Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books ReleaseDate: June 18, 2019 Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, Young Adult, Romance
For fans of Love, Simon and Eleanor and Park, a romantic and sweet novel about a transgender boy who falls in love for the first time—and how first love changes us all—from New York Times bestselling author Amber Smith.
Chris and Maia aren’t off to a great start.
A near-fatal car accident first brings them together, and their next encounters don’t fare much better. Chris’s good intentions backfire. Maia’s temper gets the best of her.
But they’re neighbors, at least for the summer, and despite their best efforts, they just can’t seem to stay away from each other.
The path forward isn’t easy. Chris has come out as transgender, but he’s still processing a frightening assault he survived the year before. Maia is grieving the loss of her older sister and trying to find her place in the world without her. Falling in love was the last thing on either of their minds.
But would it be so bad if it happened anyway?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amber Smith is the New York Times bestselling author of the young adult novels The Way I Used to Be, The Last to Let Go, and Something Like Gravity. An advocate for increased awareness of gendered violence, as well as LGBTQ equality, she writes in the hope that her books can help to foster change and spark dialogue surrounding these issues. She grew up in Buffalo, New York, and now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her partner and their ever-growing family of rescued dogs and cats.
I had never read a young adult thriller and now, thanks to the Fantastic Flying Book Club, I have. Not to mention it has queer characters. 🖤
Don’t miss my giveaway at the end of this post!
All Eyes on Us by Kit Frick
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books ReleaseDate: June 4, 2019 Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller
PRIVATE NUMBER: Wouldn’t you look better without a cheater on your arm?
AMANDA: Who is this?
The daughter of small town social climbers, Amanda Kelly is deeply invested in her boyfriend, real estate heir Carter Shaw. He’s kind, ambitious, the town golden boy—but he’s far from perfect. Because behind Amanda’s back, Carter is also dating Rosalie.
PRIVATE NUMBER: I’m watching you, Sweetheart.
ROSALIE: Who IS this?
Rosalie Bell is fighting to remain true to herself and her girlfriend—while concealing her identity from her Christian fundamentalist parents. After years spent in and out of conversion “therapy,” her own safety is her top priority. But maintaining a fake, straight relationship is killing her from the inside.
When an anonymous texter ropes Amanda and Rosalie into a bid to take Carter down, the girls become collateral damage—and unlikely allies in a fight to unmask their stalker before Private uproots their lives.
PRIVATE NUMBER: You shouldn’t have ignored me. Now look what you made me do…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kit Frick is a novelist, poet, and MacDowell Colony fellow. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, she studied creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and received her MFA from Syracuse University. When she isn’t putting complicated characters in impossible situations, Kit edits poetry and literary fiction for a small press, edits for private clients, and mentors emerging writers through Pitch Wars. She is the author of the young adult novels See All the Stars, All Eyes on Us (2019), and Windermere (2020), all from Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry Books, and the poetry collection A Small Rising Up in the Lungs (New American Press). Her fiction is represented by Erin Harris at Folio Literary Management / Folio Jr.
This young adult contemporary romance was a quick, enjoyable read—and I’m looking forward to checking out other books by this author.
Don’t miss my playlist inspired by the book + the giveaway at the end of this post!
Happy Messy Scary Love by Leah Konen
Publisher: Amulet Books Release Date: May 14, 2019 Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
As everyone at her Brooklyn high school announces their summer adventures, Olivia harbors a dirty secret: Her plan is to binge-watch horror movies and chat with her online friend, Elm. Olivia and Elm have never shared personal details, apart from their ages and the fact that Elm’s aunt is a low-budget horror filmmaker. Then Elm pushes Olivia to share her identity and sends her a selfie of his own. Olivia is shocked by how cute he is! In a moment of panic, assuming she and Elm will never meet in real life, she sends a photo of her gorgeous friend Katie. But things are about to get even more complicated when Olivia’s parents send her to the Catskills, and she runs into the one person she never thought she would see. This sweet and funny summertime romance is perfect for fans of Love and Gelato and The Unexpected Everything.
About the Author
Leah Konen is a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied journalism and creative writing. She’s the author of the forthcoming Happy Messy Scary Love, Love and Other Train Wrecks, The Romantics, The Last Time We Were Us, and The After Girls. She lives in Brooklyn and Saugerties, NY with her husband and their dog, Farley.
