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American Royals by Katharine McGee (ARC)

What if instead of a president, America had a monarchy? And not just a monarchy….the first female ruler? American Royals explores that thought and then some! Below I’ll discuss sass and trash, as well as leave a general spoiler free review.

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I love that the whole story was told from (various) female perspectives. Beatrice, Samantha, Nina, and Daphne. I really enjoyed seeing how they all viewed the Crown through their different life-lenses. The arguments felt real. These are teenage kids dealing with adult problems. They think with their hearts not their heads. I was glad to see that Miss McGee was able to capture that.


I wish there would have been a bit more depth to Daphne’s character. She’s the bad guy…but why? Also, let’s explore Daphne & Ethan’s weird flirtationship. Alsoalso…we didn’t see much of the history of America; how it came to be a monarchy. Maybe it’s just the history nerd in me but I wanna knooooow….



I throughly enjoyed this book! I am a big history fan, and there was mention of a few of my favorite people: Louis XIV, and Henry VIII….I rather enjoyed this one. If you’re a fan of the royalty aspect of the Selection series, a good love triangle, and/or a manipulative ex, grab a copy at your nearest bookseller! I think this book is set up for at least one sequel because I have so. many. unanswered. questions!

Extreme grateful thanks to RHCB, Miss Emily Bamford, and Katharine McGee for this electronic early copy of American Royals! I enjoyed this book so much and can’t wait to have a finished copy in my hands soon! American Royals releases September 9th from Random House Children’s Books. Katharine McGee is the author of The Thousandth Floor trilogy.

Blog Tours!

Remember a few months ago when I told you I’ve got some fun stuff coming up? ITS NOW. Tuesday, you’ll see 2 posts: one from myself and one from one of my colleagues here at CBO. We’re both on separate blog tours and the books we’ll be sharing are sure to be a fun time! One is a mystery and the other a contemporary.

“How’d you get on a blog tour?” “What is a blog tour?”

There are touring companies (I know of a few) that work mostly with bookstagram, but encourage you to post on a blog if you have one. And then, there’s the other side, which is how I think both of us ended up with stops: the publishers! I requested the book I’ll be showcasing Tuesday from the publisher as a review copy. They were gracious enough to not only provide me with an eARC, but ask me to join the tour! Of course I accepted faster than my fingers could type out a response.

A blog tour, at its base, is a way to boost publicity for a book or author. Various people with blogs are asked (or selected) to post about a book on their respective blog to boost awareness for the book! Sometime people can do Q&A with the author, but those are more rare and take a bit more planning on both ends. Just like anything else you receive from a publisher, always send a thank you via email!

Most publishers will also request that you send them a link to the blog once it’s live…cool! Slap it into that thank you email and send it on off! So yeah. Be on the look out this week for TWO cool bookish posts! (Edit: my post is here at my site, and the second can be found at

After the ARC: Now What?

So you were fortunate enough to have pleased the almighty publishers and they granted you an ARC….YES! But your job isn’t done yet. This week, we’re going to talk about some of the after parts of requesting ARCs.

1. Read it. I feel like this is a no-brainer but you obviously asked for this book intending to read it. So read it. However it is you read things, have fun. Get your candles burning, grab your bookmark, and your fluffy blanket and tuck in!

2. Make some notes! I personally like to use Post-It tabbies to mark good lines or plot points or characters. Some people use a notebook and write things out. Do you fam.

3. Talk about it online! I have an Instagram account that is solely dedicated to books. I’ve seen some that have Twitter or Facebook or whatever to talk book stuff…whatever it is, talk about the book there. Your page could be the deciding factor between someone checking out a book once it’s released, the difference between it hitting THE LIST or not.

4. Give a thoughtful review. Thoughtful meaning more than “I liked it” or “It sucked.” Put some time into this review. If you were on the fence about reading this book, what are some things you’d want to know, without spoiling the story? Is there some trigger subject matter (maybe not for you, but for others)? Is the story paced well, meaning do things flow? Are there serious grammatical issues? Is there a made up language that the reader has to get used to before cracking it open? It doesn’t need to be long but give a good review.

