August Goals

Every day recently has gotten better and better for me. Mostly because I decided a long time ago to be happy and grateful no matter the circumstances and so far that’s really been working for me. It’s the simple stuff. I’m putting more things that make me happy as priorities in my life and letting be whatever gives me a sense of pain.

One thing I’ve oddly turned to has been making food. I never liked the idea of cooking. Mostly because I don’t like the mentality that a women’s place is in the kitchen and that turned me off of cooking for years. However, I’ve gained a lot of independence in my life recently and part of that has been making food for myself.

I’ve enjoyed making myself bean tacos and finding different recipes on Pinterest I’d like to try. I’m making some popsicles out of ingredients I find around the kitchen. I like making different recipes my own and being surprised by how good they actually taste.

One of my goals for the month is to continue exploring that new aspect of my life and trying different things.

Mostly, I want to keep my goals as loose as possible. I’m feeling really good about myself and I want to follow that feeling and take things one step at a time. I talked already in a previous post that I’m really going to be focusing on finding myself a better job during this month. So I’ve been applying around and figuring out where I’d prefer working and what the best step forward is for me.

I know that my focus has been more about internal and practical stuff, but that’s what I’ve needed to focus on recently. I will always be a bookworm. I will always find joy in writing. But, I needed to choose myself and focus on being better as a person so that when I write it’s something that I can give my all to in a positive way.

I may write this month. I may read this month, but my main focus is on my own happiness and peace of mind. I don’t want to bite off more then I can chew and restart old patterns that weren’t healthy for me. I know I can handle a lot in my life. I’ve handled plenty, but I’m working on making all of my dreams come true one step at a time and I realized even just today that as good as I’ve gotten at letting things be I can still get worked up over certain things and I need to continue refocus on the positives.

Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

Check out the Wolfe Creek Candle Website!

-Till next time!

Advertisements

Most Anticipated: YA Releases August 2019s

The Most Anticipated YA Book Releases posts are coming back! I’m so sad that I didn’t have the energy to post them for so long, but they are officially back and they are here to stay!

On to the books!

August 1st

Here There Are Monsters by Amelinda Berube

“The Blair Witch Project meets Imaginary Girls in this story of sisterhood turned toxic, imaginary monsters brought to life, and secrets that won’t stay buried.

Sixteen-year-old Skye is done playing the knight in shining armor for her insufferable younger sister, Deirdre. Moving across the country seems like the perfect chance to start over. Maybe even build a normal life.

In their isolated new neighborhood, Skye manages to fit in, but Deirdre withdraws from everyone, becoming fixated on the swampy woods behind their house and building monstrous sculptures out of sticks and bones.

Then Deirdre disappears.

And when something awful comes scratching at Skye’s window in the middle of the night, claiming she’s the only one who can save Deirdre, Skye knows she will stop at nothing to bring her sister home.”

This cover!!!! So creepy and awesome! I’m so happy every time I see a new spooky YA novel out in the world. I’d love the opportunity to read this in the future!

August 6th

#MurderFunding by Gretchen McNeil

“WELCOME TO WHO WANTS TO BE A PANIAC?, the latest reality TV show on the hunt for the next big-hit serial killer. But don’t worry—no one is actually going to murder anyone, as real as the fake gore and pretend murder may appear . . . uh, right?

Seventeen-year-old Becca Martinello is about to find out. When her perfectly normal soccer mom dies in a car crash, a strange girl named Stef appears to let Becca know that her deceased mom was none other than one of Alcatraz 2.0’s most popular serial killers—Molly Mauler. Soon, Becca ends up on Who Wants to Be a Painiac? to learn the truth about her mom’s connection to Molly Mauler, but things turn sinister when people are murdered IRL. Will Becca uncover dark secrets and make it out of the deadly reality show alive? Or will she get cut?”

HELL YES! This sounds amazing. I love a good concept and this is a fantastic one. Very Saw meets Murder Trivia Party. I love it!

How the Light Gets In by Katy Upperman

“Since her sister’s tragic death, seventeen-year-old Callie Ryan has basically given up. Her grades have plummeted, she’s quit her swim team, and she barely recognizes the people her parents once were.

When she returns to her aunt’s run-down coastal Victorian one year after Chloe’s death, Callie resigns herself to a summer of guilt and home renovations. She doesn’t expect to be charmed by the tiny coastal town or by Tucker Morgan, a local boy brimming with sunshine.

But even as her days begin to brighten, Callie’s nights are crowded with chilling dreams, unanswered questions, and eerie phenomenon that have her convinced she’s being haunted. Will Callie be able to figure out what her sister is trying to communicate before it’s too late?”

Paranormal/meet cute romance in a small town? Sign me up! Sounds like a great time.

A Dress for the Wicked by Autumn Krause

“The high-stakes fashion scene of a reimagined nineteenth century Europe takes center stage in this YA debut perfect for fans of The Belles and The Luxe.

Nothing much happens in the sleepy town of Shy in Avon-upon-Kynt. And for eighteen years, Emmaline Watkins has feared that her future held just that: nothing.

But when the head of the most admired fashion house in the country opens her prestigious design competition to girls from outside the stylish capital city, Emmy’s dreams seem closer than they ever have before.

As the first “country girl” to compete, Emmy knows she’ll encounter extra hurdles on her way to the top. But as she navigates the twisted world of high fashion she starts to wonder: will she be able to tailor herself to fit into this dark, corrupted race? And at what cost?

Historical fiction and contemporary fans alike will flock to this twisted, lush story of fashion, betrayal, and romance.”

The world of fashion is cutthroat. I love books that talk about it. I loved reading ‘The Belles’ and I’m sure I’d love this book as well!

Swipe Right for Murder by Derek Millman

“On the run from the FBI.

Targeted by a murderous cult.

Labeled a cyber-terrorist by the media.

Irritated texts from his best friend.

Eye contact with a nice-looking guy on the train.

Aidan has a lot to deal with, and he’s not quite sure which takes top priority.

Finding himself alone in a posh New York City hotel room for the night, Aidan does what any red-blooded seventeen-year-old would do—he tries to hook up with someone new. But that lapse in judgement leads to him waking up next to a dead guy, which sparks an epic case of mistaken identity that puts Aidan on the run from everyone—faceless federal agents, his eccentric family, and, naturally, a cyber-terrorist group who will stop at nothing to find him.

He soon realizes the only way to stop the chase is to deliver the object everyone wants, before he gets caught or killed. But for Aidan, the hardest part is knowing who he can trust not to betray him—including himself.”

This book sounds like tons of fun. Full of action and tension. I also trust James Patterson’s taste so, I’m all for it!

Hello Girls by Brittany Cavallaro and Emily Henry

“From critically acclaimed authors Brittany Cavallaro and Emily Henry comes a powerful, page-turning teen novel about two teenage girls who have had enough of the controlling men in their lives—and take their rage on the road to make a new life for themselves.

Best friends are forged by fire. For Winona Olsen and Lucille Pryce, that fire happened the night they met outside the police station—both deciding whether to turn their families in.

Winona has been starving for life in the seemingly perfect home that she shares with her seemingly perfect father, celebrity weatherman Stormy Olsen. No one knows that he locks the pantry door to control her eating and leaves bruises where no one can see them.

Lucille has been suffocating beneath the needs of her mother and her drug-dealing brother, wondering if there’s more out there for her than disappearing waitress tips and generations of barely getting by.

One harrowing night, Winona and Lucille realize they can’t wait until graduation to start their new lives. They need out. Now. All they need is three grand, fast. And really, a stolen convertible to take them from Michigan to Las Vegas can’t hurt.

A darkly funny, razor-sharp collaboration between Brittany Cavallaro and Emily Henry, Hello Girls is the unforgettable story of two girls who are filled with equal parts rage and love—and must reclaim their power if they are ever going to get away with their daring escape.”

I’m so curious about what’s going to happen in this book. There are so many directions this can go in and I’m already intrigued! I’d love to read this and find out all the details.

Announcing Trouble by Amy Fellner Dominy

“I may know everything there is to know about baseball, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. Or like him. Garrett Reeves: sidelined player and the embodiment of everything I’ve learned to hate about baseball. He’s gorgeous, he’s cocky, he’s laser-focused on getting back in the game, no matter the cost.

When he convinces me to call games alongside him, our chemistry heats up the booth. We’re good together, whether I want to admit it or not. I’m finding that I like baseball again, but even worse, I’m liking Garrett. A lot.

But when he has to decide between our future and a new shot at his dreams, I know baseball will win out every time.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book has tons of hilarious banter, lots of sexual tension, and a hero who will throw a wild pitch right at your heart.”

I have a soft spot for cute mini romances. It’s a guilty pleasure, but I enjoy stuff like this all the same!

Let’s Call it a Doomsday by Katie Henry

“There are so many ways the world could end. There could be a fire. A catastrophic flood. A super eruption that spews lakes of lava. Ellis Kimball has made note of all possible scenarios, and she is prepared for each one. What she doesn’t expect is meeting Hannah Marks in her therapist’s waiting room. Hannah calls their meeting fate. After all, Ellis is scared about the end of the world; Hannah knows when it’s going to happen.

Despite Ellis’s anxiety — about what others think of her, about what she’s doing wrong, about the safety of her loved ones — the two girls become fast friends. As Ellis tries to help Hannah decipher the details of her doomsday premonition, she learns there are secrets Hannah isn’t telling her. But with time ticking down, the search for answers only raises more questions. When does it happen? Who will believe them? How do you prepare for the end of the world when it feels like your life is just getting started?

Katie Henry, the author of Heretics Anonymous, delivers an engrossing and thoughtful tale about how people survive — with some faith in family, friends, and maybe a few prepper forums.”

This book sounds oddly adorable. So many of us live our lives in fear of the unknown, but if you don’t take a leap you’ll never know how beautiful life can be. I have a good feeling about this book. I hope to pick it up at some point.

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

“Get swept away in Erin A. Craig’s mesmerizing House of Salt and Sorrows. As one by one her beautiful sisters mysteriously die on their isolated island estate, Annaleigh must unravel the curse that haunts her family. Be careful who you dance with. . . .

Four of Annaleigh Thaumas’s eleven sisters have returned to the Salt, the brackish water that surrounds their lonely island home, their lives cut short, each more tragically than the last. Whispers throughout the Highmoor estate say the girls have been cursed by the gods.

When Annaleigh finds out that her sisters have been sneaking out to attend glittering midnight balls and dance until dawn, she’s not sure whether to stop them–or join them. And when she begins to see a series of horrific, ghostly visions and more sisters die, she realizes she must solve the mystery–with the help of Cassius, a sea captain who knows much more about her than he should–and unravel the Thaumas curse before she descends into madness or . . . it claims her next.”

Paranormal mystery on an island? Sounds great to me! I love a good premise and this one has a great one.

Remember Me by Chelsea Bobulski

“In this eerie and suspenseful YA, a teen girl discovers what connects her to the hotel she calls home as horrifying visions lead her to the truth.

Nell Martin is moving again, this time to the Winslow Grand Hotel, built in 1878. As Nell is settling in, strange things begin to happen. Doors lock of their own accord, writing appears on bathroom walls—and most horrifying of all—visions of a dead boy permeate her waking life. Thinking it was her mind playing tricks on her, she soon finds the past and the present colliding as she learns horrific details of a murder that happened at the hotel in 1905 involving a girl named Lea.

Nell and a mysterious bellboy must relive that day in hopes of finally breaking a curse that imprisons them both. And Nell discovers what truly links her to the history of the Winslow Grand Hotel.”

Paranormal hotel horror! I love the spooky vibes this book has.

