Book Reviews: Love From the Barricade by Ashley Jean Granillo

This is one of the best books I’ve read this year and I recommend it to everyone! 

From my twitter account:

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and this:

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And now, without further ado 

The Review

This book is breathtaking. There’s no other way to describe it. I was swept up in Aijae’s story almost from the beginning. The storytelling is simply AMAZING. I couldn’t put the book down!

From Aijae’s false starts with all of her friends to her fanfiction to her obsession with ALL of my FAVORITE punk bands, I was LOST in the story.

Granillo is a fantastic writer and so true to her characters. Aijae’s voice is so real and raw and incredible that I spent most of the book thinking she was a real person. She is so likable and incredible that I read the book in less than 3 days which is the shortest time it’s taken me to read something in YEARS.

I am a HUGE fan of you, Ashley Jean. You’re incredible and I cannot wait to hear more from you.

Bravo. This book made me laugh, cry, and just THINK about the kind of life I’ve lead. There are so many quotable moments from this book like Aijae’s words have stuck with me. 

She’s an incredible character and I’m so glad I’ve had the privilege of knowing her. 

More about Love from the Barricade

For the majority of her teenage life, Aijae lived in her head, writing fanfiction about boy bands. In college, she meets an eccentric pair of friends who immerse her into the Los Angeles, emo music scene. But when she is noticed by Memorable Edition’s adorable lead singer, her dream life turns into a nightmare. 

Determined to work through the heartache and gossip, Aijae puts her past behind her and launches into a career as a music journalist. She also finds love again in a drummer for a New York-based indie band. 

However, in one night, Aijae has to make the biggest decision of her life: to stay with her friends in Los Angeles or relinquish the villainized image of herself and move to New York to be the woman she always wrote herself out to be. 

Get your copy here

Top 10 Books I Read in 2018

These are in no particular order, haha. Just 10 books I read this year that I really, REALLY liked. (LGBT Titles are marked because y’all know I’m tryinna sell those the most).

Love From the Barricade by Ashley Jean Granillo

This book was incredible. It took me a few chapters to really get into it, but once I was there I couldn’t put it down. I’ve become very close with Ashley Jean after purchasing and reading Love From the Barricade and I am excited to say she has more in store for next year!

Genre: Romance, Slice of Life

Bravo. This book made me laugh, cry, and just THINK about the kind of life I’ve lead. There are so many quotable moments from this book like Aijae’s words have stuck with me. She’s an incredible character and I’m so glad I’ve had the privilege of knowing her. 

from my official review of Love From the Barricade

The Last Fire Mage by C.M. Lanning

**This title is not available for purchase ATM. I beta’d the release for Lanning prior to it being under contract. It is now under contract with (currently unknown) and will be available in 2020**

Genre: Paranormal, Urban fantasy

Lanning is an excellent storyteller, his writing style, while sometimes a bit crude provides a no-holds-barred look into the lives of Fay and Connor Rosa after the disappearance of their mother. 

from my official review of The Last Fire Mage

Lovely, Dark, & Deep by Justina Chen

This one came as a surprise to me. However, considering I met the author and the woman the book is based on at a panel in Pleasanton, CA I basically fell in love with this book immediately. Justina Chen is a treasure.

Genre: Slice of Life, YA

The way Viola fought her illness, in the beginning, was so real for me. How she didn’t want her life to change, but it just kept changing. It kept getting worse until she fell into letting other people choose things for her, something she was deathly afraid of when her story started.

from my official review of Lovely, Dark, and Deep

Impostors by Scott Westerfeld

Anyone who knows me is not surprised to see this book make my list. Considering I have read everything this man has ever written and he’s the reason I became an author in the first place.

Genre: Science Fiction, YA

On page one, I was apprehensive. Then I realized, without even noticing I’d somehow read 50 pages. Then another 50. And another 50 until it was suddenly 5am and I forgot to sleep. 

I was so interested in Rafi and Frey and their story and their sisterhood that I literally forgot to sleep. I’m a grown adult. I have a JOB. I had family in town from 3,000 miles away. But I literally couldn’t put this book down. 

from my official review of Impostors

Deadline by Stephanie Ahn

THIS IS AN LGBT F/F TITLE. One of my absolute favorites, tbh. Stephanie Ahn is an Urban Fantasy genius. She’s incredible and a force to be reckoned with. It takes a lot for me to be reduced to a rabid fangirl after one read, but Ahn really does it for me.

Genre: Urban fantasy, Paranormal

This book is so impossibly good. I love Harry and Luce and Miri and AUGH THIS IS SO GOOD. I’m so glad I found this. I’m so sorry I’m not being super eloquent but oh my god this book was so exciting. I loved the demons and everything. I just have so many feelings about how great this book is. Thank you for writing it.

my official review of Deadline

A Closed and Common Orbit Becky Chambers

THIS IS AN LGBT TRANS/GENDER QUEER TITLE. Oh man, this one took me by surprise. I loved the first book in the series, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. It was an incredible LGBT Read with an f/f and poly romance.

The second one continues with the LGBT representation. It is a truly incredible book.

Genre: Science fiction, slice of life

I absolutely adored the first book in this series and the second was also incredible. The story it tells about Lovey’s journey to accept herself and what it was like for Pepper to grow up as a discarded clone was heartbreaking and incredible. 

from my review of A Closed and Common Orbit

Soul Echo: Discovery by Lisa Stapleton

Lisa Stapleton is an incredible author and one of my best friends. Soul Echo: Discovery is a FANTASTIC read. It even features LGBT elements, but I wouldn’t call it a full-blown LGBT novel.

Genre: Science fiction, romance

I just wanted to sing my praises for Bonnie and Camilla. Even though I didn’t really like Camilla that much, or well, I should say I couldn’t relate to her.

However, I feel like Bonnie and Cam could DEF relate to each other. And I ship them now.

from my official review of Soul Echo: Discovery

A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo

THIS IS AN LGBT F/F TITLE! It wouldn’t be a top 10 list from me without Malinda Lo on it. Other than Scott Westerfeld, she has to be my favorite traditionally published author. And she is definitely my favorite traditional LGBT author.

Genre: Thriller, YA

Malinda Lo does an excellent job of capturing what its like to be a creative teen. She is also incredible at writing thrillers. Every step of the way, her story has dark and unexpected twists and turns. I would definitely recommend this book! And I have. I absolutely love all of Lo’s work. She’s an incredible LGBT writer.

My official review of A Line in the Dark

Wonders of the Invisible World by Christopher Barzak

THIS IS AN LGBT M/M TITLE! I suggest this book to any of my friends who even slightly like m/m as well as great Urban Fantasy. A really great read, truly.

Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

This is absolutely one of the best books I’ve read this year. I recommend it to every single person I know who even vaguely likes M/M. This was actually a huge inspiration for my Marjorie Diaz series and holy cow this book is incredible.

The prose and characterization are insanely good. The story kept me guessing and kept me entertained from the beginning to the end. Incredible novel. Truely incredible.

My official review of Wonders of the Invisible World

Axiom: The Last Hope by Rachel Marie Pearcy

THIS IS AN LGBT F/F TITLE. Tbh this is how I want all of my science fiction books to be from now on. This book was fantastic.

Genre: Science fiction, Romance

It’s been awhile since I read a story so compelling I didn’t want to put it down.

Pearcy creates a dystopian world full of fear. A world where biological warfare and a war-ravaged Earth forced everyone to flee to the moon under a tyrannical regime.

from my review of Axiom: The Last Hope