March Releases

Hey all!

I hope y’all enjoyed my Sightwitch review earlier this week (last week? I don’t know. Depends on when you consider the week to start). I also recently finished People Like Us by Dana Mele and will hopefully have that review for you soon. I will say I recommend both books!

Of course, the reason I’m writing this post is not to remind you that I post book reviews (but hey here and here are the reviews I posted before Sightwitch if you want to maybe check them out)(side note I will be posting more writing content soon I swear). The reason I’m writing this is because it is time for . . .


Was that showing proper excitement? That’s about right for how I feel. I know I’m four days late (and I suck) but this is a good book month. I’m so serious. There are some killer books coming out this month you guys. I am so excited to tell you all about them!! Starting now.

Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough A YA Historical novel in verse inspired by the life and trials of famous painter Artemisia Gentileschi. Set in Rome in 1610, the young woman faces a choice after she is raped: she can keep quiet or speak up, consequences be damned. Release Date: March 6th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Children of Blood & Bone by Tomi Adeyemi A YA Fantasy debut about Orïsha, a land formerly filled with magic, and Zélie, the girl who is going to bring it all back. She is determined to overthrow the monarchy that ordered magi like her mother murdered. But she only has one shot and doesn’t need growing feelings getting in the way of taking it. Release Date: March 6th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles A YA Contemporary about Marvin, a young boy whose brother Tyler went to a party and then promptly went missing. A video later surfaces that shows Tyler was killed by a police officer after they’d raided the party he was at. Now Marvin needs to learn how to cope with this loss while watching his brother turn into a symbol. Release Date: March 20th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan When Leigh’s mother committed suicide, she’s absolutely certain that she turned into a bird. This YA Contemporary follows her on her journey to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents and find her mother, the bird. Along the way she must learn how to cope with her loss and forge new relationships. Release Date: March 20th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

the witch doesn’t burn in this one by Amanda Lovelace This book of poetry is the second in the “women are some kind of magic series”. Lovelace explores what it means to be a powerful woman and how they are often demonized, but not here. She creates empowering and vividly bold poems that her readers can relate to in countless ways. Release Date: March 6th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Nothing Left to Burn by Heather Ezell A YA Contemporary spanning the course of an action-packed 24 hours. Sixteen-year-old Audrey is forced to evacuate her home after the wildfires sweeping through California get too close. While trying to come to terms with potentially losing her family home, she also has to deal with Brooks, the volunteer firefighter who may have a darker past than he initially let on. Release Date: March 13th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter A YA Contemporary about Maddie, daughter to a secret service agent and formerly the president’s son’s best friend. But after six years in the Alaskan wilderness, she’s not too concerned about him anymore. Until he shows up, and brings trouble right to her door. She wants to kill him, but when he gets kidnapped, it looks like she’ll have to save him first. Release Date: March 27th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

The Beauty that Remains by Ashley Woodfolk A YA Contemporary that follows Autumn, Shay, and Logan as they each watch their lives unexpectedly crumble around them. Music is just not enough anymore, until they can come back together as a band and see that sometimes when the smoke clears there is beauty left behind. Release Date: March 6th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo A YA Fantasy about Lira, a deadly siren princess who collects the hearts of princes. When she’s forced to kill one of her own, though, her mother the Sea Queen forces her to live as a human. The only way to return to her home is to bring her mother the heart of Prince Elain by the winter solstice. But Prince Elain is determined to wipe out the sirens, and with Lira’s promised help he can. Too bad he doesn’t trust her. Release Date: March 6th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon This YA Historical retelling of Oliver Twist follows Olivia Brownlow, formerly raised among London’s street gangs but now a high society debutante who can’t seem to forget her past–or the people still living like she did. Enter Jack MacCarron, the “nephew” of a high society woman who is helping her rob people blind. He can’t seem to figure out why Olivia looks so familiar, but he wants to. And he’s willing to go pretty far to find out. Release Date: March 6th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

The Final Six by Alexandra Monir A YA Sci-Fi about Leo and Naomi, two very different people who were both chosen to attend International Space Training Camp after climate change has ravaged the earth. Leo wants is to help save humankind after he lost his family to the floods in Rome. Naomi wants to find out what the ISTC is hiding. They form a friendship, but among the 24 teens present, only six can make it to the end. Release Date: March 6th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw Every summer, the ghosts of three murdered sisters rise up and claim the bodies of weak-hearted girls in order to drown local boys for revenge for their deaths. Penny Talbot knows this, and accepts it, until Bo Carter arrives. Now she’s got a choice to make–save herself, or save him. YA Fantasy. Release Date: March 6th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo In this YA novel in verse, Xiomara Batista pours everything she has into her poetry. But she can never let anyone know. When she’s invited to perform at her school’s slam poetry club, she can’t think about anything else. And maybe this time she’s done keeping her thoughts to herself. Release Date: March 6th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

