Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova (Brooklyn Brujas #1)
Release Date: September 6, 2016
Summary: Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.
Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange markings on his skin.
The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…
My Thoughts: A magical coming-of-age story, with themes of family and self-identity!
What originally drew me to this novel was the premise! Being Latina I was quite familiar with the magical and cultural elements of this story and I adored reading them in an urban fantasy setting!
Family is a big theme of Labyrinth Lost, and I felt the magic and the bonds between Alex’s mother and sisters, Lula and Rose, the moment they were introduced. Along those lines, many themes interconnected and gave so much depth to the overall world.
Themes of family and self-identity merged definitely weaved together with the Latinx heritage and culture.
There was so much diversity in this novel, which was fantastic! Latinx Culture, Bisexuality, and GLBT+ characters!
Alex is unsure whether or not she wants to accept her magic/power as an Enchantrix and definitely has an internal struggle of wanting to forge her own path, yet feeling unsure because of what her family expects of her.
After a spell goes horribly wrong, she finds herself headed to Los Lagos, a mythical land tied closely with Brujas. She finds herself teamed up with Nova, a family friend and Rishi, her best friend as she explores the mythical and magical land to save to her family.
The myths and legacy of the Brujas, magic system and world of Los Lagos was the best aspect of this novel. I’m very familiar with the idea/folklore surrounding brujas and found that to be a wonderfully rich and engaging part of the world/story.
Descriptions of Brooklyn, Los Lagos, and the history of the Brujas comes to life through the writing and I could really picture myself there. Both the world and characters are given such depth and were wonderfully written.
It was great reading from Alex’s strong, engaging, and empowering POV. While reading, I was captivated by the rich world of magic and Latinx culture that definitely showed the magic of familial/sister bonds which I could relate to so much!!
However the novel did have one con.
Through the 1st person POV, while I definitely got an overall rich and magical view of Los Lagos, I would have loved if the settings/world was expanded and given a little more depth. Additionally, I would have loved more from the plot. The “rescue” part of the novel felt rather jumpy and I would have loved more development from that, considering a majority of the novel took place there.
Overall with a satisfying conclusion, Labyrinth Lost dives deep into a magical world filled with Brujas, magic, Latinx Culture, and introduces many themes that weave together to tell a tale just as magical.
I will definitely be reading the sequel and can’t wait to see where Alex’s journey is headed!
I adore this cover from the color to the details of the background!! ❤ ❤
Its great that it matches This Savage Song perfectly from the somber/mysterious tone the cover gives to the instrument in the background, additionally its interesting to see the background also feature another part of the city of Verity!
Our Dark Duet is set to be released June 13, 2017!
September is an amazing month for YA! So today I will be sharing with you the books coming out this month, I can’t wait to read!
1.The Cat King Of Havana by Tom Crosshill
Summary: Rick Gutierrez is . . . the Cat King of Havana! A cat-video tycoon turned salsa-dancer extraordinaire, he’ll take Cuba by storm, romance the girl of his dreams, and ignite a lolcat revolution!
At least that’s the plan.
It all starts when his girlfriend dumps Rick on his sixteenth birthday for uploading cat videos from his bedroom when he should be out experiencing the real world. Known as “That Cat Guy” at school, Rick isn’t cool and he knows it. He realizes it’s time for a change.
Rick decides joining a salsa class is the answer . . . because of a girl, of course. Ana Cabrera is smart, friendly, and smooth on the dance floor. Rick might be half-Cuban, but he dances like a drunk hippo. Desperate to impress Ana, he invites her to spend the summer in Havana. The official reason: learning to dance. The hidden agenda: romance under the palm trees.
Except Cuba isn’t all sun, salsa, and music. There’s a darker side to the island. As Rick and Ana meet his family and investigate the reason why his mother left Cuba decades ago, they learn that politics isn’t just something that happens to other people. And when they find romance, it’s got sharp edges.
2.Kingdom Of Ash & Briars by Hannah West
ARC Review Coming Next Week!
Summary: Bristal, an orphaned kitchen maid, lands in a gritty fairy tale gone wrong when she discovers she is an elicromancer with a knack for shape-shifting. An ancient breed of immortal magic beings, elicromancers have been winnowed down to merely two – now three – after centuries of bloody conflict in the realm. Their gifts are fraught with responsibility, and sixteen-year-old Bristal is torn between two paths. Should she vow to seek the good of the world, to protect and serve mortals? Or should she follow the strength of her power, even if it leads to unknown terrors? She draws on her ability to disguise herself as a man to infiltrate a prince’s band of soldiers, and masquerades as a fairy godmother to shield a cursed princess, but time is running out. As an army of dark creatures grows closer, Bristal faces a supernatural war. To save the kingdoms, Bristal must find the courage to show her true form.
