January 2018 Wrap-Up

Can’t believe the first month of 2018 is already over! Today I’ll be sharing my first Monthly Wrap-Up of 2018~ 

# Of Books Read: 9

Anchors & Vacancies by Kat Savage1.Anchors & Vacancies by Kat Savage

Owned | Read/Finished on January 1 | Rating: ★★★★☆ |Anchors & Vacancies Full Review

Overall Thoughts: Now pretty much a yearly tradition for me, I try to start off the new year by reading a poetry book, for 2018 I decided to read Anchors & Vacancies by Kat Savage!

This book contains 45 poems centering around the journey of a love lost and how that loss can impact a person when its difficult to let go.

This quote really stuck with me throughout the entire book:

“There’s a certain kind of ache in the chambers of my heart…”

While I really understood the complex emotions + journey Savage portrayed in the collection, on a personal level (aside from a few) many didn’t really connect with me (hence the 4 stars). However, I loved her writing-style and plan to read more of her poetry in the future.

The Arsonist by Stephanie Oakes2. The Arsonist by Stephanie Oakes

Library | Started December 23 + Finished on January 4 | Rating: ★★★★☆ |The Arsonist Full Review

Overall Thoughts: Told through 3 unique POV’s, The Arsonist brilliantly weaves coming-of-age, historical fiction, & Mystery/Thriller all in one! This novel follows Molly Mavity + Ibrahim, aka, “Pepper” Al-Yussef who’s paths cross when a mysterious letter brings them together to solve the mystery of Ava Dreyman, who was a resistance fighter during the time of the Berlin Wall. The friendship between Pepper + Molly was so beautifully written and you really see how lonely they feel, but the bond of their friendship reminds them that they aren’t alone & I loved that! There’s so much complexity + mystery that really makes this book surprising. I suppose my only issue was that compared to Oakes debut The Sacred Lies Of Minnow Bly (Which I loved), the writing for The Arsonist felt rather flat and certain aspects from side-character development to setting description, etc. fell a bit short. Aside from that, The Arsonist is a compelling story that weaves in so many differing genres/themes that I highly recommend it if your looking for a unique read!

Beneath The Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire3.Beneath The Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire (Wayward Children #3)

ARC | Started January 7 + Finished on January 8 | Rating: ★★★★☆ ½ |Beneath The Sugar Sky Full ARC Review

Overall Thoughts: Beneath The Sugar Sky was easily my favorite book of the Wayward Children series so far! The descriptive and whimsical writing really showed McGuire’s growth as an author with this series. When Rini finds herself Eleanor West’s Home For Wayward Children characters, both new & returning, join Rini on her quest to the peculiar world of Confection, to bring back an old friend. Kade & Christopher are easily my favorite characters of the entire series & not only did this book remind me of that, but their banter + friendship easily made this book one of my favorites! Filled with adventure, a dynamic + diverse cast of characters, magic & mystery, Beneath The Sugar Sky is a fantastic continuation to the Wayward Children Series!

A Taxonomy Of Love by Rachael Allen4.A Taxonomy Of Love by Rachael Allen

ARC | Started January 5 + Finished on January 13 | Rating: ★★★☆☆ ½ |A Taxonomy Of Love ARC Review

Overall Thoughts: The unique format & expansive timeline, made A Taxonomy Of Love a pretty unique YA Contemporary. We follow Spencer from 13-19 as he navigates life + his friendship with his new neighbor Hope Birdsong. Allen really developed the main character Spencer, while bringing so much progression & growth to his character that you can really see by the end of the novel. Throughout the story, Spencer + Hope begin to drift apart when Hope suffers an important loss in her family. Your left wondering if they’ll ever reconnect, while also seeing where their own paths are leading them. I felt however, with the constant jumps in the timeline, characters + story points had uneven development, going from extremely fast + rushed pacing to uneventful & slow moments. That made it difficult to really connect with any of the other characters, aside from a few main ones (hence the 3.5). However, Allen did a fantastic job at weaving in so many themes + developing the atmosphere of her contemporary story over such an expansive timeline!

