Miles Away From You – Review

NOTE: I won this ARC in a charity auction and was unaware of the views the novel promoted at the time. I apologize for any harm or discomfort I may have caused because of this. I will still be reviewing the novel honestly, and without bias.

Hey everyone!

As you can tell from the picture and title of this post, it’s time for another review! Unfortunately, it’s not going to be an easy one.

Before I get started, I wanted to say how sorry I am for my promotion of this novel. Initially when I won the ARC, I was very excited and thought it sounded interesting, but after reading it I feel it has the potential to be harmful to some readers and for that I apologize. I had not yet read the book when I listed it on my March Releases (it has since been removed from the list with a note explaining why).

Now that I’ve said this, let me get into my reasoning for saying so. First, as always, the description. From Amazon:

From debut voice A.B. Rutledge comes a quirky and completely fresh story of young love, loss, and the drastic distances we sometimes have to travel in order to move on, perfect for fans of Adam Silvera and Jandy Nelson. Explores gender identity and the spectrum of sexual preference in an authentic way.

Also, from Goodreads (it explains a little more):

It’s been three years since Miles fell for Vivian, a talented and dazzling transgender girl. Eighteen months since a suicide attempt left Vivian on life support. Now Miles isn’t sure who he is without her, but knows it’s time to figure out how to say goodbye.

He books a solo trip to Iceland but then has a hard time leaving the refuge of his hotel room. After a little push from Oskar, a local who is equal parts endearing and aloof, Miles decides to honor Vivian’s life by photographing her treasured Doc Martens standing empty against the surreal landscapes. With each step he takes, Miles finds his heart healing–even as he must accept that Vivian, still in a coma, will never recover.

Told through a series of instant messages to Vivian, this quirky and completely fresh novel explores love, loss, and the drastic distances we sometimes have to travel in order to move on.

So, before I get into all of the reasons why this book put me off, let me start by saying there were actually some good things about it. Almost the entire cast of characters is LGBTQ+.  The main character, Miles, is pansexual. A pansexual main character is not super common in YA, so that was a plus for me.

Some of the characters were written beautifully and painted in such a complex light, too. I know that Oskar is a favorite among others from reviews I’ve seen, and I can see why. He’s one of the few characters in the novel I actually liked.

The story being told through emails was fun as well. I love novels that don’t follow traditional novel form, though I don’t get to read many of them. The writing was entirely accurate to a teenage boy mind as well. That, combined with the pop-culture references being almost perfect for Miles’ age felt right to me, as far as the writing goes.

That’s about it on the “good” front from me. Here’s why I didn’t like the novel.

So, the premise is that a guy’s black, trans girlfriend, Vivian, tries to commit suicide and ends up in a coma. He’s struggling with it, so his moms (one is bisexual so that’s a woo) send him on a trip to Iceland so he can try to move on. From there we see his interactions and adventures as he tries to find himself after his relationship with Vivian, and even gets close with Oskar, a local boy.

Okay. So. I’m a white, cis woman, so I can’t speak to the experiences of transwomen or black women, but I can say that the descriptions weren’t done well. There were at least a few instances where misgendering occurred, and Vivian’s family is the only PoC family in the entire novel. Not to mention, they are painted in the light of negativity, with her parents entirely unsupportive of their daughter and insisting that she’s not a woman. Meanwhile, Miles’ white moms are painted as the doting, loving parents who take Vivian in when she needs a place to stay. She’s absorbed into their family.

Look, I’m all for people helping people out, but really? The only black family in the entire novel and it’s going to show them as the bad guys? That’s problematic, to say the least.

Vivian herself is not meant to be liked either. She’s viewed as sort of selfish (even though Miles is the one who’s really selfish, but whatever) and secretive and this bad person because she tries to kill herself. There are other reasons, but that’s the gist of what I got out of it anyway.

The rep is not looking good right now my friends. It did not get better either.

Miles himself is also . . . annoying is too mild. He’s a teenage boy. While he’s very accurately written for a teenage boy, it’s also grossly played up. As is his obsession with sex. Seriously, this guy basically only talks and thinks about sex, when he’s not bemoaning the fact that his girlfriend is in a coma. Because, of course, let’s make it all about Miles! Everything is about Miles in this book. Yes, I know it’s a book about Miles. But, come on, the guy is so selfish and gross. He doesn’t seem like he actually cares about her, just the fact that now he’s without her. This is not romantic. It’s more like he’s trying to find a way to make an attempted suicide all about him. And did I mention he’s obsessed with sex? It’s excessive. Sadly, that’s the most interesting thing about him. He’s a basic hipster white boy other than that.

