Where I Go to Request ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies)

For as long as I can remember I’ve devoured countless worlds and characters. It wasn’t until last year that I realized my thoughts and opinions, about the books I read, could be enjoyed by others. Saying that now it sounds silly since countless reader reviews have been the tipping point in me choosing whether or not to read a book.

Stumbling on Booktok (the book side of Tiktok) last summer, and seeing the countless reviewers out there that were just like me, inspired me to start my own Booktok account, and also inspired this blog. After following some Booktok creators, and a few months passing by, I finally got up the courage to do my own videos. Pro I am not, I’m just enjoying the journey as I jump into new and exciting worlds.

Something else I learned last summer was that you don’t have to personally know authors to get ARC’s, of their books, before release! So many authors utilize different sites to connect with reviewers before the release of their books.

I thought I’d list the places that I’ve found success in connecting with authors/publishers in order to receive ARCs.

Now remember, I’m only about 6 months into finding and reading ARCs, so there are probably a ton of other places to look, these are just the places I know of so far.

YABS Facebook Group


The first place I ever found ARC’s to read and review was the YABS FB group, where readers and authors can connect. So far all the books I’ve seen posted in this group are from indie authors. Once you receive an ARC through this group you have two weeks to read and post the review. You also need to remember to mark your calendar so you can upload your review on Amazon on release day (since amazon doesn’t allow reviews to be posted before release).

Since the authors directly message you, to send you the arc, at times they may reach out to you so you can elaborate on comments in your review.

If you end up enjoying their book, and it’s part of a series, when they go to release the next book, there’s a greater change of you getting the next ARC as well.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/YABookStop

NABS Facebook Group


Once you receive an ARC through this group you have two weeks to read and post the review. You also need to remember to mark your calendar so you can upload your review on Amazon on release day (since amazon doesn’t allow reviews to be posted before release).

Since the authors directly message you, to send you the arc, at times they may reach out to you so you can elaborate on comments in your review.

If you end up enjoying their book, and it’s part of a series, when they go to release the next book, there’s a greater change of you getting the next ARC as well.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/newadultbookstop

RABS Facebook Group


Once you receive an ARC through this group you have two weeks to read and post the review. You also need to remember to mark your calendar so you can upload your review on Amazon on release day (since amazon doesn’t allow reviews to be posted before release).

Since the authors directly message you, to send you the arc, at times they may reach out to you so you can elaborate on comments in your review.

If you end up enjoying their book, and it’s part of a series, when they go to release the next book, there’s a greater change of you getting the next ARC as well.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/rabookstop

NetGalley


NetGalley is a site that works directly with publishers and authors to give ARCs to reviewers.

Before signing up, with NetGalley, I highly recommend you make sure that you have started either a Booktok, Bookstagram, Book Blog, or Book Twitter. A lot of the publisher’s are looking for specific criteria in order to approve ARC requests. Currently out of 19 ARCs I’ve requested, 11 are still pending a decision, 8 have been requested, and only 3 have been approved.

The nice thing about getting denied an ARC, through NetGalley, is the publisher’s have send me an email letting me know why they’ve denied my request. Some of my requests were denied because I didn’t have a site when I first signed up, and some were denied because I still have a very small following.

The amount of time you have to review the ARCs, through NetGalley, depends on when the book is getting released. NetGalley also gives you a % rating for how many reviews you’ve done versus how many ARCs you’ve received. This % rating ensures you read the ARCs your given and review them in a timely manner.

Again, I am new to receiving ARCs and don’t know how many other site’s there could be out there. These are just the places that I’ve had success with when it comes to finding ARCs to read and review. I hope, if you’re interested in receiving ARCs, these sites help you out!

Happy reading!

Happy Endings by: Thien-Kim Lam

***I was given an ARC of this book by Avon and Harper Voyager (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review***

” Trixie Nguyen is determined to make her sex toy business a success, proving to her traditional Vietnamese parents that she can succeed in a nontraditional career. She’s made a fresh start in Washington DC, and her first pop-up event is going well–until she runs into the ex who dumped her. With a Post-it note.