Love Hate And Other Filters Samira Ahmed5.Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

ARC | Started January 15 + Finished on January 19 | Rating: ★★★★☆ |Love, Hate & Other Filters ARC Review

Overall Thoughts: Love, Hate & Other Filters tackles such a relevant + timely issue while also balancing heart-warming moments and chilling/honest ones too! I loved Maya so much, from her passion to follow her dreams of becoming a film director to the strength and courage she builds over the course of the novel. There was one important moment I found that pretty much put the entirety of the novel into focus and that was the importance of Maya’s camera. I found it represented not only a shield for Maya, but also thinking broadly how people tend to view each other lenses (or filters!). Throughout the novel we follow Maya Aziz and her journey to not only understand who she wants to become, but seeing her inspirational journey to follow her dreams and tackle whatever life throws her way!

Fence Issue 1 by C.S. Pacat + Johannah The Mad6.Fence #1 by C.S. Pacat + Johanna The Mad + Joana Lafuente

Owned| Read/Finished On January 20 | Rating: ★★★★☆ ½Fence Issue #1 Full Review

Overall Thoughts: 16-year old Nicholas Cox has the heart, but not exactly skill, for fencing. He’s worked from the basics and is eager to win the local tournament (Connecticut Regionals). The win from this competition could earn him a spot into a top school and allow him to receive a scholarship & continue with fencing if he is serious about pursuing it. His competition is none other than  Seiji Katayama, fencing prodigy. This first issue introduces so much from Nicholas’s past to his passion for fencing & the mysterious fencing prodigy. There is so much great development, action and dialogue that will keep you hooked! Its a brilliant start to a new comic series! (Honestly, there’s tons more I discuss in my full reviews that I can’t fully explain in this wrap-up, but I HIGHLY recommend checking out Fence 💙✨🤺)

Fence Issue 2 by C.S. Pacat + Johannah The Mad7.Fence #2 by C.S. Pacat + Johanna The Mad + Joana Lafuente

Owned| Read/Finished On January 20 | Rating: ★★★★☆ ½ Fence Issue #2 Full Review

Overall Thoughts: Fence #2 is very much build-up to Nicholas & Seiji’s dynamic when they begin at King’s Row and introduction to new characters on the fencing team. We definitely see the stakes set for not only the team, but Nicholas too (considering we learn there are a limited # of spots for the main team + upcoming championships). Both Issue #1 & #2 introduce characters of color + trans rep. & it does hint at gay rep.! The tension really builds in this issue and similar to Issue #1, will keep you hooked!

Fence Issue 3 by C.S. Pacat + Johannah The Mad8.Fence #3 by C.S. Pacat + Johanna The Mad + Joana Lafuente

Owned| Read/Finished On January 20 | Rating: ★★★★☆ ½Fence Issue #2 Full Review

Overall Thoughts: Fence #3 is easily my favorite issue in the series so far! There is much more character development/background + is a very plot-driven continuation! This issue very much follows Nicholas & not only his daily campus life on King’s Row, but his determination to prove himself before his first match against a classmate. The characters from Issue #2 are getting better developed as is the gay rep. The perfect pacing, development for plotting, characters, and slight twists + turns make Issue #3, such a brilliant addition to the Fence series!

Love Sugar Magic-A Dash Of Trouble by Anna Meriano9.Love Sugar Magic: A Dash Of Trouble by Anna Meriano (W/ Cover art by Mirelle Ortega)

Library | Started January 25 + Finished January 27 | Rating:★★★★★  | Love Sugar Magic: A Dash Of Trouble Full Review

Overall Thoughts: Easily one of the best middle-grade novels I have ever read! Themes of family and friendship, alongside a delightful writing that delivers a sweet and magical tale, Love Sugar Magic was a truly unforgettable read! The story follows Leo Logroño and she comes from a family of bakers, they run the Amor y Azúcar Panadería. She’s always felt left out of the family business + feels her mother + sisters are hiding something, so a day before the Día de los Muertos festival, she sneaks her way into the bakery to see what really goes on (she soon discovers she comes from a family of brujas, who use their powers within the bakery + their treats). Now that her oldest sister Isabel knows, Leo begins to use the powers within her & experiments with the special family recipe book. However as Leo begins to lie about using her abilities to the rest of her family, she soon gets into trouble & must make very important decisions. The magic system is one of my favorite aspects about this novel, it really builds and you see how unique it is for each member of Leo’s family. The plot is perfectly developed, the writing is beautiful, the characters are spectacular, & so much more!! Such a fantastic novel, I highly recommend it!

