Upcoming Things I’m Excited For – Summer 2021 Edition

Hey everyone! While books are my thing on this blog I would love to talk things that are outside of books I am interested in. Movies, TV series, anime, and whatever else is going on in my life that makes me excited and feel joy.


VACCINATED BABY!!!

I got my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine in May so after a few days of a slight fever and yucky feeliness I am feeling better now and am fully vaccinated! I’m not going to go crazy but I am just glad that I am vaccinated. I feel so much relief though.

BOOKS

I have a whole post dedicated to this! So feel free to check that out. But yeah there’s a TON of books coming out this summer that I really would love to get to reading! Check that post out here!

MOVIES

My other love besides books are movies!!! The last movie I saw in theaters was Birds of Prey and then of course everything shutdown because of Covid sometime after that. I am more than ready to step back in with precaution of course to watch a movie in a theater!!! I am wanting to talk more about the films that aren’t just a reboot or sequel or superhero movie, because I’m honestly getting super exhausted of all of that. Not that I’m not interested in many that will come out this year but I want to see some originality!!!

THE GREEN KNIGHT

All I have to say is that it is DEV PATEL SUMMER!!! I have been DYING TO SEE THIS and to see Dev Patel get the stardom he deserves. I got these tee shirts from Super Yaki (a super cool site for movie merch!) to celebrate when I got this. Anyways onto the movie itself I typically enjoy most A24 films since they focus on original stories and aren’t just another franchise/sequel/reboot. This one is based off of the Arthurian legend, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

ZOLA

Another movie I am excited for because it’s based off the iconic Zola twitter thread. It looks messy, dramatic, over the top and I am here for it!!!

GUNPOWDER MILKSHAKE

Not sure if this is a summer release but I just wanted to talk about it because it looks super fun and cool. It’s got so many great names. Karen Gillan, Lena Headey. Angela Bassett, Michelle Yeoh, Carla Gugino. Top notch actresses in a very John Wick/Birds of Prey like movie.

SHOWS

LOKI

I told myself this year that I wasn’t going to bother with the MCU but I ended up watching both WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. I’m at odds with the fact that I enjoy most of these characters but I hate that we’re stuck in this amount of MCU content and nothing really original. Also I just have a lot of issues with the MCU in general but that’s a rant for another day. With that mini rant out of the way, LOKI has been a show I was way more excited for than WV and TFATWS. Loki has been one of the most iconic MCU characters IMO and I think if I get anything out of this, it’ll be fun.

TED LASSO (SEASON 2)

Ted Lasso was one of my surprise watches of this year when I did a free trial for Apple TV and wow I didn’t expect to enjoy Ted Lasso as much as I did. It’s such a weird comedy in that it’s based on kindness and positivity. Which is something to say coming from someone who does like cynical comedy but it just works for Ted Lasso. The one downside is that I’ll have to set up new free trial since I ended my sub. I really wish it wasn’t on Apple TV because it’s literally the only thing on that service that I am remotely interested in.

THE OWL HOUSE (SEASON 2)

The Owl House provides me with that pure, whimsical, magical joy. Season 1 was such a ride as I binged it and caught up to the final few episodes. So the first season left off on a sort of sad note for the characters and story. Which is a fairly common trend among children’s animated series these days to go darker like Steven Universe, Gravity Falls, She-Ra Princesses of Power to name a few. I was supposed to put out a review of season 1 last year when I watched it but never got around to it. Maybe I’ll quickly post it before the new season comes out.

MUSIC

So my music taste is super indie/alternative with hints of whatever is popular like right now I’m listening to Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour or Aly & AJ’s new album. There’s definitely some I’ll miss because I don’t always know who or when they’re putting out an album. There’s rumors that Lorde might be dropping a single off her new album 👀👀👀👀 Obviously I will take that rumor with a grain of salt but Lorde’s comeback is on my mind all the time. Also Willow is going to do a pop punk album. Very excited for that one. Music is in a great place right now.

Japanese Breakfast – Jubilee

Probably one of my favorite artists right now! Japanese Breakast aka Michelle Zauner is a genius. From her first album Psychopomp to her sophomore album Soft Sounds from Another Planet, I am always mesmerized by the sounds and music of Japanese Breakfast. I’ve been listening to her singles Be Sweet and Posing in Bondage off this new album so much this spring and I can’t wait to listen to the full album over the summer. Also I bought her memoir Crying in H Mart recently which I know is going to be a tearjerker. Probably an album of the year choice for me.

Wolf Alice – Blue Weekend

Wolf Alice is back in time for sad indie rock music summer!!! This album, when it was announced was a surprise one, and I am super stoked.

Lucy Dacus – Home Video

Another indie lady I am obsessed with! Lucy Dacus!!! I am loving her two singles, VBS and Hot & Heavy. Just another artist that never fails to disappoint me. Also I’ve been stalking her Goodreads because she has a Goodreads and has excellent taste! Would really love to see her start a book club.

Kississippi – Mood Ring

I’ve more or less recently have gotten into Kississippi. She’s indie pop/indie rock. This album seems like it’s leaning more towards indie pop. But I love the vibes. All hear for this music this summer.

Pom Pom Squad – Death of a Cheerleader

I hate to be compare artists with one another but I would really love more people who liked Olivia Rodrigo’s song Brutal to listen to Pom Pom Squad. She’s got that angsty punk girl vibe ~but make it sapphic~. Listen to Lux and Head Cheerleader. Also her cover of FKA twig’s Cellophane.

Faye Webster – I Know I’m Funny haha

I listened to Faye Webster a lot last year. In a Good Way and Better Distractions were on my On Repeat playlist a lot last year. So this album is going to be a future favorite. I just know it. If you want more chill sad indie in your life with hints of country, here you go! Listen to Faye Webster.

