Friday Favourites

Friday Favourites – Books By BIPOC Authors I Would Love To See Adapted

This weeks Friday Favourites is about books I want to see adapted and there’s so many! I will be sharing books by BIPOC authors I want to see adapted into a show or film.

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A Brown – This would be incredible to watch on screen!

Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali – Give me that Muslim romance I want this film so bad!

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong – The angst and tension on screen? Yes please!

Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin – This would make an amazing film!

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi – Imagine seeing Laila on screen

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn – This would make such a great show!

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – Another book that would make an incredible show.

Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes – Look I really need to see the space heists and psychic space cats on screen!

Bonus: The City of Brass and We Hunt the Flame – both would make absolutely stunning shows and both have been optioned so lets hope they do get made and they do the books justice.

Blog Tours/Street Teams, Diverse Books, YA Books

Blog Tour: Wings of Ebony by J. Elle – ARC Review

Thank you to the publisher Caffeine Book Tours for sending my an ARC in exchange for an honest review and for having me on this blog tour for Wings of Ebony.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

“Make a way out of no way” is just the way of life for Rue. But when her mother is shot dead on her doorstep, life for her and her younger sister changes forever. Rue’s taken from her neighbourhood by the father she never knew, forced to leave her little sister behind, and whisked away to Ghizon—a hidden island of magic wielders.

Rue is the only half-god, half-human there, where leaders protect their magical powers at all costs and thrive on human suffering. Miserable and desperate to see her sister on the anniversary of their mother’s death, Rue breaks Ghizon’s sacred Do Not Leave Law and returns to Houston, only to discover that Black kids are being forced into crime and violence. And her sister, Tasha, is in danger of falling sway to the very forces that claimed their mother’s life.

Worse still, evidence mounts that the evil plaguing East Row is the same one that lurks in Ghizon—an evil that will stop at nothing until it has stolen everything from her and everyone she loves. Rue must embrace her true identity and wield the full magnitude of her ancestors’ power to save her neighbourhood before the gods burn it to the ground.

I really loved this book and the magic system that the author has created. But mostly I just really loved how Rue and her whole community looked out and helped each other. How when she needed people to have her back they were there for her even though they aren’t her blood relatives because family isn’t only those who you are related to, it’s the people who are there for you when you need them.

The story starts and we are thrown right into the it and throughout the story we are told through flashbacks what happened in the last year that lead to the moments we see in the first chapter. It was really interesting to read the story like this as we are slowly fed information about the magic system, Ghizon and East Row which made it more intriguing.

When people we love are in danger and we have the means to stop it – we do something. Even if it’s against the rules.

Rue is such a wonderful character, she doesn’t take crap from anyone and fiercely protective over those she loves but she will still call them out if they do something wrong and honestly that’s the best type of friend. She is empathetic and caring but she’s also stubborn and finds it hard to rely on anyone or ask for help because she feels it’s her against the world but I loved seeing her slowly realise she isn’t alone. One of things about her I really loved was that she is afraid but it doesn’t stop her from doing what is right and to get justice for those who couldn’t get it for themselves. Her protectiveness over her sister was so relatable as I’m also an older sibling and I just felt for her that she feels responsible for her sister and the guilt at not being able to do more for her.

It was also so heart breaking to read about her grief for her mum and her complicated relationship with her dad as she only meets him after her mum dies and he just drags her away from everyone and everything at a time when she needs those who she loves and knows. I really liked seeing that over time she slowly becomes more open to speaking to her dad but that doesn’t mean she absolves him of never being there or dragging her away to Ghizon, even though he explains why. It just felt so much real. Basically I just really loved Rue and I cannot wait to see what she will do in the sequel especially after that ending!

Who expects their history be erased?

I also loved the discussions on colonisation and erasing history and twisting to make the colonisers the heroes. It was just so real and hard hitting and it would make me stop reading to just think and reflect on what I read. I also loved how Rue calls Bri out for centring herself and making herself the victim when Rue tells her how the magic was stolen. I was literally screaming YESS when I read those scenes.

There was also some incredible discussions on how people view certain communities, always assuming the worst from those people when all they are trying to do is get on with their lives and they want to provide the best for their kids just like the white people from more affluent neighbourhoods. How the people there are mostly ordinary people who live in fear because of the violence that could come for them any day. How youth are killed for refusing to be forced into a life of crime. How a young person can be manipulated by adults into a life of crime and violence and then find there isn’t a way out. How often the one doing this isn’t even from their neighbourhood but from somewhere else and yet it these people who suffer.

We gotta be twice as good from the start to get half of what other people get. People everywhere waiting for us to fail.

This is such a wonderful book with an incredible story and a great main character. I highly recommend reading it!

Diverse Books, YA Books

Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko – ARC Review

This book was incredible, and I was completely hooked from the first chapter!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Nothing is more important than loyalty. But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?

Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood.

That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But The Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: Kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself?

I completely fell in love with this book, the characters are all so interesting and I loved the African inspired world. We have mystery and magic, revenge and political intrigue and a young girl who wants to be more than who she was born to be.

The story is told from Tarisai’s point of view and I loved how she saw the world, her inquisitive mind and her moral compass and how despite what she has been commanded to do she refuses to just bow to her “fate” because she knows it is wrong. She was such an interesting complex character and I cannot wait to see more of her in the sequel, especially after that ending!

Through Tarisai we learn about the world and the other characters. Especially as she was sheltered from the world so as she is experiencing it for the first time so are we. The world is so fascinating and it loved exploring it with Tarisai. We learn about the secrets that have been haunting Tarisai and how she has spent her childhood wanting a family and people to love as her own and she finally gets that when she is meets the prince and the others in the palace. I loved the family that Tarisai found there and how much they love and care for each other. I loved the other characters too and I hope we get to see more of them and their backstories in the sequel.

