It’s a brand new year and it’s finally, finally time to bring back an old favorite. The monthly most anticipated ya releases! I know it’s been absolutely ages since I did this. 2021 was definitely a year, but 2022 is one I want to be one of the best. So I want to start off right and continue with the monthly celebrations of new releases!
Without further ado here they are:
Serendipity by Various Authors
“Love is in the air in this is a collection of stories inspired by romantic tropes and edited by #1 New York Times-bestselling author Marissa Meyer.
The secret admirer.
The fake relationship.
From stories of first love, unrequited love, love that surprises, love that’s been there all along, ten of the brightest and award-winning authors writing YA have taken on some of your favorite romantic tropes, embracing them and turning them on their heads. Readers will swoon for this collection of stories that celebrate love at its most humorous, inclusive, heart-expanding, and serendipitous.
Contributors include Elise Bryant, Elizabeth Eulberg, Leah Johnson, Anna-Marie McLemore, Marissa Meyer, Sandhya Menon, Julie Murphy, Caleb Roehrig, Sarah Winifred Searle, and Abigail Hing Wen.”
This sounds like an adorable little collaboration. Stories of love are always exciting.
It Will End Like This by Kyra Leigh
“For fans of The Cheerleaders and Sadie comes a psychological thriller that reminds us that in real life, endings are rarely as neat as happily ever after. A contemporay take on the Lizzie Borden story that explores how grief can cut deep.
Charlotte lost her mother six months ago, and still no one will tell her exactly what happened the day she mysteriously died. They say her heart stopped, but Charlotte knows deep down that there’s more to the story.
The only person who gets it is Charlotte’s sister, Maddi. Maddi agrees—people’s hearts don’t just stop. There are too many questions left unanswered for the girls to move on.
But their father is moving on. With their mother’s personal assistant. And both girls are sure that she’s determined to take everything that’s theirs away for herself.
Now the only way to get their lives back is for Charlotte and Maddi to decide how this story ends, themselves.”
This book sounds like a ride. From what the girls look like on the cover they really had been going through it and it feels like it’ll be a wild journey through the story.
The Ivory Key by Akshaya Raman
“In this epic YA fantasy debut, magic, a prized resource, is the only thing between peace and war. When magic runs out, four estranged royal siblings must find a new source before their country is swallowed by invading forces. The first in an Indian-inspired duology that’s perfect for fans of There Will Come a Darkness, The Gilded Wolves, and We Hunt the Flame.
Vira is desperate to get out of her mother’s shadow and establish her legacy as a revered queen of Ashoka. But with the country’s only quarry running out of magic–a precious resource that has kept Ashoka safe from conflict–she can barely protect her citizens from the looming threat of war. And if her enemies discover this, they’ll stop at nothing to seize the last of the magic.
Vira’s only hope is to find a mysterious object of legend: the Ivory Key, rumored to unlock a new source of magic. But in order to infiltrate enemy territory and retrieve it, she must reunite with her siblings, torn apart by the different paths their lives have taken. Each of them has something to gain from finding the Ivory Key–and even more to lose if they fail. Ronak plans to sell it to the highest bidder in exchange for escape from his impending political marriage. Kaleb, falsely accused of assassinating the former maharani needs it to clear his name. And Riya, a runaway who cut all family ties, wants the Key to prove her loyalty to the rebels who want to strip the nobility of its power.
They must work together to survive the treacherous journey. But with each sibling harboring secrets and their own agendas, the very thing that brought them together could tear apart their family–and their world–for good.”
This sounds like a fun and magical fantasy. It sounds like things are going to get very complicated and it’ll be interesting to see who to root for.
Waking Romeo by Kathryn Baker
“What if Juliet Capulet met someone who made her doubt true love? What if Wuthering Heights was a message to a time traveller? A cosmic reimagining of Romeo and Juliet and homage to two literary classics in a compelling novel about fate, love and time travel from an award-winning author.
YEAR: 2083. LOCATION: LONDON. MISSION: WAKE ROMEO.
It’s the end of the world. Literally. Time travel is possible, but only forwards. And only a handful of families choose to remain in the ‘now’, living off the scraps that were left behind. Among these are eighteen-year-old Juliet and the love of her life, Romeo. But things are far from rosy for Jules. Romeo is in a coma and she’s estranged from her friends and family, dealing with the very real fallout of their wild romance. Then a handsome time traveller, Ellis, arrives with an important mission that makes Jules question everything she knows about life and love. Can Jules wake Romeo and rewrite her future?