BASEBALL ⚾️

So like a week right after I got over my second covid shot sickness, my parents were like “let’s go to a baseball game since we’re all vaccinated 🤪”. Which I was down with. I’m not a big sports fan but I do enjoy watching a live baseball game. I like the atmosphere. So we went and I ending up having a fun time and we plan on going again soon in June! My local professional baseball team is the Tampa Bay Rays. And they’re also good!?? So I may now be a little more interested in baseball now.

Anyways that’s what I’m looking forward to this summer. Let me know what you plan on doing this summer or winter if you’re in the southern hemisphere!!

books on my radar: summer 2021 edition

Hello y’all!! This is my first non-review/blog tour post since I don’t know when to be honest. At least since sometime last year, when I started becoming less active on here. I have been wanting to revive my blog again for a long but things happen! Life happens. It gets super hard to manage a blog when you’re working, when the world is burning, and your mental health is shit. I’m hoping to make an official “I’m back from my hiatus (?)” post soon though and talk about things that have happened last year and this year.

In the meantime, I have been dying to talk about some upcoming books!! So here’s a typical anticipated summer releases list for you to enjoy or not. I decided to separate these books into arbitrary categories so do with that what you will. Please enjoy this list and I hope I have convinced some of y’all to look into these for yourself! Let’s have a good summer full of reading, chilling out and also staying 6 feet apart and away from me with a mask still on please.

SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY / LITERARY FICTION RELEASES
(JUNE TO AUGUST 2021)

This is the straight up fantasy category. The lush and descriptive type of fantasy that takes you to a whole other world.

For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten – Release Date: June 1

Woodsy, fantasy romance with a monster boyfriend/husband?? Indulge me please. I’ve been waiting for this book ever since it was announced and I cannot wait to devour it.

The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo – Release Date: June 1

Not only is this a retelling of The Great Gatsby but its also queer, Asian, and magical. I’m also lucky enough to have been given an arc of this 👀👀👀 Review to come obviously for this one!

The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri – Release Date: June 8

This is the start of a fantasy trilogy featuring morally grey sapphic characters. I’ve heard so many great things about Tasha Suri’s first series, Empire of Sand & Realm of Ash. She’s also an author that I follow on Twitter and she seems chill. IDK There is something about authors that are just kind of chill and cool on Twitte that makes me want to read their books more.

The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid – Release Date: June 8

Will anyone hate me when I say that I have read this book already? I will have a review up soon for this one because WOW. This book. I hope my review can give this book justice to how damn good it was. I also have the the book itself in person and it is GORGEOUS. I am begging y’all to grab this book that if you want a fantasy story that hits you dark and brutal themes of nationalism, genocide, and ethnic cleansing. I would definitely check into the trigger warnings for this book before going in.

This a mix of contemporary/historical settings and characters.

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston – Release Date: June 1

I haven’t read Red, White & Royal Blue and I KNOW I WILL READ IT EVENTUALLY. But One Last Stop just really sounded more my speed. Queer Kate & Leopold?? This sounds a lot of fun and I need more fun in my life. I’ll more than likely take this as a beach read since I am going to hit the beach at some point this summer. Vaccinated baby!!!

The Temple House Vanishing by Rachel Donohue – Release Date: July 6

Okay so I have to point out that this has not been the only book released this year about boarding schools and specifically all-girls schools. There’s at least 3 others that also fit in this category from this year alone. It’s a sub-genre that I have come to realize that I enjoy reading about because its usually mystery and coming of age all rolled into one. Picnic at Hanging Rock is one of my favorite films and I think that’s where I get my admiration for this type of story.

Afterparties by Anthony Veasna So – Release Date: August 3

This a collection of short stories that is specifically about Cambodian Americans dealing with race, sexuality, and generational trauma from the Khmer Rouge genocide. I’ve been wanting to read more short stories and I think this sounds like it would be interesting.

Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – Release Date: August 17

I have to first address the cover because it is both HOT and COOL. Tell me that isn’t a hot as fuck cover. But also super cool and badass. Moving on from my cover love, this is a historical noir from a new favorite author of mine. Mexican Gothic was one of my favorite reads from last year and I’m super intrigued to see how Silvia Moreno-Garcia goes into historical noir. She’s an author that puts so much work into research and it shows. Plus her writing is so lush and captivating.

I guess this is also like the previous category of books. There are two thrillers and two contemporaries.

Ghost Forest by Pik-Shuen Fung – Release Date: July 13

This sounds like it will be a strong book about grief as well as the experience of immigrants. Also not a book set in the U.S. as its set both in China and Canada. I know its random that I point that out but I also don’t for some reason read many non-US books which I obviously should fucking fix.

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris – Release Date: June 1

This had me at Get Out meets The Stepford Wives which is quite the comp to make. This about a young Black woman who works a book publishing house in New York where she has been the only Black employee until the new girl arrives. It seems like they’ll get along fine but the new girl starts to leave her hostile messages and things begin to spiral out.

With Teeth by Kristen Arnett – Release Date: June 1

Not going to lie but I actually am kind of wanting to read this because 1) the author is hilarious on Twitter. She’s always trending somehow?? 2) She’s a Florida author and this is set in Florida. I am naturally biased towards books set where I am from. But I mean the book does sound intriguing. The synopsis sounds almost basic but also eerily unsettling??? I guess that’s how I would describe it because it sounds like its going to be a messy ride and I am here for it.

The Comfort of Monsters by Willa C. Richards – Release Date: July 13

Set in the early 1990s during the time Jeffrey Dahmer was caught, a teenage girl also happened to disappear and it follows the sister’s story to piece together what actually happened. Also I saw the name “Gillian Flynn” and immediately added this to my tbr.

This is the “whatever else is left to talk about” category. A mix of genres and authors.