The Midnights by Sara Nicole Smetana A YA Contemporary about Susannah, who just wants to follow in her rock star father’s footsteps. But when he dies unexpectedly, it destroys her. In the aftermath, her mother moves them to a new city, where she reinvents herself and leaves the past in the past. But her secrets might catch up with her, and she’s not the only one keeping them. Release Date: March 6th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Time Bomb by Joelle Charbonneau This YA Contemporary features an eclectic cast of characters who are thrown together by extreme circumstances–namely a bomb. Now they’re trapped in a school together trying to find out who the bomber is, and looking at each other for answers. Release Date: March 13th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Honor Code by Kiersi Burkhart This YA Contemporary follows Sam as she excitedly navigates Edwards Academy–only to learn there’s more than a little hazing involved with being a new student. And when she’s paired with an older student and something happens, she’s forced to figure out if the future she’s always dreamed of is worth keeping her mouth shut and losing the justice she deserves. Release Date: March 1st (already out!). About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

A Kiss in the Dark by Gina Ciocca When the lights go out at her high school’s football game, Macy finds herself on the receiving end of a kiss. When the lights come back on, though, the kisser is gone. Still, Macy thinks there’s something familiar about the kisser. Trying to figure out just who this guy is leads to the reopening of some old wounds. And all to find out that her mystery kisser might not be the same person she’s falling for in the light of day. YA Contemporary. Release Date: March 6th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Chaotic Good by Whitney Gardner In this YA Contemporary Cameron just wants to perfect her costume portfolio and get into the CalTech costume department. Once her cosplay starts getting her attention, she’s forced to disguise herself as a boy to work in the local comic book shop. But it’s hard to keep up once she joins a D&D campaign, and it’s even harder when she starts to get feelings for one of the other players. Release Date: March 13th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Reflection: A Twisted Tale by Elizabeth Yim When Captain Shang is taken to the Underworld after being wounded in battle, Mulan travels down to find him. King Yama isn’t so quick to give him up, though. Now Mulan, disguised as Ping, must scour the Underworld in search of him. And when she finds him, she must decide if she should tell him the truth about her identity. If she finds him. A YA Fantasy retelling. Release Date: March 27th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

March 6th and March 20th are going to be busy days, just saying. Also, I did warn you guys that March was going to be a longer post. There are just a lot of good books coming out this month you guys. WARNING: A LOT OF THESE DEAL WITH SENSITIVE CONTENT AND I WOULD CHECK FOR TRIGGER WARNINGS BEFORE READING. I won’t be able to read any of them until later this week (thanks midterms) but if you read any of them comment your thoughts! Or come talk to me on twitter!

Alright, sadly I have to go. Studying waits for no one and my Greek midterm is not going to go well unless I actually, you know, look at the Greek. Bye!


3/21/18 UPDATE: I have removed Miles Away From You from this list due to harmful content as explained in my review. My deepest and most sincere apologies for its placement here in the first place.


January Releases

Hello! I know, it’s been so long since you’ve last seen me. A whole day. You all missed me so much I’m sure.

Okay, now that we’ve gotten all my sarcasm out of the way (ha good joke Kailey) it’s time to talk about why we’re really here. It’s time for me to let you know about some January book releases!


(I finally figured out I can put gifs in these posts. Go me for taking so long to do it.)

I know, you’re probably thinking “Kailey, you’ve never done a post like this before. What is this?” Well, I’m glad you asked. In my Most Anticipated Books of 2018 post I mentioned something about monthly release posts. This is the first of that type. What I’ll be doing is early in the month (I’ll try my best to get it up on the 1st but no promises) I’ll post a list of books coming out that month that I have heard about/want to read/think sound interesting. It will obviously not be a complete list, because I’m bound to miss some books (that’s where y’all come in. Remember, my comment section is always open). But, I’ll try to give you guys a good selection of books coming out for the month. Some months the list might be longer than others (heads up, March might be a looooooooong list) but I’ll do my best to give you guys a few different titles at least to look at.

So, here’s the books I’ve chosen for January.

Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed – A YA Contemporary about a young Indian-American girl named Maya, who tries to find her way and where she belongs after a tragedy turns her normally kind neighborhood into a place full of suspicion and hate. Release Date: January 16th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu – A YA Fantasy about a young Bruce Wayne targeted by murderous nightwalkers. While doing community service at Arkham Asylum he comes across Madeleine Wallace, who might his best bet at stopping them. Too bad he doesn’t know whose side she’s on. Release Date: January 2nd (already out!). About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black – A YA Fantasy about a young girl, Jude, who was brought to the High Court of Faerie seven years ago. Now, she’s trying to find a place to fit in–against the desires of the youngest prince. Of course, none of that matters if the Courts of Faerie erupt in civil war like they’re threatening to. Release Date: January 2nd (already out!). About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon – A YA Contemporary about twins Adina and Tovah, who are struggling with their fractured relationship. A diagnosis of Huntington’s disease can bring them back together or widen the gap–but only one of them tested positive. Release Date: January 2nd (already out!). About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert – A YA Fantasy with fairy tale-esque writing. After Alice’s grandma dies, she’s got to work with Ellery, a superfan of her grandmother’s cult classic novel in order to find her missing mother. Release Date: January 30th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann – A YA Contemporary about Alice, an asexual college student whose last relationship ended because her ex couldn’t separate love and sex. She’s done with relationships–until she realizes she has feelings for her co-worker Takumi. Release Date: January 23rd. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking – A YA Fantasy about Malin, a Valkyrie-in-training whose world is turned upside down when she finds out her mother let an immortal live who was destined for death. Release Date: January 2nd (already out!). About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet by Jennifer L. Armentrout – An anthology of short stories about first meetings between lovable characters by several popular YA authors, like Nicola Yoon, Emery Lord, and Dhonielle Clayton, among others. Release Date: January 2nd (already out!). About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Beneath the Haunting Sea by Joanna Ruth Meyer – A YA Fantasy about a banished soon-to-be empress named Talia who works to unravel family secrets and long-forgotten history of the gods. All the while the sea is calling to her–and it’s getting harder not to answer. Release Date: January 9th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen – A YA Fantasy about Shalia, a girl in a political marriage to prevent an attack on her desert home from her magic-hating husband. The only problem? She’s one of the magic users he despises. Release Date: January 30th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp – A YA Mystery about Corey, whose best friend Kyra has died while she was away. Now that Corey has returned, her community is pushing her away and she’s determined to find out why. Release Date: January 2nd (already out!). About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Busted by Gina Ciocca – A YA Contemporary Romance about a girl named Marissa, who became the queen of busting cheating boyfriends (accidentally). Now she’s been asked to spy on an ex-friend’s boyfriend. But the girl he’s falling for might just be Marissa. Release Date: January 2nd (already out!). About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Whew. That’s a lot of books. I hope you find one or two on here that you’ll like at least. I wanted to give a lot of options for this first month. Twelve books–I’m not even sure if I could read twelve books in a month. If you can, that’s pretty awesome. I’m sort of jealous.

I have not read any of these books, but I thought the premises sounded interesting. If you have read/are reading any of these, let me know what you think! I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter!

I’m trying to move this draft along so I’m off to go work on Project L. And then get some reading in tonight. I hope y’all are having a good start to the year!


Most Anticipated Books of 2018

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a good (and safe) holiday. I stayed home on New Year’s and wrote a couple thousand words. The draft of Project L is coming along oh-so-slowly, but nicely. I’m proud of it (for a first draft anyway).

So, a new year means new books coming out. I’ve seen quite a few posts of peoples’ most anticipated books for this year. I loved sorting through and picking out my most anticipated for 2017, and I loved doing it again for y’all this year. Like last year, this is far from an “official” list. It’s just ten books I’m looking forward to a lot. I definitely think everyone else should read these books, too, but I can’t force you. I can (and will) try to convince you of the awesomeness of these novels, though. So, without further ado, (and in no particular order) here are my most anticipated releases of 2018:

1. The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton Okay y’all. I’m not sure if you’ve heard about this book or not, but you probably have. It’s topped quite a few lists like this one–and for good reason. This story has all of the elements I think make up a gorgeous YA novel: strong characters, detailed world-building, twisting plot-lines . . . I’m squealing in anticipation just thinking about it. I’m curious as to how a Belle’s ability to help people may extend beyond just making them beautiful, though I’m excited for that part of the story, as well. The dynamic between beauty and power sounds very real-world to me, so I am looking forward to seeing how that plays out throughout the story. l have been lucky enough to win an ARC of this, and I can’t wait to dive in. It’s the first of my TBR for 2018. Genre: YA Fantasy. Release Date: February 6th. Purchase: Amazon B&N