Postcards for a Songbird by Rebekah Crane

“Everyone eventually leaves Wren Plumley. First it was her mother, then her best friend, and then her sister. Now living with only her cop father and her upended dreams, Wren feels stranded, like a songbird falling in a storm.

When Wilder, a sickly housebound teen, moves in next door, Wren finally finds what she’s always wanted—a person who can’t leave. But a chance meeting with Luca, the talkative, crush-worthy boy in her driver’s ed class, has Wren wondering if maybe she’s too quick to push people away. Soon, Wren finds herself caught between the safety of a friendship and a love worth fighting for.

Wren starts to dream again. But when postcards begin arriving from her sister, Wren must ultimately confront why her mother left fourteen years before and why her sister followed in her footsteps. For her new life to take flight, Wren will have to reconcile the heartbreaking beauty of lost dreams and the beautiful heartbreak of her new reality.”

This book sounds heartbreaking, but in a beautiful way. I’d love to read it at a later time in my life. I think it’d bring me a lot of tears now.

Ziggy, Stardust and Me by James Brandon

“In this tender-hearted debut, set against the tumultuous backdrop of life in 1973, when homosexuality is still considered a mental illness, two boys defy all the odds and fall in love.

When he’s not being bullied or in therapy for anxiety, sixteen-year-old Jonathan lives with his alcoholic dad in the suburbs of St. Louis. Still coping with the death of his mother, his elaborate imagination keeps him afloat and is a balm against vicious school bullies. But everything changes when a Native American boy named Web joins his English class three weeks before the school year ends.

After being partnered for an English project, Jonathan realizes Web is different from his classmates: he’s confident, stands up to Jonathan’s bullies, and calms Jonathan’s severe anxiety. Then one day Web kisses him, and throws Jonathan into a tailspin. It’s 1973 and being gay is considered a mental illness. Eventually he tells Web they can’t be together.

But when things get bad at home Jonathan must decide if he wants to stand up to his dad, and his therapist, and be true to himself.”

This book sounds like it’s meant to break me. All I want in this world is for everyone to be able to love who they love. So I know this is a story that would bring me to tears.

A Crash of Fate by Zoraida Cordova

“In this Young Adult novel, Izzy and Jules were best friends until Izzy’s family abruptly left Batuu when she was six. Now she’s back, and Jules, the boy who never left, is unsure what to make of her. While on the run from vengeful smugglers and an angry pirate, the two friends will come to terms with who they are, and what they mean to each other.”

Star Wars is another franchise I’d love to get into. I’ve only seen the first film, but with books like this coming out I’m interested in trying it out!

August 8th

No Big Deal by Bethanny Rutter

“Witty, timely and just darn brilliant, No Big Deal by Bethany Rutter will publish in Spring 2019.

No Big Deal tells the story of Emily, a fat teenager who is perfectly happy with her body, thank you very much. With a mum signing up to new fad diets every week, and friends who appear to be having grown-up sexual relationships, Emily faces the constant battle to stay strong and not conform to society’s idealistic image of a young woman. Can she remain the strong feminist (with a great sense of style) that she is and retain her identity as a happy fat girl?”

We need more books like this! Showing girls and guys who are happy in their own skin and making their own way in the world is so important. This sounds like a fabulous novel!

August 13th

Truly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud

“Fiercely independent and smart, Zora Emerson wants to change the world. She’s excited to be attending a prestigious summer program, even if she feels out of place among her privileged, mostly white classmates. So she’s definitely not expecting to feel a connection to Owen, who’s an actual prince of an island off the coast of England. But Owen is funny, charming…and undeniably cute. Zora can’t ignore the chemistry between them. When Owen invites Zora to be his date at his big brother’s big royal wedding, Zora is suddenly thrust into the spotlight, along with her family and friends. Everyone is talking about her, in real life and online, and while Owen is used to the scrutiny, Zora’s not sure it’s something she can live with. Can she maintain her sense of self while moving between two very different worlds? And can her feelings for Owen survive and thrive in the midst of the crazy? Find out in this charming romantic comedy that’s like The Princess Diaries for a new generation.”

This book sounds too cute not to read! I’m actually far more interested in this book then I thought I would be just by looking at the cover. I love the princess diaries so I feel like I will also love this book!

We Are the Ghosts by Vicky Skinner

“After her estranged brother suddenly dies, a girl embarks on a road trip to rediscover who her brother really was in this contemporary YA novel.

When Ellie’s estranged brother, Luke, dies in a car accident, she’s not sure whether to be devastated that she lost the person who was once her best friend or enraged, still, that he left without a word a year ago. Now, the only people who seem to understand what she’s going through are Luke’s best friend and his ex-girlfriend, who she bonds with over their desire to figure out where Luke went when he walked out of their lives.

As she gets closer to them, and closer to Cade, a boy who seems determined to get to know her better, she realizes that she’s not the only one with reasons to be angry at Luke. And when Ellie makes a discovery that changes everything, she and her new friends hit the road, hoping that following Luke’s trail will bring them answers about the life Luke was living away from them.”

This story feels like it will be a unique one. I’m intrigued by the concept and the mystery surrounding it.

Start Here by Trish Dollar

“Two teens go on a life-changing sailing trip as they deal with the grief of losing their best friend in this heartwrenching, hopeful novel from the author of Something Like Normal and In a Perfect World.

Willa and Taylor were supposed to spend the summer after high school sailing from Ohio to Key West with their best friend, Finley. But Finley died before graduation, leaving them with a twenty-five-foot sailboat, a list of clues leading them to destinations along the way, and a friendship that’s hanging by a thread.

Now, Willa and Taylor have two months and two thousand miles to discover how life works without Finley—and to decide if their own friendship is worth saving.

From acclaimed author Trish Doller comes a poignant tale of forgiveness, grief, and the brilliant discoveries we make within ourselves when we least expect it.”

I think that we need more books out in the world that talk about dealing with grief in a healthy way. Feeling that deeply always hits hard, but the more we talk about it in an open way the easier it might be for us all to carry it with us.

The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill

“Deep beneath the sea, off the cold Irish coast, Gaia is a young mermaid who dreams of freedom from her controlling father. On her first swim to the surface, she is drawn towards a human boy. She longs to join his carefree world, but how much will she have to sacrifice? What will it take for the little mermaid to find her voice? Hans Christian Andersen’s original fairy tale is reimagined through a searing feminist lens, with the stunning, scalpel-sharp writing and world building that has won Louise her legions of devoted fans. A book with the darkest of undercurrents, full of rage and rallying cries: storytelling at its most spellbinding.”

The Little Mermaid retold! I love it! I will always be happy to read a retelling and I’m super excited for this one!

The Downstairs Girl by Stacy Lee

“By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady’s maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, “Dear Miss Sweetie.” When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society’s ills, but she’s not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender. While her opponents clamor to uncover the secret identity of Miss Sweetie, a mysterious letter sets Jo off on a search for her own past and the parents who abandoned her as a baby. But when her efforts put her in the crosshairs of Atlanta’s most notorious criminal, Jo must decide whether she, a girl used to living in the shadows, is ready to step into the light. With prose that is witty, insightful, and at times heartbreaking, Stacey Lee masterfully crafts an extraordinary social drama set in the New South.”

This story sounds fun in every sense of the word! I’d be delighted to read it!

Gut Check by Eric Kester

“A darkly comic high-school drama about brotherhood, body image, concussions, and toxic masculinity from Boston Globe–bestselling adult author of That Book About Harvard.

Wyatt has wanted nothing more than to play football on Grayport’s championship-winning team. But not for the fame, glory, or girls. It’s his last chance to build a relationship with his older brother Brett, the star quarterback, before he leaves for college. Now that their team has gained national attention, a big win could be just what the small town needs in order to rebound from a fishing season that has been devastated by Red Tide. But when Brett suffers a terrible concussion, Wyatt must decide if keeping his brother’s secret is worth risking his scholarship future.

Told with irreverent humor reminiscent of Carl Hiaasen, and a stark honesty about brotherhood and masculinity for fans of Andrew Smith, Gut Check explores the struggle of grappling with uncomfortable truths.”

Any book that covers toxic masculinity is a book worth reading in my opinion. I’m very curious about this book and hopefully I’ll get to sit down and read it in the future.

The Importance of being Wilde at Heart by R. Zamora Linmark

“Readers of Adam Silvera (They Both Die at the End) and Elizabeth Acevedo (The Poet X) will pull out the tissues for this tender, quirky story of one seventeen-year-old boy’s journey through first love and first heartbreak, guided by his personal hero, Oscar Wilde.

Words have always been more than enough for Ken Z, but when he meets Ran at the mall food court, everything changes. Beautiful, mysterious Ran opens the door to a number of firsts for Ken: first kiss, first love. But as quickly as he enters Ken’s life, Ran disappears, and Ken Z is left wondering: Why love at all, if this is where it leads?

Letting it end there would be tragic. So, with the help of his best friends, the comfort of his haikus and lists, and even strange, surreal appearances by his hero, Oscar Wilde, Ken will find that love is worth more than the price of heartbreak.”

This is a book with a message I can get behind! Love is definitely worth more than the price of heartbreak. Yes, if it ends it hurts, but it doesn’t make the love itself any less beautiful.

August 20th

The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy Colbert

“Perfect for fans of Nina LaCour and Nicola Yoon comes a novel about first love and family secrets from Stonewall Book Award winner Brandy Colbert.

Dove “Birdie” Randolph works hard to be the perfect daughter and follow the path her parents have laid out for her: She quit playing her beloved soccer, she keeps her nose buried in textbooks, and she’s on track to finish high school at the top of her class. But then Birdie falls hard for Booker, a sweet boy with a troubled past…whom she knows her parents will never approve of.

When her estranged aunt Carlene returns to Chicago and moves into the family’s apartment above their hair salon, Birdie notices the tension building at home. Carlene is sweet, friendly, and open-minded–she’s also spent decades in and out of treatment facilities for addiction. As Birdie becomes closer to both Booker and Carlene, she yearns to spread her wings. But when long-buried secrets rise to the surface, everything she’s known to be true is turned upside down.”

I really like Brandy Colbert. So, I’d love to read a new book from her sometime in the near future!

Brave Face by Shaun David Hutchinson

“Critically acclaimed author of We Are the Ants—described as having “hints of Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five” (School Library Journal)—opens up about what led to an attempted suicide in his teens, and his path back from the experience.

“I wasn’t depressed because I was gay. I was depressed and gay.”

Shaun David Hutchinson was nineteen. Confused. Struggling to find the vocabulary to understand and accept who he was and how he fit into a community in which he couldn’t see himself. The voice of depression told him that he would never be loved or wanted, while powerful and hurtful messages from society told him that being gay meant love and happiness weren’t for him.

A million moments large and small over the years all came together to convince Shaun that he couldn’t keep going, that he had no future. And so he followed through on trying to make that a reality.

Thankfully Shaun survived, and over time, came to embrace how grateful he is and how to find self-acceptance. In this courageous and deeply honest memoir, Shaun takes readers through the journey of what brought him to the edge, and what has helped him truly believe that it does get better.”

I get tingles thinking about reading this story! It sounds amazing!

Fan the Flame by Anna Priemaza

“Equal parts Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl and Jennifer Mathieu’s Moxie, this fiercely crafted, feminist YA novel takes on fandom, accountability, and doing the right thing. Even when it hurts.

Lainey wouldn’t mind lugging a camera around a video game convention for her brother, aka YouTube superstar Codemeister, except for one big problem. He’s funny and charming online, but behind closed doors, Cody is a sexist jerk.

SamTheBrave came to this year’s con with one mission: meeting Codemeister—because getting his idol’s attention could be the big break Sam needs.