4.5 Quick note: MAKE SURE YOU MENTION THAT YOU RECEIVED AN EARLY COPY FROM THE PUBLISHER IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW. This is, at its roots, a business transaction. Selling/buying ARCs is illegal. Simply disclosing that you got the book for free to review covers your back and the publisher’s too. You can say it before your review, or after it’s all done. Just make sure you say it.

5. Say thank you! In addition to actually reading the book you’ve been gifted, thank your publisher/publicist/whomever it was that sent you the book. Say thank you. I tend to do an unboxing (or open the package) on my Instagram story and tag the publisher, the imprint, and the author saying thank you. Again, boosting views of the book. If you had previously emailed the publisher and they emailed you back, send them a thank you via email! If they sent the book in the mail, you can send a little thank you note via post.

None of these (EXCEPT # 4.5) are hard and fast rules. These are just my personal practices. I’ve been doing this sort of pattern since I first started reviewing on Netgalley, and it’s easier to start a good habit than to pick one up halfway through. If you have any questions about these last three weeks, or something else you want me to discuss, leave me a comment or send an email to meee!

Craft the Draft

Heeeeeeyyyy there! Welcome back for another episode of “So You Wanna Request An ARC”! Last week we talked about some things one must do before even considering requesting an ARC. This week, we’re gonna work on crafting out email to the publisher(s).

By NO MEANS am I am expert on the subject. These are not hard-and-fast rules. I’m just a weird chick who reads books and takes more naps than should be legal. My personal success rate is 1:6 so take this with a L A R G E grain of Himalayan pink salt.

1. Who you gonna call?

This is the person who is the publicity or media contact for the publisher. If you Google any of the Big Five publishers (Macmillan, Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Hachette, and Simon & Schuster), and then navigate your way to the contact area, you should find publicity contact info! Grab a pen (or copy-paste) and down the email address listed, and the name of the publicity head (if provided) and get ready to draft.

2. Imprints

Most publishing houses have multiple imprints that they release books under. For example, Macmillan has Tor, TorTeen, Feiwel & Friends, and Farrar, Straus & Giroux for Young Readers to name a few. Do a little research to make sure you know which imprint is publishing the book you want to read. Each imprint usually has their own head of publicity that you have to contact and emailing something to Tor that was meant for TorTeen…it’s not always guaranteed that the email will be forwarded to the right person.

3. Sell, Sell, Sell! ….yourself.

Nothing like that. But to the publisher. Why should they send you X book? It’s free to you but they have pay to have ARCs printed and then the shipping cost. Let’s say over all, it’s $20. What makes you worth of the publisher’s $20 investment.

4. Prove it.

If you’ve reviewed previously, now’s the time to let it be known! You don’t have to name drop (unless you really want to) but do share that you have some experience! Be it eARC recording or beta-reading. Brag about yourself a bit! If you’ve worked with the publisher you’re emailing in the past, jog their memory: “I enjoyed working with the (insert publisher) family on (insert book) in the past and would love to work with you all again.”

5. Hit my line!

Close your email out with a thank you. Be humble and sincere in your closing. Mention that you will list your mailing address as well as your Kindle address (if you have one). Then, you know, actually list it. Sometimes publishers have a limited number of copies of physical ARCs to send out so maybe they’ll offer an egalley. Still just as good, and you have it with you wherever you have your phone/ereader.

Well. Hope I was about to help at least a little bit. As I said, I am not an expert. I have no affiliation with any of the publishing houses mentioned above. This article is meant to serve as a guide to help others. Any publishers, authors, or publicists who have questions for me or review requests, please reach out to me via my email which can be found at this website’s contact page!

So You Wanna Request An ARC…

“How do I get ARCs?” “You got to read X book early? How?” “I don’t know how to reach out..”