A highly original mashup that delights as it disorients … and asks what would have happened if two great literary love stories were somehow intertwined.”
This sounds so interesting. I love a good retelling and this one sounds so neat and original.
Echoes and Empires by Morgan Rhodes
“A snarky seventeen-year-old must team up with an enigmatic criminal to cure herself of dangerous forbidden magic in the first book of a new fantasy duology from Morgan Rhodes, the New York Times bestselling author of the Falling Kingdoms series.
Josslyn Drake knows only three things about magic: it’s rare, illegal, and always deadly. So when she’s caught up in a robbery gone wrong at the Queen’s Gala and infected by a dangerous piece of magic—one that allows her to step into the memories of an infamously evil warlock—she finds herself living her worst nightmare. Joss needs the magic removed before it corrupts her soul and kills her. But in Ironport, the cost of doing magic is death, and seeking help might mean scheduling her own execution. There’s nobody she can trust.
Nobody, that is, except wanted criminal Jericho Nox, who offers her a deal: his help extracting the magic in exchange for the magic itself. And though she’s not thrilled to be working with a thief, especially one as infuriating (and infuriatingly handsome) as Jericho, Joss is desperate enough to accept.
But Jericho is nothing like Joss expects. The closer she grows with Jericho and the more she sees of the world outside her pampered life in the city, the more Joss begins to question the beliefs she’s always taken for granted—beliefs about right and wrong, about power and magic, and even about herself.
In an empire built on lies, the truth may be her greatest weapon.”
This book sounds like pure magical fun. A full on entertaining fantasy and I’m excited for it.
African Town by Irene Latham and Charles Waters
“Chronicling the story of the last Africans brought illegally to America in 1860, African Town is a powerful and stunning novel-in-verse.
In 1860, long after the United States outlawed the importation of enslaved laborers, 110 men, women and children from Benin and Nigeria were captured and brought to Mobile, Alabama aboard a ship called Clotilda. Their journey includes the savage Middle Passage and being hidden in the swamplands along the Alabama River before being secretly parceled out to various plantations, where they made desperate attempts to maintain both their culture and also fit into the place of captivity to which they’d been delivered. At the end of the Civil War, the survivors created a community for themselves they called African Town, which still exists to this day. Told in 14 distinct voices, including that of the ship that brought them to the American shores and the founder of African Town, this powerfully affecting historical novel-in-verse recreates a pivotal moment in US and world history, the impacts of which we still feel today.”
The fact that this is a historical novel in verse makes this book a need for me. I crave these kinds of uniquely told novels and I know I’ll love this.
One True Loves by Elise Bryant
“From the author of Happily Ever Afters, comes the highly anticipated companion novel, One True Loves, another irresistible YA romantic comedy full of self-discovery, Black love, and a dreamy European cruise.
Lenore Bennett has always been a force. A star artist and style icon at her high school, she’s a master in the subtle art of not giving a . . . well, you know what. But now that graduation is here, she’s a little less sure.
She’s heading to NYU in the fall with a scarlet U (for “undeclared”) written across her chest. Her parents always remind her that Black kids don’t have the luxury of figuring it out as they go—they have to be 110 percent prepared. But it’s a lot of pressure to be her ancestors’ wildest dreams when Lenore’s not even sure what her dreams are yet.
When her family embarks on a post-graduation Mediterranean cruise, her friend Tessa is sure Lenore’s in for a whirlwind romance. But Lenore knows that doesn’t happen in real life. At least not to girls like her.
Then she meets Alex Lee. After their parents bond over the Cupid Shuffle, she ends up stuck with him for the remainder of the cruise. He’s a hopeless romantic and a golden boy with a ten-year plan. In short, he’s irritating as hell.
But as they get to know each other during the picturesque stops across Europe, he may be able to help her find something else she’s been looking for, even if she doesn’t want to admit it to herself: love.”
This sounds like a fun slow burn will they won’t they romance. I haven’t watched a fun little romance like this in too long.
Horror Hotel by Victoria Fulton and Faith McClaren
“This addictive YA horror about a group of teen ghost hunters who spend the night in a haunted LA hotel is The Blair Witch Project for the TikTok generation.