ShadowWillow is already a successful streamer. But when her fans start shipping her with Code, Shadow concocts a plan to turn the rumors to her advantage.

The three teens’ paths collide when Lainey records one of Cody’s hateful rants on video. Because she’s determined to spill the truth to her brother’s fans—even if that means putting Sam and Shadow in the crosshairs.

Told through three relatable voices and arriving on the heels of the author’s widely praised debut novel, Kat and Meg Conquer the World, this sophomore novel is a nuanced and timely story about followers, fame, and fighting for what’s right.”

The internet can be a mess at times. Or a lot of the time. A book that showcases that is definitely timely and worth the read!

Color Me In by Natasha Diaz

“Debut YA author Natasha Diaz pulls from her personal experience to inform this powerful coming-of-age novel about the meaning of friendship, the joyful beginnings of romance, and the racism and religious intolerance that can both strain a family to the breaking point and strengthen its bonds.

Who is Nevaeh Levitz?

Growing up in an affluent suburb of New York City, sixteen-year-old Nevaeh Levitz never thought much about her biracial roots. When her Black mom and Jewish dad split up, she relocates to her mom’s family home in Harlem and is forced to confront her identity for the first time.

Nevaeh wants to get to know her extended family, but one of her cousins can’t stand that Nevaeh, who inadvertently passes as white, is too privileged, pampered, and selfish to relate to the injustices they face on a daily basis as African Americans. In the midst of attempting to blend their families, Nevaeh’s dad decides that she should have a belated bat mitzvah instead of a sweet sixteen, which guarantees social humiliation at her posh private school. Even with the push and pull of her two cultures, Nevaeh does what she’s always done when life gets complicated: she stays silent.

It’s only when Nevaeh stumbles upon a secret from her mom’s past, finds herself falling in love, and sees firsthand the prejudice her family faces that she begins to realize she has a voice. And she has choices. Will she continue to let circumstances dictate her path? Or will she find power in herself and decide once and for all who and where she is meant to be?”

This is a unique story and one I think that should be told more often. We judge so much by people’s backgrounds as humans when it doesn’t actually mean your any more or less worth it as a person.

My Box-Shaped Heart by Rachael Lucas

“A powerful YA novel about an unlikely friendship between two struggling teens—and how they come together to help one another.

Holly’s mom is a hoarder, and Holly is fed up with being picked on at school for being weird . . . and having the wrong clothes . . . and sticking out. All she wants is to fit in. She loves swimming, because in the water everyone is the same.

Ed goes to the swimming pool because everything else in his life has changed. In his old life, he had money, was on the swim team, knew who he was and what he wanted. In his old life, his dad hit his mom.

Holly is swimming in one direction and Ed’s swimming in the other. As their worlds collide they find a window into each other’s lives—and learn how to meet in the middle.”

This sounds like a really good contemporary novel and I’d love to read it!

As Many Nows as I Can Get by Shana Youngdahl

“A timely, searing, and unconventional romance from an urgent new voice in young adult fiction

In one impulsive moment the summer before they leave for college, overachievers Scarlett and David plunge into an irresistible swirl of romance, particle physics, and questionable decisions. Told in non-linear, vivid first-person chapters, As Many Nows As I Can Get is the story of a grounded girl who’s pulled into a lightning-strike romance with an electric-charged boy, and the enormity of the aftermath. Cerebral, accessible, bold, and unconventionally romantic, this is a powerful debut about grief, guilt, and reconciling who you think you need to be with the person you’ve been all along.”

This book is written non-linearly which is something I haven’t read before. I’m intrigued and the cover is gorgeous as well so.. yeah.

August 27th

Wild Savage Stars by Kristina Perez

“Branwen has a secret powerful enough to destroy two kingdoms.Her ancient magic caused a terrible betrayal by both her best friend, the princess Essy, and her first love, Tristan. Now this same magic is changing Branwen, growing ever stranger and darker.

Adrift in a rival court, she must hide the truth from the enemy king by protecting the lovers who broke her heart. Not everyone wants the alliance with Branwen’s kingdom to succeed — peace is balanced on a knife’s edge, and her only chance is to embrace the darkness within.”

This sounds like an adventure! I will always have room for more fantasy in my life.

Pumpkin Heads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks

“Pumpkinheads tells the story of Deja and Josiah, two high school seniors working their last shift at the local pumpkin patch-alooza. Josiah is in mourning. He’s not ready to let go of the patch. It’s not just a job for him; it’s his favorite place in the world!

But Deja doesn’t want to spend their last shift moping. She has plans. First: to try all their favorite fall-themed snacks (pie! s’mores! kettle corn!) one last time — and second: to help Josiah finally take a big risk.

Pumpkinheads is a book about fall and friendship and saying good-bye. About puns and pumpkin spice. And about taking a moment, while everything around you changes, to appreciate something wonderful.”

I want to get into reading graphic novels and this one looks so beautifully colorful and perfect for the upcoming autumn months!

The Best Worst Case Scenario by Sandy Hall

“Scenario: A Musical Theater Lock-In you’ve been looking forward to all summer long.

Best Case: You and all your best friends have a fabulous time, you win backstage passes to your favorite Broadway show, your crush falls madly in love with you, and you get amazing material for your college applications that gets you early admittance into their theater programs.

Worst Case: Your best friend brings your mortal enemy to the lock-in and insists that you be on the same team mere hours after you learn your father’s new girlfriend is now in charge of the lock-in. The drama totally overwhelms you, making it impossible to charm your crush and leaving you wanting to lay down on the floor and cry. Not exactly a formula for success.

Fans of Glee will delight in this fourth irresistibly fun and completely adorkable YA romance from Sandy Hall, the author of A Little Something Different.”

This book sounds entertaining and fun! Which is a recipe for a really great novel and I know I’d enjoy reading it.

Song of the Abyss by Makiia Lucier

“Ancient grievances, long-held grudges, and dangerous magic combine in this sweeping fantasy perfect for fans of Tamora Pierce and Rachel Hartman.

As the granddaughter of a famed navigator, seventeen-year-old Reyna has always lived life on her own terms, despite those who say a girl could never be an explorer for the royal house of St. John del Mar. She is determined to prove them wrong, and as she returns home after a year-long expedition, she knows her dream is within reach. No longer an apprentice, instead: Reyna, Master Explorer. But when menacing raiders attack her ship, those dreams are pushed aside. Reyna’s escape is both desperate and dangerous, and when next she sees her ship, a mystery rises from the deep. The sailors—her captain, her countrymen—have vanished. To find them, Reyna must use every resource at her disposal . . . including placing her trust in a handsome prince from a rival kingdom. Together they uncover a disturbing truth. The attack was no isolated incident. Troubling signs point to a shadowy kingdom in the north, and for once, the rulers of the Sea of Magdalen agree: something must be done. But can Reyna be brave enough to find a way?”

Sea fantasy book… yep.. yep.. yep.. all the yeps! I’d love to read this!

The Shortest Distance Between Love And Hate by Sandy Hall

“A teen girl starting at a new school is torn between long-held loyalties and a bright new love in this irresistible new YA contemporary romance from the author of A Little Something Different.

Paisley is really looking forward to college. She is ready to take charge of her destiny and embrace some new experiences! Finding a hot guy to make out with at her first ever college party seems like a great start . . . until her best friend informs her that mystery guy is actually Carter Schmitt, Paisley’s sworn enemy who basically ruined their lives in middle school.

So much for new people and exciting new experiences. Oh well. Paisley will just pretend he doesn’t exist. Of course that would be easier if Carter, AKA her super-hot-sworn-enemy, hadn’t ended up in three of her classes AND the same work study. Is it too late to rethink this college thing?

Sandy Hall, author of A Little Something Different and A Prom to Remember, is heading back to college in this sweet and quirky contemporary romance.”

This is a book I’m on the edge about. But, I’m always interested in different perspectives and ways of life so I’d be willing to give this book a try in the future.

All the Bad Apples by Moira Fowley Doyle

“Unflinching and gorgeously written, this feminist novel is important, timely, and a compulsive read. From the highly acclaimed author of the beloved The Accident Season comes an epic breakout novel examining the very topical and controversial issue of women’s sexual and reproductive rights, which has never been higher on the public’s radar.

When Deena’s wild older sister Mandy goes missing, presumed dead, Deena refuses to believe it’s true. Especially when letters start arriving–letters from Mandy–which proclaim that their family’s blighted history is not just bad luck or bad decisions but a curse, handed down to women from generation to generation. Mandy’s gone to find the root of the curse before it’s too late for Deena. But is the curse even real? And is Mandy still alive? Deena’s desperate, cross-country search for her beloved sister–guided only by the notes that mysteriously appear at each destination, leading her to former Magdalene laundry sites and more–is a love letter to women and a heartbreaking cathartic journey.”

Just by looking at the cover, this book looks like it’s going to be great. Reading the description I’m absolutely fascinated. I’m definitely going to pick this book up!

Mind Games by Shana Silver

“Arden sells memories. Whether it’s the becoming homecoming queen or studying for that all important test, Arden can hack into a classmate’s memories and upload the experience for you just as if you’d lived it yourself. Business is great, right up until the day Arden whites out, losing 15 minutes of her life and all her memories of the hot boy across the school yard. The hot boy her friends assure her she’s had a crush on for years.

Arden realizes that her own memories have been hacked, but they haven’t just been stolen and shared… they’ve been deleted. And she’s not the only one, the hot stranger, Sebastian, has lost ALL of his memories. But how can they find someone with the power to make them forget everything they’ve learned?”

I never see enough Sci-fi books around so I love that this book is coming out! The concept sounds very interesting!

Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford

“Impetuous and outspoken, seventeen-year-old Nor is used to living in her identical twin sister’s shadow. As the most beautiful girl in Lakana, Zadie is destined to marry the prince of Ilara, heir to all the ocean realms. Though free from her mother’s strict constraints, Nor still feels trapped. Just once, she longs to see Ilara’s glittering towers and encounter its dashing prince…

But when Zadie is injured, Nor is chosen to replace her. And she soon finds Prince Ceren is as forbidding and cold as llara, a realm carved into a mountain and devoid of light. Ceren’s plans would strip Lakana of its most precious resources–a decree Nor will risk anything to stop. And through Ceren’s half brother, Talin, she pursues an even darker mystery rooted in the failing royal bloodline, a murdered queen–and Ilara’s sinister secret history.

Now Nor must negotiate the treacherous protocols and insidious deceptions of a dazzling court where lies reign and obsession rules. And discovering her own formidable strength may be the one move that costs her everything: the crown, Lakana and Zadie.”

Beautiful book cover for what I hope to be a beautiful fantasy!

The Ghost Seekers by Devon Taylor

“The Harbinger is lost, sunk to the bottom of an otherworldly sea. Every soul that ever died and was protected within its hold has been lost along with it. But at least that precious cargo is out of reach of the demon Urcena and her army of soul-devouring monsters.

For now.

The soul keepers are broken, scattered, and barely clinging to existence without their ship or any way to collect or protect the souls of the newly dead. If they are to have any hope of stopping Urcena’s horrifying plans to destroy the fragile balance between living and dead, they will first have to survive long enough to locate the ghost of one of their own, who sacrificed himself to save the rest of the crew.”

This cover has me in awe.. I adore it. It looks mystical and mysterious and I want to see what story it holds.

Thanks everyone for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below. These posts have always been a joy for me to compile. However, I’m sad it’s taken me this long to get back to them. I hope you enjoyed it!

-Till next time!

August TBR: 2018

Hello everyone! It is August 2nd and I am excited to share with all of you the five books I’m planning to read in the next month.