There were moments in this novel that I actually enjoyed, but they were far outnumbered by the rest of the time. It was probably an 85/15 split, with the majority being Not Good. Not the writing itself. If you look at it purely from a craft perspective it’s actually put together pretty well. Yeah, everything definitely feels very neat, and I don’t buy into things falling into place like that, but it’s not badly written in the strictest sense. The content is just not there. I genuinely feel bad about promoting this book so much here before, knowing what I do now about the content of it.

I do not recommend this book and I gave it a 2/5 stars on Goodreads. I can’t stop you from picking it up yourself, and maybe you’ll find something totally different than what I did, but I’m not going to tell you to read it. There are better books to read, and I suggest picking those up. If you’re looking for releases from PoC this month Children of Blood and Bone and Tyler Johnson Was Here are out and Aru Shah and the End of Time comes out on March 27th. I’ve heard only good things, and plan to dive into them myself once I get through my ARCs. I suggest those over Miles.

I think this is my first really negative review on here. I’ve posted only positive reviews thus far, because I genuinely enjoyed the books and thought they were worth reading. I feel like this book, had it been written differently, could have been good. But it wasn’t for me.

I hope you found this review helpful. If you’ve read this and want to share your opinions on it, feel free to comment below! I’m open to discussing the novel, or any others you may want to talk about. I’ll see everyone soon!



Batman: Nightwalker – Review

Hello my beautiful people! I hope you’re all having a good January. Mine has been more organized than usual (I’ve started bullet journaling and let me tell you, this might have saved my life). As a result, I’ve been reading and writing a ton already. I’ve already finished three books this month! And I’m currently reading two (The Belles and Killer Instinct, in case y’all were wondering).

One of the awesome books I’ve been able to read is Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu. The day this came out I put a hold on it at my library, not really expecting to get it before I headed back to school, but hopeful that I might. A couple hours later I got an email from my library that my hold was ready for pickup. I all but ran there to grab it.

Look how cool it is!

(Yes, I own a Batman beanie. No I didn’t wear it while I read. Not the entire time at least.)

So, obviously this cover is not the only thing I’m going to talk about. I mean, I could. But I don’t think you guys would be too appreciative if I spent the whole review going “LOOK AT THE COVER! LOOK AT THE COVER!” (But, for real, look at the cover!)

Okay, cover love over. There’s actual content to discuss here. It took me a little while to get through this, both because I am actually sticking to a writing schedule for once (I’m on a self-imposed deadline) and because I was reading two other books at the same time. I didn’t mind reading this one slowly, though. It was nice to take breaks in between chapters, set the book down and come back to it. It’s not the kind of book where that’s entirely necessary, unlike several heavier books, but it is helpful to work through some of the different theories you might have. I had multiple theories about who did what and what was going on as I read, so I enjoyed waiting between every few chapters.

Before I get into my theories (as much as a no spoiler review will allow) let’s get the book description in here. From Amazon:

“Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.
The city’s elites are being taken out one by one as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is about to become eighteen and inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Industries and all the tech gadgetry that he loves. But on the way home from his birthday party, he makes an impulsive choice and is sentenced to community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most nefarious criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce’s only hope.
The most intriguing inmate in Arkham is Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. A girl who will only speak to Bruce. She is the mystery he must unravel, but is he convincing her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees?

In this second DC Icons book–following Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman: Warbringer–Bruce Wayne is proof that you don’t need superpowers to be a super hero, but can he survive this game of tense intrigue, pulse-pounding action, and masterful deception?”

First thing’s first: I loved the characterization of young Bruce Wayne. I felt that he was accurate to what a young Batman would be like. His behaviors, thought process, and actions all rang true as something teenage Bruce Wayne would do.

His friends were intriguing, though not really focused on too much. Without giving anything away, I will say that young Harvey Dent made want to cry and protect him. But both he and their friend Dianne Garcia were purely background characters in this story. I thought both characters could have had bigger roles, but it wasn’t a major point in the novel.

Madeleine Wallace kept me guessing until the very end. Even now, twelve hours after I finished the book, I still don’t know how I really felt about her. She’s incredibly complex, and a great character in play opposite to Bruce. I wouldn’t exactly call her a foil . . . it could be argued, for sure. But I don’t feel comfortable saying that, based on my reading. Maybe you’ll think differently (if you do, tell me in the comments).

