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ARC Review: Lord of the Masquerade by Erica Ridley

Lord of the Masquerade (Rogues to Riches, #7)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I really enjoyed this! Erica Ridley is so good at creating characters who are strong individuals with flaws and then matching them so they bring out the best in one another and inspire one another to be better.

Here we have Unity, determined to become a self-made woman despite her losses, and Lambley, who insists on controlling every minute detail in his life. Together they learn to loosen up (I LOVED Unity’s idea for “Planned Spontaneity Days”) and let go of some of the details.

Lambley reminds me strongly of Mr. Darcy here because he takes what Unity says to heart, learns from it, and changes his behavior accordingly. That is what makes him truly swoon-worthy.

It was a warm, cozy, delightful read and I loved every minute (as always – I have yet to meet an Erica Ridley book I did not like).

*Thanks to Erica Ridley, NetGalley, and WebMotion for providing an e-arc for review.

ARC Review: This Book is Feminist by Jamia Wilson

This Book Is Feminist: An Intersectional Primer for Feminists in Training

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I really enjoyed and learned a lot from This Book is Anti-Racist, so I was excited to request this one. One thing I’ve thought about a lot as I’ve learned more about the history of feminism and intersectional feminism is how I can guide my (white, blonde, male-presenting) 7-year-old through their discovery of feminism. They recently discovered the existence of sexism (in a bedtime story of all things) and were horrified. I snapped this book up when I saw it because I knew that in order to guide them, I need to know as much as possible.

I learned a LOT in this book. There’s so much history and insight into how different groups experience the world and feminism, and I found my own views challenged as I pondered the many exercises and questions at the end of each chapter.

I loved the myriad of quotes from feminist leaders that began each chapter, and found them to be thought-provoking and challenging. The art and layout of the book were bright and engaging and drew me in to the well-written, thoughtful, and highly informative content.

I would recommend this to anyone curious about feminism, and though it is aimed at young people I find that it is a good intro to people of any age. I came away with a lot of knowledge I didn’t have before, as well as a determination to put these ideas into practice in my own life.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group for providing an e-arc for review.

ARC Review: A Dragonbird in the Fern by Laura Rueckert

A Dragonbird in the Fern

Rating: 1 out of 5.

This book has such a pretty cover but the insides are just… meh. I kept thinking “I’ve read this before, haven’t I?” because it’s such a generic YA fantasy. But even more than that, the characters are all blank slates.

Jiara is dyslexic. She likes… nature? She wants to keep her sister’s ghost from hurting her family. That’s pretty much it. Raffar is… well he’s a king. He has tattoos. Otherwise he’s impassive. His translator has more personality in one scene than Raffar has in the first quarter of the book.

Partly this is the language barrier. Neither speaks the other’s language, so they communicate through translators. But even then you’d expect some personality to shine through.

The author has clearly thought a lot about the worldbuilding, but it could have been integrated into the story more smoothly.

Ultimately I came away with the feeling that it sounded like a great read but needed a lot of help to be able to get to that point.

*Thanks to NetGalley and North Star Editions for providing an e-arc for review.