This book gave me what I came for: sweet first love, horror film enthusiasts, romantic tension, and a hint of adventure.
However, I never suspended my sense of disbelief about the plot. I found the chance meet up too unrealistic, which the writing and build up could have amended. Though I enjoyed the book overall, I didn’t enjoy the characters. For those reasons, I gave the book 3 stars.
I would definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for a quick summer read! ☀️
As a BookTuber, I had heard a lot of mixed reviews about the first book in The Androma Saga, Zenith, by Sasha Alsberg—a way more popular BookTuber—and Lindsay Cummings. The second and final book Nexus exceeded my expectations. I’m glad I gave this story a chance and made up my mind for myself.
Check out my review below, and don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this post!
Nexus by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN Release Date: May 7, 2019 Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy
#1 New York Times bestselling authors Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings deliver the dazzling finale to the acclaimed Androma Saga, where stunning betrayals and devastating secrets send an embattled galaxy spiraling into the ultimate nightmare.
Her ship is gone, her crew is captured and notorious mercenary Androma Racella is no longer the powerful Bloody Baroness, but a fugitive ruthlessly hunted across the Mirabel Galaxy. The bloodthirsty Queen Nor now rules most of the galaxy through a mind-control toxin and she’ll stop at nothing to destroy her most hated adversary.
Andi will risk anything, even her precious freedom, to find a cure. Stranded with her unlikely ally, Dex, on the unforgiving ice planet of Solera, their plan to infiltrate a black-market city proves dangerously irresistible.
Back in Arcardius, Nor’s actions have opened Mirabel to invasion. As Andi’s crew fights to regain their freedom, Andi and Dex discover a threat far greater than anything they’ve faced before.
Only by saving their mortal enemy can the crew of the Marauder make one last desperate strike to save the galaxy—unaware that a shattering, centuries-old secret may demand the most wrenching sacrifice of all.
About the Authors
Sasha Alsberg is the #1 NYT Bestselling Co-Author of ZENITH: The Androma Saga.
When Sasha is not writing or obsessing over Scotland she is making YouTube videos on her channel Abookutopia. She lives in Massachusetts with her dogs, Fraser and Fiona
For her writing, she is represented by Joanna Volpe at New Leaf Literary.
Lindsay Cummings is the #1 NYT Bestselling co-author of ZENITH, along with her duology, THE MURDER COMPLEX from Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins, and the MG trilogy THE BALANCE KEEPERS, from Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins. She is represented by Pete Knapp at Park Literary in NYC.
Lindsay deals with chronic fatigue, writes full time from her home in the deep woods in North Texas, and loves to chat with fellow book nerds. Lindsay created the #booknerdigans hashtag.
She’s still waiting on her letter from Hogwarts–it was probably just lost in the mail.
Again, this book exceeded my expectations. The characters, the world building, the adventure, the pacing. I flew through this book because the story kept me engaged. I never felt bored. I just kept flipping pages.
So I have a confession: I never read Zenith. There’s a trigger warning for rape in Zenith, and with my current mental space, I didn’t want to spiral. With that said, if you haven’t read Zenith yet, you can still jump right in to Nexus. Sasha and Lindsay expertly engage the reader while also catching up the reader from Zenith.
My favorite aspect of this book was the character development and its multiple point of views. Each chapter focused on a different character, which developed and propelled the story forward. Even with the point of view changes, I still followed along and understood the story without having read the first book.
I’m so glad I gave this book a try—enter the book giveaway below and give it a try too!
Today they’re amazing because they gave me the opportunity to be a part of the blog tour for The Fever King by Victoria Lee.
I actually heard about this book through Pitch Wars last year when I had entered my manuscript Sleeping Around. Victoria had entered this book, and I had talked to her on Twitter.
So basically I was thrilled to join this tour and support Victoria. 🖤
And don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this post!
The Fever King (Feverwake #1) by Victoria Lee
Publisher: Skyscape Release Date: March 1, 2019 Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, LGBT
In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.
The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.
Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Victoria Lee grew up in Durham, North Carolina, where she spent twelve ascetic years as a vegetarian before discovering spicy chicken wings are, in fact, a delicacy. She’s been a state finalist competitive pianist, a hitchhiker, a pizza connoisseur, an EMT, an expat in China and Sweden, and a science doctoral student. She’s also a bit of a snob about fancy whisky.
