what I have written comes from research and some from the caring eyes of sensitivity readers who have lived through many of these experiences, other pieces come from my own personal experience with emotional trauma. If you have lost a loved one, I’m with you. If you face depression or anxiety, my heart aches with you in a truly personal way. If you have ever felt misunderstood for these things or simply wanted to escape altogether—I understand.

For the girl who is not okay. For the boy who wonders if it will ever get better. This story is for you.

My hope is that Coral’s tale may be a small pinprick of light in your darkness—a reminder that you are seen. You are loved. You are not alone. You are not nothing, my friend. And neither am I.

Sincerely,

Sara Ella 

This is a really beautiful novel about mental health and it uses one of my favorite fairy tales. ‘The Little Mermaid.’

The original tale is so heart wrenching and tragic and beautiful, and, well, I’m so pleased to say that Ella captured that say tragic heartbreak in her own retelling as well. More than that though, she kept the spirit of ‘The Little Mermaid’ while making it this tale of mental health for YA readers that could use it now more than ever.

There are technically three characters that you switch around POVs for in the chapters, but there are some wonderful secondary characters as well, and they’re all fleshed out nicely. No one feels shallow or as if you didn’t get to properly know them if they were central to the story.

Ella’s prose is lovely and whimsical but with a haunting darkness that would have made Anderson proud.

The twist to this was so clever and I was thoroughly impressed by it, and while there are somethings that could have been done better, as with all things, I felt this was such a great attempt and I want to just buy this for schools everywhere. [Sadly I do not have that sort of cash flow lol]

Coral and Brooke were the most intriguing characters but I do really appreciate that Ella had Merrick and included him with having his own mental health issues/insecurities. It’s not too often you get a book with a boy who is vulnerable in his mental health and it’s not used as a ‘weakness.’ [And let me say it’s not often I’ve read a male protagonist with health/mental health issues in general so I’m not calling out any particular authors here]

My only complaint was definitely the timeline. The pacing seemed fine until you realized you were having to actively consider where/when things were happening as you read in order to keep everything straight. Because that was such an issue, that is my reasoning on the 3.5 rating, but I’ve rounded it up to four because it’s too lovely not to.

Thank you to TFFBC, publisher, and NetGalley for a copy of this in exchange for my honest opinion.

My Playlist

About the Author

AUTHOR

Once upon a time, Sara Ella dreamed she would marry a prince and live in a Disney castle. Today, she spends her days throwing living room dance parties for her two princesses, raising her little prince to be a king, and conquering realms of her own imaginings. Oh, and her husband is definitely more swoon-worthy than any Prince Charming.

Sara’s UNBLEMISHED trilogy has received high praise and multiple awards, but none as rewarding as the love and support she receives from her readers every day. Her new story CORAL, a reimagining of THE LITTLE MERMAID, releases in the fall of 2019.When she’s not on deadline, Sara Ella can most often be found fangirling on Twitter, Instagram, or her YouTube channel. She may or may not be obsessed with #Bookstagram, and she has a serious condition known as “Coffee Snob-itis.” She believes “Happily Ever After is Never Far Away.

Author Links

Website | GoodReads | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Youtube | Pinterest

 

The Rest of the Tour

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November 12th

November 13th

A Court of Coffee and Books – Review + Favourite Quotes
YA/NA Book Divas – Review
The Reading Life – Promotional Post

November 14th

Bookish Looks – Guest Post
Wishful Endings – Review
Adventurous Bookworm– Review + Favourite Quotes
The Caffeinated Reader – Review + Playlist
TheBookNerdDiaries – Promotional Post

November 15th

L.M. Durand – Guest Post
Hauntedbybooks – Review + Favourite Quotes
Synopses by Sarge – Review
The Boozy Reader – Review

November 16th

Kait Plus Books – Interview
Morgan Vega – Review + Favourite Quotes
Dazzled by Books – Review
Amy’s Booket List – Review
Sometimes Leelynn Reads – Review + Playlist + Dream Cast

November 17th

Moonlight Rendezvous – Review  + Favourite Quotes
Bookishly Nerdy – Review + Favourite Quotes
Confessions of a YA Reader – Promotional Post

November 18th

That Georgia Gypsy – Interview
The Reading Corner for All – Review + Dream Cast
Biblioxytocin – Review + Favourite Quotes
Lori’s Bookshelf Reads – Review + Favourite Quotes
To All The Books I’ve Read Before – Promotional Post