3.Kids Of Appetite by David Arnold
Summary: Victor Benucci and Madeline Falco have a story to tell.
It begins with the death of Vic’s father.
It ends with the murder of Mad’s uncle. The Hackensack Police Department would very much like to hear it.
But in order to tell their story, Vic and Mad must focus on all the chapters in between.
This is a story about:
1. A coded mission to scatter ashes across New Jersey. 2. The momentous nature of the Palisades in winter. 3. One dormant submarine. 4. Two songs about flowers. 5. Being cool in the traditional sense. 6. Sunsets & ice cream & orchards & graveyards. 7. Simultaneous extreme opposites. 8. A narrow escape from a war-torn country. 9. A story collector. 10. How to listen to someone who doesnot talk. 11. Falling in love with a painting. 12. Falling in love with a song. 13. Falling in love.
4.Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake (Three Dark Crowns #1)
Summary: Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.
But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.
If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.
5.Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco (SJTR #1)
Summary: Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.
Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.
6.Frost Like Night by Sara Raasch (SLA #3)
Summary: Angra is alive, his Decay is spreading—and no one is safe.
Meira will do anything to save her world. With Angra trying to break through her mental defenses, she desperately needs to learn to control her own magic—so when the leader of a mysterious Order from Paisly offers to teach her, she jumps at the chance. But the true solution to stopping the Decay lies in a labyrinth deep beneath the Season Kingdoms. To defeat Angra, Meira will have to enter the labyrinth, destroy the very magic she’s learning to control—and make the biggest sacrifice of all.
Mather will do anything to save his queen. He needs to rally the Children of the Thaw, find Meira—and finally tell her how he really feels. But with a plan of attack that leaves no kingdom unscathed and a major betrayal within their ranks, winning the war—and protecting Meira—slips farther and farther out of reach.
Ceridwen will do anything to save her people. Angra had her brother killed, stole her kingdom, and made her a prisoner. But when she’s freed by an unexpected ally who reveals a shocking truth behind Summer’s slave trade, Ceridwen must take action to save her true love and her kingdom, even if it costs her what little she has left.
As Angra unleashes the Decay on the world, Meira, Mather, and Ceridwen must bring the kingdoms of Primoria together…or lose everything.
7.Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (Six Of Crows #2)
Summary: Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives.
Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.
What September Book Releases Are You Looking Forward To? 🙂
On my blog you may have noticed I’ve been reading+reviewing more comics/graphic novels which got me wondering… which of my favorite YA novels would I love to see as graphic novels?
I’ve put together a list below of books that I feel would make great graphic novels!
Thoughts On My List? + Any books you would love to see as graphic novels?
Lets discuss in the comments below 🙂
1. Eleanor & Park/Fangirl
With the 80’s background of Eleanor&Park it would give great visuals as a graphic novel! + ever since the announcement of it being optioned for film (back in 2014) I would just love to see some sort of adaptation!
As for Fangirl, Rowell’s writing-style creates such a relatable coming-of-age story surrounding socially-anxious Cath, who finds solace in writing/reading everything Simon Snow (especially fan fiction) and what she experiences during her first year of college!
The delightful story and realistic characters would make Fangirl a truly incredible graphic novel!
It’d be a dream of mine to see both of these fantastic YA novels adapted into a graphic novel!
Ally Carter’s Heist Society Series centers aroundKatarina Bishop, a 15 yr. old who grew up in a family of thieves who wants out, but gets thrust back into the world she’s tried so hard to escape when her father needs her help!
Carter’s fun & fast-paced novel takes the reader to Italy, Las Vegas, even France as Kat gathers intel w/ her crew to steal back a mobster’s artwork!
The visuals would be absolutely stunning, the planning,theivery,cons & heists that ensue would definitely keep the reader turning the page!
3. An Ember In The Ashes
Just imagine the colorful visuals of the Empire , dark shadow creatures/monsters + the intricate details of the Masks, even Blackcliff !!
Laia & Elias undergo their own perilous journeys where they not only learn more about who they are and how their fates become intertwined, but the deep darkness and brutality that lurks within the Martial Empire!
Sabaa Tahir’s debut YA-Fantasy is packed with such dynamic characters and rich world-building and an engaging plot that would make a truly unforgettable graphic novel!
4.Air Awakens Series
Elise Kova’s Air AwakensSeriescenters around Vhalla Yarl, a library apprentice turned sorcerer!
Through Kova’s writing-style she weaves together such a rich and vivid world/world-building with elemental magic, prince’s, libraries…everything that makes a YA Fantasy absolutely magnificent!! ❤ ❤
The cover alone, further proves this would make a magical, colorful and epic graphic novel series!
Don’t you agree?? 😀
5. 5 to 1
Holly Bodger’s feminist-dystopia takes place in 2054 where “India now has a ratio of five boys for every girl, making women an incredibly valuable commodity.”