When the YouTube-famous Ghost Gang—Chrissy, Chase, Emma, and Kiki—visit a haunted LA hotel notorious for tragedy to secretly film after dark, they expect it to be just like their previous paranormal huntings. Spooky enough to attract subscribers—and ultimately harmless.
But when they stumble upon something unexpected in the former room of a gruesome serial killer, they quickly realize that they’re in over their heads.
Sometimes, it’s the dead who need our help—and the living we should fear.”
The Kindred by Alecia Dow
“Once upon a time, to save a planetary empire from revolution, Kindred mind-pairings were created to ensure each and every person would be seen and heard, no matter how rich or poor….
THE NOBLE AND THE COMMONER.
Joy Abara knows her place. A commoner from the lowly planet Hali, she lives a simple life—apart from the notoriety that being Kindred to the nobility’s most infamous playboy brings.
Felix Hamdi has a plan. Exasperate his noble family to the point that they agree to let him choose his own future, and finally meet his Kindred face to face.
Then the royal family is assassinated, putting Felix next in line for the throne…and accused of the murders. Someone will stop at nothing until he’s dead, which means they’ll target Joy, too. Meeting for the first time as they lift a spacecraft and flee amidst chaos might not be ideal…neither is crash-landing on the strange and backward planet called Earth. But hiding might just be the perfect way to discover the true strength of the Kindred bond and expose a scandal—and a love—that may decide the future of a galaxy.”
AHHHH! This sounds like such a cool sci-fi romance concept. I’d be obsessed with this book.
At the End of Everything by Marieke Nijkamp
“From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of This Is Where It Ends comes another heartbreaking, emotional and timely page-turner that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
The Hope Juvenile Treatment Center is ironically named. No one has hope for the delinquent teenagers who have been exiled there; the world barely acknowledges that they exist.
Then the guards at Hope start acting strange. And one day…they don’t show up. But when the teens band together to make a break from the facility, they encounter soldiers outside the gates. There’s a rapidly spreading infectious disease outside, and no one can leave their houses or travel without a permit. Which means that they’re stuck at Hope. And this time, no one is watching out for them at all.
As supplies quickly dwindle and a deadly plague tears through their ranks, the group has to decide whom among them they can trust and figure out how they can survive in a world that has never wanted them in the first place.”
I’ve really liked other books by this author and that makes me excited to see another book from her.
Murder of Crows by K. Ancrum
“Tig Torres investigates Hollow Falls’ horrific history in this original novel based on the hit podcast Lethal Lit from Einhorn’s Epic Productions and iHeartRadio!
Lethal Lit follows Tig Torres, a Cuban American teen detective, in her hometown of Hollow Falls. In season one of the hit podcast, Tig used her smarts and fearlessness to track down the infamous “Lit Killer,” a serial killer who staged his murders after death scenes from famous books. But there’s no rest for courageous, mystery-solving teens in a place like Hollow Falls, and though the Lit Killer is now behind bars, his protégé, Tig’s classmate and crush Oly, has disappeared!
And that’s not the only game afoot. Tig has caught the attention of the town’s local armchair detective group, the Murder of Crows. They’re obsessed with Hollow Falls’ dark past and fixated on a dangerous search for the missing body of the town’s founder. There are rumors about what’s buried with the body that could be life-changing for whoever finds it, and with a mission like that underway, it’s not long before a member of the Murder of Crows turns up dead.
Tig, along with her friends Max and Wyn, steps in to help, but the stakes are getting higher and the hunt more deadly. Someone’s willing to kill to keep the town’s secrets buried, and if Tig’s not careful, she’ll be the Murder of Crows’ next victim.
This original Lethal Lit story takes place between Seasons 1 and 2 of the podcast, and features a brand-new, never-before-told story starring Tig Torres and her sleuthing friends!”
This is super interesting to me because this was originally a podcast. It makes me wonder if it’ll read more like someone telling you a story or if it’ll have a more typical book feel.
Nightrender by Jodi Meadows
“Kingdoms will fall, gods will die, and hearts will be broken in this sprawling new fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Jodi Meadows.
In the middle of nothingness is the Island of Salvation.
Reality bends easily here. Villages disappear. Forests burn forever. Pockets of inconsistent time are everywhere, their boundaries strung with yellow ribbon. And the three kingdoms of Salvation have been at war for a thousand years.