Book I finished August 1st:

In Sight of Stars by Gae Polisner

Seventeen-year-old Klee’s father was the center of his life. He introduced Klee to the great museums of New York City and the important artists on their walls, he told him stories made of myths and magic. Until his death.

Now, forced to live in the suburbs with his mom, Klee can’t help but feel he’s lost all the identifying parts of himself—his beloved father, weekly trips to the MoMA, and the thrumming energy of New York City. That is until he meets wild and free Sarah in art class, with her quick smiles and jokes about his “brooding.” Suddenly it seems as if she’s the only thing that makes him happy. But when an act of betrayal sends him reeling, Klee lands in what is bitingly referred to as the “Ape Can,” a psychiatric hospital for teens in Northollow.

While there, he undergoes intensive therapy and goes back over the pieces of his life to find out what was real, what wasn’t, and whether he can stand on his own feet again. Told in alternating timelines, leading up to the event that gets him committed and working towards getting back out, Gae Polisner’s In Sight of Stars is a gorgeous novel told in minimalist strokes to maximal effect, about what makes us fall apart and how we can put ourselves back together again.

Gahh!! This book is amazing! I can’t wait to review it! I think this is a book all should read!

Book I am Currently Reading:

The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton

From the author of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender comes a haunting maelstrom of magic and murder in the lush, moody Pacific Northwest.

When Rona Blackburn landed on Anathema Island more than a century ago, her otherworldly skills might have benefited friendlier neighbors. Guilt and fear instead led the island’s original eight settlers to burn “the witch” out of her home. So Rona cursed them. Fast-forward one hundred–some years: All Nor Blackburn wants is to live an unremarkable teenage life. She has reason to hope: First, her supernatural powers, if they can be called that, are unexceptional. Second, her love life is nonexistent, which means she might escape the other perverse side effect of the matriarch’s backfiring curse, too. But then a mysterious book comes out, promising to cast any spell for the right price. Nor senses a storm coming and is pretty sure she’ll be smack in the eye of it. In her second novel, Leslye Walton spins a dark, mesmerizing tale of a girl stumbling along the path toward self-acceptance and first love, even as the Price Guide’s malevolent author — Nor’s own mother — looms and threatens to strangle any hope for happiness.

I loved The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender! So of course I had to request this book when I saw it on Netgalley! So far I’m enjoying it and I can definitely see the author’s unique style in this book.

Tbr:

Miles Away From You by A.B. Rutledge

It’s been three years since Miles fell for Vivian, a talented and dazzling transgender girl. Eighteen months since a suicide attempt left Vivian on life support. Now Miles isn’t sure who he is without her, but knows it’s time to figure out how to say goodbye.

He books a solo trip to Iceland but then has a hard time leaving the refuge of his hotel room. After a little push from Oskar, a local who is equal parts endearing and aloof, Miles decides to honor Vivian’s life by photographing her treasured Doc Martens standing empty against the surreal landscapes. With each step he takes, Miles finds his heart healing–even as he must accept that Vivian, still in a coma, will never recover.

Told through a series of instant messages to Vivian, this quirky and completely fresh novel explores love, loss, and the drastic distances we sometimes have to travel in order to move on.

The synopsis alone gives me chills. I have a feeling deep within me that this is going to be beautiful. I can’t wait to finish this so I can hopefully sing it’s praises for the world.

Nothing But Sky by Amy Trueblood

A 2018 Junior Library Guild selection.

“Trueblood’s action-packed first novel explores the post-World War I époque with visceral period detail, and Grace’s ambition carries the story about fighting for one’s dreams, seeking stability in some form, and a team becoming a family.” —Publishers Weekly

Grace Lafferty only feels alive when she’s dangling 500 feet above ground. As a post-World War I wing walker, Grace is determined to get to the World Aviation Expo, proving her team’s worth against flashier competitors and earning a coveted Hollywood contract.

No one’s ever questioned Grace’s ambition until Henry Patton, a mechanic with plenty of scars from the battlefield, joins her barnstorming team. With each new death-defying trick, Henry pushes Grace to consider her reasons for being a daredevil. Annoyed with Henry’s constant interference, and her growing attraction to him, Grace continues to test the powers of the sky.

After one of her risky maneuvers saves a pilot’s life, a Hollywood studio offers Grace a chance to perform at the Expo. She jumps at the opportunity to secure her future. But when a stunt goes wrong, Grace must decide whether Henry, and her life, are worth risking for one final trick.

Cold Hard Truth by Anne Greenwood Brown

Emmie O’Brien is a former good girl now on the fringe. She spent a crazy year involved with Nick, her mom’s drug dealer; after her arrest she was lucky to go back to her old life. But she’s haunted by the choices she made—first, to be with Nick, and then later, to testify against him. Max Shepherd is a senior varsity hockey player with serious anger issues. His grief over the death of his girlfriend causes him to see injustice wherever he looks. When they meet in community service, Max is drawn to Emmie’s calm energy, but Emmie knows better than to get too close to anyone. When friends of Nick show up seeking revenge, Emmie is forced to come to terms with her past, while Max has to control his protective instincts. They must trust one another, especially when Emmie’s situation takes a dangerous turn.

I would normally say a fun contemporary when I look at a book like this, but really this looks like a dark contemporary and that might be even better in my book.

Paramnesia by Brian Wilkinson

Nora Edwards finally had everything she wanted out of life, including the boy of her dreams, Andrew, until one night that dream turned into a nightmare. On their way home from prom, Nora and Andrew are attacked by a supernatural creature called the Revenant that sucks the souls out of the living in order to feed itself. Nora manages to escape from the creature, but tragically, Andrew is not as fortunate.

Although Nora suffers loss that night, she gains something as well: the ability to see the dead, including her recently deceased boyfriend. Whether the skill is a gift or a curse is yet to be determined, since those around her assume Nora’s erratic behaviour is due to “paramnesia,” a disorder in which a person confuses dreams with reality. She’s also attracted the attention of the Revenant’s masters, who need to preserve the secret of their supernatural existence and will stop at nothing to prevent her from talking. Nora, along with Andrew and her living and dead allies in the Deadish Society, quickly finds herself in a battle for her life—and the souls of her city.

This book sounds exciting! I really like the concept. It sounds action packed and super interesting.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below. What are you reading in August?

-Till next time!

Most Anticipated YA Releases: August 2018

August is upon us and we have some top-tear releases to look forward to. As always with this post your in for a long ride. Get you tbr ready because I have a lot of fantastic books to share with all of you.

August 7th

#Murdertrending by Gretchen McNeil

“WELCOME TO THE NEAR FUTURE, where good and honest 8/18 citizens can enjoy watching the executions of society’s most infamous convicted felons, streaming live on The Postman app from the suburbanized prison island Alcatraz 2.0.

When eighteen-year-old Dee Guerrera wakes up in a haze, lying on the ground of a dimly lit warehouse, she realizes she’s about to be the next victim of the app. Knowing hardened criminals are getting a taste of their own medicine in this place is one thing, but Dee refuses to roll over and die for a heinous crime she didn’t commit. Can Dee and her newly formed posse, the Death Row Breakfast Club, prove she’s innocent before she ends up wrongfully murdered for the world to see? Or will The Postman’s cast of executioners kill them off one by one?”

This concept is insane enough to actually one day be real. It feels sick in many ways, but when we are removed from our morality when placed behind the safety of a screen bad things happen. I want to see how the characters deal when they are the victim.

Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas

“When the Bat’s away, the Cat will play. It’s time to see how many lives this cat really has. . .

Two years after escaping Gotham City’s slums, Selina Kyle returns as the mysterious and wealthy Holly Vanderhees. She quickly discovers that with Batman off on a vital mission, Batwing is left to hold back the tide of notorious criminals. Gotham City is ripe for the taking.

Meanwhile, Luke Fox wants to prove he has what it takes to help people in his role as Batwing. He targets a new thief on the prowl who seems cleverer than most. She has teamed up with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, and together they are wreaking havoc. This Catwoman may be Batwing’s undoing.”

I have always adored catwoman. I wanted to be her on halloween. The fact that Maas wrote her story in the DC Universe series is just icing on the cake. I need to read this!

Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson

“A new novel in the New York Times–bestselling Remnant Chronicles universe, in which a reformed thief and the young leader of an outlaw dynasty lock wits in a battle that may cost them their lives—and their hearts.

When the patriarch of the Ballenger empire dies, his son, Jase, becomes its new leader. Even nearby kingdoms bow to the strength of this outlaw family, who have always governed by their own rules. But a new era looms on the horizon, set in motion by a young queen, which makes her the target of the dynasty’s resentment and anger.

At the same time, Kazi, a legendary former street thief, is sent by the queen to investigate transgressions against the new settlements. When Kazi arrives in the forbidding land of the Ballengers, she learns that there is more to Jase than she thought. As unexpected events spiral out of their control, bringing them intimately together, they continue to play a cat and mouse game of false moves and motives in order to fulfill their own secret missions.”

I’ve wanted to read the Remnant chronicles for ages! This new addition that will be a part of a series all its own sounds absolutely incredible! Plus, how could I resist that cover?

Echoes by Alice Reeds

“They wake on a deserted island. Fiona and Miles, high school enemies now stranded together. No memory of how they got there. No plan to follow, no hope to hold on to.

Each step forward reveals the mystery behind the forces that brought them here. And soon, the most chilling discovery: something else is on the island with them.

Something that won’t let them leave alive.”

What is more scary than being on a deserted island with your enemies and having to face an unknown greater danger? If that doesn’t sound like a fantastic read I don’t know what does?

Finding Yvonne by Brandy Colbert

“Since she was seven years old, Yvonne has had her trusted violin to keep her company, especially in those lonely days after her mother walked out on their family. But with graduation just around the corner, she is forced to face the hard truth that she just might not be good enough to attend a conservatory after high school.

Full of doubt about her future, and increasingly frustrated by her strained relationship with her successful but emotionally closed-off father, Yvonne meets a street musician and fellow violinist who understands her struggle. He’s mysterious, charming, and different from Warren, the familiar and reliable boy who has her heart. But when Yvonne becomes unexpectedly pregnant, she has to make the most difficult decision yet about her future.”

When I read Little and Lion by Colbert I knew I had to read every other book she ever writes. I love her writing style and I can’t wait for this book to come out!

Girl at the Grave by Teri Bailey Black

“Valentine has spent years trying to outrun her mother’s legacy. But small towns have long memories, and when a new string of murders occurs, all signs point to the daughter of a murderer.

Only one person believes Valentine is innocent—Rowan Blackshaw, the son of the man her mother killed all those years ago. Valentine vows to find the real killer, but when she finally uncovers the horrifying truth, she must choose to face her own dark secrets, even if it means losing Rowan in the end.”

A good old fashioned mystery. Sign me up!

Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry

“Michael is an atheist. So as he walks through the doors at St. Clare’s—a strict Catholic school—sporting a plaid tie, things can’t get much worse. His dad has just made the family move again, and Michael needs a friend. When a girl challenges their teacher in class, Michael thinks he might have found one, and a fellow nonbeliever at that. Only this girl, Lucy, is not just Catholic . . . she wants to be a priest.

But Lucy introduces Michael to other St. Clare’s outcasts, and he officially joins Heretics Anonymous, where he can be an atheist, Lucy can be an outspoken feminist, Avi can be Jewish and gay, Max can wear whatever he wants, and Eden can practice paganism. After an incident in theology class, Michael encourages the Heretics to go from secret society to rebels intent on exposing the school’s hypocrisies. When Michael takes one mission too far—putting the other Heretics at risk—he must decide whether to fight for his own freedom, or rely on faith, whatever that means, in God, his friends, or himself.”