Disclaimer: By no means am I an expert in the game that is pleasing the publishers. I myself have only just recently started requesting ARCs from publishers to mildly mediocre success. But this is what has worked for me about 1 in every 8-10 requests I make.

1. Must have an established presence. This can be online (blog, bookstagram, etc.) or physically (librarian, bookstore employee, etc.). I started off with a bookstagram account and using online reviewing services such as Netgalley.

2. Figure out what sorts of books you want to read. The most common mistake is requesting any and everything. When you’re reaching out to a publisher or using an online reviewer service, know what you read. If you’re not a fan of horror, don’t request it just because it’s the “big name” book that’ everyone is talking about. Publishers send books to reviewers for free, expecting you to read it and share your thoughts with the people who follow you. If you wouldn’t normally pick it up at B&N or Amazon, perhaps steer clear. Which brings me to my next point….

3. Your end of the commitment. Asking for an Advanced Readers Copy is a bit of an unwritten contract between yourself and the publisher. You are asking them to send you a product for free. The very least you can do is read the book they’re sending and leave a review.

4. Honesty is the only policy. Some people will say not to rate a book lower than 3 stars. I disagree. Be honest. If you felt the book was a 1 star read, rate it so, and explain why in your review. Sometimes a particular book doesn’t connect with you. Why was that? Write in the review.

5. You are critiquing the work, not the author. If you some personal vendetta against an author, leave that out of your review. You are here to tell us about the book: the pacing, character development, plot holes. Just because an author snubbed you at a signing doesn’t change the fact that their book is really good, even if the author is a crappy human.

These are just the things that, in my opinion, a potential reviewer should keep in mind. By no means are these hard and fast rules, just my thoughts. Join me next week for tips on crafting an email request to a publisher to request an ARC.

Filthy Rich by Julie Criss (ARC)

⚠️ ⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️ This book deals with mature topics. Proceed with caution.

Filthy Rich came to me by way of a blog tour! I nearly didn’t sign up for it but I did at the last minute and I’m glad I did! This book was a cute lil read full of steamy sex and some nice conversations. Read on for more info, and visit my review on Goodreads if you want a spoiler-free look!


I have never read a romance novel that features roleplay, and this one was a gentle introduction to the genre! The characters meet up a few times as different personas that are manifesting different facets of their personality that they each keep hidden.

Samantha is strong female who don’t need no man but her fingers are getting tired of servicing her during her daydreams about a certain CEO… when he proposes that they have a little fantasy fun, she bulks at the idea…on her way to the meeting point. Thereafter, the two engage in hot, steamy, let’s-pretend-we-aren’t-a-boss-and-employee sex and learn about themselves individually, collectively, and professionally.

Julie Kriss has written a cute lil romcom about a topic that seems a bit deviant to some but is completely normal (and also completely 100% valid and healthy, when engaged in a safe, consensual manner). I enjoyed this peek behind the taboo curtain… I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more work from this author!

Question: Any role-play (sans 50 Shades) romance recommendations you can give me?

I received this book from the author and from Wildfire Marketing Solutions free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way affected my review of this work. Filthy Rich is due to release on August 13.

Swipe Right For Murder by Derek Milman (ARC)

Where do I even start with this one?! TW: This book deals with loss of a sibling. Infidelity. Age inappropriate relationships. Suicide of a character is mentioned on the page. There’s talk of harming kids. A character dies in front of our MC. Take care of yourself before reading this one.


From the j u m p we are injected into the life and mind of Aidan, a young boy (who is gay!!!) on spring break in New York. He’s a bit bored so we swipe for love and (eventually) we end up in the room of one Mr. Benoît (That’s pronounced Ben-wah)….but then Benoît ends up dead and that’s what starts Aiden on the path of potential villainy, running away, bombs, mistaken identity, and luuuurve. This book features the edge-of-your-seat factor you expect from a thriller with the constant plot twists and loops you’d get from a good psychological horror. The government conspiracy brings this novel full circle and makes one just a little untrusting of technology and the modern day swiping for love we’re all so used to. Derek Milman has written a fast-paced story about being on the run and learning what lengths some will go to in order to accomplish their goals.