The last person Andre Walker expected to see in his soul food restaurant was the woman he left behind in New Orleans. Their chemistry is still scorching, but he’s desperately trying to save his family restaurant from gentrifying developers. The solution? Partnering with his ex to turn Mama Hazel’s into a vibrator pop-up shop for hungry and horny clients.

Thanks to their steamy truce, both businesses start to sizzle and their red-hot desire soon reignites deeper feelings. But when Trixie receives an incredible career opportunity, will pride ruin their second chance at happiness? “

bookshop.org

My Thoughts…

Looking for a second chance romance with stubborn and driven MC’s who are trying to prove to themselves, and their families, that they can achieve success and make their families proud? Then this is the story for you!

We meet Trixie who’s the youngest of three in a Vietnamese-American family. Her parents immigrated to America and have always wanted their children to be successful and secure with the professions they’ve chosen.

Two years previously, to this story beginning, Trixie, realizing that pharmacy school wasn’t for her drops out of college in order to pursue her dreams of helping others. Deciding to veer off the path, her parents set her on, creates a rift between her and her parents. Not only does her father decide to no longer speak to her but she finds a note from her boyfriend, of two years, breaking up with her.

Andre hasn’t forgotten about Trixie, even though he was the one to end things. The last thing Andre wanted to do was hurt her and he regrets the pain he caused her by leaving. He was not expecting to find her in his dinner, let alone selling sex toys to a crowd of people! Andre is awed by Trixie, she’s so confident and sure of herself, she’s changed so much in the two years since he last saw her.

Trixie dreams of helping others by helping normalize sex education and awareness while Andre is desperately trying to make his neighborhood proud by keeping his family restaurant open and serving the community like it always has. We watch as they both struggle to accept help, each letting their insecurities and egos get in their own path to success.

It was so easy to empathize with both Trixie and Andre when it came to their deep connections to their family and overwhelming worry about letting their families down.

This is more than a romance, it’s a story of finding the confidence to follow your heart when it come to your dreams and love.

My Sister, the Serial Killer by: Oyinkan Braithwaite

” Korede’s sister Ayoola is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And now Ayoola’s third boyfriend in a row is dead, stabbed through the heart with Ayoola’s knife. Korede’s practicality is the sisters’ saving grace. She knows the best solutions for cleaning blood (bleach, bleach, and more bleach), the best way to move a body (wrap it in sheets like a mummy), and she keeps Ayoola from posting pictures to Instagram when she should be mourning her “missing” boyfriend. Not that she gets any credit.

Korede has long been in love with a kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where she works. She dreams of the day when he will realize that she’s exactly what he needs. But when he asks Korede for Ayoola’s phone number, she must reckon with what her sister has become and how far she’s willing to go to protect her. “

bookshop.org

Potential triggers…

  • Blood and gore
  • Murder

I spend a lot of time looking through the Libby app, trying to find gems I’ve never heard of. This is one of those gems I stumbled on and was so glad I did!

This story follows two sisters, one who is a murderer, and one who constantly helps cover the murders up, in order to protect her sister. They both seem trapped in this cycle of codependency.

Through this book we learn about their pasts, their upbringing, and although not an excuse, you begin to see, and understand, why they’ve become the adults they are. Our experiences, good and bad, as children really do shape the adults we become. For some of us, we become who we are in spite of the upbringing we had…sadly for some, they become trapped in a vicious cycle that can be extremely hard to break.

This book isn’t written with a set beginning, middle (climax), and end. Instead we are given a story that feels like we just get to peek in on the lives of these sisters, at this certain moment, and who knows what could be happening with them now. In a perfect world I’d like to think Korede has finally been able to fully break herself from her codependency with Ayoola, that she’s finally living a happy live full of love, and free of the stress of her family. Realistically, I doubt that would happen, nevertheless I like that the story ends in a way we’ll never really know.

Burn by: Suzanne Wright

” Part of a small demon lair in Las Vegas, tattooist Harper Wallis lives a pretty simple life. That changes overnight when she discovers that her psychic mate, or ‘anchor’, is a guy who’s rumoured to be the most powerful demon in existence. Compelling, full of secrets and armed with raw sexuality, Knox Thorne is determined to claim her as his anchor, creating a psychic bond that will prevent their inner demons from ever turning rogue.