2. Dread Nation by Justina Ireland I’m not normally one for historical. If you’ve read my blog before, you know my preference for fantasy. But, that being said, a good historical is always one I will pick up. And this one looks like it’s going to be a very good historical. You’ve got a Civil War era setting, a kick-ass young black heroine, and zombies, among other things. But, come on, zombies. That alone is enough to make me interested right there. The rest is only pulling me further into my “can I read this yet?” mentality. Plus, that cover is one to fall in love with. This own voices YA is another one I’ve seen people talking about. It’ll be one you don’t want to miss. I’m already making room for it on my shelf. Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Horror. Release Date: April 3rd. Purchase: Amazon B&N

3. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi If that title isn’t enough to get you hooked, I don’t know what else I can do for you. Wait, I can tell you that this book is one I’m counting down the days until it’s released (it’s 64, in case you were wondering). I began hearing about this one around August, and it’s been on my list ever since. This lush fantasy world sounds absolutely magical and vivid. A main character I can’t wait to meet awaits. This little bit of description alone is enough to convince me this will be one of my favorites of the year. “They killed my mother. They took our magic. They tried to bury us. Now we rise.” Chills. I have chills. Is it March yet? Genre: YA Fantasy. Release Date: March 6th. Purchase: Amazon B&N

4. Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed Story time. Picture this: It’s Christmas morning, and my family and I are opening presents. I pick up a small box and tear off the Wonder Woman wrapping paper (listen to me: no one is too old for Wonder Woman wrapping paper, okay?). Inside the box is a folded piece of paper. Now picture me unfolding the paper and screaming. I have just opened a pre-order for this book. And yes, I really did scream when I opened it. Ask my mom if you don’t believe me. This own voices story promises to be real, heartbreaking, loving and taking the reader on a journey right alongside Maya, the main character. Add on top that it takes place in a Chicago suburb (aka my home) and I’ll probably read this one cover to cover. (Okay to be fair it’s probably not the same suburb i grew up in but still. Chicago. Gotta read a book set in my city) Genre: YA Contemporary. Release Date: January 16th. Purchase: Amazon B&N

5. Miles Away From You by A.B. Rutledge Okay. So. Here’s the deal with this one. Here’s why I’m looking forward to this one so much. First of all, it’s told in a series of messages to Miles’s comatose girlfriend, Vivian. Second, photography is a central element to the story. As someone who enjoys taking pictures, and has a best friend who might as well be a professional photographer, seeing this made my heart happy. Third, I’m pretty sure I’m gonna cry. Like, it’s pretty much guaranteed. Normally I wouldn’t be excited to cry at a book, but this isn’t a normal instance. Fourth, the setting is Iceland. I’ve never read a book set in Iceland. That’s going to be cool, seeing how the setting is a part of the story. It seems like there are going to be a lot of elements working together to make this novel come together in a cohesive way. This is another ARC I won, so I’ll be sure to let you all know how I’m feeling about this one soon. Genre: YA Contemporary. Release Date: March 20th. Purchase: Amazon B&N

6. Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody Do y’all remember how I went a little nutso about Daughter of the Burning City last year? Guess what? Ace of Shades is by the same author!! And I’m just as excited for this one as I was for her debut! This is a completely separate world from Daughter, but just as interesting in my mind. You’ve got mafia-style casino families, a setting called the City of Sin (I mean really. How can you not love that?), and female lead who was raised to be a proper lady, thank you very much. Unfortunately for her (but fortunately for the reader) she’s forced to work with a male lead who would rather con her than help her. *claps hands together in absolute glee* Give me all the drama, and magic, pretty please? Genre: YA Fantasy. Release Date: April 10th. Purchase: Amazon B&N

7. Nothing Left To Burn by Heather Ezell I found this author back when I submitted to Pitch Wars in 2016. And I’ve been waiting for this book ever since. And now it’s finally the release year!! Yay! The tension in this book promises to be top notch. Taking place over the course of one day, the intensity of both the wildfires and the events of our main character’s life will keep me turning pages until I look up and realize it’s 3 a.m. and I’m supposed to get up in five hours but I’ve only got fifty more pages I’ll be fine right? (This will happen I’m predicting it now)(Page-turning intensity is going to be at the center of this novel I can feel it)(I’M REALLY EXCITED) Plus, there’s romance. With a volunteer firefighter. Like, just take my money already. Genre: YA Contemporary. Release Date: March 13th. Purchase: Amazon B&N