Enter the main protagonists, Sudasa and Kiran who are desperate to escape!
Told in dual POV w/ prose and free-verse, Bodger’s novel could make a captivating and exquisitely written/illustrated story!
6. Six Of Crows
Expanding on the world she created in her Grisha Trilogy, Bardugo’s Six Of Crows introduces a group of misfits a sharpshooter, thief, spy, Grisha, convict, and a runaway!
Together they takes their chances in a heist that could bring them riches beyond their wildest dreams! But the stakes are high! Can they pull it off?
Bardugo’s writing-style not only captures the complex characters and the bustling city of Ketterdam,the Ice Court+ other vividly described locations, but also is packed with humor, a little romance, and non-stop action!
From the numerous edits/fanart I’ve seen, I am absolutely certain this fast-paced, dark Ocean 11 fantasy would be phenomenal as a graphic novel!
7.Wolf By Wolf
Ryan Graudin’s Wolf By Wolf, an alternate WW2 Sci-Fi centers around Yael, a former death camp prisoner who underwent experiments giving her the ability to shape-shift!
With the Axis Tour (motorcycle race) coming up, she is given a task to impersonate a motorcycle racer, with the winner getting a chance to meet Hitler!
But Yael and the resistance she joined have only 1 task: Kill Hitler!
Graudin’s writing-style not only immerses you in the era of WW2/the wonderful characters, but really shows whats at stake for Yael in this cross-continent motorcycle-race!
Libba Bray’s YA Historical Fiction takes the main character Evie O’Neill 1920’s New York! Evie is forced to stay with her uncle in his occult museum and when her uncle is called to the scene of a murder, she wants to use her supernatural gift to catch the killer!
Speakeasies, Flappers, Jazz, murder-mysteries??+ The large/diverse cast of characters!
All of these make great elements for a graphic novel!
8.Rebel Of The Sands
Alwyn Hamilton’s Arabian-Nights/Western Mash-Up would be a spectacular graphic novel!
Because the novel is written in Amani’s POV, elements of Miraji from fouza (the currency) to the outfits, and locations are wonderfully described and from page one you are fully immersed in her world! Alwyn’s descriptions/dialogue really bring Rebel to life!
Here are other YA Novels that I feel would make great graphic novels as well:
Overall Thoughts: A lovely YA-Contemporary which brings up discussion on mental health & makes family a major part of the story. Jonah & Vivi’s relationship as it progresses, helps them both when they reach difficulties and come to grow because of it! My only issue was that at points I found it difficult to connect w/ Vivi!
2.The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye (The Crowns Game #1)
Overall Thoughts: This volume definitely focused more on the girl’s academics and relationships! While I did enjoy the more serious route, I still felt I needed to see more of the adventures these girls went on + the differing art-style 1/2 way through didn’t make this feel the same as Volume 1!
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Release Date: May 3,2016
Overall Thoughts: This YA-Contemporary centers around Andie & what happens when her summer doesn’t go as planned! If your looking for a summer read w/ friendship/family I highly recommend this! My only issue was the length & at points the story’s pacing was quite slow!
Overall Thoughts: A great comic series centering around princess Adrienne who decides not only to save herself but her other sisters while making friends along the way! There’s girl power, friendship & adventure! Highly recommend it!
8.The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle #4)
Full Review To Come
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: April 26,2016
Overall Thoughts: Still debating between 4/4.5, but after thinking about I may leave it 4! A wonderful conclusion to a unique and captivating series! There was so much character development & the plot kept me turning the page! There were a few questions I still wanted answered by the end, but overall it was a satisfying conclusion!
2016 is filled with tons of new books I’m eager to read!
With that said, here are the new releases of January I’m looking forward to!
For 2016 I plan to make a monthly releases list to keep you updated on new releases /books I plan to read that month 🙂
1.Passenger by Alexandra Bracken (Passenger #1)
Summary:In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.
Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.
Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever.
2. Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban
Summary: Ten-year-old Manami did not realize how peaceful her family’s life on Bainbridge Island was until the day it all changed. It’s 1942, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Manami and her family are Japanese American, which means that the government says they must leave their home by the sea and join other Japanese Americans at a prison camp in the desert. Manami is sad to go, but even worse is that they are going to have to give her dog, Yujiin, to a neighbor to take care of. Manami decides to sneak Yujiin under her coat, but she is caught and forced to abandon him. She is devastated but clings to the hope that somehow Yujiin will find his way to the camp and make her family whole again. It isn’t until she finds a way to let go of her guilt that Manami can accept all that has happened to her family.
Summary: So much has happened since 1986, and Zoe Brenner is about to find out just how much.
