Mirage (Mirage #1) by Somaiya Daud

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ARC provided by Flatiron in exchange for an honest review.

“On a small moon orbiting a large planet, in a small farmhouse in a small village, there was a box, and in this box was a feather.”

Mirage is a magical, wonderful, important, gift to the YA SFF world. From characters I fell in love with, to the messages about the importance of your culture and your family, to the most lyrical and beautiful writing. I loved this story with my whole heart, and I can’t wait for the rest of the world to fall in love with it.

This story is an ownvoices Moroccan inspired story about a young girl named Amani, who has known nothing but oppression on the moon that she and her family live on. She and her family are farmers, trying to live the best life possible, even with the constant heartbreak surrounding them.

“You learned a different sort of fear when you grew up in a village like mine. Fear of hunger. Fear of Imperial droids. Fear of the low hum that came with Imperial probes. But that fear taught you endurance—you could let its unwavering presence wear you down, or you could learn to stand up despite it.”

In this galaxy, the Vathek rule, and are slowly trying to erase other cultures, religions, and beliefs around them. While also trying to do any and everything to ensure there is no uprising or rebellion. But the rebels have been planning, and calculating, and waiting, and will do anything to make sure that the Vath do not continue to oppress and rise.

Amani has finally turned eighteen, which means she gets to finally celebrate her coming of age with others in her village. She has been looking forward to this day, and the blessing that will be bestowed upon her, for her entire life. And Amani is able to get her daan, a tattoo that means everything to her; her family, her faith, her inheritance. But the celebration gets crashed and quickly comes to a terrible end.

“I’d dreamed forever of leaving Cadiz, of visiting other star systems in our galaxy. But I’d never thought I would be taken against my will. I was dragged through the building, pulled onto a ship, silent and numb, then finally deposited in a holding cell.”

Amani gets kidnapped by imperial droids and flown to the royal empire. Upon arrival, she soon realized the reason she was taken; she is nearly identical to the Princess Maram, the heir to the throne, a girl who is cruel, and is wicked, and is disliked by both sides of her people, because she is half of the other. Maram’s father conquered Andala, and violated galactic law, so the only way he could keep the planet was to marry and have a child, so Maram was born. And Maram has a half-sister that very much does not think that Maram should rule, and she might be willing to do anything to make sure of it.

Maram is in fear for her life, so she rationalizes abducting Amani and forcing her to make her public appearances, while promising her death if she fails to be convincing. Amani is thrown into a world that she has never known, while being constantly reminded of the family, culture, and traditions she had to leave behind.

Maram’s father also murdered most of the families that lead the resistance against him conquering their planet, even though they did surrender. A boy named Idris, was spared from the Purge, as a reminder what would happen if people tried to oppose this new ruler. But he was also promised to be married to Maram once she comes of age, so she will forever be tied to the planet her father bloodily conquered.

Trigger warnings and content warnings for kidnapping, physical abuse quite frequently and heartbreakingly, war themes, death, murder, forced body alterations, talk and depiction of sever grief and trauma.

“He a prince and I a slave in all but name. There was no happy ending to this story, no way for the two of us to make one.”

And Amani is forced to play so many roles, while she convincingly has to pretend to be a princess whose father has taken so much from so many. And Amani is therefore thrown into a world of politics, betrayals, secrets, and even love.

This book beautifully illustrates that we are not the actions of our parents and the terrible things that humans are capable of doing. We are only our actions, and we are only held accountable for our actions, and for the actions we choose to repent for.

“We are not responsible for what cruel masters enact in our name.”

This book perfectly talks about family, culture, religion, traditions, and the things we are willing to do for them and in the name of them. Honor and believing in something are one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful, forces in any galaxy. And standing up for your convictions is sometimes the only thing we have in this world. Never, ever, stop believing.

“When Dihya wanted to give you a sign He slipped the feather into your hand. When He wanted to command you to a calling, to take action, He sent the bird itself.”

The book amazingly showcases how important friendships can be, and how loneliness can take many forms. Everyone deals with depression, grief, and trauma differently. And sometimes an unexpected friendship can be the thing that makes you feel even a little bit better. Kindness truly is sometimes the best thing that we can give to another living soul.

Overall, Somaiya Daud’s debut SFF novel blew me away. I loved this with my entire heart and soul. This book is beautiful, this book is powerful, and this book is completely captivating. I never wanted to put this down, and I can’t wait to see what comes next. Don’t sleep on this book, friends. Preorder this before it’s August 28th release!

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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication

Buddy read with Julie from Pages and Pens, Lilly at Lair of Books, Jules at JA Ironside, Amy at A Court of Crowns and Quills, & Chelsea at Chelsea Palmer! ❤.

May 2018 TBR

🌷💐🌹🥀🌺🌸 Hey, loves! I hope you don’t mind me posting twice today! I hate it when the first of the month falls on a Tuesday, because I love doing certain Top Ten Tuesdays so much! But hopefully you all will enjoy both of these! I am trying to keep my TBR kind of free this month, because I know that it is going to be rather strict in the upcoming months! And lately I’ve been mood reading, and spontaneous buddy reading a lot! And… I kind of love it a lot. But here are the ten things that I will definitely read in May!

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black:
ARC – Publication: January 8th, 2019
Yeah, I can hardly believe it myself. My friend Diana was able to get me a personalized ARC of this, and it is now my most cherished possession. This is going to be one of the first things I’ll read in May, because I have no chill and it is taking every ounce of self restraint to not ditch every book on my TBR and inhale read this sequel.

