If It’s Not a Rant, It’s a Rave: The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace

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Title: The Princess Saves Herself in this One
Author: Amanda Lovelace
Publication date: April 23, 2016, March 23, 2017
Publisher:  Andrews McMeel Publishing
Genres: Poetry, Feminism, Non-Fiction
Format: e-ARC/Netgalley and purchased a print copy

 

About the Book:

the princess saves herself in this one is a collection of poetry about resilience. It is about writing your own ending.

A poetry collection divided into four different parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, & you. the princess, the damsel, & the queen piece together the life of the author in three stages, while you serves as a note to the reader & all of humankind. Explores life & all of its love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, & inspirations.

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N |  The Book Depository


I have been holding out on reviewing this book for the longest time, because I don’t know where to start. The Princess Saves Herself In This One is empowering and emotional and breathtaking. Amanda Lovelace’s words are raw, gritty, realistic, and brutally honest. I loved how one poem that portrays vulnerability can shatter you into a million pieces but then another poem could make you feel loved and whole again.

Lovelace’s words strike a definitive aurora of emotions. Her words are passionate and striking and grows stronger with each word you read. While reading this collection of poetry, I was constantly marking up pages of favorite lines and favorite poems–I could not just pick one.

Overall, I found The Princess Saves Herself In This One to be beautiful and emotional. Lovelace has a special craft for poetry and I cannot wait to read more of her work in the future. I felt like I was back in college and falling in love with my all favorite female poets, like Anne Sexton, Louise Glück, and Sylvia Plath, all over again.

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NOTE: Thank you to Netgalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing me an e-galley/e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All statements and opinions are my own.

 

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If It’s Not A Rant, It’s A Rave: Review of The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

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Title: 
The Cruel Prince
Author: Holly Black
Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: January 2, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy 

Synopsis:

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble  /  Book Depository


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You guys this book broke me in the best ways possible. At first, The Cruel Prince shocked me with its grim and gruesome first chapter. But then I was slowly dangled into the cruel politics of the fairy world. At first, I liked the story, but I felt like something was missing. My stubborn self craved so much more than family history and fae politics. Plus I was not a big fan of the sister dynamics that were wearing down on my last nerve.

BUT…BAM!

Once I got to the 150ish page mark, I could not put this book down. I was engrossed with the storyline’s darkness, the espionage, the secrets, the twists, and OHMYGOD that ending! 

The Cruel Prince is a gorgeous and gritty read. It’s simply a stunner from the beautiful cover to the unique characters and all the unexpected plot twists. This book has everything from mouth-dropping scenes,  several punch in the gut romances, and the most unforeseen betrayal that had me gasping for more pages.

I am floored that this book did a 180 on me and I cannot wait for book two. If there is one book that I highly recommend that you TREAT YO SHELF to at the beginning of 2018, please for the love of all fairies pick up The Cruel Prince. You will not regret it. 

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NOTE:  I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher in an exchange for a review. I received an advance reader’s copy through a blogger book trade and reviewed it at my own discretion.  All statements and opinions in this review are mine.

Blog Tour: Raves & Craves of Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills

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Welcome fellow book-ravers, and thank you for joining me today for my stop on Fierce Reads’ Foolish Hearts Blog Tour. Today I will be raving about my love for Emma Mills’ Foolish Hearts and pairing it with a snack recommendation. Enjoy!

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Title: Foolish Hearts
Author: Emma Mills 

Publication Date: December 5, 2017
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co./Macmillan
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary 

Synopsis:

A contemporary novel about a girl whose high school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream leads her to new friends—and maybe even new love.

The day of the last party of the summer, Claudia overhears a conversation she wasn’t supposed to. Now on the wrong side of one of the meanest girls in school, Claudia doesn’t know what to expect when the two are paired up to write a paper—let alone when they’re both forced to try out for the school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

But mandatory participation has its upsides—namely, an unexpected friendship, a boy band obsession, and a guy with the best dimpled smile Claudia’s ever seen. As Claudia’s world starts to expand, she finds that maybe there are some things worth sticking her neck out for.