I am not an atheist, but I am alway open to seeing another’s point of view. I went to a Catholic school where several of my classmates were atheist and to kinda see that in book form sounds cool to me.

Let Me List the Ways by Sarah White

“A breezy, sexy contemporary YA about falling in love with your best friend, from Wattpad phenom Sarah White.

Mackenzie Clark has been best friends with Nolan Walker for as long as she can remember. She’s shared everything with him, from adventures with their families and days lounging at the beach, to long talks about their friends and her journey with type 1 diabetes. The only thing she hasn’t shared is the fact that she is in love with him.

Now in their senior year of high school, Mackenzie and Nolan know that in a few short months everything will change as they head off to different colleges. Determined to make the most of the time they still have left, they come up with a list of things they want to do together before graduation. But as they make their way through everything from toilet papering the school bully’s house to having a backyard camp-out like the ones they had when they were kids, Mackenzie can’t help feeling that she’s left the most important thing off the list: telling Nolan how she feels. But when confessing her love could jeopardize the incredible relationship they already have, is honesty really the best policy?”

I love wattpad. I need to read more romantic contemporary. This sounds like a good time.

Nine by Zach Hines

“In an alternate world startlingly close to our own, humans have nine lives—and they can’t wait to burn straight through them.

As you shed lives, you shed your awkward phases: one death is equal to one physical and mental upgrade. Julian’s friends are obsessed with the idea of burning lives, but Julian is determined to stay on his first for as long as he can. His mother, the ultimate cautionary tale, burned through her first eight in just a few years, and Julian has no intention of succumbing to the debilitating rebirth sickness that she inflicted on herself.

But the regime has death incentives aimed at controlling overpopulation, and Julian realizes that he’s going to have to burn at some point—especially when he becomes a target for Nicholas, the manipulative leader of the Burners, the school’s suicide club. And when Julian eventually succumbs, he uncovers suspicious gaps in the rebirth system that may explain exactly why his mother went so far down the rabbit hole years ago. Along with a group of student dissenters, Julian sets out to find answers and is soon on the verge of exposing the greatest conspiracy ever unleashed on the world.

He has just eight more lives to uncover the brutal truth.”

There is A LOT to unpack here. I really want this to be good based on the concept. I hope it is written well.

Ruin of Stars by Linsey Miller

“As Opal, Sal finally has the power, prestige, and most importantly the ability to hunt the lords who killed their family. But Sal has to figure out who the culprits are before putting them down. Which means trying to ignore the fact that Elise is being kept a virtual prisoner, and that the queen may have ulterior motives.

And the tales coming out of north are baffling. Talk of dark spirits, missing children, and magic abound. As Sal heads north toward their ruined homeland and the lords who destroyed everything, they learn secrets and truths that can’t be ignored.”

A sequel to a book I really enjoyed.

Someone I Used to Know by Patty Blount

“TRIGGER WARNING: Boys will be boys is never an excuse.

It’s been two years since the night that changed Ashley’s life. Two years since she was raped by her brother’s teammate. And a year since she sat in a court and watched as he was given a slap-on-the-wrist sentence. But the years have done nothing to stop the pain or lessen the crippling panic attacks that make her feel like she’s living a half-life.

It’s been two years of hell for Derek. His family is totally messed up and he and his sister are barely speaking. He knows she partially blames him for what happened, and totally blames him for how he handled the aftermath. Now at college, he has to come to terms with what happened, and the rape culture that he was inadvertently a part of that destroyed his sister’s life.

When it all comes to a head at Thanksgiving, Derek and Ashley have to decide if their relationship is able to be saved. And if their family can ever be whole again.”

This is going to be a HARD read for me, but a necessary one. I hope I can get to it one day eventually. It sounds heartbreaking.

The Dark Beneath the Ice by Amelinda Bérubé

“Something is wrong with Marianne.

It’s not just that her parents have split up, or that life hasn’t been the same since she quit dancing. Or even that her mother has checked herself into the hospital.

She’s losing time. Doing things she would never do. And objects around her seem to break whenever she comes close.

Something is after her. But a first attempt at an exorcism calls down the full force of the thing’s rage. It demands Marianne give back what she stole. And Marianne must uncover the truth that lies beneath it all before the nightmare can take what it think it’s owed, leaving Marianne trapped in the darkness of the other side.”

Yes to all the horror and exorcism! I am so excited for this one!

The Forest Queen by Betsy Cornwell

“When sixteen-year-old Sylvie’s brother takes over management of their family’s vast estates, Sylvie feels powerless to stop his abuse of the local commoners. Her dearest friend asks her to run away to the woods with him, and soon a host of other villagers join them. Together, they form their own community and fight to right the wrongs perpetrated by the king and his noblemen.”

Sounds like a fun fantasy read!

The Last Best Story by Maggie Lehrman

“Rose Regnero was a star reporter for her high school paper, destined for a career in journalism, when she abruptly quit two months ago, leaving behind her very-nearly-sort-of-boyfriend and editor-in-chief, Grant. Now she is trying to be normal at her senior prom, with a new boy and new interests, and isn’t looking back.

Grant was totally blindsided when Rose walked away from the Gazette. After all, they’d dedicated their lives to it for the past four years, had even planned on majoring in journalism together at Northwestern—which is why Grant is determined to entice Rose back. But whether it’s really to the paper or to him he’s not entirely sure.

When an alarm is set off at prom and the school goes on lockdown, Grant discovers that someone is loose in the building with a gun. But Rose, caught outside of the gym, knows differently. Will her instincts for a good story win out against her resolve to leave Grant and the paper behind?”

Cute contemporary starring writers! I know this would make me smile!

The Other Side of Lost by Jessi Kirby

“Girl Online meets Wild in this emotionally charged story of girl who takes to the wilderness to rediscover herself and escape the superficial persona she created on social media.

Mari Turner’s life is perfect. That is, at least to her thousands of followers who have helped her become an internet starlet. But when she breaks down and posts a video confessing she’s been living a lie—that she isn’t the happy, in-love, inspirational online personality she’s been trying so hard to portray—it goes viral and she receives major backlash. To get away from it all, she makes an impulsive decision: to hike the entire John Muir trail. Mari and her late cousin, Bri, were supposed to do it together, to celebrate their shared eighteenth birthday. But that was before Mari got so wrapped up in her online world that she shut anyone out who questioned its worth—like Bri.

With Bri’s boots and trail diary, a heart full of regret, and a group of strangers that she meets along the way, Mari tries to navigate the difficult terrain of the hike. But the true challenge lies within, as she searches for the way back to the girl she fears may be too lost to find: herself.”

I really love the idea of this. A girl online taking on a persona that isn’t her own and going out to find herself. It is a story I can get behind.

These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch

“Adeluna is a soldier. Five years ago, she helped the magic-rich island of Grace Loray overthrow its oppressor, Argrid, a country ruled by religion. But adjusting to postwar life has not been easy. When an Argridian delegate vanishes during peace talks with Grace Loray’s new Council, Argrid demands brutal justice—but Lu suspects something more dangerous is at work.

Devereux is a pirate. As one of the outlaws called stream raiders who run rampant on Grace Loray, he pirates the island’s magic plants and sells them on the black market. But after Argrid accuses raiders of the diplomat’s abduction, Vex becomes a target. An expert navigator, he agrees to help Lu find the Argridian—but the truth they uncover could be deadlier than any war.

Benat is a heretic. The crown prince of Argrid, he harbors a secret obsession with Grace Loray’s forbidden magic. When Ben’s father, the king, gives him the shocking task of reversing Argrid’s fear of magic, Ben has to decide if one prince can change a devout country—or if he’s building his own pyre.

As conspiracies arise, Lu, Vex, and Ben will have to decide who they really are . . . and what they are willing to become for peace.”

Three words: Epic Pirate Fantasy!

This Story is a Lie by Tom Pollock

“A YA thriller described as The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time meets John le Carré, about a teen math prodigy with an extreme anxiety disorder who finds himself caught in a web of lies and conspiracies after an assassination attempt on his mother.

Seventeen-year-old Peter Blankman is a math genius who suffers from an extreme anxiety disorder, one that subjects him to intense panic attacks. He only manages to get through his daily life with the constant help of his scientist mom and his beloved twin sister, Bel. But when their mother is nearly assassinated in front of their eyes–during a major awards ceremony in her honor–Pete finds himself separated from Bel, alone, and on the run.

Dragged into a strange world where state and family secrets intertwine, Pete has to use his extraordinary analytical skills to find his missing sister, uncover the mystery of his mother’s life’s work, and track down the people who attacked her–all the while fighting to keep a grip on the fear response that threatens to overwhelm him. Weaving back and forth between his past and present, the novel is an extraodinary testimonial from a protagonist who is brilliant, broken, and trying to be brave.”

The title speaks to me.

August 14th

Fresh Ink by Various Authors

“In partnership with We Need Diverse Books, thirteen of the most recognizable, diverse authors come together in this remarkable YA anthology featuring ten short stories, a graphic short story, and a one-act play from Walter Dean Myers never before in-print.

Careful–you are holding fresh ink. And not hot-off-the-press, still-drying-in-your-hands ink. Instead, you are holding twelve stories with endings that are still being written–whose next chapters are up to you.

Because these stories are meant to be read. And shared.

Thirteen of the most accomplished YA authors deliver a label-defying anthology that includes ten short stories, a graphic novel, and a one-act play. This collection will inspire you to break conventions, bend the rules, and color outside the lines. All you need is fresh ink.”

Very excited for this release! I am 100% going to read it soon!

How to Breathe Underwater by Vicky Skinner

“Kate’s father has been pressuring her to be perfect for her whole life, pushing her to be the best swimmer she can be. But when Kate finds her dad cheating on her mom, Kate’s perfect world comes crashing down, and Kate is forced to leave home and the swim team she’s been a part of her whole life.

Now in a new home, new school, and faced with the prospect of starting over, Kate isn’t so sure that swimming is what she wants anymore. But when she decides to quit, her whole world seems to fall apart. But when Kate gets to know Michael, the cute boy that lives across the hall, she starts to think that starting over might not be so bad. There’s only one problem: Michael has a girlfriend.

As the pressures of love, family, and success press down on her, can Kate keep her head above water?”

I love the more emotional contemporaries and this sounds like just that. I love to see families that feel real with their struggles.

My Life Uploaded by Rae Earl

“Girl Online meets Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging in this younger YA novel about a teen who starts an advice vlog—but needs some advice herself.

Millie Porter is sensible. She can’t help it. It’s inherited from her mom and it makes her deeply uncool. That’s why she starts an advice vlog. It’s the perfect way for her to feel like she’s making a difference—and catch the eye of the super-cute new boy in school.

But with Internet fame comes Internet trolls. Putting herself out there has some serious drawbacks for Millie, including a social media war with the school’s Instagram queen. As Millie becomes more and more caught up with her online persona, her role as a good friend and daughter falls by the wayside. Can Millie learn to balance friendship, high school, family drama, dating, and her online life?

This fresh, funny, and clean younger YA novel delves into the world of social media with an accessible heroine and a memorable cast of characters.”

The cover is too adorable not to want in my hands.

See All the Stars by Kit Frick

“Part love story, part thriller, We Were Liars meets Goodbye Days in this suspenseful, lyrical debut.

It’s hard to find the truth beneath the lies you tell yourself.

THEN They were four—Bex, Jenni, Ellory, Ret. Electric, headstrong young women; Ellory’s whole solar system.

NOW Ellory is alone, her once inseparable group of friends torn apart by secrets, deception, and a shocking incident that changed their lives forever.

THEN Lazy summer days. A party. A beautiful boy. Ellory met Matthias and fell into the beginning of a spectacular, bright love.