My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones – Release Date: August 31

This is described as Shirley Jackson meets Friday the 13th which sounds cool as hell. I’m also very excited because of the hype and praise surrounding his release from last year, The Only Good Indians (which I am also dying to read). And yeah that title is hardcore.

Star Eater by Kerstin Hall – Release Date: June 22

The synopsis does not at all mention that this book is about cannibalism but it is apparently about cannibalism but fantasy. This sounds fucked up to be honest and I am here for it.

Songs in Ursa Major by Emma Brodie – Release Date: June 22

Another thing I am into, books about music. This book leans into the 1960s/1970s folk music scene which is an era I vibe with. Bob Dylan. Joni Mitchell. James Taylor. This apparently is partially based off James Taylor and Joni Mitchell’s love affair. Sorry Bob.

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix – Release Date: July 13

Okay this might sound fake but I had a WIP that was also about final girls joining up together to face up against one villain. RIP The Final Girls Club. Damn you Grady Hendrix for also going for the most obvious story idea to tell and doing it before me. But this seriously sounds super cool. It probably will be better than anything I put on paper.

YOUNG ADULT RELEASES (JUNE TO AUGUST 2021)

This category is the YA horror/thriller category and this year it looks strong. I’ll especially love to talk about the ones coming out in the fall/winter season as well. There’s another book that fits here but I am purposely leaving it out for aesthetic reasons.

Darling by K. Ancrum – Release Date: June 22

A dark retelling of Peter Pan which K. Ancrum is known to deliver on dark topics. The synopsis itself is pretty vague and mysterious as to what the hell is happening. But that somehow makes me more excited to read this one. I have an ARC for this and hopefully I will be getting into it soon!

The Devil Makes Three by Tori Bovalino – Release Date: August 10

Demonic books, boarding school, dark academia…what could be better??? I am actually rubbing my hands over the thought of reading this. This is the kind of spooky shit I have been craving.

The River Has Teeth by Erica Waters – Release Date: July 20

I adored Ghost Wood Song, the author’s debut which you should check out! This one is a sapphic Southern gothic/ supernatural book. I crave for more Southern gothic stories TBH.

A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee – August 3

Sapphic dark academia in the house!!! We love to see it!!!

This is a mix of books that have mostly contemporary settings grounded in realism but also two have have fantastical elements.

The Sea Is Salt and So Am I by Cassandra Hartt – Release Date: June 8

This deals with a seaside town during stormy weather season and also deals with depression and suicide. So this could be a difficult read for myself since those issues hit hard for me. But I like the premise enough to want to try to read it.

Me (Moth) by Amber McBride – Release Date: August 17

So this is an interesting mix of novel-in-verse contemporary and ghost story. It sounds like it will be a haunting read and I didn’t look into it any further than that because novels-in-verse are easy for me to go in without knowing too much about them.

Dangerous Play by Emma Kress – Release Date: August 3

I have been wanting to venture into YA sports books which there seems to be a lack of. Not non-existent but just very limited and they don’t seem to get as much coverage as fantasy and romance contemporaries do. I am interested to see how this portrays sexual assault and the trauma of it.

This Poison Heart by Kaylynn Bayron – Release Date: June 29

I believe this is a retelling of The Secret Garden which I story I ADORED in my childhood years but also I recognize that its a story that could use a good retelling and especially one from the perspective of a person of color. I’m also a sucker for plant magic fantasy. Give me all the cottagecore vibes please.

This is the WLW category. HAROLD.

Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta – June 29

Aimed at fans of Pacific Rim (that’s me) with a sapphic romance, I really think this could be a fun read. I actually preordered this a while ago so I have been anxiously waiting for the finished copy to show up for a long time now but I also have an ARC and I am dying to find time to read this!! To my knowledge I haven’t read any book with mechas in them, which is honestly such a weird thing because that whole category of cyberpunk/sci-fi is huge in anime, if you’re a fan of Neon Genesis Evangelion or Gundam and of course Pacific Rim.

Girls at the Edge of the World by Laura Brooke Robson – June 8

I actually have no idea what the hell this book is really about. From the synopsis I get the hint of fantasy ~but make it apocalyptic~ which is my absolutely my thing. Also it is of course sapphic. I kind of like that I’m going into this not knowing much tbh.

The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould – August 3

Ghosthunting!! Haunted towns!! Horror!! Sapphics!! *In the tune of Shania Twain’s Man I Feel Like a Woman* Let’s go ghouls!!

Rise to the Sun by Leah Johnson – July 6

This sounds like the perfect summer read, its about two girls at a music festival and falling in love. I personally love books that are about music and about the fans of music. Look at that cover and tell that this isn’t going to be cute af.


That’s my little list, let me know some of your most anticipated summer releases. Also what do you think of this year in books thus far? Has it been a good/okay/bad year for book releases? Have you already found a favorite book of the year or do you expect this next half to have a new favorite in store?

thanks for reading! sav :)

Hurricane Summer by Asha Bromfield – Blog Tour Review

Thanks to Wednesday Books for providing me with an eARC for this wonderful book and letting me join in on this blog tour! Today I will be reviewing HURRICANE SUMMER, a stunningly powerful debut that is set in the countryside of Jamaica from the POV of a Jamaican-Canadian teenager who discovers her estranged father’s side of the family over the course of a summer that changes her life.

HURRICANE SUMMER by Asha Bromfield

On-sale: May 4th, 2021

SYNOPSIS

In this sweeping debut, Asha Bromfield takes readers to the heart of Jamaica, and into the soul of a girl coming to terms with her family, and herself, set against the backdrop of a hurricane.

Tilla has spent her entire life trying to make her father love her. But every six months, he leaves their family and returns to his true home: the island of Jamaica.

When Tilla’s mother tells her she’ll be spending the summer on the island, Tilla dreads the idea of seeing him again, but longs to discover what life in Jamaica has always held for him.

