Book Talk,  Tags & BookTube

The Long Way Down Book Tag

Hello friends! Today I’m doing the brand new The Long Way Down Book Tag created by Rae’s Reads and Reviews. Rae says this tag is based on the book Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

The Rules:

  • Credit the creator: Rae @ Rae’s Reads and Reviews  (Pingback to the original tag post so Rae can receive the notification)
  • Shout out the person who tagged you
  • List the rules of the tag in your post.
  • Tag at least 3 people to do the tag!

I was not tagged, but I get Rae’s post notifications and I marked this one down to do it anyway. Let’s go!

Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which means there is no additional cost to you if you shop using my links, but I will earn a small percentage in commission. A program-specific disclaimer is at the bottom of this post.

The Elevator – a book with a lot of character development

With the Fire on High
by Elizabeth Acevedo

Published 7 May 2019
Quill Tree Books

Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Page Count: 400
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!

With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free.

Blurb copied from Goodreads.

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK

I just mentioned in my WWW Wednesdays post this week that I was in the process of listening to the audiobook and Oh. My. Goodness., this was an amazing book! This is the story of Emoni, a high school senior with a toddler at home who progresses from a girl who’s afraid to admit that she’s afraid of life’s struggles and too strong-willed to take corrections, into a young woman who is confident in herself and who has finally learned to accept what she does not know and listen to those who can teach her. This book is full of lessons about accepting love from the right people, learning how to work in a team setting and respect mentors, growth as a mother in general and as a parent in a shared custody arrangement, and perhaps most importantly learning one’s self-worth. All of this is wrapped up in a delicious narrative full of food and heritage. I honestly can’t wait to share a full review on this one!

The Rules – a book that follows a common trope

Goddess in Time
Women of Time (Collaborative Series)
by Adriadne LeFox

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Page Count: 202
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!

Myths and Legends have always inspired me. I especially love the King Arthur legends. The knights, ladies, valor, chivalry, and trust between them. I have never been one to trust easily, but with these legends, I feel like I am a part of their world somehow. As a college student, I chose to study these myths and legends because I want to find out if they are real or not.

So my journey began, by traveling to England. I have heard there is a professor there who has found the remains of what used to be Arthur’s castle. What I actually find when I get there is more than just the remains of a castle, it is the start of a new adventure.

In a land of myth and magic, what awaits me is more than I could have ever imagined…

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK

I already have a full 4-star review up for this one, so I won’t make this too lengthy, but this is both “the chosen one” and “instalove.” First of all, we’ve got a young woman who is the one and only being who can be called back in time to wake the Once and Future King. Second, she falls in love with multiple male characters in the 6th century and they all return her affection. Lucky girl? Some have called this book reverse harem, and I can see it, though it’s very mild.

Cigarette smoke – a book that disappointed or confused you

Marilia the Warlord
Chrysathamere Trilogy Book One
by Morgan Cole

Genre: Fantasy
Page Count: 482
Add to your Goodreads TBR!

Born the bastard daughter of a painted lady, Marilia was told she would live out her days within the walls of her mother’s brothel, a companion for the rich men of Tyrace. But after a terrible betrayal, Marilia’s world turns upside down. With the help of her twin brother, Annuweth, she flees the only home she’s ever known in search of the one man who can offer her a chance at a better life: one of her deceased father’s friends, the Emperor of Navessea’s greatest general.

What follows is a journey spanning years, from the streets of the desert city of Tyracium to the splendor of the emperor’s keep and the wind-swept, wild island of Svartennos. Along the way, Marilia discovers, for the first time, the gift she has for strategy and warfare—a world that is forbidden to girls like her.

When the empire is threatened by a foreign invasion, the defense of Navessea is left in the hands of a cruel and arrogant general no match for the empire’s foes. With the fate of her new home and her family hanging in the balance, Marilia swears to use all her courage and cunning to help repel the enemy…if she can convince anyone to follow her.

The struggle that follows will test her to her core and lead her back to the past she thought she had escaped. Facing treachery within her own ranks as well as a devious enemy commander, Marilia will need all the help she can get, even if it means doing something her brother may never forgive—making a pact with the man who murdered her father.

Inspired by The Song of Achilles and Ender’s Game, Marilia, the Warlord is a blend of the epic and the personal, a story of war, romance, envy, the rivalry between brother and sister, and a young woman’s fight to find her place in the world.

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK

Check out the review I wrote here, also 4 stars. This was almost a great book. It’s an epic high fantasy in a setting that reminded me of the middle east. It has the makings of a great story, and I have high hopes for the recently released sequel, Empire of Jackals, which is waiting for me in my Kobo library right now. The reason this one makes the list for “confusing” is because it feels like a bunch of half-baked snippets of backstory that either wasn’t meant to be published, or wasn’t ready to be published in the form it’s currently in. Every time we get used to the characters as they are, where they are, at the age they are it jumps to another setting, jumps ahead in time, kills somebody off too soon. It’s titled Marilia the Warlord, but we wade through backstory before she earns that title for 60% of the book. Heck, we start when she’s a 9 year old kid growing up in a brothel!

Fifteen bullets – name a book where you felt like something was missing

A Song Below Water
by Bethany C. Morrow

Publisher: Tor Teen
Released: 2 June 2020

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Page Count: 288
Add it to your Goodreads TBR

Tavia is already at odds with the world, forced to keep her siren identity under wraps in a society that wants to keep her kind under lock and key. Never mind she’s also stuck in Portland, Oregon, a city with only a handful of black folk and even fewer of those with magical powers. At least she has her bestie Effie by her side as they tackle high school drama, family secrets, and unrequited crushes.

But everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation; the girls’ favorite Internet fashion icon reveals she’s also a siren, and the news rips through their community. Tensions escalate when Effie starts being haunted by demons from her past, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice during a police stop. No secret seems safe anymore—soon Portland won’t be either.

Blurb copied from Goodreads.

Grab a copy on Amazon! US | CA | UK

This is a really good book and another one I’m excited to share my review for. The magical realism alternate version of our world thing is really cool, and the sisterly friendship between Effie and Tavia is amazing! The part that’s missing for me is the piece of backstory lore that explains why magical creatures (sirens in particular) are experiencing basically the exact same racism as Black Americans today. I get that this book is trying to say a lot about racism in the real world, but carbo copying the real world’s issues onto another species, one that has the potential to control humans and therefore should be the oppressor rather than the oppressed, leaves a lot of questions unanswered. I’m not saying it doesn’t work, I’m just saying I want to know why it works. This book did spend a lot of time on lore (sometimes at odd points in the story) but it didn’t answer these questions.


Time for some tags! If you see this and want to do it, consider yourself tagged. I will officially be tagging…

(I randomly chose these people to tag based on new post emails that came in today.)

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Jenna is the artist/illustrator and author behind Westveil Publishing and its sub-banner platforms Jenna Gets Creative and The Westveil Archives. She live in Newfoundland, Canada with her husband, daughter, and feline overlords.


  • Rae

    Thank you so much for trying out the tag! With the Fire on High is so amazing and I’m hoping to reread it at some point. I read the physical book the first time but I want to listen to the audiobook for my reread 😀

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