Review: Once and Future, by @AmyRoseCapetta and @CoriMcCarthy

Title: Once & Future (Once & Future #1)
Author: Amy Rose Capetta & Cori McCarthy
Rating: 5/5 stars

I’ve been chased my whole life. As a fugitive refugee in the territory controlled by the tyrannical Mercer corporation, I’ve always had to hide who I am. Until I found Excalibur.

Now I’m done hiding.

My name is Ari Helix. I have a magic sword, a cranky wizard, and a revolution to start.

When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she is revealed to be the newest reincarnation of King Arthur. Then she meets Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager, and together they must break the curse that keeps Arthur coming back. Their quest? Defeat the cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind.

No pressure. (description from Goodreads)

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Most people are familiar with the legend of and surrounding King Arthur. For me that’s mostly what it is; a familiarity. I’ve seen the Disney version of Sword in the Stone. I’ve also seen an early 2000’s movie called King Arthur, though I don’t recall anything from it. I also have picked up the basics of the main legend here and there. Do you need to know any or more of that to enjoy Once & Future? No. I don’t think you do. Will you finish the book and want to read more about the legendary king? Well, I know I do.

Retellings of classic tales, whether they’re Pride & Prejudice from a few hundred years back or the Iliad millenia ago, always catch my eye. Putting King Arthur in space grabbed my attention more than most other settings probably would have. How would it work to have knights in space? Where would the sword be stuck? How would magic work up there? My questions were answered in this book in a very entertaining and developed way.

I think one of the strengths of this book was that the authors didn’t just retel the King Arthur story. King Arthur himself already had his time to do his thing in the story. In fact, he had his chance 41 other times. It’s time for Ari, a wanted refugee, to try to bring humankind back together and out from under an evil empirical corporations rule. She’s a reincarnation of Arthur, thousands of years later. This allowed for things to change, modernize, all while sticking with tropes necessary to the myth all while being self-aware of them. The Merlin in this book won’t let up on how things “should” be and who is a version of who.

I flew through this book since it was hard to put down often. I haven’t had a read like this in awhile. While it was great as its own book, I’m eager to see what happens in book two of the duology. There was a little bit of a lead-in to that book, and I’d really like to see Ari finally fulfill her role as this future Arthur and finish her journey.

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You can find this book on:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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About the Rebel Carter:

Amy Rose Capetta [she/they] is a bestselling and acclaimed author of YA fantasy, sci-fi, and mystery. Amy Rose’s first novels, Entangled and Unmade, comprise a spacepunk duet. Echo After Echo, a queer love story wrapped in a murder mystery and set on Broadway, was an ALA Rainbow List Selection and JLG Selection. The Brilliant Death, an Italian-inspired, nonbinary fantasy, made the Locus Reading List and Kirkus Best YA Books of the Year. Once & Future, a bestselling Arthurian space fantasy co-written with Cori McCarthy, received four starred reviews and was a finalist for the New England Book Award. The Lost Coast, aka queer teen witches in the redwoods, landed on Booklist’s Top 10 SF/Fantasy & Horror for Youth. Sequels to The Brilliant Death and Once & Future are forthcoming in 2020! Amy Rose holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from VCFA, and co-founded the Rainbow Writers Workshop, the first workshop for LGBTQIAP+ writers of YA and middle grade. AR lives in Vermont with Cori McCarthy and an adorable small reader.

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About the Cori McCarthy:

CORY (aka Cori)…earned degrees in poetry and screenwriting before falling in love with writing for children and young adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. They have authored four acclaimed YA novels, with a middle grade series and nonfiction picture book forthcoming. Cory coauthored the bestselling ONCE & FUTURE, a finalist for the New England Book Award, with their spouse Amy Rose Capetta. They live in the mountains of Vermont where they champion queer teens and raise a young maverick.

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New Release: The Enemy Hypothesis, by @Amy_Sparling

 

The Enemy Hypothesis

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Abby Pena’s hands are full this year. Between school and helping her grandma wrangle her three younger sisters, there is no time for an after-school job, and certainly no money in the budget to get a car. When Brazos High announces a brand new school-wide contest, everyone thinks it sounds lame. Until they learn the winner of the contest gets a brand new car.

Mark Caputo is living a lie. His family owns a popular restaurant in town and their favorite pastime is being rich. Only… they’re not rich. His parents’ constant pressure to look the best and be the best has Mark on edge. This new car could give his parents some much needed financial help. Too bad he’s starting off this school contest in last place.

Abby and Mark have their own reasons for wanting the car, and so does the rest of the school. As tensions rise and students scramble to win the contest, Abby finds herself battling for first place with the last person she’d ever expect: the super cute Mark Caputo, her new mortal enemy.

The Brazos High Romance Series is a collection of flirty, sweet young adult novellas that each feature a different couple. They can be read in any order. Download your copy now and dive into this heartwarming romance!

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You can grab a copy of this book from

Amazon

If you missed the first novella in the Brazos High Romance series, The Square Root, grab it from:

Amazon

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About the Author:

Amy Sparling is the bestselling author of books for teens and the teens at heart. She lives on the coast of Texas with her family, her spoiled rotten pets, and a huge pile of books. She graduated with a degree in English and has worked at a bookstore, coffee shop, and a fashion boutique. Her fashion skills aren’t the best, but luckily she turned her love of coffee and books into a writing career that means she can work in her pajamas. Her favorite things are coffee, book boyfriends, and Netflix binges.