In an unexpected turn of events, Tilla is forced to face the storm that unravels in her own life as she learns about the dark secrets that lie beyond the veil of paradise―all in the midst of an impending hurricane.

Hurricane Summer is a powerful coming of age story that deals with colorism, classism, young love, the father-daughter dynamic―and what it means to discover your own voice in the center of complete destruction.


REVIEW

Before I get into my review I would like to share the content/trigger warnings for this book as the story is heavy and intense and I recommend you look into these TWs before reading this for yourself.

TRIGGER WARNINGS: sexual assault, rape, racism, colorism, classism, slut shaming, abuse (verbal and physical), death


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
"How beautiful it was to be destroyed" 

HURRICANE SUMMER was a book I had been anticipating ever since I read the title, the synopsis and saw THAT gorgeous cover. When finally read it, I found myself thrusted into something that put me through anxiety and intense emotions. There were many unexpected things and often times unpleasant and tense moments that happened over the course of HURRICANE SUMMER. Moments of bliss and summer vibes that eventually spiraled like a hurricane into moments of violence, tension, and raw emotion.

This is a pretty typical YA premise. Being that of a coming of a age story and finding out about yourself through your family and the new people and places you meet along the way. But this one has a unique and fresh perspective that stands out to me. HURRICANE SUMMER follows 17 year old Tilla, a Jamaican-Canadian teenager who alongside her 9 year old sister Mia, go to spend the summer in Jamaica with their estranged father, Tyson. What follows is a tale that explores Tilla’s complicated and heartbreaking dynamic with her father, her father’s side of the family whom she used to know when she was younger but is also as estranged and distant as her father and how she comes to learn the ways of Jamaica and what it means to be yourself.

I really enjoyed the writing. It felt immersive as I entered in a story where I was not familiar with the Patois dialect that nearly every character speaks (there is a Patois Word Bank at the beginning of the book if you feel lost), but I began to be more familiar with the language of the book as Tilla becomes herself. The lush and wondrous descriptions of Jamaica, both as its being stormed in on by Hurricane Gustav and before the storm, when Tilla and her cousins and the neighborhood kids venture through the cooling waters and greenery.

Tilla is a strong protagonist. I ached for her as the story went on and as it got more intense and emotional. She faces a lot of adversity throughout the story, starting with her relatives, especially her religious yet hypocritical and abusive Aunt Herma, and her cousin Diana. She also faces cold treatment from her other aunts and uncles. And it never changes. I had expected maybe things could be better as Tilla did as well. There were some things in the story that addressed the reasons for maybe why they hated her. For one instance being that since she’s from Canada she is more privileged than they are which Tilla herself acknowledges that she has privilege. However a lot of their hatred towards her is way more personal and eventually becomes way beyond redeeming when things get more violent and toxic and it ends up breaking Tilla apart. When Tilla stands up to them, there is a lot of anger and strength within her that I have to applaud her for. When I say this story is intense, I mean it is intense.

The few people she does feel warmth from are Hessan and Andre. Hessan being her love interest…as well as Diana’s fiancé which becomes more complicated throughout the story. I bought their chemistry but at the same time I could feel it easily being upended due to him easily believing the lies and hate that the others in the town believe about Tilla. I’m happy that at the end Tilla was able to see that Hessan was not for her and that didn’t have to forgive him. Andre, her cousin, faces prejudice because of having dark skin and is punished physically and emotionally by the neighborhood kids and his own family, with Tilla being one of the only people in the story to understand how much pain and suffering he goes through and treats him like a person. Their friendship was nice to see and it broke my heart when he was found dead after the hurricane since he was one of the few genuine bonds that she made during her trip.

Her story with her father grows even more complicated than it ever had been as she uncovers many secrets about him that she never knew: he owns a farm, he is seen as respected by everyone in town, he has another family which includes a young woman and a son. Which leads her to eventually come to understand that her father is never going to be the father she wants him to be.

Overall, this story’s strength is Tilla’s growth in realizing she doesn’t need to look for a home in her father or his family or in Jamaica. But she needs to find her own.

But I know now that there will always be a hole in my heart the size of my father. And that is okay. In time, I will learn to fill it with my own magic. My own resilience. My own love. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Asha Bromfield is an actress, singer, and writer of Afro-Jamaican descent. She is known for her role as Melody Jones, drummer of Josie and the Pussycats in CW’s Riverdale. She also stars as Zadie Wells in Netflix’s hit show, Locke and Key. Asha is a proud ambassador for the Dove Self-Esteem Project, and she currently lives in Toronto where she is pursuing a degree in Communications. In her spare time, she loves studying astrology, wearing crystals, burning sage, and baking vegan desserts. Hurricane Summer is her debut novel.

Link to a buy-this-book page:
https://wednesdaybooks.com/the-real-deal/hurricane-summer/

This Golden Flame by Emily Victoria: BLOG TOUR – Excerpt

Today I’m participating in yet another blog tour post from Inkyard Press! Thanks again to Inkyard Press for providing me with an eARC of THIS GOLDEN FLAME. Today I am sharing an excerpt from this fascinating new YA fantasy featuring ace rep! Which by the way, is OUT NOW!

THIS GOLDEN FLAME BY EMILY VICTORIA

On Sale Date: February 2, 2021

9781335080271, 1335080279

Hardcover

$18.99 USD, $23.99 CAD

Young Adult Fiction / Fantasy / Epic 

Ages 13 And Up

384 pages

SYNOPSIS

An Ember in the Ashes meets Mask of Shadows in Emily Victoria’s #ownvoices debut YA fantasy, This Golden Flame, in which asexual Karis, a servant to the mysterious Scriptorium, accidentally awakens long-dormant automaton Alix, initiating an epic adventure full of magic, rebellion, and finding where you truly belong.