But the greatest threat is the Malice, an incursion from the demon plane slowly tearing its way through the world’s weakest seams. Seams that–once split–will lead to the total unraveling of night and day, light and dark, life and death.
Not that the human world takes much interest. Of more concern is the upcoming marriage of Rune Hightower, Prince of Embria, and Johanne Fortuin, Princess of Embria–the serpent bride, a girl of famous cunning–which offers a possible end to the ancient conflict. But Rune has noticed the growing darkness, and he is determined to summon mankind’s only defense: Nightrender, the hammer of the gods, an immortal warrior more weapon than girl.
There is only one problem. The last time she was summoned, she slaughtered every royal in Salvation, and no one knows why. Will she save humanity from the Malice… or plunge it deeper into the fires of eternal war?”
A fun fantasy concept and I’m all for it.
Love Somebody by Rachel Roasek
“Becky Albertalli meets Julie Murphy in this joyful, #ownvoices, queer YA rom-com about miscommunication, evolving identities, and falling in love with someone else’s words, with a subtle nod to Cyrano de Bergerac.
Sam Dickson is charismatic, popular, and she’s not about to let anything get in the way of her big plans for the future — not even the people she cares about.
Ros Shew must be Sam’s inverse: a loner, a wallflower, and uninterested in fame or popularity. But both girls are wickedly smart and secretly long to be seen and understood.
Enter Christian Powell, the darling of the Northeastern soccer team, and Sam’s ex and current pet project. He’s not the best with words, but he makes up for it with his genuine big heart.
When Christian falls for Ros on first sight, he’s desperate to get to know her. After a disastrous first interaction, Christian enlists the help of Sam who, after a bad review from Ros over her latest play, is only too happy to agree. But things can’t stay that simple forever. Ros starts to suspect that Christian is acting differently around her, and behind the scenes, Sam realizes that her own feelings for Ros are much more complicated than simple rivalry. With so much to lose if their secrets are discovered, all three teens are forced to confront not just their feelings, but themselves, to keep their fragile new relationships from completely falling apart.”
Disaster bisexuals. Hell yeah!
Vinyl Moon by Mahogany L. Brown
“A teen girl hiding the scars of a past relationship finds home and healing in the words of strong Black writers. A great companion for readers of Nic Stone, Amy Fellner Dominy, and Renee Watson.
When Darius told Angel he loved her, she believed him. But five weeks after the incident, Angel finds herself in Brooklyn, far from her family, Darius, and the California life she has known.
Angel feels out of sync with her new neighborhood. At school, she can’t shake the feeling everyone knows what happened–and how it was her fault. The only place that makes sense is Ms. G’s class. There, Angel’s classmates share their own stories of pain, joy, and fortitude. And as Angel becomes immersed in her revolutionary literature course, the words from novels like The Bluest Eye, The House on Mango Street, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and Push speak to her and begin to heal the wounds of her past.
Award-winning author Mahogany L. Browne weaves together prose, poems, and vignettes to tell the story of Angel, a young woman whose past was shaped by domestic violence but whose love of language and music and the gift of community grant her the chance to find herself again.”
The way this story is told sounds so good. I love the idea of this and I really want to pick this book up.
Medusa by Jessie Burton
“A dazzling, feminist retelling of Greek myth from the internationally bestselling author of The Miniaturist, stunningly illustrated by Olivia Lomenech Gill.
Exiled to a far-flung island by the whims of the gods, Medusa has little company except the snakes that adorn her head instead of hair. But when a charmed, beautiful boy called Perseus arrives on the island, her lonely existence is disrupted with the force of a supernova, unleashing desire, love, betrayal . and destiny itself.
Filled with glorious full-colour illustrations by award-winning Olivia Lomenech Gill, this astonishing retelling of Greek myth is perfect for readers of Circe and The Silence of the Girls. Illuminating the girl behind the legend, it brings alive Medusa for a new generation.”
This graphic novel sounds so damn gorgeous! I want it so bad.
My Fine Fellow by Jennieke Cohen
“Culinary delights abound, romance lingers in the air, and plans go terribly, wonderfully astray in this cheeky and charming historical tale, perfect for fans of Bridgerton or Dickinson.
It’s 1830s England, and Culinarians—doyens who consult with society’s elite to create gorgeous food and confections—are the crème de la crème of high society.