8. From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon You’ll notice a lot of the books on this list are quite . . . intense. There’s not a lot of lighter novels on here. Part of that is just what I’m drawn to. Part of that is because there are a ton of amazing intense novels coming out. BUT, there are also quite a few lighter novels coming out as well. And this is one of them. (Don’t mistake ‘light’ for ‘less’, though. Just because a novel doesn’t have revolutions or magic or murder doesn’t make it any less amazing than the novels that do. That’s a separate rant, though.) Told in letters to female filmmakers, this story about love and friendship looks to have a cast of characters I will wish were my best friends. Or that I’ll fall in love with. Or both. And I am a total sucker for girls going after what they want in life–so a filmmaker directing a movie for a festival? Yep. I’m there. Genre: YA Contemporary. Release Date: June 5th. Purchase: Amazon B&N

9. Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli SO. In case y’all missed my fave books of 2017, I’ll remind you that The Upside of Unrequited was on that list. And maybe I should mention that I have a writing crush on Becky’s novels. Like, a hardcore writing crush. She has a gift for giving readers the stories we not only want, but the stories we need. And she does this without killing anyone (yet. She’s got a book with Adam Silvera coming out this year, too. So that whole “no one died” thing might change). Y’all know I love a good murder to activate my pain but she can bring the pain and the love. Happy endings are what I’ve seen so far, but that doesn’t mean it’s a happy story the whole way through. I relate strongly to her characters and their stories/what they go through. I have a very, very strong feeling I’m going to relate to Leah most of all. This is another one I’m going to cry over. I just know it. And I really cannot wait for it. Genre: YA Contemporary. Release Date: April 24th. Purchase: Amazon B&N

10. Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles I saw someone talking about this book on Twitter one day, looked it up, and the rest is history. Okay, there’s a little more to it than just that. A few months ago, I was scrolling through my Twitter feed when I saw someone mention this book in reference to Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give. So, I looked it up. I was blown away by THUG and figured any book that was being compared to that must be phenomenal. From what I’ve seen in reviews, discussions on social media, and my own gathering of knowledge, it will be phenomenal indeed. And I can’t look at that cover and not want to pick it up immediately. The heavy topic of the book promises to be intense, but it’s story that’s important to be told. It’s going to join the ranks of novels that break my heart this year, I’m sure of it. I have a strong feeling this is going to be one of my top reads of 2018. Genre: YA Contemporary. Release Date: March 20th. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Okay, so I guess my descriptions got a little long towards the end . . . I’d say I’m sorry, but lying is wrong. Also, apparently all my most anticipated books of the year are coming out within the first six months. Oops. Don’t worry, there are fantastic books coming out in the second half of the year, too. I’m positive of that. I’ll tell you all about them on the first of each month.

I’m somewhat surprised (and impressed) with myself that I’ve got more contemporaries on this list than fantasies. Look who is expanding what they read! Sort of. I mean, it’s a start, okay?

All of the release dates came from Goodreads, so they might not be exactly correct. I know there were a couple that conflicted with the date on Amazon. I don’t know which dates are correct, so if you plan to pre-order, I’d say just do it now to be safe. Like right now. Go buy the books. GO!

Again, I hope everyone had/is having a good holiday. This year has a lot of books coming out that I think will be fantastic. I’m looking forward to reading them all. Including ones I didn’t put on this list. Narrowing it down to ten was difficult and there are several I didn’t mention in this post that I’m looking forward to, as well. But don’t worry. I’ll tell you all about them in my Monthly Releases post. January’s is coming this week!

I’m going to go and finish working on a scene I left last night. It’s being stubborn. While I’m gone, why don’t you tell me what books you’re looking forward to in the comments or on Twitter? Let’s be book friends!


Top 10 Books of 2017 (So Far)

Hello all!

Now that the year is winding down and NaNoWriMo is complete (for me at least), I thought I’d post an update to my reading life.

Update: it’s been pretty quiet. I didn’t get to read too much this year, but what I have read I’ve enjoyed for the most part. So for everyone who is looking for a good book since November is ending or something to grab during the holidays (books make great gifts y’all!) I thought I’d provide a few of my favorites for the year so far.

1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas If you haven’t read this book yet, do yourself a favor and go do it right this very second. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in my life. It cracked the top five, which is not actually easy to do. But there is a reason Angie Thomas is the Queen of YA. Do yourself a favor and read her book.

2. Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody Okay I dedicated multiple posts to my obsessive love of this book. If you didn’t expect to see it on this list you haven’t been paying attention very well.

3. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli This book has all the good things. I made me smile, laugh, and want to hug everyone SO MANY TIMES! I cannot express my love for this novel enough. If you loved Simon you’ll more than love Molly. (Which, if you didn’t love Simon, I’m not sure we can be friends)(Okay, we can be friends, but you have to re-read Simon VS and gush about it with me.)