Victoria writes early in the morning, then spends the rest of the day trying to impress her border collie puppy and make her experiments work.
She is represented by Holly Root and Taylor Haggerty at Root Literary.
The themes, the characters, the magic, the discourse on immigration. And I love me some bisexual representation.
I had a hard time getting into the story at first. It’s a dystopian setting, and there was a lot of world building going on in the beginning. Once I got my head around the setting, though, I was hooked.
I needed to get to the bottom of the politics. I needed to know who Noam could trust. And, per usual, I needed romance.
There is something for everyone in this book, and I’m so looking forward to the rest of this new series. 🖤
I hadn’t heard of The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees, but the moment I read the synopsis, I knew this book would be a book for me.
I wasn’t disappointed, to say the least. 🖤🖤🖤
Check out this spellbinding book, and don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this post!
The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees
Publisher: Delacorte Release Date: March 12, 2019 Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pan’s Labyrinth meets The Hazel Wood in this novel about a girl with terrifying visions and a wish-granting witch whose lives collide in the most unexpected of ways.
The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She’s desperate to know more–until she finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game.
To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes. One night, a mysterious visitor arrives and asks her what she wishes for, but the Witch sends him away. And then the uninvited guest returns.
The strangers are just the beginning. Something is stirring in the forest, and when Rhea’s and the Witch’s paths collide, a truth more treacherous and deadly than either could ever imagine surfaces. But how much are they willing to risk to survive?
About the Author
In between training in ballet and watching lots of Disney movies, Alyssa grew up writing stories starring her Beanie Babies. She earned a BA in English from Creighton University and an MFA in Fiction Writing from Columbia College Chicago. Currently she works as an assistant librarian in youth services at an awesome public library. She lives in the Chicagoland area with her husband and their two cats.
This book. This book was breathtaking. It was magical and dark and ethereal and spellbinding. It was three enchanting stories converging into one. Ugh. My heart aches in the best of ways. 🖤
🖤 “I have many faces, and I want to wear them all.”
🖤 “I’m not a doctor, but I don’t think any of that is because of your magic. It sounds like anxiety. It sounds like you have panic attacks. And that’s nothing to be ashamed of. It doesn’t make you weak or not able to handle things.”
🖤 “She could exist without him, dance on her own, quite well, in fact–but it was he who brought her back around to herself, somehow. Transformed her line into a circle.”
🖤 “The burning scream inside you hurts less when you keep moving, keep going, keep reaching, in whatever way you can.”
🖤 “He is a wish I want to come true again and again and again.”
🖤 “Sometimes I feel like I’m trapped in the eye of a storm…Like I’m the only quiet, still thing in a world that won’t stop spinning.”
🖤 “I don’t know much, but I do know this: I am an inhale. And he–he is an exhale. And we will always be together, each of us right behind the other, linked, until the very last breath.”
🖤 “I know this is terrifying for you…But it will end. All things end, eventually. Even the very best of stories. And the worst of them too.”
🖤 “Beauty is poison to monsters…They love beauty, covet it, but they can’t have it.”
🖤 “Some dreams are dangerous, the ones you try the hardest to forget. Because then they grow gaunt and bladed, and will come back clawing up your throat.”
🖤 “Because my name is cradled in your bones. Because your heart sounds the same as mine. Because a sky is just unremarkable darkness without the stars. It’s empty.”
🖤 “Sometimes secrets are secret for a reason, because to know them will hurt us more than to keep them hidden.”
So this post was supposed to be up 2 days ago. I got sick (again) and have been struggling with my mental health, but here it is. Finally.
Anyway, I was sent all three books in The Bone Witch trilogy by Rin Chupeco in exchange for an honest review in collaboration with the Fantastic Flying Book Club.
I had been eyeing this series for a while, and I feel so lucky I was included on this blog tour. 🖤
Also, don’t miss the playlist I created and giveaway at the end of this post!
The Shadow Glass by Rin Chupeco
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire Release Date: March 1, 2019 Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
The Bone Witch
In the captivating start to a new, darkly lyrical fantasy series for readers of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir, Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price…
Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there’s anything I’ve learned from him in the years since, it’s that the dead hide truths as well as the living.
When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.
In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha-one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.
