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Review Round-Up! NOT YOUR SIDEKICK, SINK OR SWIM: THE SEARCH FOR AVELINE, CHEERLEADERS FROM PLANET X

I’m finally caught up on my reviews, and this time I’ve got a lot of really good ones! Five stars to all of them! Seriously, please check them out; they’re all wonderful and indies are seriously underloved.

So here we go! (Click the ratings to see the whole reviews on Goodreads!)

Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee My rating: 5 of 5 stars “It’s a secret identity thing, isn’t it?” “You could say that.”

* * *

I love superheroes. I especially love superhero books where the writing is lively and engaging, and the marginalized rep is easy, inclusive and positive. I love Jess’ drive to find herself and come into her own as a hero instead of standing in her sister’s (and parents, to an extent) shadow. I love her resourcefulness and tenacity in the face of opposition and conspiracy from adults, and I love her and Abby’s interactions and chemistry. (I also really love Bells, which is good news for me and everyone else!)

Sink or Swim: The Search for Aveline by Stephanie Rabig My rating: 5 of 5 stars His aura was ocean-blue, bright as the sunlight through water in some places, and in others, melding with the deep blue-black of the inlet where she rested. It was a calming, gentle color, but the ocean could be terrifying, too: how well did she know that now?

* * *

*Yo-ho-hooooooly shit, this is good.*

…That’s what I said when I wrote a quick placeholder review, and I stand by it. If you like super diverse casts, mostly ladies (and one super-sweet merman), all with their own backstories and issues and struggles and hopes and dreams, having amazing seafaring adventures and working together and helping one another grow and heal, with some genuinely hilarious moments and devastating heart-punches (but nothing that crosses the line between catharsis and suffer-porn), you want this book.

Cheerleaders From Planet X by Lyssa Chiavari My rating: 5 of 5 stars “You know when you find someone you didn’t realize you were looking for until they’re there? And they become your family, and you realize… without them there’s a big hole.”

* * *

This book was everything I hoped it would be. A super fun and quick-moving storyline, alien intrigue and secret government organizations, and a cast full of women who support and protect each other instead of being pitted against one another. It was super refreshing to see a sorority (cheerleaders, no less) depicted as being a loving and loyal family instead of the usual backstabby, catty Mean Girl tropes we usually get in high school/college-age stories.

This is a wonderfully sweet novelette that I had the honor of beta-reading! I honestly hope I get a lot more like it, because reading and giving feedback for it was seriously enjoyable and made me feel like I was helping a beautiful thing come into a world that needed it. It was also unexpectedly relevant to my own life, so I’m doubly glad to have been able to help.

Good Angel by A.M. Blaushild My rating: 5 of 5 stars “Humans are good.” “I know that, Blue. We literally exist to serve them.” “Yeah, but…” Iofiel was all at once too overwhelmed to think. “I love them.”

* * *

So, this was my original review: “…Phoebus staring up at ceiling, bemused and overwhelmed with So Much.jpg” (Because I don’t know how to put images/GIFs in my reviews like Fancy people do.) I stand by it. I knew this would be a BIG one too, hence it taking a while. And it is.

City of Betrayal by Claudie Arseneault My rating: 5 of 5 stars “We’ll find another way, won’t we?” Garith’s mouth twisted in a grimace. “There’s always one,” he said, “but if I learned one thing yesterday, it’s to ask, ‘at what cost?’ before I dive.” Yultes hadn’t expected anything so pessimistic from Garith, and his gaze slid to the half-empty bottle. A rough night for everyone involved. “If I learned one thing from your uncle, Garith, it’s that we have to dive anyway.”

* * *

…Can a review just be a very long, extended scream of joy and pain? Because, that. That’s what this is. (Or maybe that one video of the lady getting really excited about painting with rainbow sponges. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PY_T_… *GASP!* OH MY GOSH. I WANT YOU TO LOOK AT ALL THESE FEELINGS. AHHHH! OHHH MY GOSH.

So that’s this round! You can check out these and all of my reviews on Goodreads. Thanks so much for reading!

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