Additional Posts From This Month:

Latinx YA Book Releases To Add To Your TBR {2018}

What Books Did You Read This Month? 😄✨📚

You may have noticed, I never posted one for December. Well, that was mainly because of vacation, but also because as the months passed nearing the end of 2017 when making my monthly wrap-ups, I noticed that I began to lose my enjoyment for making/posting them because I felt like I had to (being a pretty common post in the book-community). While I do enjoy them I felt it was time to change up the review format a bit to add more to make a bit more personal (adding the format of the book + when I started/finished). And I think doing that really brought back my enjoyment for them~

So similar to this one, I may be trying out this new format for the upcoming monthly wrap-ups, but again I’m really liking how this one turned out! 😄✨📚📚💻~ But, feel free to let me know what you think of the new format in the comments!

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Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed ARC Review

Love Hate And Other Filters Samira AhmedLove, Hate & Other & Filters by Samira Ahmed

Publisher: Amulet Books Soho Teen

Release Date: January 9, 2017

Pages: 288

Summary:American-born seventeen-year-old Maya Aziz is torn between worlds. There’s the proper one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter: attending a college close to their suburban Chicago home, and being paired off with an older Muslim boy her mom deems “suitable.” And then there is the world of her dreams: going to film school and living in New York City—and maybe (just maybe) pursuing a boy she’s known from afar since grade school, a boy who’s finally falling into her orbit at school.

There’s also the real world, beyond Maya’s control. In the aftermath of a horrific crime perpetrated hundreds of miles away, her life is turned upside down. The community she’s known since birth becomes unrecognizable; neighbors and classmates alike are consumed with fear, bigotry, and hatred. Ultimately, Maya must find the strength within to determine where she truly belongs.

*Received an ARC of Love, Hate, & Other Filters through a giveaway*

My Rating:★★★★☆

My Thoughts: Love, Hate & Other Filters is a heartfelt debut that discusses topics both relevant + timely today. While tackling such a number of important issues, Ahmed balances chilling, heart-warming +honest tones perfectly. Readers will fall in love with Maya and her empowering tale to follow her dreams and tackle the obstacles that life throws her way!

To start I loved Maya so much! She was just such an inspiring + delightful main character! Maya Aziz is an aspiring filmmaker and against her parents expectations, hopes to get into NYU & study film.

Not only does this novel surround Maya and her dedication to pursue her dreams, with some romance along the way, but it also discusses and tackles Islamophobia and how an event far from her, impacts her in her small Illinois town.

Aside from the wonderful protagonist Maya, we are also introduced to Maya’s parents (Dr./Dr. Aziz) who, with their hearts in the right place, are set on Maya finding a suitable partner and attending a university they approve of.

However, Maya builds the courage and strength to tell her parents just how passionate she is for the dream they see as a “hobby.” Her determination + strength the follow a dream she follows with such heart was so inspiring + I was rooting for her every step of the way! (+ Loved the film references sprinkled throughout the story!) 

There’s also her dedicated best friend Violet and Maya’s aunt Hina who (w/ out Maya’s parents knowledge) knows about her dream to get to NYU & is supportive of Maya 100%.

Then there’s Kareem who is the college guy that Maya’s parents approve of. He was such a great character! While we see Maya’s relationship grow with him, we also see how they are willing to see eye-to-eye on the development on their relationship + the above all, wonderful friendship dynamic they have with each other! I loved their scenes together, they had such great chemistry & although their relationship doesn’t work out, Kareem makes it clear he will always be a supportive friend to Maya no matter what!

And then there’s Phil, the guy at her high school that Maya has had a crush on for years. They too also begin to develop a relationship (although a bit fast-paced).
Both Kareem & Phil were supportive of Maya every step of the way and above all were just such kind and wonderfully-developed male leads! Ahmed just delivers the romance of her story in such a unique way that just surprised me and I loved how it was developed.

While Love, Hate, And Other Filters builds as a relatable YA Contemporary with some friendship, romance, family dynamics, common stresses & anxieties of college/university, and themes of independence, around 50% of the way through the novel does a complete 180 when Maya is soon confronted with Islamaphobia in her small town.

When news of a terrorist attack reaches Maya’s home and the person suspected shares her last name Aziz, Maya stays strong as a guy at her high school shows hatred towards her and her parents clinic is damaged in a cruel act of hatred. My heart broke for the terrible things her + her family were faced with.

When her parents fears cause them to re-consider her acceptance to NYU, Maya must continue to gather the strength and confidence to stand by her dream.

Throughout the novel we are shown that the camera is very much like Maya’s shield and we see how it distances her from situations. And as the novel progresses we see in general how one views a person/situation is all through a lens (or filter!) That, I felt became such an important aspect to the story and was really integrated all throughout!

I think my only minor critiques that kept it from being a full 5, were that I felt this book was marketed with such a focus on tackling Islamaphobia, that I wanted there to be more expansion on how Maya & her family tackled it + overall just more discussion on the impact such fears can have because I feel such discussions of timely issues are so important in YA!

Additionally (though I fully understand I read this as an ARC, so the FC has most likely gone through more edits) I felt there were moments in the story that went a bit too fast, so plot and character-wise where there could have been just a little bit more development. 

Aside from that, I honestly loved this book with all my heart & feel it was such a memorable read!

I cannot wait to read Ahmed’s future books & highly recommend checking out Love, Hate & Other Filters if you haven’t already!

Character-driven, cinematic, timely, and full of such heart, Ahmed’s debut is captivating! Love, Hate, & Other Filters follows inspiring Maya Aziz as she tackles with understanding who she wants to be and the heart-breaking + heavy issues she encounters in her small town!

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera Review

history-is-all-you-left-me-by-adam-silveraHistory Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Publisher: Soho Teen

Release Date: January 17, 2017

Pages: 294

Summary: When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.

If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

My Thoughts: Silvera delivers a gem of a story where the reader follows Griffin on a journey of love, loss, acceptance and friendship!

Definitely a character-driven story, we are introduced to Griffin who comes to terms with the death of his best friend and first love, Theo McIntyre, as he recounts and weaves together the history he had with him.

From page 1 Silvera shows this is not just a story, but Griffin’s story! This novel is told through Past/Present narrative and I’m usually hesitant about that particular style, however Silvera brought aspects into both that made them flow well with the overall story, while also weaving differing emotion and unique tone into each which made the story even more memorable!

The tone of this novel, while sad does have its positive moments and shows these characters face grief over the loss of Theo, but find themselves recollecting on their past with Theo and finding the courage to move on.

Silvera brings in great representation through his discussions on Mental Illness (OCD)! It is such an integral part of Griffin as a character, but also it was wonderful to see how accepting his friends and family were about his OCD, by supporting him even if there were times he struggled with it.

The best aspects of this novel was Griffin as a character + the writing! He is such a wonderfully developed character and by the time I finished he truly felt like more than just a character! I was able to sympathize with him and overall be a part of his journey to reminisce on Theo, find the strength to move on and accept what occurred.

You really see Griffin grow over the course of this story and come to learn more about not only Theo, but himself too and it was great being a part of that journey!

As for the other main characters like Jackson and Wade, while I did feel Jackson was the more developed between the two, overall both truly came to life on the page through Theo’s POV.

Through the “History” POV, we come to learn how Theo &Griffin’s relationship started, what first love was like for them and see just how how strong their friendship was (not only  just the 2 of them, but w/ Wade too!), which really sets the tone for the entire story.

Griffin unravels the events of how Theo not only died, but how their relationship started and ended through different circumstances.

We get introduced to Jackson, Theo’s new boyfriend, when he moved to the west coast for college. Griffin has his own perception of Jackson, but over the course of the story comes to accept that they had history too and while Griffin’s+Theo’s didn’t last and he’s still grieving, that doesn’t mean he’s the only one.

This novel really focuses on the relationships (friend, romantic, etc) we have with people and how the history and memories we create with them are both unique and special even as time goes on and those same people begin to change.

However I did have a few cons.

– I did feel the pacing was a little slow in some parts, but overall it never felt like it was dragging which was a plus!
-I wont spoil it, but there is a plot point that gets revealed closer to the end of the novel which I felt could have used a little more development.

Regardless of those minor issues…

Overall Silvera delivers a story with memorable characters, spectacular writing, and messages of friendship, honesty, love and loss which will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page.

Diverse 2017 YA Books To Add To Your TBR {Winter}

Today I’m happy to share with you a list of Diverse 2017 YA Books coming out during the Winter months that I’m not only looking forward to, but ones that you should definitely add to your TBR!

Going into 2017, its important we continue to support our diverse authors/books!

YA Books recommended in these seasonal posts will be ones that feature:

~POC Authors/Characters + ~LGBTQ+ Characters +~#OWNVoices ,etc.

I will categorize books both in alphabetical order + by genre (Note: Dates are subject to change)

What Diverse 2017 books are you looking forward to? Any I missed? Let’s Discuss In The Comments Below 🙂

Contemporary 

allegedly-by-tiffany-d-jackson1.Allegedly by Tiffanie D. Jackson

Release Date: January 24, 2017

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Summary: Mary B. Addison killed a baby.

Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: A white baby had died while under the care of a church-going black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it? She wouldn’t say.

Mary survived six years in baby jail before being dumped in a group home. The house isn’t really “home”—no place where you fear for your life can be considered a home. Home is Ted, who she meets on assignment at a nursing home.

There wasn’t a point to setting the record straight before, but now she’s got Ted—and their unborn child—to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary must find the voice to fight her past. And her fate lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But who really knows the real Mary?

american-street-by-ibi-zoboi2.American Street by Ibi Zoboi

Release Date: February 14, 2017

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Summary: On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life.

But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own.

Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?

because-of-the-sun-by-jenny-torres-sanchez2.Because Of The Sun by Jenny Torres Sanchez 

Release Date: January 3, 2017

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Summary: From the backyards of suburban Florida to the parched desert of New Mexico, Because of the Sun explores the complexity of family, the saving grace of friendship, and the healing that can begin when the truth is brought to light.

Dani Falls learned to tolerate her existence in suburban Florida with her brash and seemingly unloving mother by embracing the philosophy Why care? It will only hurt. So when her mother is killed in a sudden and violent manner, Dani goes into an even deeper protection mode, total numbness. It’s the only way she can go on.

But when Dani chooses The Stranger by Albert Camus as summer reading for school, it feels like fate. The main character’s alienation after his mother’s death mirrors her own.

Dani’s life is thrown into further turmoil when she is sent to New Mexico to live with an aunt she never knew she had. The awkwardness between them is palpable. To escape, Dani takes long walks in the merciless heat. One day, she meets Paulo, who understands how much Dani is hurting. Although she is hesitant at first, a mutual trust and affection develop between Dani and Paulo, and Dani begins to heal. And as she and her aunt begin to connect, Dani learns about her mother’s past. Forgiving isn’t easy, but maybe it’s the only way to move forward.

city-of-saints-thieves-by-natalie-c-anderson3.City Of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson

Release Date: January 24, 2017

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Summary: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets Gone Girl in this enthralling YA murder mystery set in Kenya.

In the shadows of Sangui City, there lives a girl who doesn’t exist. After fleeing the Congo as refugees, Tina and her mother arrived in Kenya looking for the chance to build a new life and home. Her mother quickly found work as a maid for a prominent family, headed by Roland Greyhill, one of the city’s most respected business leaders. But Tina soon learns that the Greyhill fortune was made from a life of corruption and crime. So when her mother is found shot to death in Mr. Greyhill’s personal study, she knows exactly who’s behind it.

With revenge always on her mind, Tina spends the next four years surviving on the streets alone, working as a master thief for the Goondas, Sangui City’s local gang. It’s a job for the Goondas that finally brings Tina back to the Greyhill estate, giving her the chance for vengeance she’s been waiting for. But as soon as she steps inside the lavish home, she’s overtaken by the pain of old wounds and the pull of past friendships, setting into motion a dangerous cascade of events that could, at any moment, cost Tina her life. But finally uncovering the incredible truth about who killed her mother—and why—keeps her holding on in this fast-paced nail-biting thriller.

history-is-all-you-left-me-by-adam-silvera4. History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

ARC Review To Come

Release Date: January 17, 2017

Publisher: Soho Teen

Summary: When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.