NOW Ellory returns to Pine Brook to navigate senior year after a two-month suspension and summer away—no boyfriend, no friends. No going back. Tormented by some and sought out by others, troubled by a mysterious note-writer who won’t let Ellory forget, and consumed by guilt over her not entirely innocent role in everything and everyone she’s lost, Ellory finds that even in the present, the past is everywhere.

The path forward isn’t a straight line. And moving on will mean sorting the truth from the lies—the lies Ellory has been telling herself.”

So I have an arc of this that I won’t be able to read on time, but I had no idea that this was both a thriller and a love story. I am so excited to read this soon! It sounds even more enticing than I ever thought.

Saving Adam Meade by Shannon Klare

“Seventeen-year-old Claire Collins has a plan: get into college and leave North Carolina behind. What she doesn’t have is an idea for how to get rid of the local football star and womanizer extraordinaire—Adam Meade, who she can’t even avoid (despite many efforts), because Claire’s dad is the high school football coach.

Seventeen-year-old Adam Meade never fails. He always gets what he wants… until he meets Claire, the new girl who leaves him unnerved, pissed off, and confused. But there’s something about her that he just can’t resist…

With the bite of lemon meringue pie and the sugar of sweet tea, Surviving Adam Meade is a sexy and compelling young adult novel about two strong-willed people who think they know what they want but have no idea what they need.”

Enemies to lovers sounds like the sort of romance I need in my life. This story sounds lovely and I’m happy it’s being released.

The Looking Glass by Janet McNally

“GIRLS IN TROUBLE.

That’s what Sylvie Blake’s older sister Julia renamed their favorite fairy tale book, way back when they were just girls themselves. Now, Julia has disappeared—and no one knows if she’s in trouble.

Sylvie is trying to carry on Julia’s impressive legacy at the prestigious National Ballet Theatre Academy, but Julia, ever the star of the show, can’t stay hidden forever. And when she sends Sylvie a copy of their old storybook with a mysterious list inside, Sylvie begins to see signs of her sister everywhere she goes. She may be losing her grip on reality, but Sylvie has to find out if the strange, almost magical things she’s been seeing have anything to do with Julia’s whereabouts.

With the help of her best friend’s enigmatic brother and his beat-up car, Sylvie sets out to the beat of a Fleetwood Mac playlist, determined to return to New York with her sister in tow. But what Sylvie doesn’t expect to learn is that trouble comes in lots of forms—and that the damsel in distress is often the only one who can save herself.”

I don’t know for sure, but this looks and sounds like magical realism to me… the sole underrated genre that I want to see much more of in the future. There are so few books in this genre of ya and so of course I want to read this book if it is what I think it is.

The Raging Ones by Becca & Krista Ritchie

“From New York Times bestselling authors Krista and Becca Ritchie, comes The Raging Ones, an edge of your seat sci-fi romance with twists and turns that you will never see coming!

In a freezing world, where everyone knows the day they will die, three teens break all odds.

Franny Bluecastle, a tough city teen, dreams of dying in opulence, to see wealth she’s never known. Like the entire world, she believes it’s impossible to dodge a deathday.

Until the day she does.

Court Icecastle knows wealth. He also knows pain. Spending five years in Vorkter Prison, a fortress of ice and suffering, he dreams of life beyond the people that haunt him and the world that imprisoned him.

Mykal Kickfall fights for those he loves. The rugged Hinterlander shares a frustrating yet unbreakable connection with Court—which only grows more lawless and chaotic as their senses and emotions connect with Franny.

With the threat of people learning they’ve dodged their deathdays, they must flee their planet to survive. But to do so, all three will have to hide their shared bond as they vie for a highly sought after spot in the newest mission to space. Against thousands of people far smarter, who’ll live longer, and never fear death the way that they do.”

This sounds like a really cool riveting Sci-fi. I have a feeling I would really love it!

August 21st

Giant Days by Non Pratt

“Based on the hit graphic-novel series from BOOM! Studios, the publisher behind Lumberjanes, Giant Days follows the hilarious and heartfelt misadventures of three university first-years: Daisy, the innocent home-schooled girl; Susan, the sardonic wit; and Esther, the vivacious drama queen. While the girls seem very different, they become fast friends during their first week of university. And it’s a good thing they do, because in the giant adventure that is college, a friend who has your back is key–something Daisy discovers when she gets a little too involved in her extracurricular club, the Yogic Brethren of Zoise. When she starts acting strange and life around campus gets even stranger (missing students, secret handshakes, monogrammed robes everywhere . . .), Esther and Susan decide it’s up to them to investigate the weirdness and save their friend.”

This book sounds interesting, comedic, and mysterious. I’m intrigued.

The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas

“Sometimes I feel like everyone else was handed a copy of the rules for life and mine got lost.

Grace has Asperger’s and her own way of looking at the world. She’s got a horse and a best friend who understand her, and that’s pretty much all she needs. But when Grace kisses Gabe and things start to change at home, the world doesn’t make much sense to her any more.

Suddenly everything threatens to fall apart, and it’s up to Grace to fix it on her own.”

Sweet is the best word to describe the way this book feels to me. I’m excited to see if it lives up to the beauty that I imagine it to be.

The Truth Lies Here by Lindsey Klingele

“In small town Michigan, Penny, an aspiring journalist, teams up with the nerdy boy-next-door and the town’s star quarterback to find her conspiracy theorist father after he goes missing and several other townspeople turn up dead in the woods.

The deeper she digs, the weirder things start to get. Townspeople repeat the same phrases—verbatim. Men in black suits stroll around Main Street. Chunks of her memory go missing. Pretty soon, Penny’s research leads her to the long-ago meteorite crash in Bone Lake’s woods, and she’s going to have to reconsider her definition of “real” if she wants answers. . .”

This sounds like a spooky on earth sci-fi that is weird, but just enough so to make you want more.

To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin

“Savannah is dreading being home alone with her overbearing mother after her sister goes off to college. But if she can just get through senior year, she’ll be able to escape to college, too. What she doesn’t count on is that her mother’s obsession with weight has only grown deeper since her appearance on an extreme weight-loss show, and now Savvy’s mom is pressuring her even harder to be constantly mindful of what she eats.

Between her mom’s diet-helicoptering, missing her sister, and worrying about her collegiate future, Savvy has enough to worry about. And then she meets George, the cute new kid at school who has insecurities of his own. As Savvy and George grow closer, they help each other discover how to live in the moment and enjoy the here and now before it disappears.”

The synopsis sounds so good! I’m excited for a character that lives her best life even when she struggles from insecurities brought on from the outside.

We Regret to Inform You by Ariel Kaplan

“Mischa Abramavicius is a walking, talking, top-scoring, perfectly well-rounded college application in human form. So when she’s rejected not only by the Ivies, but her loathsome safety school, she is shocked and devastated. All the sacrifices her mother made to send her to prep school, the late nights cramming for tests, the blatantly resume-padding extracurriculars (read: Students for Sober Driving) … all that for nothing.

As Mischa grapples with the prospect of an increasingly uncertain future, she questions how this could have happened in the first place. Is it possible that her transcript was hacked? With the help of her best friend and sometimes crush, Nate, and a group of eccentric techies known as “The Ophelia Syndicate,” Mischa launches an investigation that will shake the quiet community of Blanchard Prep to its stately brick foundations.”

This is a high school seniors worst nightmare. I would so love to see how it all turns out.

August 28th

Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

“Darius doesn’t think he’ll ever be enough, in America or in Iran. Hilarious and heartbreaking, this unforgettable debut introduces a brilliant new voice in contemporary YA.

Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He’s about to take his first-ever trip to Iran, and it’s pretty overwhelming–especially when he’s also dealing with clinical depression, a disapproving dad, and a chronically anemic social life. In Iran, he gets to know his ailing but still formidable grandfather, his loving grandmother, and the rest of his mom’s family for the first time. And he meets Sohrab, the boy next door who changes everything.

Sohrab makes sure people speak English so Darius can understand what’s going on. He gets Darius an Iranian National Football Team jersey that makes him feel like a True Persian for the first time. And he understand that sometimes, best friends don’t have to talk. Darius has never had a true friend before, but now he’s spending his days with Sohrab playing soccer, eating rosewater ice cream, and sitting together for hours in their special place, a rooftop overlooking the Yazdi skyline.

Sohrab calls him Darioush–the original Persian version of his name–and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he’s Darioush to Sohrab. When it’s time to go home to America, he’ll have to find a way to be Darioush on his own.”

I feel this book to be weighted with importance. Reading a book in the eyes of a culture I don’t know much about is something I love and need to do often. It sounds amazing!

Hidden Pieces by Paula Stokes

“Embry Woods has secrets. Small ones about her past. Bigger ones about her relationship with town hero Luke and her feelings for someone new. But the biggest secret she carries with her is about what happened that night at the Sea Cliff Inn. The fire. The homeless guy. Everyone thinks Embry is a hero, too, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Embry thinks she’ll have to take the secret to her grave, until she receives an anonymous note—someone else knows the truth. Next comes a series of threatening messages, asking Embry to make impossible choices, forcing her to put her loved ones at risk. Someone is playing a high stakes game where no one in Embry’s life is safe. And their last move…is murder.”

This sounds exciting and thrilling! I need this book!

In Another Time by Caroline Leech

“Love is worth the fight

It’s 1942, and Maisie McCall is in the Scottish Highlands doing her bit for the war effort as a Women’s Timber Corps lumberjill. Maisie relishes her newfound independence and her growing friendships—especially with the enigmatic John Lindsay.

As Maisie and John work side-by-side felling trees, Maisie can’t help but feel like their friendship has the spark of something more to it. And yet every time she gets close to him, John pulls away. It’s not until Maisie rescues John from a terrible logging accident that he begins to open up to her about the truth of his past, and the pain he’s been hiding.

Suddenly everything is more complicated than Maisie expected. And as she helps John untangle his shattered history, she must decide if she’s willing to risk her heart to help heal his. But in a world devastated by war, love might be the only thing left that can begin to heal what’s broken.”

I’ve been looking for a beautiful ya historical novel for a long time and I think I just found it. I am going to make sure I read this!

Mirage by Somaiya Daud

“In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon.

But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.

As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty—and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.”

Sci-fi and fantasy all rolled together? Count me in!

Seafire by Natalie C. Parker

“After her family is killed by corrupt warlord Aric Athair and his bloodthirsty army of Bullets, Caledonia Styx is left to chart her own course on the dangerous and deadly seas. She captains her ship, the Mors Navis, with a crew of girls and women just like her, whose lives have been turned upside down by Aric and his men. The crew has one mission: stay alive, and take down Aric’s armed and armored fleet.

But when Caledonia’s best friend and second-in-command just barely survives an attack thanks to help from a Bullet looking to defect, Caledonia finds herself questioning whether or not to let him join their crew. Is this boy the key to taking down Aric Athair once and for all…or will he threaten everything the women of the Mors Navis have worked for?”

I’m all for books that take place on the sea!

That’s Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger

“It’s been three years since the Virgil County High School Massacre. Three years since my best friend, Sarah, was killed in a bathroom stall during the mass shooting. Everyone knows Sarah’s story–that she died proclaiming her faith.

But it’s not true.

I know because I was with her when she died. I didn’t say anything then, and people got hurt because of it. Now Sarah’s parents are publishing a book about her, so this might be my last chance to set the record straight . . . but I’m not the only survivor with a story to tell about what did–and didn’t–happen that day.

Except Sarah’s martyrdom is important to a lot of people, people who don’t take kindly to what I’m trying to do. And the more I learn, the less certain I am about what’s right. I don’t know what will be worse: the guilt of staying silent or the consequences of speaking up . .”