Orphaned and forced to serve her country’s ruling group of scribes, Karis wants nothing more than to find her brother, long ago shipped away. But family bonds don’t matter to the Scriptorium, whose sole focus is unlocking the magic of an ancient automaton army.

In her search for her brother, Karis does the seemingly impossible?she awakens a hidden automaton. Intelligent, with a conscience of his own, Alix has no idea why he was made. Or why his father?their nation’s greatest traitor?once tried to destroy the automatons.

Suddenly, the Scriptorium isn’t just trying to control Karis; it’s hunting her. Together with Alix, Karis must find her brother…and the secret that’s held her country in its power for centuries.

1

KARIS

The hallways of the Tallis Scriptorium are always so black at night. Statues and busts loom out of the dark and ribbed columns stretch down from the roof like pale fingers. I’ve taken my sandals off, twined their laces together, and hung them off my shoulder where they can’t make any noise, and the cold of the floor leeches through the soles of my feet. I pull my himation tighter around me, the rustling of the cloak a bare whisper. If this were day, I would hear the quiet scratch of reed pens against parchment in the study rooms to the east, the droning buzz of a master’s lecture from the hall. But in the night, it’s so stiflingly quiet. Like a tomb.

Even after seven years I’m still not used to it. To the quiet. The dark. Back on Heretis, the island I grew up on, there was always noise, always light, even in the run-down streets my brother and I haunted, where not many could afford oil for their lamps. Here on Tallis, the black is deep and somber, every door locked and every shutter latched firmly shut, as if the masters fear thieves who might lurk out there in the wilderness and the night.

If only they knew the thieves were already inside.

I slink down the shadowy hall, my eyes straining to navigate the black, even though it isn’t really the dark that’s a risk. Being out of bed this late would earn me a lashing, but at least that’s all I’d get. The true risk is in anyone dis- covering what I stole: the ledger currently clasped to my chest, its leather cover warm beneath my fingers. I can’t even say what the punishment for this would be, because as far as I know no one’s ever been impudent enough to try it.

At least not before me, and I prefer the term reckless.

I reach the west hall. Giving a quick glance up and down the silent corridor, I lift the latch on the closest window, wincing as it squeaks. I push the shutters open and night air brushes my skin.

The chilled marble of the windowsill stings against my legs as I swing over and drop into a crouch in the deep shadows by the edge of the building. From far off I can make out the sound of the waves crashing against the cliffs, the sharp tang of seawater hanging in the air. I take a deep breath, trying to trap the taste of it in my lungs.

I look across the dark courtyard to one of the smallest buildings. Despite its size, it’s all marble with a full colonnade around its edges and elaborate moldings of masters and ledgers and automatons in the frieze running along the edge of its roof, darkened now with shadows.

The Hall of Records.

The second watch rings across the complex. I allow my- self a smile. Perfect. There shouldn’t be a patrol anywhere near here right now. I take off across the courtyard, bare feet pounding the packed dirt, not slowing until I slip past the colonnade. Bars of moonlight glow against the floor, stretching from the pillars that surround the open atrium I stand in. The back of the space is lost in the gloom, but it’s impossible to miss the glimmer of gold, too vivid and bright to be anything but Scriptwork.

I pad silently over, avoiding the strips of moonlight and sticking to the shadows. As if the night sky will tell on me. Details swim from the dark: olivewood doors stretching high above my head, framed with brass and cut with flourishes and curls; the seal of bronze plastered to their center; and the rune carved deep into the metal, a tangle of thick golden strokes, bent around each other as if in a knot. A lock rune. The most complicated rune on this island.

I run my fingers over the ridges of the lines, warm and tingling beneath my skin despite the night air. The truth is, I’m not even supposed to know Scriptwork, at least no more than what’s needed to climb automatons and make rubbings of the runes. The actual work of study is done by the masters and the aristoi scholars who come to study on Tallis. We orphans are only here for grunt labor. The Scriptmasters barely believe we can think for ourselves, never mind do something like this.

Lock runes are tricky. You have to understand which strokes engraved into the seal are part of the base rune and which have been added by that particular Scriptmaster. Then you have to replicate it perfectly in a ledger, all in the right order. Runes have rules, some of which haven’t even been discovered yet, and we were certainly never al- lowed to study them.

But just because a crotchety old master wasn’t going to teach me didn’t mean I wasn’t going to learn.

The light’s just enough to let me see the ledger as I flip it open to the last page, the golden glow spilling over the rough stretch of parchment. I pull out the stub of charcoal from my belt pocket. Once I draw a line, there’s no changing my mind. I’ll have to sneak the ledger back eventually, and lines will only mean evidence, since trying to tear a page out will just be more obvious. If this doesn’t work, I’ll have taken all this risk for nothing.

Only then I think of Matthias. It’s been seven years since they shipped my older brother away, all because he tried to defend me against them. Because they decided he would be too troublesome to keep. Behind these doors is the only record on the whole of this island that can tell me where he was sent.

And I am getting through tonight.

I dash off the first of the lines on the page. It comes off black and bold and perfect.

That’s when I hear voices. Low. Serious.

A patrol.

There shouldn’t be a patrol here, not at this time of night. Which means I’m either not as observant as I think or I’m real unlucky.

As soon as they enter the courtyard, I won’t be able to get back to the window, not without them noticing. A hint of panic thrums beneath my skin, telling me to leave now, while I still can. But then I look down at the parchment, the rune already started. They can’t catch me if I’m already inside the Hall.

As soon as I have the idea, I know it’s a terrible one. I suppose that fits me perfectly.

I bend over the ledger and keep going. The lines unfurl across the parchment as the rune takes shape, each line in the proper order and form. Excitement curls around my heart, even as the voices come closer. I’m doing it.

The rune is finished. I look up at the seal on the door, waiting for the golden line to cut it in half, to let me through.

