July Releases

Hello!!

So, we survived June (wow that feels like a miracle, doesn’t it?) and now we are truly in the swing of summer. The 90+ degree weather was a dead giveaway for that I’m betting, though, right?

Today is going to be an incredibly quick post because I am really busy lately (which is why this is so freaking late). Sorry ūüė¶ BUT I am off work today (that hasn’t happened in a while) and climbed out of my writing hidey-hole to bring you the July Book Releases!! Here are some books coming out this month that you should check out.

The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas Five years ago tragic accidents befell the cheerleading squad, leading to their disbanding. Now Monica, the sister of one of those dead cheerleaders, has been chosen to help honor the fallen on the five year anniversary. Except, she just wants to forget. But that’s not about to happen. What went down five years ago was only the beginning and Monica is about to find that out firsthand. Release Date: July 31. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Bright We Burn by Kiersten White The epic conclusion to the best-selling Conqueror’s Saga. NO SPOILERS HERE (I can’t give any anyway. I’ve only read book one). All I’m gonna say here is there’s a reason everyone I’ve talked to is in love with these books. Release Date: July 10 (TODAY). About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Kiss of the Royal by Lindsey Dilga The world is at war and the royals are losing. Princess Ivy is determined to end things once and for all. Prince Zach is one of the most skilled swordsmen in the kingdom. They need to work together to win this war. Now if only they could put aside their differences and actually do it. Release Date: July 3 (already out!). About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning Before there was the Little Mermaid, there was a sea witch. And before there was a sea witch there was a girl. Evie has been an outcast since her best friend Anna drowned. But when a girl who looks eerily like Anna appears off-shore, Evie will do anything to help her save her humanity. But does ‘anything’ mean sacrificing the heart of the prince she loves? Release Date: July 31. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Yeah I wasn’t kidding when I said this was going to be short. I’m on fire with my WIP (and also in the middle of The Cheerleaders which you should all buy on July 31st). I hope you guys see some books you like here and that you’ll read! Bye!

Kailey

 

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The Unbinding of Mary Reade – (Mini) Review

Hey all!

So this is going to be a pretty quick review just because I’m finally having a breakthrough in my WIP and I don’t really have too much to say about the book. So, let’s dive right in shall we?

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From Barnes & Noble:

A clever, romantic novel based on the true story of a girl who disguised herself as a boy to sail with the infamous pirates Anne Bonny and Calico Jack‚ÄĒand fell in love with Anne Bonny.

There‚Äôs no place for a girl in Mary‚Äôs world. Not in the home of her mum, desperately drunk and poor. Not in the household of her wealthy granny, where no girl can be named an heir. And certainly not in the arms of Nat, her childhood love who never knew her for who she was. As a sailor aboard a Caribbean merchant ship, Mary‚Äôs livelihood‚ÄĒand her safety‚ÄĒdepends on her ability to disguise her gender.

At least, that’s what she thinks is true. But then pirates attack the ship, and in the midst of the gang of cutthroats, Mary spots something she never could have imagined: a girl pirate. 

The sight of a girl standing unafraid upon the deck, gun and sword in hand, changes everything. In a split-second decision, Mary turns her gun on her own captain, earning herself the chance to join the account and become a pirate alongside Calico Jack and Anne Bonny.

For the first time, Mary has a shot at freedom. But imagining living as her true self is easier, it seems, than actually doing it. And when Mary finds herself falling for the captain‚Äôs mistress, she risks everything‚ÄĒher childhood love, her place among the crew, and even her life.

Breathlessly romantic and brilliantly subversive, The Unbinding of Mary Reade is sure to sweep readers off their feet and make their hearts soar.

I enjoyed this book. I don’t read a lot of historical fiction so I don’t have much to say on that front. Usually, not gonna lie, historical fiction can be boring to me. This wasn’t boring. I want to make that perfectly clear: at no point during this book was I bored. That’s rare enough for me with this genre.

The reason I don’t have a lot to say about the book itself? The writing. There was nothing wrong with it, really. It was good writing. It was nice, solid . . . average. And here lies my issue. The writing was average. This, to me, made the story average. There’s nothing wrong with an average story–far from it to tell you the truth–but it doesn’t stand out as much as I’d hoped because of this.

I love the idea of the story. I liked the story itself. Do I think it lived up to the promise at the end of that summary? No, I don’t, not in my case anyway. But I think it will for a lot of other people and I hope it’s a book a lot of people pick up, be it from your local indie bookstore (this is the preferred place if you can afford it) or from Barnes & Noble (next preferred place)(again, if you can afford it) or even your library (do you think I’m not gonna advertise going to your library? Come on. Libraries are beautiful places. Please utilize yours.) or wherever you choose to shop/get books.