I can’t say who the biggest villain ended up being, but I will tell you that I was genuinely surprised. I was looking elsewhere and ended up being blindsided by who The Big Bad Villain turned out to be. (Or maybe I’m just saying all this to throw you off)(I’m not). I think you’ll be surprised as well when you read this. Or maybe you won’t be. But I think it’s a testament to Lu’s writing that you can suspect anyone and no one and still end up being wrong about who Bruce can and can’t trust. (Is that spoiler-y? I don’t think so.)(If that’s spoiler-y I’m sorry.)


Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I definitely think it’s better than a lot of books I’ve read in the past. It’s better than one of the books I’ve read already this year. There were parts that kept me guessing, moments of true insight into the characters, and a story that left just enough wiggle room for more of the Bruce Wayne we know and love. The only thing that made this a 4 star review instead of 5 was a personal dislike for how Madeleine’s storyline ended. However, it was still a fantastic read and I would (and already have) recommend it to anyone looking for a good YA.

If you’ve read this, or want to read it, or just want to talk about books, tell me in the comments! Or talk to me on Twitter (I’m pretty much always on Twitter you guys). I’m leaving to get my hair cut and drop this back off at the library. Writing time when I get back. I hope this review was helpful!


The Uncrossing – Review

Greetings all!

I hope everyone is enjoy this beautiful month. Or, surviving at least. This might end up being my last blog post if Net Neutrality gets repealed tomorrow. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen. (Side note: I know this isn’t book-related but call your reps. Please. This is ridiculously important.)

Anyway. Onto my review.

So I really enjoyed reading The Uncrossing by Melissa Eastlake. I originally decided to read this as a comparison text for the Rapunzel tale type & my paper in my fairy tales and sexuality class. (It wasn’t as cool as it sounds but it was pretty cool.) I’m glad I chose this book to read.

A brief summary from Amazon:

“Luke can uncross almost any curse—they unravel themselves for him like no one else. So working for the Kovrovs, one of the families controlling all the magic in New York, is exciting and dangerous, especially when he encounters the first curse he can’t break. And it involves Jeremy, the beloved, sheltered prince of the Kovrov family—the one boy he absolutely shouldn’t be falling for.

Jeremy’s been in love with cocky, talented Luke since they were kids. But from their first kiss, something’s missing. Jeremy’s family keeps generations of deadly secrets, forcing him to choose between love and loyalty. As Luke fights to break the curse, a magical, citywide war starts crackling, and it’s tied to Jeremy.

This might be the one curse Luke can’t uncross. If true love’s kiss fails, what’s left for him and Jeremy?”

I thought the premise of the novel extremely intriguing. Male Rapunzel? Curses? Two lovable characters trying to make it work against the odds??? Give me ALL of this please. In spades.

I’m a sucker for this stuff, okay? I will not be ashamed.

The characters really made the story worth reading. This setting was good, the dialogue was decent, but the characters! They made the novel. Jeremy, in particular, was relatable and loving. He was layered in a way characters in retellings can sometimes . . . not be. He wasn’t always likable, and I really enjoyed that. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the guy. I related a lot to his emotions and his reactions. But authors can shy away from making their main characters truly unlikable in key moments.

I did have a couple of things I that disappointed me in the novel. First, I would’ve LOVED more from Luke’s sister, Camille. Camille was badass. She wasn’t a main character, so it makes sense that she wasn’t the focus. Still, I think we could’ve benefited a little bit more from more Camille. Second, there was quite a bit of ambiguity in places. Some moments weren’t explained very well, and there were certain world-building elements that I felt could’ve been laid out better.

Overall though, I had very few issues with the novel. I certainly enjoyed it quite a bit, and will no doubt end up re-reading it in the future. It was a really good read. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.

I’d definitely recommend this one!

I’m off to read some more books. My goal to is to read another ten books before the year is over. Good thing I’m on winter break. Wish me luck!


Daughter of the Burning City – Review!

Hey all! 

I feel like I always start these posts with “It’s been a while. That’s a theme I’m working on changing.” so I’m not doing that this time. I will tell you that I have some (super secret) plans, but for now you’ll have to accept this review as a start.

I have a few life things first I’d like to share with everyone. So I started my senior year of college(!) about a month ago. I’m doing some stuff to prepare for the final things I have to get done this semester and next. Working on some grad school applications. Prepping a paper to present at a conference in November. All the fun stuff, you know?