Helena Higgins, top of her class at the Royal Academy, has a sharp demeanor and an even sharper palate—and knows stardom awaits her if she can produce greatness in her final year.
Penelope Pickering is going to prove the value of non-European cuisine to all of England. Her contemporaries may scorn her Filipina heritage and her dishes, but with her flawless social graces and culinary talents, Penelope is set to prove them wrong.
Elijah Little has nothing to his name but a truly excellent instinct for flavors. London merchants won’t allow a Jewish boy to own a shop, so he hawks his pasties for a shilling a piece to passersby—but he knows with training he can break into the highest echelon of society.
When Penelope and Helena meet Elijah, a golden opportunity arises: to pull off a project never seen before, and turn Elijah from a street vendor to a gentleman chef.
But Elijah’s transformation will have a greater impact on this trio than they originally realize—and mayhem, unseemly faux pas, and a little romance will all be a part of the delicious recipe.”
This sounds adorable and so fun! I’d love to read this.
The Storyteller by Kathryn Williams
“With the mystery of Maureen Johnson and Brittany Cavallo and the historical intrigue of Romanov, this enthralling story follows a teenage girl’s quest to uncover the truth behind her secretive great aunt Anna, who just might be the long lost Russian princess Anastasia.
It’s not every day you discover you might be related to Anastasia…or that the tragic princess actually survived her assassination attempt and has been living as the woman you know as Aunt Anna.
For Jess Morgan, who is growing tired of living her life to please everyone else, discovering her late aunt’s diaries shows her she’s not the only one struggling to hide who she really is. But was her aunt truly a Romanov princess? Or is this some elaborate hoax?
With the help of a supremely dorky, but undeniably cute, local college student named Evan, Jess digs into the century-old mystery.
But soon Jess realizes there’s another, bigger truth waiting to be revealed: Jess Morgan. Because if she’s learned anything from Aunt Anna, it’s that only you can write your own story.
Part mystery, romance, and historical fiction, this genre-bending YA will pull readers into one girl’s journey of discovering the impossible tale of a long-lost aunt—and through her, the importance of being true to yourself.”
Fun adorable mystery and a bit of romance, count me in!
The Bone Spindle by Leslie Vedder
“Genderflipped Sleeping Beauty x Indiana Jones with ruins, riddles, battle axes, cursed princes, and snark.
The prince sleeping in the Forest of Thorns has waited a hundred years for the one who will break the curse. Or so the story goes…
Seventeen-year-old Fi is a treasure hunter with a knack for ruins and riddles. She considers the curse ancient history—until she pricks her finger on a bone spindle and comes face to face with the mysterious spirit of Prince Briar Rose.
Shane is an ax-wielding huntswoman from the northern islands, perpetually on the run from trouble. She partners with Fi for the score of a lifetime, but gets a lot more than she bargained for when she finds herself dragged along on the dangerous quest and falling hard for a mysterious girl in red.
Fi never wanted a partner. Now she’s stuck with two of them—and a destiny to break the curse and save the fallen kingdom of magic.
Dark magic, Witch Hunters, and treacherous exes all stand in their way, but Fi and Shane won’t stop until they reach the heart of the Forest of Thorns.”
This story combo sounds so good. Fantasy and adventure and magic I want all of it.
The Helheim Princess by Tana Warner
“A thrilling, intricate, and romantic #OwnVoices LGBTQ fantasy that builds on Norse mythology into a beautiful story all its own.
For as long as Sigrid could remember, she’s wanted to become a mighty, fearless valkyrie. But without a winged mare, she’s a mere stable hand, left wondering who her parents were and why she’s so different. So when the Eye shows her a vision where she’s leading a valkyrie charge on the legendary eight-legged horse Sleipnir, she grabs the possibility of this greater destiny with both hands, refusing to let go.
Too bad that the only one who can help her get there is Mariam, an enemy valkyrie who begrudgingly agrees to lead her to Helheim but who certainly can’t be trusted―even if she does make Sigrid more than a little flustered. As they cross the nine worlds, battling night elves, riding sea serpents, and hurtling into fire to learn the truth about Sigrid’s birthright, an unexpected but powerful bond forms.
As her feelings for Mariam deepen into something fiery and undeniable, Fate has other plans for Sigrid. What happens when the one thing you think you were meant to do might end the nine worlds?”