I gave this book 3 stars on goodreads but only because half stars don’t exist there. I give it 3.5 stars because of the writing but the premise is to die for, so I seriously recommend picking it up. It comes out tomorrow (6/19) so go get it and tell me if you liked it or what you thought of the writing or just how you felt about the characters . . . idk just talk to me!

Also one last thing lately I’ve been thinking about giving away some ARCs and bookmarks I have either here or on twitter. If you do read these posts sometimes I’d appreciate if you could comment and let me know if that’s something you’d be interested in.

Alright that’s all for today. Told you it would be a mini review. I’m off to finish making my characters miserable *cue the evil laughter*. Bye!!

Kailey

The Art of Escaping – Review (Plus a Little Something Else)

Hi all.

Hope everyone is having a good day/night/whatever time of day it is where you are. I’ve had a pretty meh day myself so I’m hopeful y’all have had a better time than me. Part of the reason my day hasn’t been so great is because of writing this post. Not that I don’t love submitting my words to the void of the internet (I do so much) but because part of it is talking about something difficult for me.

This is not going to be a dark and twisty post I promise. It’s just a topic I have recently come to terms with that I want to discuss.

I’ve got a couple things to say in this here. As you’ve no doubt guessed by now I am not just reviewing a book today. So, instead of babbling on (y’all know how much I love to babble) I’m going to get into it.

So, um, this review is going to be kind of hard for me to write. As you might have noticed, I give pretty positive reviews. I like books. I like reading them, getting absorbed in the worlds, caring about the characters, becoming invested in the outcome. I like books. I don’t like saying bad things about them, or leaving a book unfinished.

I did not finish this book.

I’ll explain why I didn’t finish this book later on but first I want to get into what this means to me. Like I said earlier: I like books. And I used to think not finishing a book was a crime. I made myself slog through books I didn’t like for various reasons all because I felt like it was an affront of some sort not to push through and get to the end. And, sometimes, I still feel like that. Authors work hard on their books. There’s a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that go into a completed novel. Mostly tears, in my experience. A lot of tears. I feel like it’s only fair to put in the work and finish their book, if they’ve put in all that work to write it.

But here’s the thing: finishing a book shouldn’t be work. It should be fun. It should be something I want to do, not something I feel like I have to do. And I know this. I have known this for a long time. But that doesn’t stop me from continuing to go through books even when I know it’s not for me. Maybe I’m just worried I’ll miss something if it gets better. Maybe I know what it feels like for people not to want to read your work and I don’t want to be that person to someone else. Maybe it’s both, maybe it’s something else, maybe–

Maybe it doesn’t matter. It’s taken me a while (probably too long) to become okay with not finishing books. Unless a book was truly awful in the past, I’d see it through to the end. Recently, I decided that’s dumb. If I don’t like a book, well, that sucks, but it’s not the end of the world. It’s not a big deal. It’s just that the title isn’t clicking with me for whatever reason.

Recently I created a DNF shelf on my Goodreads page. As of today I have two titles on it. Both are advanced copies, one I’ve reviewed and one I chose not to. Originally it felt like giving up to put a title on that list. I’m not going to lie, it still feels like giving up. Not finishing a book feels like quitting to me. But it’s not. And it is nice to be able to say “this isn’t for me so I’m going to put it aside”.

This book I’m reviewing today was not for me. So, I put it aside. It’s not a bad thing even if it sometimes feels like it is. DNF-ing a book was a huge no-no for a long time with me and, I can’t speak for others, but I bet there are some people out there who feel the same. If you’re one of those people and you’re reading this, hi, welcome to the club. Try and put the book down if it’s not for you, okay?

Now that I’ve gotten the mixed up, unreadable, probably confusing musings out of the way, should we get to the review? I think we should.

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From Barnes & Noble:

Seventeen-year-old Mattie has a hidden obsession: escapology. Emphasis on hidden. If anyone from school finds out, she’ll be abandoned to her haters. Facing a long and lonely summer, Mattie finally seeks out Miyu, the reclusive daughter of a world-renowned escape artist. Following in Houdini’s footsteps, Miyu helps Mattie secretly transform herself into an escapologist and performance artist.

When Will, a popular athlete from school, discovers Mattie’s act at an underground venue, Mattie fears her secret persona will be exposed. Instead of outing her, though, Will tells Mattie a secret not even his girlfriend knows. Through a blossoming friendship, the two must find a way to express their authentic selves.

Told through the perspectives of the witty main characters, this funny and fresh debut explores the power of stage personas and secret spaces, and speaks to the uncanny ways in which friendships transform us.