Nothing happens.

The seconds pound through my head. No. I look down at the page, at this rune that looks exactly like the one on the door. I’m sure I did it right. Why isn’t it working?

One of the soldiers speaks again, their voice close. Too close.

I’m out of time.

I bite down my curse and dash away from the glow of the rune, toward the courtyard. Maybe I can still get across. I’ve just reached the colonnade when the soldiers step into view through the main gates. There are two of them, a man and a woman, their red chitons dark enough it’s hard to make them out. Short gladius swords are strapped to their hips. They’re coming closer.

There’s one other way to my quarters, through a door I can possibly sneak to by circling the back of the buildings. A door that always stays unlocked because it’s used by the patrols themselves to get inside.

I jam the ledger into a fold in my himation and run, sticking close to the wall that surrounds the Scriptorium complex. I can see the door I need ahead, nestled at the back of the acolytes’ quarters.

I’m reaching out when it swings open toward me. I stumble back, off balance, and a hand from behind me clamps around my upper arm.

I jam my elbow back at whoever has me, but they’re quick. An arm scoops me around the waist and jerks me behind the closest pillar, right as another two soldiers step out the door. I snap my head up at whoever has me, and catch a glimpse of a trainee’s red sash. Of tousled dark hair and deep green eyes, currently narrowed to order me to shut up.

Dane.

I go still, both of us hidden in the narrow space between the pillar and the building. It throws me back, to years ago, when I wasn’t the only one sneaking out at nights. When this picture of him and me was as natural as breathing.

The footsteps fade away.

I let out a breath. That was close. I know I shouldn’t, but I look back the way I came. Maybe now that Dane’s here, I could try again. Maybe he’d come with me.

But he doesn’t even give me the chance to ask. Before I can open my mouth, he grabs my hand and pulls me through the door. Our footsteps hush over the floor, two sets this time, and even though I can practically feel the exasperation wicking off of him, see the tension in his neck, I feel strangely relieved. At least he’s here.

He doesn’t stop until we reach the small linen storeroom near my quarters, piled high with coarse chitons. There’s a thin crack in the shutters, letting in just enough moonlight that I can see him. His hand is pressed over his eyes, obscuring most of his face, as if that’s enough to hold back whatever he’s thinking. Under different circumstances, that would have made me laugh.

“Karis.” His voice is that dangerous sort of calm that, as far as I know, is only reserved for me and only when I’ve done something incredibly reckless. “What in all of every- thing were you thinking?”

I fold my arms over my chest. “You don’t even know what I was doing.”

He drops his hand and glowers at me. It’s an expression I haven’t seen in a while. Not because I haven’t been doing reckless things. But because he hasn’t been around to no- tice. “I got back after the rest of the patrol and I saw you near the Hall of Records. I know what you were doing.”

I wince. I hadn’t even considered that the patrol might have been spread out. It was careless.

“What were you even hoping to achieve without a ledger?” He’s facing the moonlight. I’m not. I doubt he can make out my expression, but my silence must speak volumes.

He groans. “You didn’t.”

I reach into my himation, the cloth looped about my shoulders and waist, and pull out the ledger. “I’m going to return it.”

Dane shoves his hands through his hair, growling at the ceiling. “Of all the ill-thought, hardheaded, impulsive…”

Dane’s my best friend. My only friend really. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to stand around while he verbally berates me to the roof. “You couldn’t have expected me not to try.”

“Try to do what? What exactly were your plans for this?”

He catches my wrist and holds it up, forcing me to look at the bronze bracelet suckered there like a malignant growth. A copy of the one he wears. That every orphan brought to this island wears.

And he’s right. I hate it, but he is. Even if I’d figured out the rune and written it perfectly, even if I’d gotten in and found exactly where Matthias had been sent, I would still be trapped here. Because of this hunk of metal around my wrist, this perfect circle with no clasp. As long as it’s attached to me, going anywhere near the beach will burn my bracelet’s identifying rune into their scrolls. They’d know exactly where I was and what I was doing. And there’d be no running from them then. There’s only one ledger that can unlock the bracelets, and it’s always with the head Scriptmaster. Not even I can steal that.

I meet Dane’s eyes over my hand, and for a moment I’m so achingly tired. I almost want to apologize, to tell him he’s right. Because maybe he is. Maybe I don’t want to spend my entire life fighting a battle I can’t win, when I couldn’t even open a door. Maybe the masters were right about me and I am exactly what they judge me to be.

Only then I think of Matthias. Of the way he looked the last time I saw him, the day he was dragged away. Me screaming. Him calling out my name as his hand was ripped from mine.

The truth is, it isn’t in me to quit. Not now, not ever. There are things I will not—cannot—concede, and my brother is at the top of that list.

So I don’t say anything, just stare Dane down, and in the end he’s the one who looks away, dropping my hand. A part of me is naive enough to believe it might be because he understands.

“You’re lucky I was on patrol,” he finally says.

“I know,” I whisper. It’s the most I can give him. It must be enough because he lets out a breath, rubbing the back of his neck.

“Did it work?” he asks. “The rune?”

I don’t want to say it and make it more real. But I lie to so many people in my life, and I won’t lie to him. “No.” I swallow, staring down at the floor. “It didn’t.”

I can feel his eyes on me and when he speaks, his voice is gentler. “I’m sorry.”

I raise my head to look back at him and force a smile. As impish and real as I can make it. “I know that, too.”

He rolls his eyes, but that crooked grin, which doesn’t belong to the soldier but to the street brat, to my friend, is already stealing over his face. I’ve missed that smile. “Yes, well, now that I’ve saved your sorry hide, I need to get back. And you should go to bed.”

He must have forgotten the ledger, hidden in the dark. I rub my fingers over it and for a moment I’m tempted not to say anything. To let him leave and to give it another try. Maybe I would have, if I had any idea where I went wrong with the rune. Maybe I would have if Dane wasn’t standing right there.