If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.

the-hate-u-give-by-angie-thomas5.The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Release Date: February 28, 2017

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Summary: Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice. Movie rights have been sold to Fox, with Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games) to star.

we-are-okay-by-nina-lacour6. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

Release Date: February 24, 2017

Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers

Summary: “You go through life thinking there’s so much you need. . . . Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.”

Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

Retelling

ronit-and-jamil-by-pamela-l-laskin1.Ronit & Jamil by Pamela L. Laskin

ARC Review To Come

Release Date: February 21, 2017

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Summary: This beautiful and lyrical novel in verse delivers a fresh and captivating retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet that transports the star-crossed lovers to the modern-day Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza.

Ronit, an Israeli girl, lives on one side of the barrier fence. Jamil, a Palestinian boy, lives on the other side. Only miles apart but separated by generations of conflict—much more than just the concrete blockade between them. Their fathers, however, work in a distrusting but mutually beneficial business arrangement, a relationship that brings Ronit and Jamil together. And lightning strikes. The kind of lightning that transcends barrier fences, war, and hatred. Ronit and Jamil fall desperately into the throes of forbidden love, one that would create an irreparable rift between their families if it were discovered. But a love this big can be kept secret for only so long. Soon, the teenage lovers must face the fateful choice to save their lives or their loves, as it may not be possible to save both.

wintersong-by-s-jae-jones2.Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Release Date: February 7, 2017

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

Summary: Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

Science Fiction

Empress Of A Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza Cover Reveal 20171.Empress Of A Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

Release Date: February 7, 2017

Publisher: Razorbill

Summary: Empress 

Rhee, also known as Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta’an, is the sole surviving heir to a powerful dynasty. She’ll stop at nothing to avenge her family and claim her throne.

Fugitive
Aly has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. But when he’s falsely accused of killing Rhee, he’s forced to prove his innocence to save his reputation – and his life.

Madman
With planets on the brink of war, Rhee and Aly are thrown together to confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy.

A saga of vengeance, warfare, and the true meaning of legacy.

The Ship Beyond Time2.The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig (TGFE #2)

Release Date: February 28, 2017

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Summary: The breathtaking sequel to the acclaimed The Girl from Everywhere. Nix has escaped her past, but when the person she loves most is at risk, even the daughter of a time traveler may not be able to outrun her fate—no matter where she goes. Fans of Rae Carson, Alexandra Bracken, and Outlander will fall hard for Heidi Heilig’s sweeping fantasy.

 

2017-diverse-ya-books-tbr-winter

YA Book Recommendations For Hispanic Heritage Month

Every September 15- October 15 is Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month!

Being Latina myself, I’d love to celebrate by sharing with you a recommendation list of 12 YA Books that are written by Hispanic/Latinx authors and/or feature Hispanic/Latinx characters!

If you have additional recommendations or have read any of the books I’ve listed below, feel free to leave a comment so we can discuss! 🙂

YA-book-recommendations-For-hispanic-heritage-month-graphic

1. Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

2. Gabi, A Girl In Pieces by Isabel Quintero

3. History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

4. Hollywood Witch Hunter by Valerie Tejeda

5.Juliet Takes A Breath by Gabby Rivera

6. Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler

7. Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas #1) by Zoraida Córdova

8. More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

9. Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older

10. The Weight Of Feathers by Anne-Marie McLemore

11. Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

12. When The Moon Was Ours by Anne-Marie McLemore

Book Bytes I #3

Book Bytes is a feature I created to give quick updates in the book community such as cover reveals,  book adaptation & so much more!

The Sun Is Also A Star.jpg1.Nicola Yoon’s The Sun Is Also A Star Cover Reveal + Excerpt

On April 4th EW posted an article revealing the cover for The Sun Is Also A Star!

From the author of Everything,Everything, Nicola’s newest YA Contemporary will center around “Natasha — a devotee of science and hard facts, whose family is hours from being deported to Jamaica — and Daniel — a well-behaved star student who falls instantly under Natasha’s spell. Will they let themselves fall in love, or choose one of the millions of other paths fate may have in store?

W/ that cover reveal also came an excerpt which you can read Here.

It will be released November 1,2016!

2.Samantha Shannon Book Deal 

Also on April 4th, Samantha Shannon, author of The Bone Season, announced she sold a new fantasy book titled:

The Priory Of The Orange Tree

It will be a standalone.