I want to start off by saying I was actually pretty excited for this one. I received an advanced copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I thought that I’d be recommending it by the time I finished. Didn’t count on not wanting to finish it, though.

First impressions? Not a big fan of the cover. It’s not appealing to me. I think it’s the cartoonish/stop-motion-movie look of it. Just not for me. But I do my best not to let a cover keep me from reading, and this was no exception.

Unfortunately the content didn’t engage me any more than the cover did. There were two issues I had that led me to DNF this title: the characters and the pacing. I’m going to briefly explain why each of these bothered me so much.

First off, the characters. Right off the bat I didn’t care for Mattie. I thought she was kind of irritating and the author tried to make her relatable through fear of being in the spotlight and typical teenage behavior. The problem with this? It read as too typical. I couldn’t find anything special about the character beyond the fact that she was into escapism. I’m including her appearance in this because, at the point I stopped reading, I still hadn’t found a solid description of it. Maybe I missed it somewhere, it’s very possible I did, but I had only a vague idea of what she looked like, how she dressed, what anything in that world looked like to be quite honest. The lack of description made it difficult to get into Mattie’s story because I couldn’t see it. I wasn’t right there with her.

There was also a specific scene with her that bugged me. This is somewhat spoiler-y so feel free to skip down. The scene was an anxiety-induced dream Mattie had where she hadn’t been on a big social media Facebook-like site for a few days and people were wondering where she was. In the dream she hadn’t posted and people were freaking out all over her page and everywhere else in her life. I believe the author intended for this scene to show how extreme Mattie’s fear of being in the spotlight is, but the way it was written read like another “people are too dependent on their phones and can’t be away from the internet” article. You know the kind I’m talking about. It felt completely unnecessary and was a major turn-off point for me in the novel.

Potential TW: student-teacher relationship I also struggled HARD with the student-teacher relationship. We’re told almost right away there’s a guy Mattie is friends with named Liam. We get the sense that this is a normal teenage friendship, if a lightly flirty one. Then Mattie drops the bomb that Liam isn’t her friend. He’s her teacher. Her almost 50-year-old teacher. I tried to see if their interaction was more mentorship than I’d originally thought based on the language but . . . it wasn’t inappropriate or anything (not when I stopped reading anyway. I can’t say anything past that) it just didn’t feel like a student-teacher relationship should. Something about it gave me a weird vibe. I think part of it had to do with the way he talked and behaved. He was more like a teenage boy than an adult or a teacher.

Which leads me to Will. Will is the actual teenage boy of the novel. Only, he reads more like an old man than a teenager. Or, if he does read like a teenager, it’s no teenager from this generation. The guy doesn’t talk like any teenager I’ve ever met. Maybe you know teenage boys who “dig” things or call women “gals” and people “cats” but I don’t. I don’t know a single person who talks like that. And maybe that’s just me but it made me think the writer didn’t know how to capture the voice of a teenager. Which I know makes no sense considering how I said Liam sounded like a teenager, but it’s the impression I got.

Other than these things I didn’t get much of an idea what Will was all about. I couldn’t get past the way he was written. It was after reading one of the chapters from his POV that I finally put the book down. I couldn’t connect with Mattie, and I sure as hell couldn’t connect with Will, so I was done.

The other issue I had was the pacing. After waxing on about the characters I’ll keep this part brief, but it’s not like I have much to say on the subject anyway. It was slow. The beginning was just too slow. It took far too long to get to the point. If I had picked this up to sample in a bookstore or at the library, I would’ve put it down again without a backwards glance. It needed to get into things sooner, and that’s all there is to it.

So, aside from this and some random throwaway comments that don’t seem necessary (“My moms feminist leanings” okay but instead of trying to tell us that then making it ‘boys do yard work, girls stay inside’ maybe show it to us because it reads as pointless and ingenuine at the moment)(mini rant over) there weren’t a bunch of issues with the book. The ones there were just happened to be too much for me.

 

I gave this book two stars. If you’ve read it or plan to and want to talk about it talk to me on twitter or in the comments! Let’s be friends!

Okay I’m off of work today and have approximately 5,000 words to write before the day is out (I’m ambitious okay?). Byeeeeeeeeeee!

Kailey

Some Pride Books for Your TBR

HAPPY PRIDE MONTH!

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Ah, I love June. June is a great month. Even if it’s been cloudy the whole damn month. Isn’t June supposed to be sunny and fun? Where is the sun hiding? But, anyway.

Happy Pride Month to the LGBTQIA+ community. I’m deeply glad to celebrate pride this year and I hope everyone else is enjoying this important month as well.