This book is full of political intrigue and mystery and I loved every second of it.  The friendships that Tarisai develops with the other children in the palace and how they all care so deeply for each other was so wonderful to see. I really loved how discussions on misogyny and patriarchy were woven into the story and how privilege also affects different people in the world and how those who are poor suffer.

I really loved the magic system in the book too and how people are born with a hollow with an ability and these kids can come to try to become part of the council with the prince. They become closer to each other than blood and spend their whole lives together. It was such an interesting unique concept and I loved learning about it so much! Tarisai was especially interesting because her ability made people afraid of her throughout her childhood but when she gets to the palace she is able to use her abilities to help those she loves and it was so wonderful to see that.

I really need you all to read this incredible beautiful book and meet these wonderful characters who will steal your heart. Tarisai’s moral compass in the story was so wonderful to see and how she overcomes so much even the command from her mother to gain the love of the prince and then kill him in revenge for something concerning her mother and the prince’s father. Her determination to do what is right regardless of what she has been commanded to do is a major theme throughout the book and her choices made me completely fall in love with her and she needs to be protected at all costs!

Everyone please go read this incredible book!

Diverse Books, YA Books

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A Brown – Book Review

This book has become one of my favourite reads of the year! I loved it so much!

5STAR

Synopsis from Goodreads:

For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts Malik’s younger sister, Nadia, as payment into the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal—kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom.

But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny; and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck. Grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic . . . requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition.

When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a course to destroy each other. But as attraction flares between them and ancient evils stir, will they be able to see their tasks to the death?

This book was incredible, the wonderfully complex characters and the phenomenal world building and I just loved how the mythology was woven into the story. This book is beautiful inside and out.

We are told the story from both Karina and Malik’s point of view and I just loved both of them so much. They both go through a lot in this book and have such wonderful character arcs and great development. Karina has so much self doubt but by the end she realises and understands herself so much better and what she is capable of and Malik as well who just wants to protect his sisters sees that he can do that and so much more.

 Malik is a cinnamon roll and I fell in love with him immediately. He loves and cares about his sisters and wants to protect them but also makes mistakes which made him feel very real and relatable. One of the reasons I fell in love with him was because he wasn’t the usual broody alpha males. He was soft but still had incredible strength, he had determination and yet he was soft spoken and patient and kind and I just love him so much. Please give me more soft boys in fantasy books!

He also suffers from panic attacks and to see that in a fantasy book was so wonderful to see. Especially as at the beginning he sees his anxiety and panic attacks as a weakness yet by the end he realises that it has made him stronger and that he is capable of doing more than people think he can because he battles his own self and is able to overcome that. As someone who has panic attacks I loved seeing this and how it was portrayed in the book.

Karina was another wonderful character and so complex, she is driven by getting justice for her mother and maybe even bringing her back but doing so will have huge consequences and that is something she struggles with throughout the story. Her knowing that she needs to do what is best for her people as opposed to what she wants. She is so driven and yet she has so many doubts about her own ability and yet she is so capable and learns so much about herself and what she can do. I loved how sassy she was and her tentative relationship with Malik was so wonderful to see and how because of what she had to do to get her mother and then adding Tunde into the mix made things even more complicated.

Karina also suffers from severe migraines and again this was so refreshing to see in a fantasy book. It’s not something you usually see and I loved that we got to see how much it affects her. She can pass out and needs total darkness and the representation was so great and realistic. Again we see that while it is debilitating she eventually realises that she is still capable despite her migraines and more capable than people assume her to be.

The other characters were also really interesting too but what I really loved was how the folklore and mythology was woven into the story and into the history of the world. The secrets that are kept from Karina and the secrets that both of them keep from each other and the consequences of these and outside forces that they aren’t even aware of, leads to everything that happens at the end which left me needing the next book immediately!

This book is so wonderful and I completely fell in love with it and I need Karina and Malik to be okay in the sequel. I highly recommend reading this book, you will not regret it!

Book Recommendations, Booksish Discussions

Books To Read by Black Authors

We all know what is happening in the world and we all need to make sure we stand up and fight the oppression and injustice happening to Black people. It is not a time to be silent, although we should never have been silent in the first place.

One of the ways we can support Black people is that as book nerds we can support Black authors by buying, promoting and sharing their books. So here is a list of books by Black authors to get you started.

There are so many more than the small list I have shared and please do comment any that I missed so we can all share the love!

Fiction Books

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Mirage by Somaiya Daud

She Wore Red Trainers by Naima B Robert

Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

Watch Us Rise by Renee Watson &Ellen Hagan

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter

A River of Royal Blood by Amanda Joy

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

Tried and Tested by Umm Juwayriyah

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

Daughters of Nri by Reni K Amayo

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

Triston Strong Punches a Hole in the Skky by Kwame Mbalia

A Phoenix First Must Burn by Patice Cadwell

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A Brown

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

A Song Below Water by Bethany C Morrow

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis

 Slay by Brittney Morris

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

Non-Fiction Books

I Will Not be Erased by Gal-Dem

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

From My Sisters Lips by Naima B Robert

Becoming by Michelle Obama

The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Slay in your Lane by Elizabeth Uviebinene & Yomi Adegoke

Brit(ish) by Afua Hirsch

The Fundamentals of Tawheed by Bilal Philips

Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women White Feminists forgot by Mikki Kendall

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

Feminism, Interrupted: Disrupting Power by Lola Olufemi

We Should all be Feminists by Chimamanda Adiche