She’s always loved reading books from R. L. Stine’s Fear Street series, to The Baby Sitter’s Club series by Ann, Martin, and of course, Twilight. She started writing her own books in 2010 and now publishes several books a year.

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HRM – Jayda’s Christmas Wish, by @Amy_Sparling

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Jayda’s junior year started off bad when her boyfriend dumped her, and then it became worse when her mom got laid off. With every week that her mom doesn’t find a new job, things get tighter. Now the holidays are approaching and there is no money for presents. When she intercepts her little brother’s letter to Santa, her heart breaks knowing they can’t get the dog he desperately wants. On a wing and a prayer, she writes her own letter to Santa, penning all of her holiday wishes that she knows can never come true because holiday magic just isn’t real.

Connor’s first Christmas without his mother is harder than he imagined. When a giant sack of letters to Santa shows up at his doorstep, he can’t believe he forgot that she used to reply to all the Santa letters in their small town. He’s about to throw them away, but then a letter from a girl he has a crush on catches his eye. Jayda has sent a Christmas wish into the universe, and although Connor isn’t technically Santa, he does the only thing he can do to honor his mother’s memory.

He writes back.

A sweet and clean Christmas romance that will make you smile!

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You can grab a copy of this book from

Amazon

This novella was part of a multi-author special release leading up to the holiday season. The other novellas can be found below:

My Christmas Break Mistake by Anne-Marie Meyer

The Candy Cane Kiss by Maggie Dallen

Christmas Kiss by Tammy Andresen

The Christmas Gift? by Jordan Ford

My Mistletoe Mix-Up by Judy Corry

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About the Author:

Amy Sparling is the author of The Summer Unplugged Series, Deadbeat & other awesome books for younger teens. She also writes books for older teens under the name Cheyanne Young.

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New Release: The Last Wish of Sasha Cade by @NormalChey

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The day Raquel has been dreading for months has finally arrived. Sasha, her best friend in the whole world, has died of cancer. Overwhelmed and brokenhearted, Raquel can’t even imagine life without her. 

And then a letter from Sasha arrives. Has she somehow found a way to communicate from beyond the grave?

In fact, Sasha spent her final weeks planning an elaborate scavenger hunt for the friend she would have to leave behind. When Raquel follows the instructions to return to Sasha’s grave, a mysterious stranger with striking eyes is waiting for her. There’s a secret attached to this boy that only Sasha — and now Raquel — knows.

This boy, Elijah, might be just who Raquel needs to help her move on from her terrible loss. But can Raquel remain true to herself while also honoring her friend’s final wish? 

Cheyanne Young’s compulsively readable breakout novel offers abiding friendship and forbidden romance, along with an incisive look at how class differences shape who we are and who we grow to be.

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You can grab a copy of this book from

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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About the Author:

Cheyanne Young is a native Texan with a fear of cold weather and a coffee addiction that probably needs an intervention. She loves books, sarcasm, and collecting nail polish. After nearly a decade of working in engineering, Cheyanne now writes books for young adults. She also runs a bookish Etsy shop.

Cheyanne lives near the beach with her family, one spoiled rotten puppy, and a cat that is most likely plotting to take over the world. Her newest book, The Last Wish of Sasha Cade, releases in 2018.

Cheyanne is represented by Kim Lionetti of BookEnds Literary.

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Review: The Text Dare, by @Amy_Sparling

The Text Dare

Title: The Text Dare (First Love Shorts #1)
Author: Amy Sparling
Rating: 5/5 stars

“Sixteen-year-old Jess Parker is stuck babysitting her little brother all weekend, which is why she accepts her best friend’s dare: to text the random phone number they found written on a lost piece of algebra homework. When the owner of the number texts back, Jess and Max hit it off through their anonymous conversation. The last thing Jess expected was to spend her boring weekend texting the guy of her dreams, and now that she’s crushing hardcore on a guy she’s never met, she hopes he’s actually the guy he claims to be.“(description from Goodreads)

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I was in the mood for a quick, light read and that’s what I got with Amy Sparling’s The Text Dare. This is the first book in a young adult novella “series” from Sparling and I’ll be reading the rest for sure, next time I’m looking for a guaranteed enjoyable novella.

What I enjoy with Sparling’s work is that she’s able to write the teenage first person so believably. I’m no longer a teenager, but from what I remember a lot of the main character’s inner thoughts and interactions felt familiar and realistic. Sparling’s characters aren’t too mature for where they’re supposed to be in life, and they also weren’t too immature and kiddish. I appreciate this when reading a Young Adult book.

I also think that with a novella based almost completely on text interaction, there was more meet to it than expected. The characters were able to develop through these conversations, just like face to face dialogue could have done, and these were characters that hadn’t even met when their conversations started.

I’m curious what the next novella has in store for me. Maybe it’ll be my next weekend read.

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You can grab this book from:

Amazon

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About the Author:

Amy Sparling is the author of The Summer Unplugged Series, Deadbeat & other awesome books for younger teens. She also writes books for older teens under the name Cheyanne Young.

Find out more: