Because Of The Sun by Jenny Torres Sanchez Review

because-of-the-sun-by-jenny-torres-sanchezBecause Of The Sun by Jenny Torres Sanchez

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Release Date: January 3, 2017

Pages: 272

Summary: 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.

*Note this novel does contain physical/emotional abuse*-Be aware if those are triggers for you.*

My Rating:★★★★☆ 

My Thoughts: Because Of The Sun follows Dani as she grieves the loss of her mother. Told through a unique prose, this novel discusses death, family and love.

This was a unique contemporary I won’t forget!

What made this novel truly stand out was the atmospheric writing-style! Written in an almost “stream of consciousness” we follow Dani Falls, who has lost her mother due to a violent accident and must now leave her home in Florida behind to live with her aunt Shelly in New Mexico.

After spending weeks at her aunt’s house, she rarely leaves and manages to speak only a few words at a time. We begin to wonder if Dani will ever recover and find the strength to accept.

Blurring the line between reality and dream, a bear is mentioned when Ruby passes away and throughout the novel and just like Dani, we are left to question whether it was ever truly there to begin with.

Through out the story, she struggles with the fact that she had a very difficult relationship with her mother and wonders if she ever even truly loved her. When truths about Ruby Falls comes to light, Dani questions whether she even knew her mother at all.

The characters were all very well written and I could truly picture them and understand them fully through Dani’s eyes!

She comes to know Paulo and the two bond over movies! Dani gets to know Paulo and while the do start a relationship Sanchez never makes it a central part of the novel and truly focuses on Dani’s personal growth as she grieves and comes to terms with whats happened. I adored the dynamic between the two of them and no matter what, Paulo respected when Dani wanted to help herself and always gave her the space she needed!

I do wish Paulo was included more, because he was a very loving and supportive friend/boyfriend to Dani. However I loved that Sanchez really left the romance in the background!

There is also a big emphasis on family. With the loss of her mother, Dani comes to know her aunt Shelly and understands she isn’t alone and that she can confide in her through her struggles. She also finds comfort with Paulo and his grandmother as well. They provide her with the emotional support and love she never had.

In terms of plot, it mainly focuses around Dani and her new life when she moves to New Mexico and comes to terms with her mother’s death. What I also really loved about the plot was how this novel truly centered around Dani and her personal growth.

After completing the novel it was clear that Dani still had a long way to go to recover and was doing it slowly but surely, however Sanchez did a fantastic job to show that her recovery wasn’t going to be an easy transition and would take time. She was still accepting the truths she learned about her mother, but with her new family and friends it was clear she would be okay.

I will admit I did take off a star, because while the inclusion of Shelly’s POV added much more to the story and really gave more background to Dani’s mother Ruby and why she was very detached, it did slow down the story for me. However, I really got to know more about Shelly and that was great because through Dani’s POV, I felt there was still a lot to learn about her.

Additionally after the section centering around Shelly + Ruby’s past, I felt that the ending felt a little rushed and wanted more page-time/interactions with Dani & the side-characters who now really supported and helped her when she needed it most.

Through a dream-like writing style we follow Dani as she adjusts to a new home and grows to find the strength to accept her mother’s death and all the complexities that come with it!

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

The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon ARC Review

Yoon_9780553496680_jkt_all_r1.inddThe Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Release Date: November 1, 2016

Pages: 384

Summary: Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

My Thoughts: A beautifully crafted contemporary that explores life, love and everything in between! 

This book was wonderful!

Similar to Everything, Everything Nicola’s writing style immediately captured me! Its poetic and thought-provoking.

This novel discusses fate/destiny, love at first sight and weaved these topics perfectly into the overall plot, which discusses more serious topics like immigration, etc.

I was not expecting multiple POV’s. It definitely surprised me, but they were all done extremely well and each one was distinct and memorable!

Natasha and Daniel, though complete opposites, connect over the course of a day!

The development of their relationship felt very natural and it was clear they were changing one another with each and every interaction.

Natasha relies on nothing but science and facts, with her goals, etc. planned out. With that mind set, she believes nothing can go wrong. However things begin to change when she has only a number of hours left until her deportation to Jamaica, she does her best to prevent it from happening.

Daniel is a poet at heart, but his family wants him to become a doctor. Throughout the novel, he tries to find the courage to pursue what he wants in life while, unknown to him, all his parents (especially his father) want is for him to be successful and ensure he is taken care of financially.

And while they have opposing ideals and mindsets, they definitely complimented each other and brought out parts of each other they didn’t expect to show through and help each other better understand themselves and their families.

Natasha has a difficult relationship with her father and Daniel not only struggles in his relationship with his father, but also his brother.

While this book does handle serious topics, Nicola’s writing-style balances the seriousness while still adding bits of humor and overall having the story flow perfectly.

My only minor issue was the ending felt a little rushed towards the end and some moments of slow pacing due to the multiple POVs.

Regardless, this a beautiful YA Contemporary that is filled with diversity, delightful writing, engaging and complex characters that feel so real and overall is a unique and unforgettable story!

Highly Recommend! ❤

Book Bytes I #8

Book Bytes is a monthly feature I created to share news in the world of YA!

Each month posts can contain anything from new cover/title reveals, book-to-movie news, even the latest book deals!!

flame-in-the-mist-renee-ahdieh-excerpt1. Flame In The Mist Excerpt

Renee Ahdieh, author of The Wrath And The Dawn Duology, had an excerpt of her upcoming 2017 novel Flame And The Mist shared on Entertainment Weekly!

Full excerpt can be found Here

Flame In The Mist is set to be released May 2, 2017!

2. If Birds Fly Back Cover Reveal

Carlie Sorosiak, 2017 debut author, had a cover reveal for her upcoming YA Contemporary If Birds Fly Back on October 5 over at Pop Goes The Reader 

Its set to be released June 27, 2017 from Harper Collins!

Here’s a summary: A sparkling debut about love, family, and the mysteries of the universe.

Linny has been fascinated by disappearances, ever since her sister Grace ran away in the middle of the night without saying goodbye.

Sebastian can tell you how many galaxies there are, and knows how much plutonium weighs. But the one thing he can’t figure out is the identity of his birth father.

They’ve never met, but Linny and Sebastian have one thing in common: an obsession with famous novelist and filmmaker Alvaro Herrera, who went missing three years ago and has just reappeared. As they learn more about the mystery of Alvaro, Linny and Sebastian uncover the answers they’ve been searching for.

when-dimple-met-rishi-cover-reveal3.When Dimple Met Rishi Cover Reveal

Also on October 5 Sandhya Menon had her cover reveal + excerpt for When Dimple Met Rishi, over at Bustle!

Set to be released May 30, 2017 from Simon Pulse, this YA Contemporary is “A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.”

4.Now I Rise by Kiersten White Cover Reveal + Excerpt

On October 12, EW revealed the cover + an excerpt for the sequel to And I Darken.

Now I Rise is set to be released June 27, 2017!

5.Miss Peregrine’s Trilogy Expands

As of October 20, it was announced that Ransom Riggs, author of Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children will be adding 3 more books to the original trilogy!

The next book is set to be released Fall 2017!

6.Epic Reads Summer 2017 Covers

As of October 24, Epic Reads has a number of books coming Summer 2017 so they put together a list (30+) and stated they have more covers to come!

You can check it out Here

Some include: Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab, Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau, and The Crown’s Fate by Evelyn Skye!

7.Leigh Bardugo 2-Book Deal

Leigh Bardugo, author of the Grisha Trilogy and recently concluded Six Of Crows Duology, will venture out of YA Fantasy to write Ninth House.

This adult series will center around:

“Alex Stern, a 20-year-old California high school dropout with a criminal past who is mysteriously offered a second chance as a Yale University freshman. Ninth House, the first book, follows Stern’s freshman year, where she is charged with monitoring Yale’s secret societies, who engage in sinister occult activities.”

More info can be found on The Hollywood Reporter announcement Here!

8.The Girl Who Drank The Moon Gets A Screenwriter

On October 26, it was announced that Kelly Barnhills’s middle grade novel The Girl Who Drank The Moon found screenwriter Marc Haimes (Screenwirter of Kubo And The Two Strings).

Currently with Fox Animation, The Girl Who Drank The Moon is also set to be a hybrid live-action/animation.

Full article from Deadline can be found Here!

What Book News Have You Heard? 📚✨

When The Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore Review

when-the-moon-was-ours-anna-marie-mclemoreWhen The Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie Mclemore

Publisher: Thomas Dunne

Release Date: October 4, 2016

Pages: 240

Summary: To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town.

But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.

My Rating:★★★★★

My Thoughts: Magical realism at its finest! With lush prose and phenomenal story telling, When The Moon Was Ours not only captivates but tells a story of identity,family and courage!

There were so many amazing aspects of this book! From the diversity (LGBT, Trans MC, Pakistani + Latina MC) to the wonderful messages of finding one’s self and the importance of family/identity.

Being Latina myself, I am very familiar with the legend of La Llorona (in this novel are the Bonner Girls) and I absolutely loved  reading McLemore’s take on it! 💖💖

The novel’s writing style and characters are truly unforgettable! I cannot count the number of times I stopped to reread passages! Every page had such memorable and magical quotes!!

Miel and Sam have secrets, but regardless have built a beautiful friendship. They protect each other no matter what. But when the Bonner Girls, who are rumored to make any boy fall in love with them, think Miel’s roses (that grow from her wrist) will keep their influence strong, they threaten to expose Miel + Sam’s secrets to get what they want.

Miel and Sam’s relationship is threatened when the Bonner Girls begin to use Miel’s roses for their own gain and Miel distances herself from Sam for fear that they may no longer be able to stay together.

Originally being Samira, Sam’s mother believes its just a phase, however he’s not so sure. Over the course of this novel, Sam comes to understand who he is and who he wants to be.

Miel fell out of a water-tower as a child and cannot remember how she got there, but knows she can grow roses from her wrist and had a family. She is trying to understand who she is and where she’s headed.

Character development is truly at the heart of this novel, from the Bonner Girls to Aracely, Miel’s caretaker, each and every character changes over the course of this story.

If I could I would give this book millions of stars! This book is truly unforgettable and tackles/discusses so many topics and themes. From LGBTQ to racism, family, importance of culture + identity, and so much more.

When The Moon Was Ours delivers a stunning prose, wonderfully written characters, and an overall plot that is utterly magical! ✨🌙💖

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 Anna-Marie McLemore

11. Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

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

Supporting Diversity In YA {Book Blog Discussion}

Supporting Diversity In YAI support diverse books.

We live in such a diverse world with people of different skin colors, variety of cultures, ethnicities, customs, etc. & we should embrace it!

Young Adult is a genre with thousands of readers and has massive influence in publishing+mainstream media  (Book-To-Movie Adaptations, Book Conventions, Book Blogs/Booktube, etc. ). With thousands of books being published every year, it is important to acknowledge diversity and continue to support it in this genre because:

Everyone Deserves To Find And See Themselves In A Story.

With that said here are some ways you can support diversity in YA:

1.Talk About Diverse Books

Whether its through social media, talking to your local librarians, friends, family the number of ways are endless!

You can give recommendations of diverse reads for your local librarians to put on the shelves, share your favorite diverse reads with your friends + family & encourage them to seek out these books as well!

+ Remember there’s a good number of diverse books out there already! So its important to continue to discuss/share those as well!

Coming up, I will share with you multiple links where you can check out a list of already published diverse reads + upcoming ones!! (While this post mostly focuses around YA, these tips can also apply to other genres like MG/KidsLit & I will also provide as many links as I can for those genres as well!)

There are also many hashtags that you can scroll through on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr even Instagram to find recommendations OR recommend books yourself and join the discussion <3:

#WeNeedDiverseBooks+  #DiversityInYA (on instagram)

+ #OwnVoices is filled with tons of author’s WIP’s/upcoming novels. (on Twitter)

Starting today from Sept. 12-Sept. 19 a number of Booktubers/Bloggers are participating in a Read-A Thon where people will be reading diverse books all week called:

Diverse-A-Thon

If you look under the hashtag #DiverseAThon on twitter, you can not only join in twitter chats, but also see the diverse books that people are planning to read + get more recommendations!

2.Share Diverse Books

Make book reviews/recommendation posts, purchase these books, recommend them to fellow readers, post pictures of these books on social media!

Spreading the word/discussing diverse books as much as you can, not only supports these authors but also continues to encourage & push diversity in publishing as a whole.

+ If publishers see that diverse books are being purchased/discussed, they will continue to seek out/publish more diversely which is great!!

There are many accounts and websites you can peruse to find diverse books not just in YA but for kids as well!

These websites are advocating the importance of diversity and above all that people should be represented in what they read ❤

WeNeedDiverseBooks+ (We Need Diverse Books also has additional sources if you are looking to get into specifics about what diverse book your searching for!)

DiversityInYA

DisabilityInKidLit

Rich In Color

Gay YA (LGBTQIA+)

MulticulturalChildrensBookDay  

Here are some Goodreads Links for backlist + upcoming books you can take a look at.

You can check out their summaries + find additional recommendations:

2014 YA Books W/ LGBT Themes

Diverse YA & MG Debuts In 2015

2016 YA/MG Books With POC Leads

+ Feel Free To Check Out These Great Articles w/ Diverse Recommendations (YA + Childrens):

9 Books By Latinx Authors I Wish I Had As A Teen (Source: Bustle)

23 LGBTQ Books With POC Protagonists (Source: Bustle)

8 Diverse Children’s Books (Source: Bustle)

+10 Childrens Books That Feat. Diverse Characters (Source: PBS.org)

Do You Have Any Diverse Book Recommendations or Links To Find More Diverse Reads?

If So, Leave A Comment So Others Can Get Recommendations As Well!

Lets Discuss 🙂

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi Review

The Star-Touched QueenThe Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Publisher: St.Martin’s Griffin

Release Date: April 26, 2016

Pages: 352

Summary: Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets — thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself.

My Rating:  Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

***Spoilers Ahead***

My Thoughts: *Sill deciding between 4/4.5!

The Star-Touched Queen was a poetic and exquisitely written debut!

I can’t count the number of times when I found myself highlighting sentences and passages!

What really is the heart and soul of this story is both the main character Maya and the world!

I really connected with her and truly felt she came to life from page one!

She goes through quite a transformation in this book! While feared, she still has her flaws. Along her journey, she comes to grow and learns what it means to be a ruler.

Through the writing-style you really get a grasp of the world and feel transported to the many places Maya lives in/travels to such as Bharata, Akaran + the Night Bazaar!

I also loved Amar! He was a wonderfully-written character! I loved how Roshani hid secrets from us in terms of his character and how they played a vital role as the book progressed. However, I wish we learned more about him, because while Maya takes center stage, when certain events happen he is not present as much and I almost forgot about him as the story continued.

Not having much background on Indian folklore/mythology, it was great to learn more about it through this novel!

I will admit, I was unaware that this book would essentially be split into two parts:

1.Maya and her journey to Akaran 

+

2.Her journey back to Bharata but with much time passed/finding a way to save Amar!

Wanting to essentially  go in blind, I only remembered a few key facts of the plot, so I assumed Amar would be more of a central character to the story! But to my surprise, it went in completely different directions than what I was expecting!

While I really loved it, there was one aspect of the novel that made me take away a star! The plot was somewhat lost on me when I reached the “second half” and characters were introduced/expanded on.

But I suppose that is also what made me really enjoy it as well b/c it was both unexpected and added a unique twist to the story ❤

Overall this was a magnificent debut!

Seamlessly weaved mythology and poetic writing deliver a tale unlike anything I’ve ever read before and a truly magical story I will never forget!

Highly recommend if you love YA Fantasy/ YA Mythology, or are looking for not only a unique and character-driven story, but also rich and vivid world building !

*Side note: I loved the inclusion of chapter titles <3!

If you’ve read The Star-Touched Queen or are planning to, let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 🙂

Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler Review

25223115Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary

Release Date: November 17, 2015

Pages: 348

Summary: Reagan Forrester wants out—out of her trailer park, out of reach of her freeloading mother, and out of the shadow of the relationship that made her the pariah of Charytan, Kansas.

Victoria Reyes wants in—in to a fashion design program, in to the arms of a cute guy who doesn’t go to Charytan High, and in to a city where she won’t stand out for being Mexican.

One thing the polar-opposite best friends do agree on is that wherever they go, they’re staying together. But when they set off on a series of college visits at the start of their senior year, they quickly see that the future doesn’t look quite like they expected. After two years of near-solitude following the betrayal of the ex-boyfriend who broke her heart, Reagan falls hard and fast for a Battlestar Galactica-loving, brilliant smile-sporting pre-med prospective… only to learn she’s set herself up for heartbreak all over again. Meanwhile, Victoria runs full-speed toward all the things she thinks she wants… only to realize everything she’s looking for might be in the very place they’ve sworn to leave.

As both Reagan and Victoria struggle to learn who they are and what they want in the present, they discover just how much they don’t know about each other’s pasts. And when each learns what the other’s been hiding, they’ll have to decide whether their friendship has a future.

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

My Thoughts: Its official! After months and months I’ve finally read my first Dahlia Adler book and it was wonderful!

Reagan and Victoria’s friendship is tested when they prepare for college.

Similar to both Reagan & Victoria, I was anxious about college and starting a completely new chapter in my life. I also had some worries about this upcoming semester and while reading this book, it really reminded me that no matter at what stage of school I’m at,I can overcome my anxieties/worries!

Seeing how hard Reagan worked to get out of her small town was inspiring. At points it was sad to know that her parents weren’t supportive or helping her achieve her goals. But Reagan being tough and independent found her way through it, especially when it came to Fitz. When she meets Dev, she was unsure of her feelings for him. Slowly they develop a friendship and it becomes something more to both of them. While some issues come up w/ their developing relationship, I am glad to see everything is worked out in the end.

Reading about Victoria’s journey was also both inspiring and relatable. It was great reading about a Latina MC, considering I’m Latina myself. Reading about her journey to get into fashion yet being unsure due to other major options in mind was definitely something I really connected with.

This story is not only about friendship, but self-discovery and Dahlia makes those themes prevalent all through out this story!

If you are in the HS to College phase, currently in college yourself, or want a story about friendship, I highly recommend this book! ❤