I haven’t been able to write much because of all this. Or read much, sadly. BUT two nights ago I FINALLY finished DOTBC and I’m so ready to tell you guys all about it!

Let’s do this.

From Amazon:

A darkly irresistible new fantasy set in the infamous Gomorrah Festival, a traveling carnival of debauchery that caters to the strangest of dreams and desires 

Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show. 

But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered. 

Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca. Their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all her loved ones disappear.”

Back in July I made a post with Amanda Foody about why you should read this book. Now that I HAVE read this book, I’m going to tell you guys again: you need to read this book.

Okay, obviously you don’t need to do anything. But I highly recommend you read this book. Here’s some reasons why:

1. The plot will keep you guessing.
If you’ve read any of my previous reviews, you know my absolute adoration for a good plot twist. Don’t give me obvious ones. Don’t do it. I will hate it. I did not hate these.
Sorina’s investigations into the murders of her family is one that has a lot of potential suspects. The way she goes about identifying people, and the lengths she’s willing to go to to protect them are unsurprising. She has a lot of love for her illusions, her family, and there’s not much she isn’t willing to give up to keep them safe. 

2. The characters are my loves. Again, if you’ve read my previous reviews, you know I want my characters layered. I love a good, complex character who doesn’t always fit with what we would consider the norm.
Sorina is The Girl Who Can See Without Eyes. She can be selfish and stubborn, indecisive and frustrating, and will do anything to protect her family, even when “anything” isn’t always the best course of action. So, naturally, I think she’s amazing. She’s also bisexual. But that’s a later point.
Her illusions are all complicated individuals as well. Despite being created by Sorina for her company, they all have distinct personalities and don’t necessarily mesh well with her. They’re vividly described and each have their own lives. When it comes to characters that aren’t exactly “real” this can be difficult to convey, because you’re trying to balance the idea of a “real” person with that of an “imaginary” one. Lines can become blurry and authors might slip into language that clearly shows “these are not real people don’t forget that” (not that all authors do this. Most don’t. But it’s very easy to slip into that language unconsciously). We never really forget that Sorina’s family were created, not born, but we don’t care about that. They appeal to us as people because they are just as lively as the “real” humans are. Sometimes even more so.

I will not say anything about Luca other than he is very special to me, as he reminds me a bit of a close friend of mine. Luca must be protected at all times. Unless you want to slap him for being an ass, which he can be. Then by all means please slap him.

3. It’s set in a traveling circus. The coolest one too. It’s a pretty badass place to grow up and, honestly, I would’ve loved to see more of it. We’re given pretty good descriptions of a few different places in the Gomorrah Festival, but one thing I wish we could’ve gotten some more of was the darker part of the city. I want to be transported there when I read–and for the most part I was–but I would’ve liked just a little more. Still, it’s a setting I loved and I think most readers will adore as well. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of it in the future . . .

4. The diversity is EVERYTHING. We get characters of different racial backgrounds, diversity in appearance and ability, and so much LGBTQIA+ rep my heart was full.

Take Sorina, for example. She’s a Down-Mountainer by birth and was a slave as a child. She’s described as having distinguishing features (no not just her lack of eyes) and isn’t looked down upon by her fellow performers because of it. The festival is full of people from all backgrounds. It’s the Up-Mountainers you’ve got to look out for.

You’ve also got your lovely, lovely LGBTQIA+ rep. Sorina is bisexual. Nicoleta is a lesbian. Luca is, from my reading, demi-sexual and demi-romantic, putting him in the Ace spectrum. Villiam, again from my reading, is aromantic and asexual. Let’s just take a second to appreciate this, okay? Let’s just take one moment to take a deep breath and enjoy this rep.

Did you do it? I did.

5. The overall role of religion. This. Was. Fantastic. I don’t want to get into too much detail here because this is something I think you guys should read for yourselves. But it’s worth mentioning because it plays a HUGE role in the background of the world. Religion and religious fanatics are painted in a way that a lot of us can recognize. It’ll be familiar territory for some, and eye-opening for others. But I think the choice to have it be so prominent in this world Foody has created is ultimately a well-done and slightly twisted (in the best way) one.

So basically what I’m trying to say here is that I really loved this book. I think it was well-written, full of diverse characters, and a fantastic debut. I gave it a 5/5 on Goodreads and I’m fully recommending you guys get this book. From your library, from a bookstore, from a friend, whatever you want! But I really think this is worth the read.