I am both afraid and curious about this book. This is a delicate subject matter that can be messed up really easily and I just hope that it was written with care.

The Sacrifice Box by Martin Stewart

“Sep, Arkle, Mack, Lamb and Hadley: five friends thrown together one hot, sultry summer. When they discover an ancient stone box hidden in the forest, they decide to each make a sacrifice: something special to them, committed to the box for ever. And they make a pact: they will never return to the box at night; they’ll never visit it alone; and they’ll never take back their offerings.

Four years later, the gang have drifted apart. Then a series of strange and terrifying events take place, and Sep and his friends understand that one of them has broken the pact.

As their sacrifices haunt them with increased violence and hunger, they realise that they are not the first children to have found the box in their town’s history. And ultimately, the box may want the greatest sacrifice of all: one of them.”

Some goosebumps inspired horror fun… I am ready for this book.

The Second Life of Ava Rivers by Faith Gardner

“Ava’s disappearance was the crack in the Rivers family glacier. I wish I could explain to you how we were before, but I can’t, because the before is so filmy and shadowed with the after.

The after is all Vera remembers. When her twin sister, Ava, disappeared one Halloween night, her childhood became a blur of theories, tips, and leads, but never any answers. The case made headlines, shocked Vera’s Northern California community, and turned her family into tragic celebrities.

Now, at eighteen, Vera is counting down the days until she starts her new life at college in Portland, Oregon, far away from the dark cloud she and family have lived under for twelve years. But all that changes when a girl shows up at the local hospital.

Her name is Ava Rivers and she wants to go home.

Ava’s return begins to mend the fractures in the Rivers family. Vera and Ava’s estranged older brother returns. Vera reconnects with Max, the sweet, artistic boy from her childhood. Their parents smile again. But the questions remain: Where was Ava all these years? And who is she now?”

I’m getting great vibes from this synopsis. It sounds really interesting.

The Soul Keepers by Devon Taylor

Death is just the beginning.

“After dying in a terrible car accident, Rhett awakens in the afterlife and is recruited to join the crew of the Harbinger, a colossal seafaring vessel tasked with ferrying the souls of the dead. To where exactly, no one knows. But the crew must get the souls there, and along the way protect them from vicious soul-eating monsters that will stop at nothing to take the ship and all of its occupants.

Rhett and his new friends have a hard enough time fighting back the monsters that grow bolder and more ferocious every day. But then a new threat emerges, a demon who wants something that Rhett has. And if she gets it, it could mean the end of everything… for both the living and the dead.”

Everything about this book sounds COOL! Afterlife. On the seas. Fighting monsters. I WANT!

Thanks so much for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram!

-Till next time!

August 2017: Wrap-Up

August was not the most productive of reading months. I only got to reading 4 different books in August. However I really enjoyed all of them and I think that is what is most important.

A Very New Day by Steven Salmon

A Very New Day is about a boy with Cerebral palsy, who goes to go regular school for the first time in junior high and uses Morse code to write. Rich Trout is unable to use his hands. Instead, he drives his electric wheelchair and writes in Morse code with his head. Rich doubts that he belongs in regular school after being isolated to special education classes only.

He is inspired by Mrs. Tilley, his English teacher, who treats him as a regular student and shows Rich that anything is possible. Rich has one dream, to be a writer. Mrs. Tilley introduces Rich to an author friend of hers, who also has Cerebral palsy, serving as an inspiration and role model.

Read my review here

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

      The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than a speck at the edge of the universe. Now with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to evacuate with a hostile warship in hot pursuit.

     But their problems are just getting started. A plague has broken out and is mutating with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a web of data to find the truth, it’s clear the only person who can help her is the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

      Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, maps, files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Read my review here

The August Beyond The Surface book club pick of the the month:

My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

A stunning novel about the transformative power of love, perfect for fans of Jay Asher and Laurie Halse Anderson.

Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness.

There’s only one problem: she’s not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel’s convinced she’s found her solution—Roman, a teenage boy who’s haunted by a family tragedy, is looking for a partner.

Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other’s broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together.

Read my discussion here

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy

From Julie Murphy, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dumplin’ and Side Effects May Vary, comes another fearless heroine, Ramona Blue, in a gorgeously evocative novel about family, friendship, and how sometimes love can be more fluid than you first think. Perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell and Morgan Matson.

Ramona was only five years old when Hurricane Katrina changed her life forever.

Since then, it’s been Ramona and her family against the world. Standing over six feet tall with unmistakable blue hair, Ramona is sure of three things: she likes girls, she’s fiercely devoted to her family, and she knows she’s destined for something bigger than the trailer she calls home in Eulogy, Mississippi. But juggling multiple jobs, her flaky mom, and her well-meaning but ineffectual dad forces her to be the adult of the family. Now, with her sister, Hattie, pregnant, responsibility weighs more heavily than ever.

The return of her childhood friend Freddie brings a welcome distraction. Ramona’s friendship with the former competitive swimmer picks up exactly where it left off, and soon he’s talked her into joining him for laps at the pool. But as Ramona falls in love with swimming, her feelings for Freddie begin to shift too, which is the last thing she expected. With her growing affection for Freddie making her question her sexual identity, Ramona begins to wonder if perhaps she likes girls and guys or if this new attraction is just a fluke. Either way, Ramona will discover that, for her, life and love are more fluid than they seem.

I had the pleasure of buddy reading this book with a good blogging friend Amy @Burtingwithbooks. We always have the most amazing discussions together and this read a long was absolutely amazing!

Well, that’s all for August. I think it is a good sign for September that I have already finished more books then I did in all of August. Let’s just say I’m excited for the rest of the month!

Most Anticipated August 2017 YA Releases 


Ahh August… A month full of young adult Releases that I feel like I just have to read. There are so many awesome releases coming out next month and I don’t see how or when I’m supposed to be able to read them all. 

August 1st

Blight by Alexandra Duncan

When an agribusiness facility producing genetically engineered food releases a deadly toxin into the environment, seventeen-year-old Tempest Torres races to deliver the cure before time runs out.
From the author of the acclaimed American Booksellers Association’s Indies Introduce pick Salvage, which was called “Brilliant, feminist science fiction” by Stephanie Perkins, the internationally bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss. This stand-alone action-adventure story is perfect for fans of Oryx and Crake and The House of the Scorpion.
Seventeen-year-old Tempest Torres has lived on the AgraStar farm north of Atlanta, Georgia, since she was found outside its gates at the age of five. Now she’s part of the security force guarding the fence and watching for scavengers—people who would rather steal genetically engineered food from the Company than work for it. When a group of such rebels accidentally sets off an explosion in the research compound, it releases into the air a blight that kills every living thing in its path—including humans. With blight-resistant seeds in her pocket, Tempest teams up with a scavenger boy named Alder and runs for help. But when they finally arrive at AgraStar headquarters, they discover that there’s an even bigger plot behind the blight—and it’s up to them to stop it from happening again.
Inspired by current environmental issues, specifically the genetic adjustment of seeds to resist blight and the risks of not allowing natural seed diversity, this is an action-adventure story that is Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake meets Nancy Farmer’s House of the Scorpion.

This is a sci-fi novel I need to read! It sounds so cool and fascinating with the scientific engineering and things gone wrong. I need it!

Love is Both Wave and Particle By Paul Cody

This achingly beautiful novel considers how to measure love when it has the power to both save and destroy.
Levon Grady and Samantha Vash are both students at an alternative high school for high-achieving but troubled teens. They have been chosen for a year-long project where they write their life stories and collect interviews from people who know them. The only rule is 100% confidentiality―they will share their work only with each other. What happens will transform their lives.
Told from the perspectives of Levon, Sam, and all the people who know them best, this is a love story infused with science and the exploration of identity. In Love Is Both Wave and Particle, Paul Cody looks at how love behaves in different situations, and how it can shed light on even the darkest heart.

This book sounds nerdy cute and nerdy cute is the way to my heart!

Of Jenny and the Aliens by Ryan Gebhart

When boy meets girl meets alien, the angst of first love gets an extraterrestrial intervention in a tale both outrageously funny and full of heart. 
Ten years after Earth sent messages out into deep space, there has been an answer. Music from a distant planet has reached our radios. Are aliens about to invade? No one knows, and almost-eighteen-year-old Derek doesn’t really care, because at a wild end-of-the-world party, Jennifer Novak invites him to play beer pong. And things . . . progress from there. Derek is in love. Deeply, hopelessly in love. He wants it all—marriage, kids, growing old on a beach in Costa Rica. Jenny is The One. 

But Jenny has other plans, and they may or may not include Derek. He’ll try anything to win her—even soliciting advice from the alien who shows up in his hometown. This alien might just be the answer to Derek’s problem. But is Derek willing to risk starting an interstellar war just to get the girl? And just how far will he travel to discover the mysteries of the universe—and love?

This book sounds adork-able and also nerdy cute… again I need all the nerdy cute I can get!

The Secret History of Us by Jessi Kirby 

“Jessi Kirby’s books just keep getting better and better, and The Secret History of Us is her best yet. It beautifully touches on all the most important things in life—love, family, friendship, memory, and bacon. I loved it.”—Morgan Matson, New York Times bestselling author of The Unexpected Everything
In this gorgeously written, emotional novel that fans of Sarah Dessen will enjoy, a teenage girl must piece together the parts of her life she doesn’t remember after a severe collision leaves her with no memory of the past four years. 
When Olivia awakes in a hospital bed following a near-fatal car accident, she can’t remember how she got there. She figures it’s because she was in a coma for a week, but as time goes on, she realizes she’s lost more than just the last week of her life—she’s lost all memory of events that happened years ago. Gone is any recollection of starting or graduating high school; the prom; or her steady boyfriend Matt. Trying to figure out who she is feels impossible when everyone keeps telling her who she was.
As Liv tries to sort out her family and friends’ perceptions of her, the one person she hasn’t heard enough from is Walker, the guy who saved her the night her car was knocked off that bridge into the bay below. Walker is the hardened boy who’s been keeping his distance and the one person that has made Liv feel like her old self…whoever that is. With feelings growing for Walker, tensions rising with Matt, and secrets she can’t help but feel are being kept from her, Olivia must find her place in a life she doesn’t remember living.

Amnesia is something I have always wondered about and I feel like the way it effects this story makes for the perfect storm of crashing emotion that I need. I really really want to read this book!

The Wood by Chelsea Bobulski

Winter didn’t ask to be the guardian of the wood, but when her dad inexplicably vanishes, she’s the one who must protect travelers who accidentally slip through the wood’s portals.
The wood is poisoned, changing into something more sinister. Once brightly colored leaves are now bubbling inky black. Vicious creatures that live in the shadows are becoming bolder, torturing lost travelers. Winter must now put her trust in Henry–a young man from eighteenth century England who knows more than he should about the wood–in order to find the truth and those they’ve lost.
Bobulski’s eerie debut is filled with friendship, family, and the responsibilities we choose and those we do not.

This book sounds creepy and atmospheric and all things that go bump in the night. I have heard amazing things about this book and I’m so excited for its release!

These Things I’ve Done by Rebecca Phillips

BEFORE: Dara and Aubrey have been inseparable since they became best friends in sixth grade. Dara is the fearless one, Aubrey the prodigy, yet despite their differences, they support each other unconditionally. However, as they begin their sophomore year of high school, cracks in their friendship begin to form, testing the bond they always thought was unbreakable.
AFTER: It’s been fifteen months since the accident that killed Aubrey, and not a day goes by that Dara isn’t racked with guilt over her role in her best friend’s death. Now, after spending a year away from home in order to escape the constant reminders of what happened, Dara is back at her old high school to start her senior year. Dara thought the worst thing about coming home would be confronting the memories of Aubrey that relentlessly haunt her, but she soon realizes it isn’t half as difficult as seeing Ethan, Aubrey’s brother, every day. Not just because he’s a walking reminder of what she did, but because the more her feelings for him change, the more she knows she’s betraying her best friend one final time.