You can read the summary from the press release Here.

A Shadow Bright And Burning.jpg3. A Shadow Bright And Burning Cover Reveal

On April 12, Jessica Cluess’s cover for A Shadow Bright And Burning was revealed + an excerpt which you can read Here!

This YA Fantasy will be Book 1 in the Kingdom Of Fire Series, which will be out September 2016!

Summary: Henrietta Howel can burst into flames.
Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she’s shocked when instead of being executed, she’s invited to train as one of Her Majesty’s royal sorcerers.

Thrust into the glamour of Victorian London, Henrietta is declared the chosen one, the girl who will defeat the Ancients, bloodthirsty demons terrorizing humanity. She also meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, handsome young men eager to test her power and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her.

But Henrietta Howel is not the chosen one.
As she plays a dangerous game of deception, she discovers that the sorcerers have their own secrets to protect. With battle looming, what does it mean to not be the one? And how much will she risk to save the city—and the one she loves?

4. Tales Of The Peculiar Cover Reveal 

On April 14, the cover for Ransom Riggs’s Tales Of The Peculiar was revealed on USA Today.

You can get more information about the book + read an excerpt Here!

This novel will be a “collection of fairy tales set in the same universe as Miss Peregrine’s.”

It will be released Sep. 3, 2016!

5. Caraval Cover Reveal + Excerpt

On April 15, the cover for the 2017 YA Debut Caraval by Stephanie Garber + an excerpt was revealed!

This novel is a “sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.”

Check out the Cover + Excerpt Here.

A Torch Against The Night6. A Torch Against The Night Cover Reveal

On April 18, the cover for the sequel to An Ember In The Ashes,  A Torch Against The Night was revealed!

+ Ch.1 was also released! You can read it on the EW article Here.

A Torch Against The Night is set to be released August 2016!

 

 

7. Stalking Jack The Ripper Cover + Excerpt

On April 20, the cover for Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco was revealed!

This 2016 YA Debut centers around Audrey Rose Wadsworth who is a lord’s daughter, but behind his back studies forensic science in her uncle’s lab!

It will be released September 2016!

Full article can be read Here.

8. None Of The Above TV Option 

Also on April 20, Deadline announced upcoming projects for Lifetime.

I.W. Gregorio’s None Of The Above, which centers around a girl who figures out she is intersex, was announced to already have Stephen Chbosky attached to direct!

More can be read on the Deadline article Here.

The Midnight Star Cover Reveal9.The Midnight Star Cover Reveal

On April 21, Marie Lu’s third and final book in her Young Elites Trilogy, had the cover revealed on Mashable!

The Young Elites centers around Adelina who discovers, she among others, have superpowers after a blood fever!

Full Article includes a Q&A w/ Marie about the last book!

It can be found Here.

 

 

10. The Lunar Chronicles Coloring Books

On April 22, it was announced that Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles Series would be getting a coloring book!

It is set to be released winter 2017!

Additional Info + a sneak peek can be found on the Bustle Article Here!

11. Windwitch Cover Reveal

On May 3, Susan Dennard’s sequel to Truthwitch had a cover reveal!

Revealed on EW, the article features both the cover + an excerpt!

Full article can be found Here.

Windwitch will be released January 3,2017!

12.Anna Dressed In Blood Optioned For Film

On May 3 Kendare Blake’s 2011 YA Paranormal novel was announced not only to have an actress/actor attached, but also to have a director!

Stephanie Meyer is set to direct w/ principal photography beginning in November!

Additional information can be found on the Deadline article Here!

13. History Is All You Left Me Cover Reveal

On May 9 Adam Silvera, author of More Happy Than Not, revealed the cover for his newest book!

Releasing January 2017, “OCD-afflicted Griffin has just lost his first love, Theo, in a drowning accident. In an attempt to hold onto every piece of the past, he forges a friendship with Theo’s last boyfriend, Jackson. When Jackson begins to exhibit signs of guilt, Griffin suspects he’s hiding something, and will stop at nothing to get to the truth about Theo’s death. But as the grieving pair grows closer, readers will question Griffin’s own version of the truth—both in terms of what he’s willing to hide and what true love means.”

You can see the cover  + read a Q&A w/ Adam on the Bustle article Here.