The Heart Forger (The Bone Witch #2)
In The Bone Witch, Tea mastered resurrection―now she’s after revenge…
No one knows death like Tea. A bone witch who can resurrect the dead, she has the power to take life…and return it. And she is done with her self-imposed exile. Her heart is set on vengeance, and she now possesses all she needs to command the mighty daeva. With the help of these terrifying beasts, she can finally enact revenge against the royals who wronged her―and took the life of her one true love.
But there are those who plot against her, those who would use Tea’s dark power for their own nefarious ends. Because you can’t kill someone who can never die…
War is brewing among the kingdoms, and when dark magic is at play, no one is safe.
The Shadow Glass(The Bone Witch #3)
The dramatic finale to The Bone Witch series! Tea’s dark magic eats away at her, but she must save the one she loves most, even while her life—and the kingdoms—are on the brink of destruction.
In the Eight Kingdoms, none have greater strength or influence than the asha, who hold elemental magic. But only a bone witch has the power to raise the dead. Tea has used this dark magic to breathe life into those she has loved and lost…and those who would join her army against the deceitful royals. But Tea’s quest to conjure a shadowglass, to achieve immortality for the one person she loves most in the world, threatens to consume her.
Tea’s heartsglass only grows darker with each new betrayal. Her work with the monstrous azi, her thirst for retribution, her desire to unmask the Faceless—they all feed the darkrot that is gradually consuming her heartsglass. She is haunted by blackouts and strange visions, and when she wakes with blood on her hands, Tea must answer to a power greater than the elder asha or even her conscience. Tea’s life—and the fate of the kingdoms—hangs in the balance.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Despite an unsettling resemblance to Japanese revenants, Rin always maintains her sense of hummus. Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. Dances like the neighbors are watching.
She is represented by Rebecca Podos of the Helen Rees Agency. She is also fond of speaking in the third person, and may as well finish this short bio in this manner. While she does not always get to check her Goodreads page, she does answer questions posed to her here as promptly as she is able to.
I loved so much about the series: the politics, the characters (particularly Tea, Kaled, Lihk, Khalad, Zoya, Shadi), the romances, the diversity, the magic. The story progressed over each book in the trilogy—told through two different timelines, the present and past—and each book was better than the last. 🖤
As a writer, I cannot begin to understand how Rin wrote this trilogy. The characters, the magic, the politics were all so complex and vital to the story. I’m amazed at how the character and world building served the plot progression.
While this was a dramatic and action-filled story, I wasn’t as emotionally involved as I had hoped. I didn’t cry when important characters died, I rarely felt tense despite scenes of war, and it wasn’t until the final chapters of the third book that I shed a few tears. My only wish is that the emotion would have been cranked up throughout this series. If it had been, this series would have been 5 stars.
🖤 “If there is one thing people desire more than a good story…it is when they speak their own.”
🖤 “Sometimes it is good to remind ourselves how bitterness tastes.”
🖤 “When people cut us, we are expected to do only two things: smile and bleed.”
🖤 “We can endure any amount of sadness, for the people we love.”
🖤 “People will never be what you make of them, but at least your own heart stays yours and true.”
🖤 “Then perhaps we should carve a world one day where the strength lies in who you are, rather than in what they expect you to be.”
🖤 “It’s not such a bad thing, to feel powerless sometimes. It teaches us that some situations are inevitable and that we should spend what little time we have in the company of the people that matter most.”
🖤 “But fear is a powerful motivator.”
🖤 “But grief means you have loved. To love opens up the possibility for grief. There cannot be one without the other.”
🖤 “People need someone to hate. And it’s easier to see that in others than to find it in themselves.”
🖤 “Patience is the long pause between action and its consequences. Lengthier silences open you up to introspection, and I’ve known a lot of solitude.”
🖤 “I don’t chase after people who don’t feel the same way about me as I do about them.”
🖤 “And you’re an ugly old woman hiding her mediocrity in expensive clothes.”
🖤 “Lies are sweet to the palate, but the truth is often spat out, bitter and rancid.”
🖤 “People tend to believe those who are in charge, no matter how ridiculous or corrupt they may be.”
🖤 “Have you ever loved anyone so fiercely you were afraid it might shatter you? It was a blessing and a burden I carried.”
🖤 “It is never wrong to wish for more happiness.”
Check out the Spotify playlist I created inspired by The Shadow Glass!