The billionaire also wants Harper in his bed.

She’s not so sure she wants either of those things. No one seems to know what breed of demon Knox is, only that he’s more dangerous than anything she’s ever before encountered. But he refuses to walk away. And when an unknown danger starts closing in on Harper, it seems that Knox is the only one who can keep her safe.

As Prime of his Las Vegas lair and a successful businessman, Knox Thorne is used to being in control. He’s also used to people fearing and obeying him. Harper does neither, which unexpectedly amuses him. Unpredictable, elusive and complex, she draws Knox and his inner demon like nothing ever has.

Knox is used to getting what he wants, and he wants Harper. He’ll have her, and he’ll keep her safe from the threat that looms over her. Because Knox protects what’s his. He won’t allow anyone to take her from him. Even if it will mean letting the demon inside him rise and wreak the havoc it was created to make. “

amazon.com

Left to my own devices, I most likely would not have stumbled on this book, or author, on my own. Luckily, a friend suggested this book to me, and although I was apprehensive, I’m glad I dove in anyways!

I found the concept of an “anchor” so refreshing in a para-romance series. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my fated mates, that being said I love new ideas and concepts in a genre I’ve so heavily read in.

The idea of a soulmate, one person who cares for you, want to protect you, and ensure you have a good life but doesn’t necessarily have romantic feelings for you. Though this book does have an anchor relationship that does include romance, I love that the overall concept doesn’t require or demand it.

I love the strong female, who doesn’t take crap from anyone, meets the “alpha-hole” who isn’t used to not getting his way, trope. The banter between the two did not disappoint. I can’t wait to explore more of this universe!

The King’s 100 by: Karin Biggs

” Sixteen-year-old princess, Piper Parish, is a disappointment to the citizens of Capalon, a STEM-structured kingdom where innovation is valued above all. Her older sister, the queen, views Piper’s tears during their parents’ funeral as a weakness, not to mention her strange affinity for singing. When Piper receives an anonymous note stating her mother is still alive and living in the enemy kingdom of Mondaria, Piper chooses to risk death and flees Capalon to prove once and for all that she’s not just the queen’s defective little sister. Posing as a Mondarian citizen named Paris Marigold, Piper bumps into a cute black-haired boy named Ari who encourages her to audition for the King’s 100, an esteemed performance court of singers, magicians, and drummers. Piper lands a spot as a singer and dives head-first into a world of glittering dresses, girl-code, sugar, blackmail, and physical contact-all while taking direction from an evil maestro. Under Mondarian law, Piper will be killed if her identity is revealed. But living a life without the freedom to love might actually be the most dangerous risk of all. “

bookshop.org

***I received an ARC of this book, from the author, in exchange for an honest review. ***

Piper hasn’t felt loved or accepted since the death of her parents 3 years ago, so when she get’s a mysterious note stating her mother is still alive and being held within the enemy kingdom’s castle…she has to investigate. Raised in a kingdom where intelligence is the only thing that matters…Piper has struggled to fit in, her “outbursts” of emotion and her love of singing have all led her kingdom to look down on her, and feel she needs to be medicated and “set right”. She believes, once she finds and returns with her mother, all the differences and difficulties with her sister, the current Queen, will be long forgotten and they can finally be happy again.

Stepping foot outside of her own kingdom proves harder than Piper imagined. The people of Mondaria are so different from her home kingdom of Capalon she struggles to blend in. She quickly realizes there’s only one way to gain entry to her enemy’s castle…to audition for The Kings 100, a competition of drummers, magicians, and singers. Piper jumps into this competition and soon finds herself realizing…maybe Mondarian’s aren’t the horrible, and uneducated, people she was raised to believe…maybe in some ways, they had a more full life, than the ones led back in Capalon.

Piper is constantly challenged with fear of being discovered, getting very attached to those around her, and desperately trying to find proof that her mother is still alive.

This book, and Piper were incredibly easy to relate to. Honestly, I was hooked from the very first sentence…

” I handled my relationship with my sister the same way I handled a glass microscope slide- with as few fingerprints as possible and an irrational fear that one misstep could shatter everything.” ~Piper

The Kings 100 page 1

Although the world was created by the author, and not one we currently live in, (thank goodness!) the emotions and difficulties Piper face are very real and relatable. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a YA book filled with adventure, friends, family, and a little mystery.