So, since it’s Pride, I thought I’d put together a list of ten awesome books starring members of the LGBTQIA+ community that are coming out this year. Or already came out. I want to say I haven’t read all of these books yet (since some of them haven’t come out yet, I mean, that’s obvious) but they all have good reviews on goodreads and I’ve heard good things. And there are a couple I have read and . . . no spoilers but I LOVE.

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Without further ado: Ten Books You Need on Your TBR This Pride Month

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1. Ship It by Britta Lundin¬†Claire is a fangirl hired onto her favorite show’s press tour. Forest is the reason she’s there–and he’s not happy about it. And Tess? Well, Tess is the cute artist who keeps showing up who Claire can’t help but notice. Read more¬†here!

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2. Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann Alice has a perfect plan that does not involve dating–not anymore, anyway. That is, until she meets Takumi. Read more¬†here!

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3. The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde Emmy King’s life is kind of a mess with her face splashed across the tabloids and her girlfriend in jail. Good thing her band mate Alfie is there to help her pick up the pieces. Read more¬†here!

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4. Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli Leah’s friend group has started drifting apart at the worst time. On top of normal senior year stress she has a secret crush–and it’s someone she never thought she’d be crushing on. Read more here!

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5. People Like Us by Dana Mele Kay has been keeping a secret for a long time. But if she can’t figure out who killed one of her classmates it’s not going to be a secret much longer. Read more here!

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6. What If It’s Us by Adam Silvera & Becky Albertalli Told in alternating points of view, Ben and Arthur struggle throughout the course of the summer to find out if the universe really is on their side. Read more here!

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7. The Summer of Jordi Perez by Amy Spalding Abby is a private person who just nailed an internship at her local boutique. But when her co-worker/crush takes her out of the shadows and into the spotlight things go off the rails a bit. Read more here!

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8. The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats & Piracy by Mackenzi Lee Sequal to Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue following Felicity as she dodges proposals and tries to make her way across Europe to achieve her dream of becoming a doctor. Of course, getting there might prove to be a bit of a problem. Read more here!

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9. All Out by Saundra Mitchell An anthology spanning across different time periods and genres. Featuring stories from 17 authors across the LGBTQIA+ community this anthology gives readers stories of queer characters shaping the world around them. Read more here!

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10. Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro Moss has been dealing with his anger for years over the shooting of his father by an Oakland police officer. Now that he and his classmates are getting treated more like criminals than students, the anger is piling up. But when tragedy hits he starts to realize anger doesn’t have to be a curse. Read more here!

This is so far from a complete list it’s kinda ridiculous . . . but it is a good start for releases this year I think. If there’s any I missed or any books you’re SUPER excited about that I didn’t put on this list feel free to leave them in the comments! My TBR is a mile high right now but I am always looking for new books to add onto it.

ALSO!! Here are a few other lists I’ve seen floating around my twitter feed (do you see how I linked twitter there? you should totally click it)(and follow me)(come be my friend).

Epic Reads

Penguin

Tor

Alright I’ve got some reading to get back to. Happy Pride Month (again!!).

Kailey

The Art of French Kissing – Review

Hello all!

I hope you’re having a wonderful June. I know mine is going better than expected (yay). I thought I’d start off the month with something I hadn’t done in a while: a book review!

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I feel this gif most accurately represents me (Monica) right now. I do hope you all aren’t feeling like Chandler once you read the review. Or any of my posts. But moving on . . .

Today I’ll be reviewing a copy of The Art of French Kissing by Brianna Shrum. I had the pleasure of getting an advanced copy of this book off of Edelweiss and binge-read the entire thing today. Before I get into my feelings on the book, let’s take a look at the description.

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From Amazon:

“Seventeen-year-old Carter Lane has wanted to be a chef since she was old enough to ignore her mom‚Äôs warnings to stay away from the hot stove. And now she has the chance of a lifetime: a prestigious scholarship competition in Savannah, where students compete all summer in¬†Chopped¬†style challenges for a full-ride to one of the best culinary schools in the country. The only impossible challenge ingredient in her basket: Reid Yamada.

After Reid, her cute but unbearably cocky opponent, goes out of his way to screw her over on day one, Carter vows revenge, and soon they are involved in a full-fledged culinary war. Just as the tension between them reaches its boiling point, Carter and Reid are forced to work together if they want to win, and Carter begins to wonder if Reid‚Äôs constant presence in her brain is about more than rivalry. And if maybe her desire to smack his mouth doesn‚Äôt necessarily cancel out her desire to kiss it.”