But he is. I don’t know how he managed to get away from his patrol for this long, but I do know that if anything happens tonight, he’ll be implicated in it. And I wouldn’t do that to him. The risks I take, I take on my own.

I hold the ledger up. “I need to get this back.” When I left, Master Kaius was snoring into his wine, but even he’ll notice a missing ledger when he wakes up. The masters would tear this Scriptorium apart to get it back.

Dane looks at the book between us, and then he takes it. “I’ll slip it into his study. At least if I get caught in the halls, I’ll have an excuse.”

I wasn’t expecting that, not even from him. “Dane…”

He’s already taken a step away, but he looks over his shoulder, and maybe more of the street boy still exists than I thought because trouble darts across his deep eyes. He comes back to me and pecks a kiss on my forehead. “Go to bed, Karis, before someone notices.”

Then he’s gone, disappearing back into the shadows of the hall, and the only evidence he ever stood here is the soft tread of his fading footsteps.

I failed. The knowledge sits like a thorn in my chest, prickling at the tender flesh of my heart. I was right there, I had the ledger in my hands, and I failed.

I drag my feet as I walk through the hallways, silently following the other acolytes in my group. Master Vasilis strides down the hall at our head, his robe billowing around his legs as he leads us to whatever work site he’s chosen today to re-catalog for the umpteenth time. All in the hopes that something will have changed that will unlock the secrets of the automatons.

The Scriptorium, which rules Eratia, flaunts itself as a leader among the nations in knowledge, but for the past two hundred years all the Scriptmasters have been obsessed with is recovering what they lost—reanimating and con- trolling the automatons littered over the islands.

It’s mind-numbingly pointless. If it hasn’t happened yet, it isn’t going to happen. The power of the automatons is dead. And right now, with the knowledge of my failure sit- ting heavy in my heart, I’m spitefully glad the Scriptorium is never going to get what they want either.

Outside, it’s barely dawn, pale colors stretching across the sky. Despite the early hour, the yard is already busy with the organized chaos of morning drills, men and women scattered about the yard. I look for Dane, even though I know he’s smart enough to take care of himself.

There are so many sparring pairs, it takes me a moment to spot him. Despite the chill in the air, his skin’s flushed and sweaty, and his sword flashes in the sun as dust flies around his sandals. Fatigue sits like a stone behind my eyes, but Dane looks as awake as ever. He lunges out fast and his opponent, a boy named Erys, jerks back and trips over his own feet. He falls in a tangle of flailing limbs. Dane lets out a whoop and jogs a few paces of a victory lap before helping Erys to his feet and slapping the other boy on his back.

I can’t help the grin that cracks across my face. Some- one’s having fun.

As if Dane can sense my attention on him—which I’m half convinced he can—he turns and sees me. He flashes me a smile that’s all secrets and all mine, and for a moment I almost forget how much the last few years have changed us. I wave back, ignoring the odd looks some of the nearby soldiers throw my way. As if it’s unnatural that someone like Dane would pay attention to someone like me. I wonder how many of them remember that Dane came here as an orphan, too. Before he picked up sword-fighting like he’d been doing it his whole life. Before he was allowed to join the militia ranks and became a favorite of his master and his squad. Before he grew from a gangly child into some- one who fits in perfectly.

Dane is good-looking and the worst thing is, he knows it. Knows exactly the effect he has on other people, especially on girls. At least girls besides me.

I’ve never felt that way about him. Actually, I’ve never felt that way about anyone. It’s not as if I think Dane is bad-looking. Objectively speaking, he’s quite nice to look at. There are plenty of people on Tallis who are nice to look at. I just wouldn’t ever want to kiss one of them over it. Whatever it is that makes my group mates sigh and go misty-eyed, I’ve never felt for myself.

I know all that about myself and most of the time I’m fine with it. But right now, under all these stares…there’s a part of me that wonders if I’m the strange one.

The drill sergeant, Master Adalis, gives a sharp whistle, raising her eyebrows at Dane. Looking only mildly abashed, he readies himself for another spar. I jog after the tail end of my group, slipping out through the front gate.

The island spreads before me, all pale craggy rocks and waving grasses. Stiff stalks poke at my calves and dust settles into every itchy space in my sandals. Orchids, just now blooming, open their delicate, purple petals to the sky. I lift my face to the thin rays of sun, ignoring the chatter of the other students, none of it directed at me.

I wonder what Matthias would think of this island. Even though he has low vision, he was always an adventurer, certainly more than I was. Maybe that was just because he was older. Or maybe that was just him. Back when we were young, I’m sure he knew every corner of our parents’ weaving shop and our tiny yard, where we used to pluck figs from the tree and eat them crouched in the shade on hot days, or separate lentils into bowls for dinner. When we were on Heretis, every run-down building we took shelter in was a chance for him to poke his fingers into the nooks and cracks. Our childhood was one of small spaces and I’m sure he’d have loved the wide-open possibilities of Tallis.

“Acolyte Karis.”

I snap back to attention just in time to hear the snickers. My cheeks burn as I see Master Vasilis standing in front of me. Behind him I can make out the curving edge of the eastern side of the island, where it turns sharply into white cliffs. We arrived at our work site and I didn’t notice.

Master Vasilis glowers down his aquiline nose at me. “Tell me, Acolyte Karis, what has so riveted your attention that you ignored my instructions?”

I almost want to tell him, just to see his face when he learns I stole a ledger. But if I said that, I might as well go walk off that cliff. So I bite down the impulse and mumble, “Nothing, Master.”

“Nothing? Well then, your wandering thoughts must simply be in need of a task. Attach the pulley system to the automaton.”

My group mates snicker again and I don’t understand why until I turn to the behemoth of a creature standing not five feet from us.