The loss and the anger and grief that surrounds how this book is to me makes me want to open its pages today!

August 8th

Goodnight, Boy by Nikki Sheehan

A tale of two very different worlds, both shattered by the loss of loved ones. Tragic, comic and full of hope, thanks to a dog called Boy. 
The kennel has been JC’s home ever since his new adoptive father locked him inside. For hours on end, JC sits and tells his dog Boy how he came to this country: his family; the orphanage and the Haitian earthquake that swept everything away. 
When his adoptive mother Melanie rescues him, life starts to feel normal again. Until JC does something bad, something that upset his new father so much that he and Boy are banished to the kennel. But as his new father gets sicker, JC realizes they have to find a way out. And so begins a stunning story of a boy, a dog and their journey to freedom.

I feel like this book would have me in a tear fest. The raw emotion of thinking about a mistreatment that would equate boy and dog and then have them go on together to find freedom sounds like a rollercoaster journey I want to be a part of. 

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

A stunning novel on love, loss, identity, and redemption, from Publishers Weekly Flying Start author Brandy Colbert

When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she isn’t sure if she’ll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (along with her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support.
But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new…the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel’s disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself–or worse.

This book sounds like it is going to be amazing! Especially now that I’ve started a book club based off of mental illness. Bipolar disorder is one of the mental illnesses that fascinates me most and I enjoy seeing how it is delt with in different novels. 

Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

The highly anticipated new book from the acclaimed author of The Accident Season is a gorgeous, twisty story about things gone missing, things returned from the past, and a group of teenagers, connected in ways they could never have imagined. 
One stormy Irish summer night, Olive and her best friend, Rose, begin to lose things. It starts with simple items like hairclips and jewelry, but soon it’s clear that Rose has lost something much bigger, something she won’t talk about, and Olive thinks her best friend is slipping away. 
Then seductive diary pages written by a girl named Laurel begin to appear all over town. And Olive meets three mysterious strangers: Ivy, Hazel, and her twin brother, Rowan, secretly squatting in an abandoned housing estate. The trio are wild and alluring, but they seem lost too—and like Rose, they’re holding tight to painful secrets. 
When they discover the spellbook, it changes everything. Damp, tattered and ancient, it’s full of hand-inked charms to conjure back things that have been lost. And it just might be their chance to find what they each need to set everything back to rights. 
Unless it’s leading them toward things that were never meant to be found…

This book has generated quite a whisper of anticipation within me. Everything about it is telling me that I should probably pick this book up and those instincts feel too right to be wrong. 

The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones

A thrilling blend of sci-fi, paranormal horror, and romance-perfect for fans of Holly Black and Leigh Bardugo 
When Dee Moreno makes a deal with a devil–her heart in exchange for an escape from a disastrous home life–she finds her trade may be more than she bargained for. And becoming “heartless” is only the beginning. What lies ahead is a nightmare far bigger, far more monstrous than anything she ever could have imagined. 
With reality turned on its head, Dee has only a group of other deal-making teens to keep her grounded, including the charming but secretive James Lancer. And as something like love grows between them amidst an otherworldly ordeal, Dee begins to wonder: can she give James her heart when it’s no longer hers to give? 
The Hearts We Sold is a Faustian tale for the modern age that will steal your heart and break it, and leave you begging for more. 

A deal with the devil count me in! The premise of this book sounds amazing and that is all I need. 

This is Not the End by Chandler Baker

 If you could choose one person to bring back to life, who would it be?
Seventeen-year-old Lake Deveraux is the survivor of a car crash that killed her best friend and boyfriend. Now she faces an impossible choice. Resurrection technology changed the world, but strict laws allow just one resurrection per citizen, to be used on your eighteenth birthday or lost forever.
You only have days to decide.
For each grieving family, Lake is the best chance to bring back their child.
For Lake, it’s the only way to reclaim a piece of happiness after her own family fell apart.
And Lake must also grapple with a secret–and illegal–vow she made years ago to resurrect someone else. Someone who’s not even dead yet.
Who do you need most?
As Lake’s eighteenth birthday nears, secrets and betrayals new and old threaten to eclipse her cherished memories. Lake has one chance to save a life…but can she live with her choice?

Talk about an amazing premise! Fascination doesn’t cut it for me with this book. The story and how it is going to be executed is the reason that I wish I had this book in my hands today.

A Map for Wreked Girls by Jessica Taylor

In this twisting tale of loyalty, betrayal, and love, two sisters must survive the wilds, if they can first survive each other—for fans of Pretty Little Liars and Gone Girl.
“Emotionally eviscerating. A gripping examination of the barbed-wire bonds between sisters that cut, protect, and don’t let go. Prepare to feel.” 

—Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of Caraval
Emma has always orbited Henri, her fierce, magnetic queen bee of an older sister, and the two have always been best friends. Until something happens that wrecks them. 

  

I’d trusted Henri more than I’d trusted myself. Wherever she told me to go, I’d follow. 

  

Then the unthinkable occurs—a watery nightmare off the dazzling coast. The girls wash up on shore, stranded. Their only companion is Alex, a troubled boy agonizing over his own secrets. Trapped in a gorgeous hell, Emma and Alex fall together as Emma and Henri fall catastrophically apart. To find their way home, the sisters must find their way back to each other. But there’s no map for this. Can they survive the unearthing of the past and the upheaval of the present? 

  

I don’t think you need my comment on why I want to read this book. It’s pretty self-explanatory with that synopsis. 

August 15th

Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popović

“Lush. Delicious. Bewildering. And darkly magical. Popovic has created a world that you tumble into from the very first words and wish you could stay in forever.” —Evelyn Skye, author of The Crown’s Game
“Wicked Like a Wildfire was like devouring a succulent fairy fruit—it will rob your time, settle into your dreams, and leave you starving for more.” —Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen
Fans of Holly Black and Leigh Bardugo will be bewitched by Lana Popovic’s debut YA fantasy novel about a bargain that binds the fates—and hearts—of twin sisters to a force larger than life.
All the women in Iris and Malina’s family have the unique magical ability or “gleam” to manipulate beauty. Iris sees flowers as fractals and turns her kaleidoscope visions into glasswork, while Malina interprets moods as music. But their mother has strict rules to keep their gifts a secret, even in their secluded sea-side town. Iris and Malina are not allowed to share their magic with anyone, and above all, they are forbidden from falling in love. 
But when their mother is mysteriously attacked, the sisters will have to unearth the truth behind the quiet lives their mother has built for them. They will discover a wicked curse that haunts their family line—but will they find that the very magic that bonds them together is destined to tear them apart forever?
Wicked Like a Wildfire is the first in a two-book series. Readers will be rapt with anticipation for the sequel.

Sprinkle some magic into a book and have a fantastic cover and I will surely need to read it.

August 22nd

The Arsonist by Stephanie Oaks 

Code Name Verity meets I Am the Messenger in this riveting YA novel from Morris Award finalist Stephanie Oakes, in which three points of view are woven together in a story that’s part Cold War mystery, part contemporary coming-of-age, and completely unputdownable.
Molly Mavity is not a normal teenage girl. For one thing, her father is a convicted murderer, and his execution date is fast approaching. For another, Molly refuses to believe that her mother is dead, and she waits for the day when they’ll be reunited . . . despite all evidence that this will never happen. 
Pepper Al-Yusef is not your average teenage boy. A Kuwaiti immigrant with epilepsy, serious girl problems, and the most useless seizure dog in existence, he has to write a series of essays over the summer . . . or fail out of school. 
And Ava Dreyman—the brave and beautiful East German resistance fighter whose murder at seventeen led to the destruction of the Berlin Wall—is unlike anyone you’ve met before. 
When Molly gets a package leading her to Pepper, they’re tasked with solving a decades-old mystery: find out who killed Ava, back in 1989. Using Ava’s diary for clues, Molly and Pepper realize there’s more to her life—and death—than meets the eye. Someone is lying to them. And someone out there is guiding them along, desperate for answers. 
At turns heart-racing, hilarious, and heartbreaking, The Arsonist is an intricate tapestry—of love, loss, and the mysterious connections between us all.

Arson is another thing that fascinates me. Plus just look at that cover! It is gorgeous!

The Rattled Bones by S.M. Parker

“History and mystery meld beautifully in this ghost story with depth.” (Kirkus)
Unearthing years of buried secrets, Rilla Brae is haunted by ghostly visions tied to the tainted history of a mysterious island in this haunting novel from the author of The Girl Who Fell. 
Maine-bred, independent Rilla Brae is no stranger to the deep. She knows the rhythms of hard work and harder seas. But when she experiences the sudden death of her father, the veil between the living and the dead blurs and she begins to be haunted by a girl on a nearby, uninhabited island. The girl floats a song over the waves, and it is as beautiful as it is terrifying. Familiar and distant. 
Then Rilla meets Sam, a University of Southern Maine archeology student tasked with excavating the very island where the ghostly girl has appeared. Sam sifts the earth looking for the cultural remains of an island people who were forcibly evicted by the state nearly a hundred years ago. Sam tells Rilla the island has a history no locals talk about–if they know about it at all–due to the shame the events brought to the working waterfront community. All Rilla knows for sure is that the island has always been there–an eerie presence anchored in the stormy sea. Now Sam’s work and the ghostly girl’s song lure Rilla to the island’s shores. 
As Rilla helps Sam to unearth the island’s many secrets, Rilla’s visions grow–until the two discover a tragedy kept silent for years. And it’s a tragedy that has everything to do with Rilla’s past.

October is fast approaching and the paranormal aspect of this book makes it a must-have. I really would love to read this book. 

August 29th 

All Rights Reserved 

In a world where every word and gesture is copyrighted, patented or trademarked, one girl elects to remain silent rather than pay to speak, and her defiant and unexpected silence threatens to unravel the very fabric of society. 
Speth Jime is anxious to deliver her Last Day speech and celebrate her transition into adulthood. The moment she turns fifteen, Speth must pay for every word she speaks (“Sorry” is a flat ten dollars and a legal admission of guilt), for every nod ($0.99/sec), for every scream ($0.99/sec) and even every gesture of affection. She’s been raised to know the consequences of falling into debt, and can’t begin to imagine the pain of having her eyes shocked for speaking words that she’s unable to afford. 
But when Speth’s friend Beecher commits suicide rather than work off his family’s crippling debt, she can’t express her shock and dismay without breaking her Last Day contract and sending her family into Collection. Backed into a corner, Speth finds a loophole: rather than read her speech—rather than say anything at all—she closes her mouth and vows never to speak again. Speth’s unexpected defiance of tradition sparks a media frenzy, inspiring others to follow in her footsteps, and threatens to destroy her, her family and the entire city around them.

This book for me is 1000% premise and the second I laid eyes on this many moons ago I was in love. This is definitely my most anticipated book of the month. It sounds truly incredible. 

August 29th 

Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

The highly anticipated, entirely new coming-of-age story for the world’s greatest super hero: WONDER WOMAN by the # 1 New York Times bestselling author LEIGH BARDUGO. 
She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . . 

  

Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world. 

  

Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery. 

  

Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war. 

I have yet to read a Leigh Bardugo book, but I desperately want to. Plus ever since I watched Wonder Woman I have felt like I need more superheroes in my life.

Thank you for reading! I told you I was anticipating a whole lot this month. Hopefully I get to read all these in the future. Let me know which of these intrigues you most! What is your most anticipated book release of August?

-Till next time!