The Friend Zone Series by: Abby Jimenez

THE FRIEND ZONE

” Kristen Peterson doesn’t do drama, will fight to the death for her friends, and has no room in her life for guys who just don’t get her. She’s also keeping a big secret: facing a medically necessary procedure that will make it impossible for her to have children.

Planning her best friend’s wedding is bittersweet for Kristen — especially when she meets the best man, Josh Copeland. He’s funny, sexy, never offended by her mile-wide streak of sarcasm, and always one chicken enchilada ahead of her hangry. Even her dog, Stuntman Mike, adores him. The only catch: Josh wants a big family someday. Kristen knows he’d be better off with someone else, but as their attraction grows, it’s harder and harder to keep him at arm’s length. “

BOOKSHOP.ORG

POTENTIAL TRIGGERS…

  • Infertility
  • Death of a friend
  • Grief and loss of a loved one
  • Surprise pregnancy

The meet cute in this book is *chef’s kiss* While driving, her bffs fiancé’s brand new truck, Kristen spills coffee all over herself. This causes her to slam on her breaks and get rear ended by the handsome Josh… who, unbeknownst to her, just happens to be best friends with the owner of the truck… she just covered in coffee. Neither of them realizing their connection, they continue on their day, only to meet at the firehouse where Josh and Brandon (the bff’s fiancé) work.

There is a strong mutual attraction, from the start, but since Kristen has a boyfriend, Tyler who’s a Marine, neither one voices their thoughts on the matter. No matter how hard Kristen tries to avoid Josh, fate seems to have other plans for them, and continues to throw them together. This book is full of humor, heartache, friendship, and love.

Whether you pick this book up because it’s a contemporary romance, due to it covering infertility, or just because you thought it sounded humorous, you will not be disappointed.

Going into this book, just based off the summary, I knew I was going to get a bit emotional during this book…I did not anticipate how emotionally devastated this book would have me.


I felt such a connection to Kristen that only continued to grow as I progressed through the book.

Being able to see both Kristen and Josh’s inner dialogue and emotions through this book was critical, I don’t think the story would have felt as powerful if it had only come from one of their perspectives.


DO NOT READ SUMMARY/DESCRIPTION OF “THE HAPPY EVER AFTER PLAYLIST” IF YOU HAVE NOT READ “THE FRIEND ZONE”

THE HAPPY EVER AFTER PLAYLIST

” Two years after losing her fiancé , Sloan Monroe still can’t seem to get her life back on track. But one trouble-making pup with a “take me home” look in his eyes is about to change everything. With her new pet by her side, Sloan finally starts to feel more like herself. Then, after weeks of unanswered texts, Tucker’s owner reaches out. He’s a musician on tour in Australia. And bottom line: He wants Tucker back. Well, Sloan’s not about to give up her dog without a fight. But what if this Jason guy really loves Tucker? As their flirty texts turn into long calls, Sloan can’t deny a connection. Jason is hot and nice and funny. There’s no telling what could happen when they meet in person. The question is: With his music career on the rise, how long will Jason really stick around? And is it possible for Sloan to survive another heartbreak? “

BOOKSHOP.ORG

POTENTIAL TRIGGERS…

  • Grief and loss
  • Self harm
  • Crippling depression
  • Drug and alcohol abuse

When this book begins it’s been 2 years since a drunk driver hit Sloan’s fiancé, Brandon, as he was riding a motorcycle…which landed him in a coma. Almost two years since Brandon suffered a stroke during that coma which rendered him brain dead. Two years since the thought of a “happily ever after” was torn from Sloan.

In two year’s Sloan hasn’t managed to move on from her loss. She no longer cooks, because it reminds her of too many meals she happily cooked for Brandon. The once happy and free artist is no longer inspired to create art and instead picks up random commissions that she can do that don’t challenge her. Her best friend and her husband, who was Brandon’s best friend, seem to be living the life she thought she’d have. No matter what her friend’s do she can’t seem to get herself to really care about anything. She doesn’t want her friends to continue to worry, though, so she tries to limit the time they spend around her, and she attempts to start doing small thing’s, that will lead them to believe she’s getting better.