Our MC is unapologetically gay. From the jump. He’s out. He’s proud and he’s the target of a secret mission from the bad guys. The references used were good too. I remember seeing Hardy Boys books at the library, although I didn’t read them. I favored the Boxcar children but that’s another topic….


Sometimes I wondered “How thick can you get?” A random, kind, attractive stranger just shows up and you automatically trust him? Come on son.

Extreme thanks to JIMMY Patterson Books for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Swipe Right for Murder is Milman’s second novel. It is due for release on August 6th from the JIMMY Patterson imprint of Little Brown Books for Young Readers.

I Graduated!

Observe: I have graduated!

I finally got my wings

So yesterday I graduated college! I had been in school for 6 long, hard, never-ending years and I am unbelievably excited to be done. I never thought I’d see this day, there were times the way ahead was so dark, I thought I’d never see the light but “FREE at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, I’m free at last!”

Today’s post will be a bit inspirational. I want to encourage you all. Keep going. Whether that’s reading or work or college or just being — keep going. It may seem that you’ll never reach the end….keep going. I graduated two years late. So all my friends I came in to college with have all graduated and have grown-up jobs. I was upset. Bitter. Angry. But I kept going. And guess what. My friends, the true friends…still supported me! They congratulated me like I came out on time with them. They were understanding when I didn’t go see them graduate two years ago because I was so upset that it wasn’t me. Through it all, they encouraged me. They encouraged me to keep going. That’s the most sound advice I can offer. Keep going. Keep trying! Keep pushing on. Keep going. You will reach your goals. Maybe it’ll take longer than anticipated or planned. But keep going. Always.

“When the sky is darkest, you can see the stars. When you fall the hardest, you find how strong you are. Close your eyes, rest a while, it’s been a long, long day. ….have a little faith.” – FAITH, Jordin Sparks


Hiiiii guyyyssss. Just a few life updates, todays post will be short.

1. I’m graduating in 6 days! I’m so excited! I’m saving to move out into my first apartment! If you’d like to help me build up funds, please email me or comment and I’ll send you the appropriate information. (All done now!)

2. I got engaged! I can’t explain how happy I am to be spending my life with my forever partner! That’s my ring below. If anyone knows of where I can get a Batman Funko, let me know. (I have now located one!)

Image courtesy of

3. I’ve booked a few blog tours, so be on the lookout for those soooooon! I’ll let you know one title is American Royals by Katharine McGee! Next week’s post will also most likely be an update featuring graduation photos! (Just kidding apt the photos…)

Wicked Fox by Kat Cho (ARC)

Image courtesy of

You guys, Kat Cho’s Wicked Fox come out a few weeks ago and we’re gonna talk about it. Be warned, my brain is still processing the marvelous work that this book is so forgive me for the lack of my normal sass-and-trash format. My Goodreads review can be found here.


  • Asian-American author writing a book about Asian people. #OwnVoices for the win!
  • Mythology! I loved the little inserts of Gumiho lore between the chapters. It really helped to bring the story to life! I also liked how the lore really tied in to the story! No spoilers but…the original Gumiho is a character in the story and when I put the pieces together — I was so shocked. Truly amazing the way Kat was able to drop that one in.
  • I liked the use of Korean words! I don’t know Korean but it was really neat to see. I learned that you say the last (family) name first before the personal name.
  • So many strong, fleshed out characters!


  • Nothing. Literally nothing.
  • If anything, it was too short and I need mooooore.

Nitty Gritty Pick this one up! It’s worth the read and the story is so intoxicating you’ll easily read 50-60 pages in a sitting before realizing any time has passed. Kat Cho has written a beautiful story about teenage angst, love, and choosing others over one’s self.

I was fortunate enough to have won an ARC of this book in a BookishFirst giveaway. I am thankful to the publisher for this copy. Wicked Fox is Kat Cho’s debut novel. It was released on June 25, 2019 from Putnam Books.