I have free time for the next few days, so I’m off to do a little more reading. Hope this was helpful!



Salutations, world of internet people. How are all of you beings today?

My strange self is glad to be posting this, finally. Wait, you don’t know what this is? Didn’t I say it while I was being weird? No? Oh, well it’s


*throws confetti*

So, you’d think for being so excited about this book, I would have read it in one, two days max. NOPE. I only just finished it (literally thirty seconds before I started writing this) and I’ve had it for about a month. Now, I understand that’s pretty normal (especially for a busy person) but I dislike this.

One thing that sucks about being a crazy busy college student is that one does not have as much as free time as they’d like. Welcome to real life, I know. However, this semester has been busier than most for me. It has seriously cut into my reading time. Which sucks, because that is my de-stress time. And I have really needed some de-stress time these past couple of months.

Sigh. Alright, pity party/tangent over. The reason I mentioned it at all was because I felt bad for not having this review up sooner. I always feel bad when I go silent on here, even if only a few people actually read these posts. So, I’m sorry for not having time for this sooner.

Now then, onto the book review.

First let me just say this: Windwitch did not disappoint.

Holy hell I am so happy. I am so in love with this book.

So when I first talked about how excited I was for this book I mentioned how much work the author put into it. After reading it I can confirm: she poured her soul into this novel you guys. I felt the blood, sweat, and tears in every word. 

Let’s get into a few details (no spoilers though)(I won’t ruin this for anyone who wants to read it)(and you all should DEFINITELY read it).

First of all, we got to hear from Vivia’s POV, which originally I was concerned with. Don’t get me wrong, I was crazy excited to hear from her. I think my original reaction was something like “yay we get to hear from the evil one!” I cannot confirm or deny if Vivia is evil or not, but I can say my original skepticism of how she would fit into the story was shattered about two sentences into her first chapter. I flat out LOVED having Vivia’s POV thrown into the mix. It helped fill out the story and give the readers a new perspective.

Second: Merik, my love, my precious windwitch, your story was beautifully executed. It wasn’t what I thought it would be. But it was everything I could have hoped for and more. I have nothing more to say than this. 

Third thing: love stories are not the focus. Hell yes love stories are present! And I know love was not the focus in Truthwitch either. I like this. I am thrilled by this. I am all for a good love story, but sometimes it feels . . . overdone. There is love present in this novel, but it’s not the same romance story we’ve all seen a million times. Love does not always have to be passion and romance. Sometimes it’s best friends fighting for one another across continents. Sometimes it’s a spoiler and I can’t share it with you guys but read the book and find out.

But that brings me to point number four: there are some killer potential love interests in here. I can’t decide which couple/potential couple I ship the most. Ugh. So many options. So much cuteness.

Some quick and random things I loved: the writing, the world, the writing,the characters, the writing, the meticulous attention to detail throughout the entire book, the lovely and emotionally stacked writing . . . have I mentioned I love her writing? Susan Dennard is fantastic.

Okay I hope this was helpful. I know it was basically me screaming BUY THIS BOOK but it is worth it. Read the book. Then come talk to me about it so we can freak out together.

Okay, must sleep. *throws more confetti* Byeeeeeeeeee!


Food For Thought

Super, super, SUPER short post but I had a question and wanted to see what other people thought.

I finished reading Carry On by Rainbow Rowell yesterday. And while I LOVED the concept and most of the story, I felt like the ending was rushed and could have been better. 

I was talking with one of my roommates about it and she told me how she thought it read like a newbie fanfic writer wrote it: all build up and then rushed action. I thought that made sense.

One of my own theories is that because this was written as a fanfiction in a book originally, maybe she wanted to keep the feel it might retain.

No matter what the reasoning, it’s really bothering me. I was wondering if anyone else had read Carry On and could give me their opinions and thoughts on the second half of the book. What did you think of the structure when you read it? How did you feel the characters were treated? Do you think the speed of the plot was appropriate to the latter part of the story?

Anyone who has read Carry On is more than welcome to leave their opinions below! And I wanted to say that, despite my disappointment in the ending, I still really loved this book. Simon and Baz are amazing characters and I am glad that I got to read their stories. If you haven’t read it I say do but I really recommend you read Fangirl first.

Ok I’m off to my mythology class (it’s pretty cool). Bye!