On her annual trip to Brandon’s grave, to spend time with him on the anniversary of his accident, she ends up thinking she may have hit a dog. As she stops, intending to get out of her car and check on the dog, said dog jumps onto to her car and through her sunroof. She can’t stand the idea of this dog going to the shelter, so she decides to take him, “Tucker”, home until she can find his owner.


After 2 weeks of calling his owner daily, hanging posters, and posting online about Tucker…and still no response from his owner, she makes the decision to keep Tucker. Since Tucker jumped through her sunroof she’s started to feel happiness again. Tucker’s constant need for walks has gotten her out of her house and exercising…she’s starting to see and feel glimpses of the Sloan she was before fate took Brandon from her.

Jason, Tucker’s owner, has been blissfully unaware that Tucker wasn’t safe and sound. Jason has been across the globe for 2 weeks attempting to work on new music and just finally is able to power up his phone and see all those missed messages from Sloan. Jason is horrified to know that Tucker was wandering around and not safe until Sloan took him in…now that he knows, he wants his dog back, but he won’t be back in L.A. for two more weeks.

Sloan doesn’t want to give Tucker back but if Jason really does love and want Tucker…who is she to deny him his dog? But in order to get Tucker back…Jason must prove to Sloan that he loves Tucker. This challenge leads to the two, Sloan and Jason, texting and calling each other daily. By the time the two weeks are up and Jason is finally back in L.A. they’ve both developed feelings for each other, even though they don’t know much about each other.

Sloan and Jason face a lot of hurdles, both emotionally and situationally, that challenge this budding romance. Both Sloan and Jason have to really think about what being together would mean…and decide if they’re willing to face all the challenges that will come with being together.

I’m not going to lie…after reading “The Friend Zone” I didn’t know if I would ever be prepared, emotionally, to read this book. The trauma Sloan faces in “The Friend Zone” messed me up for days…but once again Abby has found a way to tell us a story based around tough subjects that is both beautiful and educational. I love that Abby uses real like experiences she’s witnessed, and been a part of, to tell these stories.

If you don’t mind a romance that will yank your heart out multiple times before putting it back in…grab a box of tissues and dive in!

Another awesome find when reading this book, is each chapter is titled with a song, and someone on Spotify was kind enough to compile those songs for us. I’m honestly hoping this book someday hit’s the big screen…so we can complete the playlist with the 2 songs written by Jason…I want to hear those lyrics!


LIFE’S TOO SHORT

A brilliant and touching romantic comedy about two polar opposites, one adorable dog, and living every day to its fullest. When Vanessa Price quit her job to pursue her dream of traveling the globe, she wasn’t expecting to gain millions of YouTube followers who shared her joy of seizing every moment. For her, living each day to its fullest isn’t just a motto. Her mother and sister never saw the age of 30, and Vanessa doesn’t want to take anything for granted. But after her half sister suddenly leaves Vanessa in custody of her baby daughter, life goes from “daily adventure” to “next-level bad” (now with bonus baby vomit in hair). The last person Vanessa expects to show up offering help is the hot lawyer next door, Adrian Copeland. After all, she barely knows him. No one warned her that he was the Secret Baby Tamer or that she’d be spending a whole lot of time with him and his geriatric Chihuahua. Now she’s feeling things she’s vowed not to feel. Because the only thing worse than falling for Adrian is finding a little hope for a future she may never see. “

BOOKSHOP.ORG

MORE COMING SOON!