LINKS:   Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |  The Book Depository


raves for foolish hearts

Oh, Foolish Hearts, how do I love you? Let me count the ways. First, this book has everything from great family dynamics, amazing friendships, and a sprinkle of quirky characters. I am a sucker for sarcastic characters–the wittier, the better–and of course, Emma Mills does not disappoint with her main character Claudia.

I adored Claudia throughout the story. She’s smart, creative, snarky, and gives herself room to mope but also grow. And when it comes to friendships in Foolish Hearts, I love that it is Claudia’s truthful and witty personality that attracts Gideon to befriend her. Gideon and Claudia belong on two different sides of the introvert v. extrovert spectrum, but I love that they are always on the same wavelength. Their chemistry and banter are perfect, which allows this book to be the epitome of constant smile with the cutest dimples that will make you swoon. 

I adored this book, the characters, and all the crazy shenanigans that come with it. Add in video game quests, boy band obsession, amazing friendships, broken hearts, mending hearts, and a Shakespeare comedy, and you get one of the swooniest, funniest, and heartwarming stories called Foolish Hearts

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In Foolish Hearts, Claudia is introduced to Gideon’s random quirks and “strange things Gideon says or does,” which are documented by his friends on an online account: JustGideonPrewittThings. One of Gideon’s strange preferences is that he likes to eat his cereal soggy. So today, I thought I would “taste test” Gideon’s soggy cereal preference with Froot Loops.

ingredients
Ingredients:
Cereal of your choice and milk. Don’t forget a bowl and a spoon.

Swirl break

CONTROL GROUP

control cereal
Eat the cereal with no added milk.

Swirl break

SOGGY CEREAL

soggy cereal
For “Soggy” Cereal, Gideon pours milk into a bowl of cereal and lets the concoction “marinate” for about ten minutes.

Swirl break

CRUNCHY CEREAL

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Pour cereal and milk into a bowl, and start eating it for that perfect crunch.

Swirl break

THE WINNER!

I am a texture eater, so soggy cereal is out for me. CRUNCHY CEREAL WITH MILK, ALL THE WAY! Sorry not sorry, Gideon. 

Which way do you prefer eating a bowl of cereal? Comment below, if you like crunchy or soggy, or no milk at all. I would love to hear your thoughts and how you compare to Gideon. 

about emma mills

Emma   Mills

Emma Mills is an author better known to her subscribers as vlogger Elmify. She is also cocreator and cohost of the “life skills” channel How to Adult, which ended in 2016.

Website • Twitter • Goodreads

tour schedule foolish hearts

December 5
Fire and Ice Reads – Author Guest Post

December 6
Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile – Raves & Craves

December 7
Ex Libris – Playlist

December 8
Fiction Fares – Mood Board

December 9
Mary Had a Little Book Blog – Shakespeare Theme

December 10
Brittany’s Book Rambles – Author Interview

December 11
The Fox’s Hideaway – Shakespeare Theme

December 12
Alexa Loves Books – Gift Guides for Gideon and Claudia

December 13
Lisa Lost In Lit – Bookish Inspiration Post

If It’s Not a Rant, It’s a Rave: Review of The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

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Title: The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Published by: Scholastic Press
Publication date: October 18, 2011
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Synopsis:
It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

Goodreads Amazon / Barnes & Noble Book Depository


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How did I go six years without reading this book? HOW?! You guys, I loved every page of The Scorpio Races. I love the story. I love the family dynamics. I love the conflicts. And most of all, I love Puck and Sean. 

To me, The Scorpio Races was mainly focused on the importance of family and sacrifice. Puck, the main character, is not trying prove a feminist stance that girls should be allowed to compete in her island’s highly praised and traditional, dangerous water horse race. Yes, it does help that she is a woman defying the odds in her misogynist  community, but she is racing to keep her and her brothers under one roof. I won’t give too much away about the plot, but Puck is one of the fiercest female characters I have read, and she had me rooting for her cause throughout the novel. 