It’s 1986 and sixteen-year-old Zoe Brenner’s world revolves around Depeche Mode, Judd Nelson, exercise-obsessed parents, and her best friend Jonah. Then one day, in a freak Fun-Dip choking accident, Zoe falls unconscious, and awakes in the year 2016. So much has changed, and Zoe needs Jonah to help her make sense of it all. But in this life, Zoe is the most popular girl in school, and she soon realizes this Zoe doesn’t associate with nerds like Jonah. As Zoe juggles new technology, attempts to hide her enthusiasm for poet blouses, and manages to keep her super jock boyfriend at bay, she tries to rekindle her friendship with Jonah and use her popularity for a good cause. Will she ever get back to 1986? And more importantly, does she want to?
Summary: Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.
Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.
When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process.
5. Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen #0.1-0.2)
Summary: Discover the truth of Norta’s bloody past in these two revealing prequels to #1 New York Times bestseller Red Queen.
Also includes an exclusive excerpt of the hotly anticipated second book in the Red Queen series! Glass Sword transports readers to the world of Silver tyranny, a Red dawn rising, and one girl’s resolve to break down the system that will hold her back no longer.
Queen Song Queen Coriane, first wife of King Tiberias, keeps a secret diary—how else can she ensure that no one at the palace will use her thoughts against her? Coriane recounts her heady courtship with the crown prince, the birth of a new prince, Cal, and the potentially deadly challenges that lay ahead for her in royal life.
Steel Scars Diana Farley was raised to be strong, but being tasked with planting the seeds of rebellion in Norta is a tougher job than expected. As she travels the land recruiting black market traders, smugglers, and extremists for her first attempt at an attack on the capital, she stumbles upon a connection that may prove to be the key to the entire operation—Mare Barrow.
6. Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Banderia (Ever After #1)
Summary: In a perfect world, sixteen-year-old Phoebe Martins’ life would be a book. Preferably a YA novel with magic and a hot paranormal love interest. Unfortunately, her life probably wouldn’t even qualify for a quiet contemporary. But when Phoebe finds out that Dev, the hottest guy in the clarinet section, might actually have a crush on her, she turns to her favorite books for advice. Phoebe overhauls her personality to become as awesome as her favorite heroines and win Dev’s heart. But if her plan fails, can she go back to her happy world of fictional boys after falling for the real thing?
7. Sword & Verse by Kathy Macmillan
Summary: Raisa was just a child when she was sold to work as a slave in the kingdom of Qilara. Despite her young age, her father was teaching her to read and write, grooming her to take his place as a Learned One. In Qilara, the Arnathim, like Raisa, are the lowest class, and literacy is a capital offense. What’s more, only the king, prince, tutor, and tutor-in-training are allowed to learn the very highest order language, the language of the gods. So when the tutor-in-training is executed for teaching slaves this sacred language, and Raisa is selected to replace her, Raisa knows any slipup on her part could mean death.
Keeping her secret is hard enough, but the romance that’s been growing between her and Prince Mati isn’t helping matters. Then Raisa is approached by the Resistance—an underground army of slave rebels—to help liberate Arnath slaves. She wants to free her people, but that would mean aiding a war against Mati. As Raisa struggles with what to do, she discovers a secret that the Qilarites have been hiding for centuries—one that, if uncovered, could bring the kingdom to its knees.
8. Its All Your Fault by Paul Rudnick
Summary:One last chance. One wild weekend. Flat out the funniest book of the year.
My name is Caitlin and up until forty-eight hours ago I had never:
Tasted alcohol, kissed a boy, sang in public at the top of my lungs, kidnapped anyone or–WHAT? STOLEN A CONVERTIBLE?
Now I’m in jail and I have no idea what I’m going to tell:
The police, my parents, the mayor, all of those camera crews and everyone on Twitter.
I have just noticed that:
My nose is pierced and I have-WAIT? IS THAT A TATTOO?
I blame one person for this entire insane weekend:
My famous cousin.
Who is also my former best friend.
Who I have HATED for the past four years.
Who I miss like crazy. NO I DON’T!!!!
IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT, HELLER HARRIGAN!!!!
9. The Love That Split The World by Emily Henry
Summary: Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.
Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start… until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.
That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.
10. Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace
Summary: When seventeen-year-old Breezy Lin wakes up in a shallow grave one year after her death, she doesn’t remember who killed her or why. All she knows is that she’s somehow conscious—and not only that, she’s able to sense who around her is hiding a murderous past. In life, Breezy was always drawn to the elegance of the universe and the mystery of the stars. Now she must set out to find answers and discover what is to become of her in the gritty, dangerous world to which she now belongs—where killers hide in plain sight and a sinister cult is hunting for strange creatures like her. What she finds is at once empowering, redemptive, and dangerous.
Which January 2016 Book Releases are you looking forward to? 🙂