One of the first things I noticed about the book was, quite obviously, the cover. And let me just say something here really quick: I adore this cover. I thought it was adorable and (without spoilers) it has a little something to do with an important moment in the novel as well, so props for tying it in so sneakily and cutely.

Next thing was the premise. I, like many people I know, greatly enjoy Food Network and Cooking Channel shows. I love the competition shows. I think a lot of people have a love, or at the very least tolerance but I like to think love, for shows like Chopped, Cake Wars, Worst Cooks in America . . . you get the idea. And, while the premise isn’t exactly a teen cooking competition SHOW, it is still a teen cooking competition that promises to have plenty of drama and excitement. Plus, the whole thing revolves around food. Who doesn’t like food?

But going back to that drama. There is plenty of it, believe me. All the delicious drama–almost as delicious as the food they’re making sounded. Seriously, I got so hungry reading this. My suggestion is have a snack handy. The story itself though kept me reading. I wouldn’t exactly call it something I had to read cover to cover, because I think I would’ve had no problem putting it down and returning to it a couple times. But it’s a very quick read, and part of that is because it’s good. Sure, there were a few issues I had with particular description and wording in a few places, but again, I had an e-ARC. The (tiny, so very, very tiny as to be basically microscopic) issues I had with some of the wording were probably cleared up in the printed copies.

The plot itself is equal parts adorable, funny, and sweet. It’s a light and fluffy read I would absolutely recommend picking up this summer. Maybe even during this beautiful Pride month we’re having. There are more than a few LGBTQIA+ characters in this book, which I appreciated. I can’t speak to how accurate the representation is, as I don’t ID as the same as any of the characters as far as I know. I say this because, with the exception of one, their orientations are not explicitly stated. I know this can be an issue for some people, so please be aware that only one character’s orientation is explicitly stated to the reader.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads, the reason not being my super picky wording thing I mentioned above, but more because I felt it was a book that, while I enjoyed it greatly, I didn’t think I would’ve read it all at once under other circumstances. Despite that, I definitely recommend picking this book up when it comes out — which, FYI, is tomorrow, June 5th.

Alrighty, I’m off to read a n o t h e r book because books are awesome and I love them. I hope this review was helpful to you. If you’ve read or want to read this book, tell me in the comments! I want to know your opinions on it.

Kailey

June Releases

Hi hi hi!

I am hyper. And happy. And surrounded by books. Which is why I’m happy. As you’ve no doubt guessed from my previous post I am neck deep in background reading research at the moment. Which means lots of books hanging around my office. Even more than normal. Currently working my way through Miles Morales (it’s really good).

In between many life things going on (sadly no exaggeration I’m mega busy lately)(but at least only mega busy working in my house and at my job and not running around everywhere)(but I’m doing exciting stuff I can’t wait to see finished)¬†I am bringing you what is one of my favorite posts of the month: the monthly releases post!!

So obviously it’s time for June releases (I know, the title of the post wasn’t a dead giveaway at all) but I want to say a little something before I get into the book list for this month. As I’ve already said, this has become one of my favorite posts to write. I know I mostly stick to book reviews and writing on here, but these kinds of posts have been insanely fun for me. I love looking through lists of books coming out, reading summaries, reviews, getting excited about all the amazing stories being released that month. I know these aren’t my most popular posts and that most people don’t even really read them, but I love writing them. I love putting these together for you guys, even if the majority of people aren’t really looking at them. If you are though, thanks. I hope you find a book or two to look at this month from this list.

And now, to the list!

Save the Date by Morgan Matson Charlie’s sister is getting married this weekend and she can’t wait. It’s the last time the whole family will be together before the house is sold and they’re all split up again. Except the weekend? Yeah, it’s an epic disaster. And amidst all of the chaos and things going wrong and the brother who didn’t tell her he was bringing home a girl she’s got to deal with the wedding planner’s nephew who is, surprisingly, kinda cute. Over the course of the next three days Charlie is going to realize exactly what her future has in store–and maybe let go of the past in the process. YA contemporary. Release Date: June 5th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

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A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir As this is part of a series I won’t say anything in order to avoid spoilers. But I WILL say that Sabaa Tahir is fabulous and you should all read her because she’s awesome and so is this YA fantasy series. Release Date: June 12th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

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A Thousand Beginnings and Endings by Ellen Oh An anthology of YA fantasy short stories by fifteen acclaimed authors. Fifteen retellings of South and East Asian folklore and mythology. The writers contributing to this anthology are Renee Ahdieh, Sona Charaipotra, Preeti Chhibber, Roshani Chokshi, Aliette de Bodard, Melissa de la Cruz, Julie Kagawa, Rahul Kanakia, Lori M. Lee, E. C. Myers, Cindy Pon, Aisha Saeed, Shveta Thakrar, and Alyssa Wong. Release Date: June 26th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

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Bruja Born by Zoraida C√≥rdova Again as this is a sequel I won’t provide details in order to avoid spoilers. However, I will say that the Brooklyn Brujas books have an average four star rating and a multitude of good reviews. Not to mention¬†C√≥rdova’s writing it captivating and sucks you in until the very end. Release Date: June 5th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

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Miriam Sharma Hits the Road by Sheba Karim Miriam is looking forward to spending the summer after her freshman year of college with her best friends, Ghazala and Umar. But when a picture of Ghaz shows up on a billboard in Times Square they decide it’s time for a road trip. So, the friends pile in the car and head south the New Orleans. They have plenty of adventures along the way but there are still questions lingering. It is up to the friends to stick together and find the answers they’re looking for. YA contemporary. Release Date: June 5th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

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Not the Girls You’re Looking For by Aminah Mae Safi Lulu Saad is fine. She’s totally fine. There were a few incidents–that boy almost drowning at the pool party and the minor scene during Ramadan–but she’s got it under control. Except, okay, maybe she doesn’t. And if she can’t figure out how to fix this there might be bigger things at stake than a few pissed off friends. Lulu might have to figure out just who she really wants to be. YA contemporary. Release Date: June 19th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Sooooooo you might notice that this list is shorter than in months past. That’s because since it’s pride month there will be an extra list coming your way soon! This won’t be specifically June releases, but it’s a list I’m looking forward to making nonetheless.

Let me know what books you’re looking forward to coming out this month in the comments!

Kailey

May Releases

Hello my wonderful people! How are you all today?

It’s finally here. May. The month of freedom (for me anyway). I know I didn’t post really at all in April, and part of that is because I literally had no time to. I spent most of April applying for jobs and putting together final papers, projects, portfolios . . . you get the idea. All of this in preparation for the terrifying thing known as my college graduation. Yep. Your local book nerd is graduating college this month. In about a week and a half, to be exact. So, last month I had an actual excuse for why there were no reviews or writing content. NO MORE THOUGH! I am about to be a real-life adult. I have to do real-life adult things. Like try to keep a regular posting schedule. Hopefully. I actually have a review about ready to post and another one that’ll be ready soon. Also, I swear I’ll get back to talking about writing soon. I have an entire post planned about my creative writing capstone experience. So, keep an eye out for those!

ANYWAY my monthly excuses over with, let’s get down to the fun part of this post. It’s time for . . .

MAY BOOK RELEASES!!

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ALL THE BOOKS THIS MONTH! This post is going to be full of excitement releases because I’m just so in love with so many of these releases. It’s going to be a super exciting time for me. My TBR is already ridiculously long so this month is going to not only break the bank but also add to the ever-growing list.

But enough of my rambling (though you’re probably used to it by now tbh) LET’S GET TO THE BOOKS!

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas It’s Feyre’s first Winter Solstice as a High Lady, and she’s got to navigate all of that comes with it. While rebuilding the Night Court after the events of A Court of Wings and Ruin, it’s nice to have a break, even when it comes with High Lady duties. But that break gets interrupted when she realizes some of her friends’ traumas aren’t as far gone as she once thought. And the scars they leave behind might affect more than just their circle. A YA Fantasy bridging the ACOTAR trilogy and the coming novels. Release Date: May 1st (already out!). About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

