Review: Thorn

Title: Thorn
Author: Intisar Khanani
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Release Date: March 24, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A princess with two futures. A destiny all her own

Between her cruel family and the contempt she faces at court, Princess Alyrra has always longed to escape the confines of her royal life. But when she’s betrothed to the powerful prince Kestrin, Alyrra embarks on a journey to his land with little hope for a better future.

When a mysterious and terrifying sorceress robs Alyrra of both her identity and her role as princess, Alyrra seizes the opportunity to start a new life for herself as a goose girl. 

But Alyrra soon finds that Kestrin is not what she expected. The more Alyrra learns of this new kingdom, the pain and suffering its people endure, as well as the danger facing Kestrin from the sorceress herself, the more she knows she can’t remain the goose girl forever.

With the fate of the kingdom at stake, Alyrra is caught between two worlds and ultimately must decide who she is, and what she stands for.

Review:

Princess Alyrra is sent to marry a prince of the largest kingdom. However, along the way to the palace, she is put under a spell which switches her body with her enemy who was traveling with her. Now Alyrra no longer looks like the princess who was sent to the kingdom. The new princess sends Alyrra to work in the barns with the geese, where she lives with servants. She has to figure out how to protect the kingdom from the witch who cursed her and the girl who has taken her place.

I wasn’t familiar with the fairy tale of The Goose Girl before reading this book. I didn’t look it up, because I didn’t want to spoil the story. The story was quite suspenseful, since I didn’t know what was going to happen.

There were some heartbreaking parts of this story, which really made me sympathetic towards Alyrra. She was abused by her brother before she went to the kingdom. She was on bad terms with her mother for a controversy she caused in her home kingdom. She also had to help some servants who were in less fortunate circumstances.

I really enjoyed this story! It’s a great debut fantasy novel.

Thank you HarperCollins Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Ash Princess (Ash Princess Trilogy #1) by Laura Sebastian

The Black Witch (The Black Witch Chronicles #1) by Laurie Forest

Have you read Thorn? What did you think of it?

Top Ten Tuesday – Signs You’re a Book Lover

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and it is now hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Signs You’re A Book Lover. Here’s my list:

1. You’ve stayed up past your bedtime reading.

2. You’re always carrying a book on you.

3. You’ve cancelled plans to read.

4. You’ve broken your book buying ban.

5. Your birthday wishlist is full of books.

6. You’ve bought books, despite your long TBR.

7. You’ve built your own bookshelf.

8. You’ve travelled on a plane to go to a book event.

9. You’ve waited for an hour (or three) to get a book signed.

10. You’ve volunteered at a book festival.

(All photos taken from Goodreads)

What’s your Top Ten Tuesday list?

Happy Pub Day – March 31

Happy Pub day to all of these new books!

Nancy Drew: The Curse by Micol Ostow

Take It Away, Tommy!: A Breaking Cat News Adventure by Georgia Dunn

Music From Another World by Robin Talley

Night of the Dragon (Shadow of the Fox #3) by Julie Kagawa

Imagine Me (Shatter Me #6) by Tahereh Mafi

The Sunday Potluck Club by Melissa Storm

The Familiar Dark by Amy Engel

What books are you most excited for this week?

Blog Tour Review: Music From Another World

Title: Music From Another World
Author: Robin Talley
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, LGBTQ
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 31, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

It’s summer 1977 and closeted lesbian Tammy Larson can’t be herself anywhere. Not at her strict Christian high school, not at her conservative Orange County church and certainly not at home, where her ultrareligious aunt relentlessly organizes antigay political campaigns. Tammy’s only outlet is writing secret letters in her diary to gay civil rights activist Harvey Milk…until she’s matched with a real-life pen pal who changes everything.

Sharon Hawkins bonds with Tammy over punk music and carefully shared secrets, and soon their letters become the one place she can be honest. The rest of her life in San Francisco is full of lies. The kind she tells for others—like helping her gay brother hide the truth from their mom—and the kind she tells herself. But as antigay fervor in America reaches a frightening new pitch, Sharon and Tammy must rely on their long-distance friendship to discover their deeply personal truths, what they’ll stand for…and who they’ll rise against.

A master of award-winning queer historical fiction, New York Times bestselling author Robin Talley once again brings to life with heart and vivid detail an emotionally captivating story about the lives of two teen girls living in an age when just being yourself was an incredible act of bravery.

Review:

Tammy and Sharon were set up as penpals through their Catholic schools in 1977. Tammy lived in Orange County with a very religious family, while Sharon lived in San Francisco with her mother and brother. Sharon’s brother and Tammy are gay. Sharon and her brother help the gay community in San Francisco by supporting Harvey Milk’s campaign. When Tammy gets in trouble at her school, she runs away to the only person she knows who will support her, Sharon.

This story was devastating at times. Tammy’s aunt and uncle, who ran the church in her community, were so extreme and closed minded. They constantly bashed gay people, which Tammy had to listen to. She also had to work against the gay community to promote her aunt and uncle’s beliefs. It was so upsetting to see her go against herself in these ways.

One good thing about this story, is that the world is much more welcoming today. It isn’t a perfect situation for queer people today, but I think Tammy and Sharon would have a more positive place to live today. There are still people like Tammy’s aunt around today, but there is more positivity for queer people.

This was a great story!

Thank you Inkyard Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki, Rosemary Valero-O’Connell

King, Queens, and In-Betweens by Tanya Boteju

Author Info:

Robin Talley studied literature and communications at American University. She lives in Washington, DC, with her wife, but visits both Boston and New York regularly despite her moral opposition to Massachusetts winters and Times Square. Her first book was 2014’s Lies We Tell Ourselves. Visit her online at robintalley.com or on Twitter at @robin_talley.

Have you read Music From Another World? What did you think of it?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? – March 30

This blog meme is hosted by Book Date. It is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

What I just finished:

This weekend I finished Music From Another World by Robin Talley.

What I’m currently reading:

I’m currently reading Thorn by Intisar Khanani.

What I’m reading next:

Next I will be reading Every Reason We Shouldn’t by Sara Fujimara.

What are you guys reading this week? Have you read any of these books?

Jill’s Weekly Wrap-Up – March 29

Here are my reviews for the week with my ratings:

I did 8 weekly blogging memes:

How was your week? What did you guys read?

Sundays in Bed With… Music from Another World

The meme that dares to ask what book has been in your bed this morning? Come share what book you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed, or which book you wish you had time to read today! This meme is hosted by Midnight Book Girl.

This Sunday I’m reading Music from Another World by Robin Talley.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

It’s summer 1977 and closeted lesbian Tammy Larson can’t be herself anywhere. Not at her strict Christian high school, not at her conservative Orange County church and certainly not at home, where her ultrareligious aunt relentlessly organizes antigay political campaigns. Tammy’s only outlet is writing secret letters in her diary to gay civil rights activist Harvey Milk…until she’s matched with a real-life pen pal who changes everything.

Sharon Hawkins bonds with Tammy over punk music and carefully shared secrets, and soon their letters become the one place she can be honest. The rest of her life in San Francisco is full of lies. The kind she tells for others—like helping her gay brother hide the truth from their mom—and the kind she tells herself. But as antigay fervor in America reaches a frightening new pitch, Sharon and Tammy must rely on their long-distance friendship to discover their deeply personal truths, what they’ll stand for…and who they’ll rise against.

A master of award-winning queer historical fiction, New York Times bestselling author Robin Talley once again brings to life with heart and vivid detail an emotionally captivating story about the lives of two teen girls living in an age when just being yourself was an incredible act of bravery.

What book are you in bed with today?