Norse fantasy hell yeah!
Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves by Meg Long
“A captivating debut about survival, found family, and the bond between a girl and a wolf that delivers a fresh twist on classic survival stories and frontier myths.
After angering a local gangster, seventeen-year-old Sena Korhosen must flee with his prize fighting wolf, Iska, in tow. A team of scientists offer to pay her way off her frozen planet on one condition: she gets them to the finish line of the planet’s infamous sled race. Though Sena always swore she’d never race after it claimed both her mothers’ lives, it’s now her only option. But the tundra is a treacherous place, and as the race unfolds and their lives are threatened at every turn, Sena starts to question her own abilities. She must discover whether she’s strong enough to survive the wild – whether she and Iska together are strong enough to get them all out alive.”
Sounds like a fun adventure with intense aspects. Sounds like a great story.
Unedited by Barry Lyga
“The companion piece to Mike and Phile and All the World in all its +1,000 page glory.
This is a book. It is written by Barry Lyga. Yes, we know it’s a very long book. We tried to get him to cut it, but he wouldn’t. So there was nothing we could do about it. We understand if the length turns you off. A long book like this one represents a commitment, and if it isn’t good, you’ll feel like you’ve wasted your time and your money. Still, we published it because we think it’s a good book. Could it be shorter? Maybe. That’s a very difficult call. Each person will have his or her own opinion. Some will read it and think, “It could have been shorter.” Others will think, “It was just right.” And maybe some people will wish it was longer. Isn’t that the highest compliment you can pay a book, to wish it would never end?
Usually, this text here (it’s called “flap copy”) is sexy marketing-talk, designed to get you to buy the book. Did you know that most people look at the cover, then the back cover, then the flap copy, and only then do they bother even to flip to a page in the book? So you probably haven’t even read any part of the book yet, but you might decide to buy or not buy it anyway. Without having read a word of it.
So, we’ll just say this: This book is a love story. We hope you’ll give it a shot.”
The description of this is something else. I have to read this. I’m too curious. Call me sold.
Lawless Spaces by Corey Ann Haydu
“Perfect for fans of Deb Caletti, this poignant coming-of-age novel in verse follows a teen girl who connects with the women of her maternal line through their journals and comes to better understand her fraught relationship with her mother.
Mimi’s relationship with her mother has always been difficult. But lately, her mother has been acting more withdrawn than usual, leaving Mimi to navigate the tricky world of turning sixteen alone. What she doesn’t expect is her mother’s advice to start journaling—just like all the woman in her family before her. It’s a tradition, she says. Expected.
But Mimi takes to poetry and with it, a way to write down the realities of growing into a woman, the pains of online bullying, and the new experiences of having a boyfriend. And all in the shadows of a sexual assault case that is everywhere on the news—a case that seems to specifically rattle her mother.
Trying to understand her place in the world, Mimi dives into the uncovered journals of her grandmother, great-grandmother, and beyond. She immerses herself in each of their lives, learns of their painful stories and their beautiful sprits. And as Mimi grows closer to each of these women, she starts to forge her own path. But it isn’t until her mother’s story comes to light that Mimi learns about the unyielding bonds of family and the relentless spirit of womanhood.”
Novel in verse so I need it now!
Icebreaker by Al Graziadei
“A. L. Graziadei’s Icebreaker is an irresistible YA debut about two hockey players fighting to be the best—and the romance that catches them by surprise along the way.
Seventeen-year-old Mickey James III is a college freshman, a brother to five sisters, and a hockey legacy. With a father and a grandfather who have gone down in NHL history, Mickey is almost guaranteed the league’s top draft spot.
The only person standing in his way is Jaysen Caulfield, a contender for the #1 spot and Mickey’s infuriating (and infuriatingly attractive) teammate. When rivalry turns to something more, Mickey will have to decide what he really wants, and what he’s willing to risk for it.
This is a story about falling in love, finding your team (on and off the ice), and choosing your own path.”
This book sounds so adorable and fun and I love that.
The Chosen One by Echo Brown
“Echo Brown testifies to the disappointments and triumphs of a Black first-generation college student in this fearless exploration of the first year experience.