Incendiary by: Zoraida Córdova

” As a memory thief, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria, Renata was used by the crown to carry out the King’s Wrath, a siege that resulted in the deaths of thousands of her own people. Now Renata is one of the Whispers, rebel spies working against the crown. The Whispers may have rescued Renata years ago, but she cannot escape their mistrust and hatred–or the overpowering memories of the hundreds of souls she drained during her time in the palace. When Dez, the commander of her unit–and the boy she’s grown to love–is taken captive by the notorious Principe Dorado, Renata must return to Andalucia and complete Dez’s top secret mission herself. But as Renata grows more deeply embedded in the politics of the royal court, she uncovers a secret in her past that could change the fate of the entire kingdom–and end the war that has cost her everything. “

bookshop.org

Potential triggers…

  • Blood and gore
  • Kidnapping
  • Suicide
  • Torture
  • Murder

Going into this book I had no idea what to expect, it was one of those books that drew me in by the cover and kept me with the description. As I started to read I struggled to find a connection to the main character Renata. The world Zoraida created was so beautiful and amazing so I pushed through…and I’m glad I did!

The more I learned about Renata, the main character, I realized the reason I had trouble connecting to her was because she herself had trouble connecting with herself. Renata is constantly struggling with herself and where she fit’s into the world…if she fits at all. Her countless battles with guilt and shame truly broke my heart.


The further into her story I got, the more connected, I felt and empathized with her feelings of being other, and just outside of where everyone else was. The story is beautifully told with such rich and deep history sewn into it.


The last third of the book is action packed, and has you constantly realizing, that what one person believes to be true, doesn’t mean it’s true for others.


Overall I highly recommend this read and I cannot wait until book two comes out so I can see what other personal evolutions Renata faces and overcomes.

Nothing But Blackened Teeth by: Cassandra Khaw

Expected Release Date: October 19th, 2021

” A Heian-era mansion stands abandoned, its foundations resting on the bones of a bride and its walls packed with the remains of the girls sacrificed to keep her company.

It’s the perfect venue for a group of thrill-seeking friends, brought back together to celebrate a wedding.

A night of food, drinks, and games quickly spirals into a nightmare as secrets get dragged out and relationships are tested.

But the house has secrets too. Lurking in the shadows is the ghost bride with a black smile and a hungry heart.

And she gets lonely down there in the dirt. “

bookshop.org

***I was given an ARC of this book by Macmillan-Tor/Forge (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review***

Potential triggers…

  • Blood and gore
  • Death and murder
  • Unhealthy/toxic relationships

Who doesn’t want to have a destination wedding at a mysterious haunted mansion? I, for one, can’t see how that could go wrong at all… *said with extreme sarcasm*

We see this short story, through the eyes of Cat who is battling demons of her own and who, like me, isn’t sure this is the best place to hold a wedding.

As we meet the characters through Cat’s POV it’s hard to like any of them, as they all have a messy and complicated history with each other. Like all friend groups, there seem to be certain friendships that are stronger than others, some “friendships” that only exist for the sake of other friendships, and plenty of secrets among them.

Through the first half of the story, I felt like it was really easy to read and understand, I was fully able to immerse myself in the story like I was a sixth friend along for the ride. Once we started getting to the spookier portion though, I found myself a bit disconnected. The writing went from easy to read, to throw in a lot of big words whose meanings I had to assume since I was trying to stay engaged and didn’t want to whip out a dictionary for every other word. The wording seemed quite poetic and gruesome but didn’t feel like it fit with the earlier writing.

Due to the writing in the latter half, I feel like I wasn’t as scared as I could have been, had the writing been a little simpler. Was I creeped out? For sure! I just would have loved to have been completely immersed in the story as it fully unfolded. There was so much detail thrown in in such a small amount of time and described with unfamiliar words, that had me struggling to fully grasp the entirety of the situation they were facing.

For me, I have to start a movie from the beginning or I’m unable to connect with it fully. That’s kind of what the second half of this story felt like…like I’d walked into the room halfway through a movie…it looked great and I kept watching but I don’t feel like I fully understood what was going on.

All that being said…I still enjoyed the overall idea and concept of this story and will reread it to see if I pick up more than I did the first read-through.

***Spoilery thoughts***


Now that I’m thinking about it, when the writing did, seemingly drastically, change it was at a point in the story when all the other characters were showing signs of being off, laughing maniacally, self-harm, saying things that didn’t make sense. Was the writing so vastly different because the spirits were affecting Cat in a way that was different from her friends? Was in fact the change in the writing, the cue to tell us that the spirits were also messing with Cat’s mind? If so this adds an entire other level of depth that I hadn’t considered and am now intrigued by.

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