From Twinkle, with Love by Sandhya Menon A YA contemporary following Twinkle, an aspiring filmmaker who has the chance to showcase her work at the Summer Festival. The twist? She’s working with Sahil, aka her long-time crush Neil’s twin brother. While working with Sahil on their film, Twinkle begins to get messages from a mysterious “N” who she is sure is Neil. The problem is, working with Sahil has her questioning her feelings for him now as well. Twinkle doesn’t know what to do. This certainly isn’t the romance she planned out. But does that mean it’s not worth it? Release Date: May 22nd. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Furyborn by Claire Legrand A YA fantasy following two girls a thousand years apart. When her best friend, the crown prince, is attacked by assassins, Rielle must reveal that she is one of the prophesied queens: one who will bring light to her kingdom and another who will bring destruction. She now must go through seven trials to prove she’s the Sun Queen. A thousand years later, Eliana has dismissed the story of Queen Rielle as a legend. She’s more concerned about her bounty-hunting duties. That is, until her mother goes missing. Now she must join a war a thousand years in the making in order to find her. Release Date: May 22nd. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Royals by Rachel Hawkins Daisy Winters is pretty normal. She has a part-time job at a sort-of Wal-Mart, bright red hair that stands out in the Florida sunshine, and an older sister who’s kind of perfect. But when that sister gets engaged to the crown prince of Scotland, Daisy’s forced to learn all about what it means to be famous. Luckily, she has a great teacher to help her become a proper lady: Miles, the prince’s younger brother. Too bad scandal follows Miles like a puppy and becoming a lady is the last thing Daisy wants. YA contemporary.¬†Release Date: May 1st (already out!). About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde After a major scandal lands rockstar drummer Emmy King on the front page of the tabloids, and her girlfriend in jail, it’s decided she needs to scale back on the drama a bit. Good thing she has a great support system in her bandmates–especially the gorgeous Alfie. Emmy knows that hooking up with Alfie is the last thing she needs right now, but they just can’t seem to stay away from one another. This could be another trending scandal waiting to happen. Or, it could be just the thing that lets her stand on her own. YA Contemporary. Release Date: May 22nd. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson This YA fantasy(/mystery) follows Mila and her best friend Riley as they engage in one of the few activities available in the small town of Cross Creek: amateur witchcraft. But when Riley dies along with two students from Fairmont Academy under suspicious circumstances, Mila wants to get to the bottom of it. So, she brings the girls back to life to prove they were murdered. She has seven days to get them to point out the killer. The problem? They don’t remember anything, and they’ve all got their own agendas. Now Mila has to try and keep them in line while getting them to remember, before the killer can strike again. Release Date: May 8th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma Winnie knows that she’s going to fall in love before her 18th birthday. It was predicted for her, and her boyfriend Raj checks all the boxes. So when she comes home from film camp to find him cheating on her and he takes the coveted spot as chair of the student film festival, Winnie is not happy. Enter Dev. Dev shares her love of Bollywood films and makes her question if she should look past the life set out for her. But being with Dev might mean giving up the love her horoscope promised she was destined to have. Is it worth it? YA Contemporary.¬†Release Date: May 15th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Ship It by Britta Lundin A whirlwind YA contemporary about fandom and love. Claire is a fanfic writer obsessed with the show Demon Heart. Forest is an actor on Demon Heart. When the two meet in a Comic Con panel, disaster ensues after Claire suggests that Forest’s character might be gay. He shuts that idea down way too fast, and when the Q&A goes viral, the Demon Heart producers are facing a PR nightmare. To solve it, they hire Claire to help for the rest of the publicity tour. What follows is a series of events that lead Forest to question what he knows about sexuality, a lot of fan clashes, and a budding romance between Claire and Tess, the cute fanartist she keeps seeing around. Release Date: May 1st (already out!). About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Girl Made of Stars by Ashely Herring Blake When Mara’s best friend Hannah accuses her twin brother Owen of rape, all of their worlds turn upside down. Mara and Owen are as close as siblings can get, and she’s having a hard time believing this. But, at the same time, she knows Hannah wouldn’t lie about something this serious. Now Mara is caught between two people she loves, and forced to face her own past demons with her ex-boyfriend Charlie. Shaken to the core and struggling with this new knowledge, Mara, Hannah, and Charlie must figure out how to move on in this new world. YA contemporary.¬†Release Date: May 15th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne Stella wants out. She’s sick of the spaceship she’s lived in her whole life, but with Earth encased in ice for the past two hundred years, there aren’t many other places to go. Then she gets offered a job as a governess on a private ship, the Rochester. There she meets Hugo, the moody captain of the ship. He’s known for being a reclusive drunk, but he’s nice to Stella. But the Rochester isn’t all that it seems. Stella is sure someone is plotting against Hugo, and if she can’t figure out who soon the entire fleet might be in danger. Release Date: May 1st (already out!). About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green A YA fantasy following four teens as their fates collide. Princess Catherine of Brigant is preparing for her arranged marriage. March from Calidor seeks revenge against the prince who betrayed his country. Edyon in Piroria travels from town to town, stealing what he can. And in the northern territories Tash runs for her life from demon hunter Gravell. When war comes and magic rises, the four of them find themselves linked to save their world from destruction. Release Date: May 1st (already out!). About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

 

It Ends With Her by Brianna Labuskes FBI Agent Clarke Sinclair has been tracking serial-killer Simon Cross for years. He always takes redheads. He always waits until she’s found the previous victim to snatch a new one. It’s frustrating, to say the least, but she knows the pattern. Until he breaks it. Now, a second girl has gone missing before she’s found the first. And worse? This one is blonde. The pattern is broken and Clarke doesn’t know how to find these women before it’s too late. One thing has become clear though: this new game Cross is playing? It ends with Clarke. Mystery/Thriller (please note this is not a YA. It is an adult mystery/thriller novel). Release Date: May 1st (already out!). About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon

The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar Two girls, eight hundred years apart, both seeking understanding and meaning of home. In 2011, Nour lost her father to cancer. Her mother then moved their family back to Syria to be closer to their family. But when their house gets shelled and Nour almost dies, they have to make a choice: flee across several countries as refugees or stay in a potentially volatile and dangerous place. Meanwhile, eight hundred years before Rawiya sets off to find herself. Disguised as a boy named Rami and in the employ of cartographer al-Idrisi she travels across the Middle East and North Africa, exploring the world and discovering the meaning of home along the way. Historical Fiction. Release Date: May 1st (already out!). About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro Moss’s father was killed six years ago by an Oakland police officer, and the media did nothing but attack him. Now a high school sophomore with frequent panic attacks, Moss and his friends are being treated more and more like criminals in their own school. When they decide to push back and do something about it, disaster strikes. This leaves Moss with a decision to make: give in to the fear and hatred or accept that maybe his anger was the gift he’s been looking for. YA contemporary. Release Date: May 22nd. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson It’s weird enough when Claudia’s best friend Monday doesn’t show up for their first day of school. When she’s still not there by the time the second week rolls around, Claudia starts to dig for answers. But Monday’s mother is being strangely cryptic about her daughter’s disappearance, not giving her any answers. Her sister April is even less helpful. And the deeper Claudia digs, the more disturbing the clues are. No one can seem to remember the last time they saw Monday. It’s like she’s disappeared without a trace. Will Claudia be able to find out what happened? YA mystery/thriller. Release Date: May 22nd. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over by Shani Petroff Sari and Zev’s Florida vacation is ruined when when she finds him cheating on her. Now, all she wants to do is get back home to New York. Unfortunately for her there are major storms all over the Northeast. So her flight? Good and cancelled. Thankfully a hot NYU student is there to save the day. When he offers her a seat on a connecting fight through Boston, she jumps at the chance. But her mom is not keen on the idea of her travelling alone, so Zev has to take the flight, too. Trapped on a plane with a hot guy and the one who broke her heart. What could go wrong? YA contemporary romance. Release Date: May 15th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West A YA contemporary romance following Kate, who would really rather spend her summer chilling alone on the lake than talking to other people. So, when she’s convinced to join the school’s podcast by her best friend, it comes as a surprise to everyone that she’s chosen to be the host. Even more so when she proves to be good at it. And when an anonymous caller she’s pretty sure is her best friend’s crush Diego asks how to talk to a girl, she’s more than happy to play matchmaker. That is, until she starts getting feelings for Diego herself. Release Date: May 29th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

The Academy by Katie Sise Frankie is primed and ready to become the next greatest fashion editor. She’s already got the famous fashion blog, so that’s half the battle, right? All she needs to go is get into the famed American Fashion Academy. But when her schoolwork gets put on the back burner her parents decide it’s time for a new plan. Military school here she comes. Now she’s dealing with even harder classes, War Games she has no idea how to participate in, and people she has no idea how to relate to. Can fashion-lover Frankie survive in the elite–and terrifying–Academy? YA contemporary. Release Date: May 22nd. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

War Storm by Victoria Aveyard BOOK FOUR IN THE RED QUEEN SERIES. In order to avoid potential spoilers for previous books I will not be putting a description here. HOWEVER I do recommend reading these books and War Storm is the conclusion to a fabulous series. Description found in Goodreads link. YA Fantasy. Release Date: May 15th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo Clara loves all thinks pranks and mischief. But when she takes a joke too far her dad thinks it’s time for her to get serious. How? She’s going to spend her summer working in his food KoBra alongside her annoying classmate Rose. But maybe it won’t be so bad. Rose is actually kind of cool, and the boy Hamlet who’s crushing on Clara is pretty cute. Maybe things won’t be so bad. But what if getting serious means leaving her former self behind? Release Date: May 8th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

TWENTY. BOOKS. Twenty books on this list. I know it’s a lot, but aren’t you so excited to see all these awesome books coming out this month? It’s gonna be such a good month for the TBR. Terrible for the bank account, but still.

I get that I don’t usually recommend anything but YA, but as you can see, there are some awesome adult novels coming out (or already out) this month as well. So definitely check those out if you’ve got a chance. Did I list any books you’re excited for? What about books I missed? Tell me all about the books you’re excited to read on Twitter or in the comments!

Alright, I’m out of here. I’ve finally got ten seconds to read and I have a stack of books that’s been piling up since January. Expect to hear me gush about them very soon.

Bye!!

Kailey