And, ohhh, do not get me started on the swoony chemistry that develops between Puck and one of her fellow competitors, Sean. Sean’s situation made my heart ache throughout the novel. I loved every page that allowed a friendship to develop between him and Puck. Both of these characters have a heartbreaking past; however, they are both bold and willing to do anything to change their future. And one of my favorite aspects of each of these characters is their understanding that nature is not something to be reckoned with. They respect their horses and only want the best for them. 

Will I ever read The Scorpio Races again? You bet I will. I don’t know if I will wait until next autumn to read it again (the book takes place in October/November), but you better believe I want to gallop back into this book so I can be captivated once again with the slow burn romance and heartfelt story about sacrifice and love. I cannot rave enough about this book, and if you have not read The Scorpio Races yet, stop what you are doing and pick up this book now. 

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

NOTE:  I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher in an exchange for a review. I bought this book with my own funds and reviewed it at my own discretion.  All statements and opinions in this review are mine.

Raves & Craves: Hunting Prince Dracula Street Team Blog Tour & Giveaway

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Title:
 Hunting Prince Dracula
By: Kerri Maniscalco
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Genres: Fiction, Young Adult, Mystery, Historical Fiction, Horror, Romance

About the Book:

In this hotly anticipated sequel to the haunting #1 bestseller Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer…or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

Amazon Barnes & Noble | Book Depository IndieBound

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PRAISE FOR HUNTING PRINCE DRACULA

“There are plenty of suspects and red herrings as well as tense escalations….A scenic, twisty mystery.”
Kirkus Reviews

 “Readers of the previous mystery will be thrilled to have more of this likable duo. [A] delightful romp into an 1888 Gothic mystery with a hint of romance.”
School Library Connection

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Kerri Maniscalco
About the Author:

Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats.

Her first novel in this series, Stalking Jack the Ripper, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. It incorporates her love of forensic science and unsolved history.

Twitter   |  Facebook   |   Instagram   |   Website   |   Tumblr   |   Pinterest


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THE RAVES: A SHORT REVIEW

I am absolutely in love with Kerri’s rich way of storytelling and her well-developed characters. While reading, Hunting Prince Dracula, I was transfixed with the mystery, thrills, chills, spooky setting, and the amazing character development. There are a lot of twists and turns in this book, and I will tell you one thing, I did not see any of those surprising revelations coming at the end. WOO I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH!

Additionally, I absolutely adore the two main characters, Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell. I love the chemistry between these two characters. I really enjoyed the banter and witty remarks they bounce off each other, which always had me swooning and laughing. Audrey Rose and Thomas are my favorite OTP. 

Overall, Hunting Prince Dracula is so well-paced and is very intriguing from start to finish. Audrey Rose and Thomas’ adventure in Romania is suspenseful, mysterious, and will have you on the edge of your seat. Not only does this book contain scenes that will give you goosebumps, but I also found comic relief in Thomas’ quirky comments. If you love the Sherlock Holmes series and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this book (and the whole series) is for you. 

THE CRAVES: BAT TRAIL MIX

While reading any book, I usually have a snack at my side. Hunting Prince Dracula is filled with thrilling and chilling scenes, and I was often creeped out by the detailed scenes of bat attacks and gigantic spiders. So in regards to a snack-able crave for Hunting Prince Dracula, I decided to create a BAT TRAIL MIX. Hoping to create a trail mix that parallels a bat’s favorite foods/diet, and after watching numerous YouTube videos of cute bats eating different fruits and insects, I made sure to include seeds and fruits in the trail mix, along with a few of my favorite munchies.