4. Geekerella by Ashley Poston I actually didn’t really know about this book until recently. I’ve been hearing a lot about it lately, and saw it when I was shopping in B&N. I read the description and my inner fangirl went *squeeeeeeee* (no I really made that noise in the middle of Barnes & Noble). I didn’t buy it though until Thanksgiving night. I sat with my Kindle This was my surgery recovery read, and it did not disappoint. Cute and smart writing left me ready for more from these characters. No idea if there’s a sequel coming or not (the ending was wrapped up nicely) but I know I’ll be reaching for this one again in the future.

5. the princess saves herself in this one by Amanda Lovelace Something most people don’t realize about me is that, in addition to YA & NA, I also write poetry. This is . . . fairly recent. I started working in the world of poetry my sophomore year of college (I graduate in May) and I’ve had the same professor voluntarily ever since. She made me go from hating poetry (and talking very loudly about it) to loving it and writing it. I owe this find to one of my best friends. She’d been looking for this for a while and picked this book up in a Target in Columbus, Ohio (we are not from Columbus just so you know)(we’re not even from Ohio we just spend a lot of time there for some reason). She opened Princess to a random page and the poem printed there hit home. I did the same to the only other copy on the shelf and BOOM same thing happened to me. Naturally we both bought it.

6. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas I know there’s quite a bit out there about how the queer rep in SJM’s books is not the best. I agree. I love her books, and her writing, but this is something that needs to be addressed. However, aside from that point, I loved ACOWAR. I never really got around to posting a review for it, but I thought it was a great ending to the trilogy, and was more than happy to spend the extra time in the world SJM has created. If you haven’t read ACOTAR or ACOMAF yet, you need to read them first for sure. But if you have the time and you love a good YA fantasy, this is a great novel.

7. Windwitch by Susan Dennard WHO HERE REMEMBERS MY FANGIRLING OVER THIS BOOK AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR? I think I scared away any readers after that. My opinions about this book are positive and happy even though there is so much angst (in the best way). It’s been a while since I’ve talked about it, but it’s one of my favorites of the year for sure. Would recommend 110%.

8. Island of Exiles by Erica Cameron Listen to me. LISTEN TO ME! This book. Is so good. Bisexual rep. Asexual rep. Intersex rep. Different settings. Vivid characters. Flowing plot lines. Familial ties. The importance of consent. A group of people who shouldn’t be able to survive in this harsh environment is going to do their damn best to do it. This book is one of the best I’ve read this year for sure. (Also the sequel comes out soon so if you’re looking for multiple holiday gifts here you go!)

9. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee Okay it counts if you’re currently reading it right? I’m saying yes. I’m in the middle of it right now, and I wish I currently had more time to devour this book (*shakes fist at final papers* curse you!). So far though it’s fantastic. I’m hoping I’ll get to finish it by the end of the year and reiterate that, times a thousand.

10. One Blood Ruby by Melissa Marr Y’all know I have a problem when it comes to fantasy. I guess it’s not really a problem exactly, but more of an all-encompassing love. And I really have a thing for fae. This sequel hit all the marks with me. I adored the first novel, and pretty much the same can be said of the second. Great book, by a great author. If you’re looking for something good this coming holiday season, I would recommend some Melissa Marr.

Now, keep in mind these are my favorites of the books I read this year. I have so many books that have been sitting on my shelf all year, and that stack just keeps piling up. Some books that I bought this year that I did not get to get to, but have, heard are fabulous, and am mad at myself for not getting to them sooner are:

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera

27 Hours by Tristina Wright

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan

There are probably so many more amazing books I’m missing. Please feel free to add your favorites of the year so far in the comments! It was not as heavy of a reading year as I had hoped, and a lot of these books are ones I intended to read right away, but just never got the chance to. This has been such a busy semester for me, and I wish I’d had more time to read, but sadly I did not. I’m aiming to remedy that after finals and over winter break.

I hope you like some (or all) of these titles! Again, feel free to comment some of your faves so far this year. I’d love to hear them.

Alright, I’m off for now. Sadly, not to read. Final papers & presentations abound in my apartment, and I must work on mine. Byeeeeeee!


PS – the links I included are all to Amazon, but if see if your local indie bookstore has these books!

Daughter of the Burning City – AKA My Excitement

Hi! Hello! Salutations!

I hope all of you U.S. people had a good (and safe) holiday this week. I didn’t really celebrate beyond glancing out the window at the fireworks. So much work, so little time.

BUT I have a LOT of energy right now. Presumably it’s from the extreme amounts of caffeine I’ve consumed in the past week (editing life, gotta love it). However it is ALSO from how excited I am for Amanda Foody’s debut novel Daughter of the Burning City (which comes out on July 25th)(just an FYI).