14. Flower by Shea Olsen + Elizabeth Craft Cover Reveal

On May 10 Hypable revealed the cover for this 2017 YA Release!

You can see the cover reveal Here.

+ Here is a summary: These are the things that I’ve always wanted:

To get the top grades in my class.

To make my grandmother proud.

And most of all, proof that I could succeed where the rest of my family had not: a Stanford acceptance letter, early admission.

My mother and my sister were obsessed with boys and love and sex. So obsessed that they lost sight of their futures, of whatthey wanted. And in the end, they lost everything.

I’ll never let a boy distract me. I promised my grandmother that.

But that was before Tate.

Before the biggest pop star on the planet took an interest in me.

Before private planes and secret dates and lyrics meant for me alone.

There’s so much I don’t know. Like why he left music. Where he goes when we’re not together. What dark past he’s hiding. But when we kiss, the future feels far away. And now…I’m not sure what I want.

15. Empire Of Storms Cover Reveal

On May 12, Bloomsbury revealed the cover for the 5th Throne Of Glass book:

Empire Of Storms

You can see the cover on Sarah’s Tumblr Here.

16.To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before Book 3

On May 13 Jenny Han announced there would be a 3rd and final book to her To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before titled:

Always And Forever Lara Jean

Set to be released Spring 2017!!

Blacksouls Cover17. Blacksouls Cover Reveal

On May 19 the cover to Blacksouls, the sequel to the 2016 debut by Nicole Castroman Blackhearts, was revealed on USA Today!

Check out the USA Today article Here to get a summary for book 2 and what readers can expect from the sequel!

It will be released 2017!

 

 

A Conjuring Of Light18. A Conjuring Of Light Cover Reveal

On May 23 VE Schwab revealed on twitter the cover to the 3rd and final book in her Shades Of Magic Trilogy!

This novel is set to be released February 21,2017!

You can read more about book 3 + an excerpt on the EW Article Here!

 

 

 

 

19.Between Shades Of Gray Film (Behind The Scenes)

All throughout the month of May, Ruta Sepetys, author of many spectacular YA-Historical Fiction novels, tweeted more photos from the set + locations  for the film adaptation of her novel Between Shades Of Gray!

Take The Key And Lock Her Up20. Embassy Row #3 by Ally Carter Title/Cover Reveal

On May 30, the cover/title for the third and final book in Ally Carter’s Embassy Row Series was revealed on Hypable!

Book 3 will be titled Take The Key And Lock Her Up!

This series follows Grace Blakely, granddaughter of an Ambassador, who finds herself back on Embassy Row & tries to solve the mystery surrounding her mother’s death!

She suspects her mother was murdered, the problem is no one believes her!

It is set to be released January 2017! You can read more about Book 3 from the Hypable article Here!

Shadow Run  Cover Reveal21. Shadow Run by Adirenne Strickland + Michael Miller Cover Reveal

This 2017 debut had its cover reveal on Hypable + an excerpt which you can read Here!

Firefly meets Dune in this YA Sci-fi adventure!

Summary: Qole is the captain of the Kaitan, a starship that uses magnetic nets to “fish” for Shadow, a volatile cosmic energy. Shadow is dangerous, can cause madness and death, but as the last generation of a native fishing family, her DNA and heritage give her a unique connection to it, a power over it. Qole is determined use that “affinity” to protect her small but loyal crew of misfits, orphans, and outlaws. Which is why she’s so suspicious of offworlder Nev, her startlingly handsome new crew member.

What Qole doesn’t know is that Nev is actually Prince Nevarian Dracorte. He’s convinced that Shadow is the key to preserving the royal Dracorte legacy, and that Qole is the key to harnessing its power. When her cooperation proves difficult, Nev resolves to get her back to his home planet by any means necessary, but he’s not the only one. A rival royal family is also after Shadow affinity, and unlike Nev, they’re more interested in gaining Qole’s abilities than keeping her alive. His mission to exploit her becomes one to save her, and to survive, she’ll have to trust her would-be kidnapper. The Kaitan’s crew goes from fishermen to prey as they make a death-defying run across the galaxy, and Qole and Nev are forced to revise their ideas of family and loyalty, with the fate of their worlds hanging in the balance.

What Book News Have You Heard? 🙂