Ingredients:
For this snack, you will only need a few ingredients. Because you often find bats eating fruits and seeds, I included fresh green grapes (you can add any berries or fruits you like), pumpkins seeds, and sunflower seeds. With my own spin, I included a few of my favorite snacks to add a bit of saltiness, which were pretzels and Cheez-its.


Directions:
In a bowl, add and mix all the ingredients. WHA-LA! You have the perfect trail mix fit for a bat and yourself.

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Week One
August 21st ~ Paper Cuts: Hunting Prince Dracula Playlist

August 22nd ~ Literary Legionnaire: Review of Hunting Prince Dracula
August 24th ~ Arctic Books: Hunting Prince Dracula Playlist
August 25th ~ 21st Century Once Upon A Times: A “Drink Your way through SJTR: Tea Edition”

Week Two
August 28th ~ Hiver Et Ca: History of Prince Dracula

August 29th ~ Justice Reads: Review of Hunting Prince Dracula
August 30th ~ Nicole’s Novel Reads: Travelling Etiquette and tips for Victorian Women
August 31st ~ Sophie Reads YA: Favourite Stalking Jack the Ripper Fanart
September 1st ~ LILbooKlovers: Top Ten Quotes from Stalking Jack the Ripper

Week Three
September 4th ~ One Way or An Author: Hunting Prince Dracula Phone Backgrounds

September 5th ~ A Blinding Book: Hunting Prince Dracula Aesthetic
September 6th ~ Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile: Review & Snacks
September 7th ~ Rattle the Stars: Hunting Prince Dracula Playlist
September 8th ~ A Gingerly Reviews: Hunting Prince Dracula Review

Week Forth
September 11th ~ The Plot Bunny: Hunting Prince Dracula Ctomer Ideas

September 12th ~ Blame it on The Books: Hunting Prince Dracula Review
September 13th ~ The Reader & the Chef : Hunting Prince Dracula’s Menu
September 14th ~ Books, Tv, and More…Oh MY!!: Top Ten Favourite Traits of Audrey & Thomas
September 15th ~ Unquenchable Reads : GIF, GIFS, and more GIFS

Week Five
September 18th ~ Rattle the Pages : A Glimpse Back in Time: Vlad The Impaler edition

September 19th ~ Beyond the Book Reviews: Character Wears of the 21st Century
September 20th ~ The Heart of a Book Blogger : Hunting Prince Dracula Mood Board

If It’s Not A Rant, It’s A Rave: An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

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Title: 
An Enchantment of Ravens
Author: Margaret Rogerson

Publication date: September 26, 2017
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

About the Book:

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized among them. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes – a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love, violating the fair folks’ ruthless Good Law. There’s only one way to save both their lives, Isobel must drink from the Green Well, whose water will transform her into a fair one—at the cost of her Craft, for immortality is as stagnant as it is timeless.

Isobel has a choice: she can sacrifice her art for a future, or arm herself with paint and canvas against the ancient power of the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel. 

LINKS:   Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |  The Book Depository


An Enchantment of Ravens Banner

An Enchantment of Ravens is one of the most beautiful and whimsical debuts I have read in 2017. Written in first-person narrative, the story wraps you in a decor of words submerged in vivid and embellishing descriptions. Margaret Rogerson’s prose of faerie lore is as wistful and rich as the season of autumn. As some of you might know, Autumn is a magical season for me. When fall approaches, I find the aura of the season to be lively and energetic; for me, fall is filled with change, restoration, and reawakening. And subsequently, Rogerson’s debut novel encompasses this enlivenment.

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In An Enchantment of Ravens, Rogerson provides a longing and detailed scope of the dangerous fairy folk and their world. Their rules and enforced traditions are tested by the skillful human, Isobel (the main character), who is a notable painter. Isobel is highly-praised for her portraits, which are adored and prized by the fairy court. Often Rogerson’s tome focuses on the seriousness of the fair ones, but she also provides Isobel, and other characters, the opportunity to sneakily assert derailed humor throughout the chapters. I loved that these hilarious quirks regularly begged for a crooked grin and a mischievous side-eye directed at the faeries and their strict rules. 