There are many watchers and they are always white. That’s the first thing Echo notices as she settles into Dartmouth College. Despite graduating high school in Cleveland as valedictorian, Echo immediately struggles to keep up in demanding classes. Dartmouth made many promises it couldn’t keep. The campus is not a rainbow-colored utopia where education lifts every voice. Nor is it a paradise of ideas, an incubator of inclusivity, or even an exciting dating scene. But it might be a portal to different dimensions of time and space—only accessible if Echo accepts her calling as a Chosen One and takes charge of her future by healing her past. This remarkable challenge demands vulnerability, humility, and the conviction to ask for help without sacrificing self-worth.
In mesmerizing personal narrative and magical realism, Echo Brown confronts mental illness, grief, racism, love, friendship, ambition, self-worth, and belonging as they steer the fates of first-generation college students on Dartmouth’s campus. The Chosen One is an unforgettable coming-of-age story that bravely unpacks the double-edged college transition—as both catalyst for old wounds and a fresh start.”
This book sounds like it’d give me a new perspective on the first year college experience and I feel like it’ll be really interesting.
The Red Palace by June Hur
“June Hur, critically acclaimed author of The Silence of Bones and The Forest of Stolen Girls, returns with a third evocative, atmospheric historical mystery perfect for fans of Courtney Summers and Kerri Maniscalco.
To enter the palace means to walk a path stained in blood…
Joseon (Korea), 1758. There are few options available to illegitimate daughters in the capital city, but through hard work and study, seventeen-year-old Hyeon has earned a position as a palace nurse. All she wants is to keep her head down, do a good job, and perhaps finally win her estranged father’s approval.
But Hyeon is suddenly thrust into the dark and dangerous world of court politics when someone murders eight palace nurses in a single night, and the prime suspect is Hyeon’s closest friend and mentor. Determined to prove her beloved teacher’s innocence, Hyeon launches her own secret investigation.
In her hunt for the truth, she encounters Eojin, a young undercover police inspector also searching for the killer. When evidence begins to point to the Crown Prince himself as the murderer, Hyeon and Eojin must work together to search the darkest corners of the palace to uncover the deadly secrets behind the bloodshed.”
I want to read everything from this author even though I haven’t gotten to read one of her books yet. I just know I’ll adore them.
The Temperature of Me and You by Brian Zepka
“Sixteen-year-old Dylan Highmark thought his winter was going to be full boring shifts at the Dairy Queen, until he finds himself in a fiery first love, literally.
Dylan has always wanted a boyfriend, but the suburbs surrounding Philadelphia do not have a lot in the way of options. Then, in walks Jordan, a completely normal (and undeniably cute) boy who also happens to run at a cool 110 degrees Fahrenheit. When the boys start spending time together, Dylan begins feeling all kinds of ways, and when he spikes a fever for two weeks and is suddenly coughing flames, he thinks he might be suffering from something more than just a crush.
Jordan forces Dylan to keep his symptoms a secret. But as the pressure mounts and Dylan becomes distant with his closest friends and family, he pushes Jordan for answers. Jordan’s revelations of why he’s like this, where he came from, and who’s after him leaves Dylan realizing how much first love is truly out of this world. And if Earth supports life that breathes oxygen, then love can only keep Jordan and Dylan together for so long.
THE TEMPERATURE OF ME AND YOU is the story of first love, and the lengths we’ll go to figure out our hearts. What starts as an electric, chance encounter at a Dairy Queen leads to first love, a journey of trust and identity, and a ticking clock for survival.”
Adorable first love story I need to warm my heart.
Loveboat Reunion by Abigail Hing Wen
“This companion novel to Abigail Hing Wen’s New York Times bestselling debut, Loveboat, Taipei, follows two fan favorite characters—Sophie and Xavier—as they reconnect and write their own futures on a wild, unexpected Loveboat reunion.
Sophie Ha and Xavier Yeh have what some would call a tumultuous past.
It’s a classic tale of girl-meets-boy, boy-meets-other-girl, heart-gets-broken, revenge-is-plotted, everything-blows-up. Spectacularly.
At least they’re friends now. They’ve left the drama behind them back in Taipei—at their summer program, Loveboat—forever.
Now fall is here, and it’s time to focus on what really matters. Sophie is determined to be the best student Dartmouth’s ever had. Forget finding the right guy to make her dreams come true—Sophie is going to make her future happen for herself. Xavier, on the other hand, just wants to stay under his overbearing father’s radar, collect his trust fund when he turns eighteen, and concentrate on what makes him happy, for the first time ever.
