Story Time – April Fools: A Spell Goes Terribly Wrong – or Right? – at the Pond!

It’s the first of April today – a new month and a new beginning!

You decide to meet your friends at the Pond today; it’s been awhile since you visited and had a good chat with them. After their silly antics from two years ago (has time really flown so fast?), you wonder whether the Pond friends will be up to today.

You pass through the magical boundary of the Pond – and you immediately feel the magic, warm and fuzzy – but when you come through the other side…

Oh my goodness.

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Monthly Wrap-Up: March 2021 – CW Reads Wonderful SFF and Contemporaries… Where is Joce and Skye?

Monthly Wrap-Up: March 2021 – CW Reads Wonderful SFF and Contemporaries... Where is Joce and Skye?

After dropping the ball on this a few times, we are finally back to our (hopefully from now on) regular wrap-up posts! Following all the awesome work that we did for Black History Month, March was a much more relaxed month where we mostly shared book reviews and book news.

It’s just CW wrapping up the books she read this month and the posts that she did. Where are Skye and Joce? Read on to find out. 💜

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Book Review: Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers – A Must-Read, Unrelentingly Authentic and Lyrical Novel

Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers
Blurb:

With her newly completed PhD in astronomy in hand, twenty-eight-year-old Grace Porter goes on a girls’ trip to Vegas to celebrate. She’s a straight A, work-through-the-summer certified high achiever. She is not the kind of person who goes to Vegas and gets drunkenly married to a woman whose name she doesn’t know…until she does exactly that.

This one moment of departure from her stern ex-military father’s plans for her life has Grace wondering why she doesn’t feel more fulfilled from completing her degree. Staggering under the weight of her parent’s expectations, a struggling job market and feelings of burnout, Grace flees her home in Portland for a summer in New York with the wife she barely knows.

In New York, she’s able to ignore all the constant questions about her future plans and falls hard for her creative and beautiful wife, Yuki Yamamoto. But when reality comes crashing in, Grace must face what she’s been running from all along—the fears that make us human, the family scars that need to heal and the longing for connection, especially when navigating the messiness of adulthood.

Cuddle's review:

Honey Girl is one of the most impeccable books I have ever read. In the span of less than 300 pages (293 to be exact), Morgan Rogers covers a massive breadth of experiences in the life of Dr. Grace Porter, a recent PhD graduate in astronomy navigating the job industry post-graduation. Grace finds herself adrift in a world that has systemically barricaded her from an equitable chance at jobs that she is more than qualified for and she finds herself lonely and defeated. The book opens with her waking up, having married a woman she hardly knows in Vegas, and the blurb on the dust jacket led me to believe that this would be a fun pre-destined marriage contemporary novel, but in these pages lay one of the most magnificent coming of age stories.

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Book Review: She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan – A Glorious and Brutal Queer Epic about Ambitious Desires, Fighting Fate and Ascension of Power

She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-
Blurb:

“I refuse to be nothing…”

In a famine-stricken village on a dusty yellow plain, two children are given two fates. A boy, greatness. A girl, nothingness…

In 1345, China lies under harsh Mongol rule. For the starving peasants of the Central Plains, greatness is something found only in stories. When the Zhu family’s eighth-born son, Zhu Chongba, is given a fate of greatness, everyone is mystified as to how it will come to pass. The fate of nothingness received by the family’s clever and capable second daughter, on the other hand, is only as expected.

When a bandit attack orphans the two children, though, it is Zhu Chongba who succumbs to despair and dies. Desperate to escape her own fated death, the girl uses her brother’s identity to enter a monastery as a young male novice. There, propelled by her burning desire to survive, Zhu learns she is capable of doing whatever it takes, no matter how callous, to stay hidden from her fate.

After her sanctuary is destroyed for supporting the rebellion against Mongol rule, Zhu takes the chance to claim another future altogether: her brother’s abandoned greatness.

I was given an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Upon finishing She Who Became the Sun, I gently placed my e-reader down, laid down on the ground, and just let gravity and the implications of the story’s ending bear its crushing weight upon me. What a book, She Who Became the Sun is. I cannot adequately express my pleasure over the fact that She Who Became the Sun was one of my most highly anticipated books of 2021 and, in its phenomenal storytelling and unforgettable characters, delivered, and more.

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