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Additionally, in An Enchantment of Ravens, Rogerson has created two of the most vigorously spirited characters that I loved swooning over. When they first meet, Isobel and Rook have immediate chemistry, and not to give too much away, but this is not an instant-love story. Instead their relationship begins with a bewitching encounter that slowly burns and then ignites. Isobel is cautious but daring. She’s stubborn, fierce, and now one of my most beloved, confident heroines. Rook is adorable, serious, and cordial. But what I love most of all about Rook is that he is the epitome of autumn: warm, brooding, and comforting. I found the repartee and banter between these two characters to be intense and passionate. Even if a potential relationship between these two characters would break the Good Law among the fair folk, I was rooting for them the entire time.

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In the end, An Enchantment of Ravens is a well-paced story that focuses on the importance of family and daring societal traditions. As previously stated, I loved Rogerson’s florid detailing that flows throughout the pages. She litters the pages with full and vibrant warm colors, earthy smells, and a hint of magic that consumes my autumn-loving soul. Fall is approaching, and if you are looking for the perfect book to read while you curl up in a cozy blanket and sip warm apple cider, I highly recommend that you also have An Enchantment of Ravens opened in your hands. 


My Rating:
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NOTE: Thank you to Margaret K. McElderry Books and Simon & Schuster/Simon Teen for providing me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All statements and opinions are my own.

Please note that all graphics and photographs were created by me. All quotes are from the an advanced reader’s edition of the novel and are subject to change upon publication.

 

If It’s Not A Rant, It’s A Rave: Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

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Title:
Moxie
Author: Jennifer Mathieu

Publication date: September 19, 2017
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press/ Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Feminism

About the Book:

An unlikely teenager starts a feminist revolution at a small-town Texan high school in the new novel from Jennifer Matheiu, author of The Truth About Alice.

MOXIE GIRLS FIGHT BACK!

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with a school administration at her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes, hallway harassment, and gross comments from guys during class. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mom was a tough-as-nails, punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, and now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. As Viv forges friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.

Moxie is a book about high school life that will make you wanna riot!

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |  The Book Depository


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WHOA! You guys, Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu is so powerful, straight-forward, and the type of book we need in this fist-gripping-teeth-clenching year that we call 2017. I’m not going to lie, I came into this book for a feminist read AND I left the book invigorated, energized, and ready to take on the world. 

Moxie‘s main character, Viv is relate-able on so many levels. She is a good student that never falls out of line and always does what she is told. But she also has a knack for being an alert listener and keen observer. I love that she turns to music for escapism and courage. I love that her mom is her role model. And what I really liked about Viv’s character is how determined and courageous she is, even if she is cautious and over-analyzes all her choices and decisions (because who does not do this?). Viv is stealthy, determined, fiesty, funny, and overall, a kickass character.

And I cannot forget about one of my favorite Moxie characters, Seth. As Viv’s crush and a guy that treats her with respect, I was silently shouting in my head, “this is what a male feminist looks like.” His actions and words never fail to positively impact the book and Viv, herself. Seth is still trying to understand the world around him and he knows he has a lot to learn when it comes to feminism. I love that he opens up his mind and world to question authority, male privilege, and social viewpoints. Seth is not perfect but he never fails to take the steps to understand social injustices–he observes, questions, and reacts. 

In Moxie, Mathieu’s words not only heighten the awareness of sexism, sexual harassment, and rape in a high school setting, but she also provides a outlet for her female characters to  speak out about injustice, take charge, and push against those who downplay equality and social rights. Moxie is more than a “feminist” book. It is a story about maturity, making hard choices, and discovering who you and how you would act in certain situations. This book is equal parts funny and inspiring and awesome and empowering. It is definitely a book that you do not want to pass over this year (or ever).

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My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

NOTE: Thank you to Netgalley and Macmillan for providing me an e-galley/e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All statements and opinions are my own.