A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.1) by Sarah J. Maas:
Publication: May 1st, 2018
Okay, by the time you are reading this, your girl has already devoured, reviewed, and hopefully loved this one! Literally, I’m staying up until midnight to read this highly anticipated novella, set in the ACOTAR world! And even though it is still surrounding Feyre and Rhysand, I’m thinking this is going to let us transition and know who the next series is going to be about! *prays forever for Cassian*

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan:
May is Asian/Pacific Heritage Month, so I’d like to get many ownvoices books in to help celebrate! Life & Lit is doing an entire event, and this is the group book pick! And this is a story about an interracial girl (half Asian, half white) who travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents after she hears about the passing of her mother (TW/CW: suicide, loss, grief). I think this book is going to be very hard hitting, and I think it’s going to have a very important discussion about mental illness, and how some cultures have an even harder time to reach out for help. And I’m buddy reading this with Yusra! ❤

Mirage (Mirage #1) by Somaiya Daud:
ARC – Publication: August 28th, 2018
This is an ownvoices Moroccan YA SFF novel about a girl who is taken from her village, to a powerful kingdom, all because she looks identical to the princess of the kingdom. She is forced to masquerade as the princess, if she ever wants to see her family and home again. This is also a buddy read with Julie from Pages and Pens, Jules at JA Ironside, Amy at A Court of Crowns and Quills, & Chelsea at Chelsea Palmer! ❤

Bruja Born (Brooklyn Brujas #2) by Zoraida Córdova:
ARC – Publication: June 5th, 2018
I don’t believe this is a direct sequel to Labyrinth Lost, which I absolutely loved two years ago. But this is still an ownvoices novel about another bruja in the family! Hopefully I’ll be emotionally prepared! And I’m buddy reading this with Alexis over at The Sloth Reader & Amy at A Court of Crowns and Quills! ❤

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover:
ARC – Publication: July 17th, 2018
This is the brand new CoHo book of 2018, and I’m a little scared to go into this, but I couldn’t refuse when Atria gave me an ARC (thank you, you all are the best!) I hope I will love this one, and hopefully it doesn’t give me too much anxiety! Plus, I’m buddy reading this with my bestie, Kayla! ❤

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3) by V.E. Schwab:
Okay, you all know I’m not the biggest fan of this series, but I actually have high hopes for this concluding novel! And I hope I can fall in love with this series, like so many of my friends! And I’m reading this for the BooktubeSFF Awards, but I’m also buddy reading this with Julie, Destiny, & Julie! ❤

Fresh Ink: An Anthology edited by Lamar Giles:
ARC – Publication: August 14th, 2018
Friends, I have no words for how excited I am for this anthology! And every single one of these stories are ownvoices from authors of color! What a blessing! Expect a review for this early in the month! And I’m buddy reading this with Destiny! ❤

The Queen of Crows (The Sacred Throne, #2) by Myke Cole:
ARC – Publication: October 16th, 2018
The Armored Saint was one of the best books I read in all of 2017. I loved it more than words, and I can’t wait to see where Heloise’s journey goes next. And I’m buddy reading this with my favorites: Petrik from BookNest.eu & Lilly from Lair of Books! ❤

Nyxia Unleashed (The Nyxia Triad #2) by Scott Reintgen:
ARC – Publication: July 17th, 2018
Nyxia was one of my favorite books of last year! It meant so much to me, and I loved it so much. This series stars a young black boy from Detroit, who is sent out into space for a once in a lifetime opportunity, game, and mission. And I can’t wait to see what happens next! And I’m buddy reading this with Lilly, Cierra, Scrill, & Solly! ❤

Okay, I think that’s everything! I truly have the highest of hopes for these ten books! What are you guys reading this month? And, as always, I’m wishing you all the happiness in the world, and all the good reads! 🌷🌹💐🌺🥀🌸

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April 2018 Book Haul

Hey, loves! I hope the end of your April is going well! I was so very privileged and blessed to receive some amazing books this month, and I’d love to share them with you guys! 💐💕


The Wicked DeepReview: ★★★★
Dreadful Young Ladies
All Out AnthologyReview: ★★★★
Circe (US)Review: ★★★★★
Circe (UK)Review: ★★★★★


The ThiefReview: ★★★★
The Allure of Julian Lefray
Birthday GirlReview: ★★★
The Astonishing Color of After
Prince Charming
Bad Intentions


Mapping the Interior
Binti: Home
We Are the Ants
The Tiger’s Daughter
If We Were Villains
The Traitor Baru Cormorant


The Descent of Monsters
The Black God’s Drums
The Wicked King
Girls of Paper and Fire
Worlds Seen in Passing

Yeah, best ARC I’ve ever received in my entire life. Forever so very thankful. I think I still am in disbelief. And this will be my first read in May, so expect a fangirl gush ASAP! 🧚


All Your Perfects
Empress of All Seasons


The Poppy War
For a Muse of Fire
What If It’s Us
Sawkill Girls


Ace of Shades

Yeah, I know, I was so desperate for Salt that I requested it on two sites and got approved for both. I feel so bad, but I’m also so happy that I have an ARC of it! Edelweiss for sure showed up big for me in April! Actually, April was just an amazing month for ARCS in general. Hell, I can’t even properly form words to express how thankful I am that I was able to get my hands on a copy of The Wicked King this month. Diana, you’re the best, and I love you. But I hope April was filled with books that made you all feel the way The Wicked King makes me feel. Happy reading, loves! 💖📚

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