Here’s a little bit about the book, from Goodreads:

A darkly irresistible new fantasy set in the infamous Gomorrah Festival, a traveling carnival of debauchery that caters to the strangest of dreams and desires.

Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.

But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.

Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear.

Okay, but how awesome does that sound?

Anyway, in honor of this release, I thought I’d share some of my reasons that I’m excited for this book. Or a, “here’s why you should read DOTBC” post, if you will.

But (special announcement) I am not the only person here to gush about the book today. The wonderful, amazing, and extraordinarily talented Amanda Foody herself has been so kind as to agree to be a part of this post. (everyone be sure to tell her how awesome she is so I look super good and she wants to be my friend)(I’m kidding of course)(except she is awesome. Her twitter is pretty cool).

So, without further ado, here are our reasons.

Amanda’s Five reasons to read Daughter of the Burning City:

1. The spin on the carnival setting. I absolutely adore the Gomorrah Festival, the carnival where Daughter takes place. Not only does it have all your typical carnival attractions, from freak shows to menageries to excellent food, but it’s huge, as big as a city, and it’s known for all things debauchery. Also called the Festival of Burning Desires, you could find just about anything at the Festival…no matter how sinful, no matter how seedy. You just might stumble across a few of these attractions in the book.

2. The heroine. As a lover of YA fantasy, I read a lot about heroines who are totally badass—which I adore. But as a teenager, I’d grown a touch tired with girls who wield bow and arrows and don’t realize they’re pretty until that ball scene halfway through the book. We all love our tropes—that’s why they’re popular! But I set out to write a different sort of character. Sorina is a performer, not a warrior. She’s selfish, haughty, and at times, immature for her age. She longs to be beautiful in a way that, due to her unique facial disfiguration, she never will be, and a lot of her arc is coming to terms with her own acceptance and empowerment. Writing her, she felt like a real person, not a character in a tale, and that really helped pull me into the tragedy of the murder mystery, of a girl who felt so “freak-ish” that she used her powers to create her own family…only for them to be murdered.

So if you’re on the hunt for a girl who rocks her lipstick, who cries, whose bravery is more than rushing into battle, I’d definitely recommend Sorina. I threw my heart into her.
3. The LGBTQIA+ elements. A lot of the characters in Daughter represent the LGBTQIA community. Most notably, the love interest is on the ace spectrum, which plays a large factor into his character and their relationship. Sorina, the protagonist, is bisexual. Because empowerment and beauty and romance are all sort of intertwined at their age, their sexualities and preferences come into play a lot over the course of the story, since they’re both navigating something new, something uncomfortable at times, and something they never thought they’d have. I might not have written any super overtly sexual scenes (I can always save those for my next book), but their relationship, for me, always felt honest, real, and endearing. I like to think the reader will still be smiling and avidly turning pages even with some frank discussions about consent, comfort, and pleasure. 😉

4. Twists. There are some twists throughout the novel. Some you might be able to guess—one I wrote specifically to be guessed. Another one, as far as I’ve been told, no reader has yet to guess. Maybe you’ll be the first?

5. It’s a stand-alone. Ok—I’m a huge fan of fantasy series. I get hooked on characters and worlds and never want to leave them. But writing Daughter has really taught me the beauty of a single work. As a writer, I get to do something different with my ending; I’m trying to leave an impression rather than drop a cliff-hanger. As a reader, I love how a stand-alone manages to tell one, intimate story without needing to develop into a sweeping, multi-arc narrative. Stories like UPROOTED, THE SCORPIO RACES, THE NIGHT CIRCUS, and THE SECRET HISTORY all got me loving the art of the stand-alone. Plus, it’s good for our future TBR piles! (My next book is one of those sweeping fantasy series, and I’m currently plotting and writing book 2, so this perk seems extra perky to me at the moment.)

Kailey’s five reasons you should read DOTBC:

1. LGBTQIA+ Rep. Okay, so this was already brought up. But I’m really excited for it. As you might remember from my semi-recent post, I’ve been on the search for books with queer rep that isn’t necessarily gay or lesbian. I like seeing diversity in the books I read. DOTBC? Bisexual MC. AKA something I’ve been hunting for a lot lately. I’m kinda (ahem: extremely) excited for Sorina.

2. Different beauty. Again, already mentioned (sort of) above. Sorina has facial disfiguration that causes difficulties in her life. She has no eyes. She’s never going to be traditionally beautiful. I think it’s very important for girls reading YA to know that not every single girl is going to be the drop-dead gorgeous model often described as the heroine. The genre is moving towards more realistic depictions, but it’s still got a long way to go. Sorina is a good step in the right direction.