But the world doesn’t seem to want Sophie and Xavier to succeed. Sophie’s college professor thinks her first major project is “too feminine.” Xavier’s father gives him an ultimatum: finish high school or be cut off from his inheritance.
Then Sophie and Xavier find themselves on a wild, nonstop Loveboat reunion, each trying to resist the chemistry that originally led to them to combust. As they grow closer, they hatch a plan to take control of their own futures. Step one? Break all the rules.
Expansive and romantic, glamorous and tender, Loveboat Reunion takes readers back to Taipei through the eyes of Sophie and Xavier, on an unforgettable journey of glittering revelry and self-discovery that’s perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Mary H. K. Choi.”
I want a good romance book! I’ve not read them for way too long.
In Every Generation by Kendare Blake
“The first in an all-new series by New York Times best-selling author Kendare Blake continues the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer featuring the next generation of Scoobies and Slayers who must defeat a powerful new evil.
A new Slayer for a new generation…
Frankie Rosenberg is passionate about the environment, a sophomore at New Sunnydale High School, and the daughter of the most powerful witch in Sunnydale history. Her mom, Willow, is slowly teaching her magic on the condition that she use it to better the world. But Frankie’s happily quiet life is upended when new girl Hailey shows up with news that the annual Slayer convention has been the target of an attack, and all the Slayers—including Buffy, Faith, and Hailey’s older sister Vi—might be dead. That means it’s time for this generation’s Slayer to be born.
But being the first ever Slayer-Witch means learning how to wield a stake while trying to control her budding powers. With the help of Hailey, a werewolf named Jake, and a hot but nerdy sage demon, Frankie must become the Slayer, prevent the Hellmouth from opening again, and find out what happened to her Aunt Buffy, before she’s next.
Get ready for a whole new story within the world of Buffy!”
Magic buffy world novel! Sounds so fun!
The Greatest Thing by Sarah Winifred Searle
“With breathtaking art and honest storytelling, Sarah Winifred Searle delivers a moving graphic novel about love, self-acceptance, and the life-saving power of teen friendships.
It’s the first day of her sophomore year, and Winifred is going to reinvent herself. This isn’t by choice—she was perfectly comfortable with the way things were when she was a freshman and a member of a well-established three-person clique. But now that her two best (and only) friends have transferred to a private school, Win must navigate high school on her own.
But she isn’t alone for long. In art class, she meets two offbeat students, Oscar and April. They don’t look or act like the typical teenagers in her small New England town: They’re creative, a little rebellious, and seem comfortable in their own skin in a way that Win can only dream of.
Through clandestine sleepovers, thrift store shopping, and zine publishing, Winifred finally breaks out of her shell. But there’s one secret she can’t bear to admit to April and Oscar, or even to herself—and this lie is threatening to destroy her newfound friendships.”
This looks like an adorable graphic novel.
Anything But Fine by Tobias Madden
“After a decade of dedicated ballet practice, one missed step on a flight of stairs lands Luca in the hospital with a titanium plate screwed into his foot. Without ballet, he loses his friends, his school, and his perfect future.
As Luca settles into his new life, he strikes up an unlikely friendship with the least popular (and nicest) girl in his new school, Amina, and the gorgeous, popular, and (allegedly) straight, Jordan Tanaka-Jones.
With his dancing dreams dead on their feet, Luca has to figure out who he is without ballet. And to do that he’ll have to unlearn his prejudices about the school on the “bad” side of town, make friends who aren’t always competing against him, and figure out if love is worth being a skeleton in someone else’s closet.”
This sounds like an emotional and beautiful story. I feel I’d become so attached to the story.
Star Child: A Biographical Constellation of Octavia Estelle Butler
“From the New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award finalist, a biography in verse and prose of science fiction visionary Octavia Butler.
Acclaimed novelist Ibi Zoboi illuminates the young life of the visionary storyteller Octavia E. Butler in poems and prose. Born into the Space Race, the Red Scare, and the dawning Civil Rights Movement, Butler experienced an American childhood that shaped her into the groundbreaking science-fiction storyteller whose novels continue to challenge and delight readers fifteen years after her death.”
This sounds like a beautiful tribute to a novelist and I’d love to read this.
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