3. The world. If you’ve read more than this post, you know my love of YA fantasy. I’ve read more than my fair share of this genre, but I can’t think of a single one that takes place in a carnival. It’ll be worth the read just to see another new world and another new setting.

4. The novel aesthetics. Okay so this isn’t technically a reason but I’m making it one. Here are a few examples.

Convinced yet?

5. It’s a debut. Supporting an author this early in their career is not only great for them, but it’s good for you too. You’re helping them gain an audience every time you recommend their book. You’re showing them that someone out there is reading their work, reading something they’ve worked a long, long time on. But not only that, you’re getting the chance to watch them grow as a writer. When you find an author from their debut, and can read their subsequent books, you get to watch as their works explode into creations you could never have imagined getting better, but somehow they do. They always do. Amanda’s next novel comes out in April of 2018. And while Daughter is set in an entirely separate world from it, you’ll still get to see how much her writing has improved since then. And an improvement from Already Seriously Talented™ is going to be something we all want to read.

Okay, so those are our reasons. Hopefully we’ve convinced you. If we haven’t, sad face. If we have, here is where you can purchase the novel on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. And, if you’re as awesome as I know you all are, you can follow Amanda on twitter (feel free to follow me as well)(we can chat about books and things).

Hope you guys are having a good night. I’m off to get some more editing done for Camp NaNo. It’s never-ending, I swear. Fingers crossed that it’ll be finished come Pitch Wars.

Oh, speaking of Pitch Wars, here is a link for information on it. And here is my post about it from last year. It probably isn’t too much help (it was my first year participating and I mixed up some of the details) but I’ll make a new post once the blog hop goes live later this month.

Must edit. Wish me luck.


Change of Plans

Remember a few months ago when I was like “I want to read more diverse books. I’ll get you guys a list”? Yeah, about that . . .

I know originally I said I’d be providing a list of books with neurodivergent main characters. I still am (sort of), but I’ve decided to add in a few more things to keep it interesting. So I’m actually going to have MULTIPLE LISTS!! (cue the confetti)

First up we’ve got our list of neurodivergent MCs:

Next I thought I’d provide you with a few books with some lovely trans characters:

  • Transformed: San Francisco by Suzanne Falter & Jack Harvey (amazon) (goodreads)

Thirdly we have our beautiful aces:

And finally allow me to present you with a list of books that have gorgeous bisexuals:

Thanks so much to my friend Caitlin for helping me compile these lists! You should all go talk to her. She’s cool I promise.

Yeah, okay, I know. This list is pretty pathetic. Do you want to know why? Because if I sat here and typed up every book I found, none of us would be going anywhere for a long, long while.

Here’s the deal: I found a lot of information. When I started researching, I was pretty overwhelmed. These books are definitely out there you guys. You just have to look for them.

I was so excited to share these titles with you. I actually started writing this post almost two months ago. At the time I had a more optimistic idea about it. And then I stopped and thought for a minute. There was no way I could read all of these books before posting this. It would take so much time, and I did want to get this list here for you. And the idea of posting a list of books I (or in this case someone I trust the opinion of) haven’t read? To me that is a terrible idea. They could be offensive or badly written or not representative in a good way. So, I went with listing a few books that Caitlin has read (along with a couple I have) because I trust her opinion on this and know she would never lead you guys astray.

But don’t think I’m just going to leave you guys at that. Nope, I found exactly what I needed in a Twitter thread. So, without any more babbling from yours truly, here is a list of trans #ownvoices authors, as recommended by Ana Mardoll on Twitter.

Here is a link to the neurodivergent #ownvoices tag on Twitter.

Here is a link to the bisexual #ownvoices tag on Twitter.

Here is a link to the asexual #ownvoices tag on Twitter.

I’m also going to plug Tristina Wright here because I’m so excited for her book 27 Hours it’s crazy. It’s got plenty of representation too (see you thought it didn’t fit in this post but it does)(I sometimes get stuff right).

If you guys want to do more research on this, I recommend just typing that into your searchbar to start. Yeah, you’re probably going to run into problems sooner rather than later, but it’s a place to start. And I would like to really, really stress the importance of supporting #ownvoices creators. Seriously. This is so important. I can’t even begin to explain how much it matters that you support your #ownvoices creators.

(Have you noticed I keep using the hashtag? Have you taken the hint and plugged it into your favorite social media yet? You should. Just saying.)

I know this isn’t what I promised. To tell you the truth, I don’t know what I thought this post would be. But I hope you explore the titles here and find some of your own that you love.

Well, I have editing to get back to. Bye!