In the seven years since I arrived on Tallis, I’ve gotten plenty used to automatons. Back home on Heretis, there were only two on the outskirts of the city, and since Matthias and I always stayed near the central agora, where thieving was the easiest, I never actually saw them. Only heard the tales from the other street kids.

Here on Tallis, there are close to a dozen, leftover from the days when this island was a guard post. The things are massive. Monstrous. Great hulking bodies made of Scriptstrengthened bronze, most of it tarnished a dull green be- cause there aren’t enough of us to keep them all polished, thick arms and legs made from interconnecting plates meant for bashing and breaking, tiny heads placed atop for no reason I can see except to provide a point of normality to creatures that don’t look normal at all. When I came to this island, I screamed the first time I saw one. And though the years have taken that blinding edge of fear away, the things still give me the shivers. Even though they’re the pride of Eratia, the proof for the Scriptorium that once we were more powerful than anyone.

This automaton looks like any of its frozen kind, except for one thing: it’s at a tilt, its upper body leaning out over the cliff’s edge as if stilled in the moment before it was to dive into the water below. The ocean glints from up here, deceptively bright and beautiful. But I know there are rocks just beneath those waves. One wrong misstep on the climb up and I’ll be taking a quick trip to a long sleep.

One of my fellow acolytes, Demetrius, steps forward and shoves the pack with the pulley system into my hands. I meet his smug eyes. The others crowd behind him— Jocasta, Petros, Thetis—whispering as they sneak glances at me. There’s not a scrap of kindness in any of their faces, even though once there was. In Jocasta’s, especially. Of everyone, she was maybe the one I could have made friends within those early days. She was the one willing to reach out, who would smile when she passed me in the halls. Only I didn’t want friends.

And I don’t need their kindness.

I jut out my chin as I swing the pack onto my back. My gaze tracks up the automaton, trying to find the best route. Its tarnished and dented skin is littered with runes: reach, lift, bend. Hard lines carved into the hard metal. They aren’t lit—they haven’t been lit since Master Theodis, the greatest villain of the ages, triggered the Great Lapse that made all the things still. But they’re as close to handholds as I’m going to get.

I grab the lowest rune and haul myself up. I stick to the back of the thing’s thigh, where at least its body is between me and the fall, but the runes down here are far and few between.

Sweat prickles from my palms and slides down my spine. My arms ache from the sheer effort of pulling myself up the steep incline. I grit my teeth and push on. I refuse to give anyone the satisfaction of seeing me plummet to my death.

I’m almost to its back. I reach for another rune and my fingers slip. I scramble for a new hold, any hold, but it’s too late. My balance tips and I fall, screeching. The world tumbles over itself, flashing water and sky and cliff side. My body slams into rock, a steep slope turning my free fall into a desperate tumble, until with a bone wrenching thud, I stop.

I choke on air, my chest heaving, as I stare up at the bright blue sky. A hazy din of panic screams in my ears, and agony burns under every bit of my skin, like hundreds of scratching insect legs. I’m…alive. A strangled laugh tears from my throat. I’m alive.

My shaking fingers probe the ledge I’m on, slick with salt spray and barely larger than I am. This little outcropping of rock that saved my life. If it didn’t involve flipping over, I might have kissed it. Gritting my teeth, I heave myself up to my elbows.

There’s a crack in the cliff side, a few feet farther down the ledge. Its edges are lit with a faint glimmer of golden light.

I blink slowly, my aching head still sluggish. Is that… Scriptwork?

“Master, she isn’t dead.”

My group mate, Archus, has stuck his head out over the edge of the cliff side. Master Vasilis appears next to him, and even though I can’t hear his sigh, I see it in the way his shoulders heave. As if my nearly dying is some great inconvenience.

“Well, I suppose someone ought to grab a rope and throw it down,” he says.

There’s some shuffling up above and then the frayed end of a rope is thrown down. Every bit of me feels battered and bruised, and I have no idea how I’m going to climb all the way back up. But I do know that if I don’t do it, no else is going to come down here and get me. So, with a growl, I grab the rope and drag myself to my feet.

Excerpted from This Golden Flame by Emily Victoria, Copyright © 2021 by Emily Victoria. Published by Inkyard Press.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Emily Victoria lives on the Canadian prairies with her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, works at her public library, and has just finished her Masters of Library and Information Studies.

SOCIAL LINKS:
Author website: https://www.avictoriantale.com/

Twitter: @avictoriantale

Instagram: @avictoriantale

BUY LINKS:

Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/books/this-golden-flame/9781335080271 

Powell’s: https://www.powells.com/book/-9781335080271 

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/this-golden-flame-emily-victoria/1134633347 

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335080271

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/This-Golden-Flame-Emily-Victoria-ebook/dp/B07ZXCWTYF/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1603379509&sr=8-1 

Chapters: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/this-golden-flame/9781335080271-item.html?ikwid=this+golden+flame&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=3

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ww/en/ebook/this-golden-flame

2020 & 2021 Releases to Haunt Your TBR

I’m looking into the future and I see spooky, creepy, horrifying, thrilling reads ahead.

Here’s a post for all of you who want some more spooky books in your life! Basically this is almost every horror/thriller/mystery/dark fantasy book releasing soon or in the next year that I’m excited for.

Also I’m only covering books with covers right now but there are plenty I’ll talk about maybe one day without covers that would be on this list or whenever those covers get revealed. Let me know in the comments.

👻 Now let’s get spooooooky. 👻


2020 RELEASES

Magic Dark and Strange by Kelly Powell

The Bone Witch meets Sherlock Holmes in this thrilling historical fantasy about a girl with the ability to raise the dead who must delve into her city’s dangerous magical underworld to stop a series of murders. (FULL SYNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED: Necromancy is always fun to read about. I’m kind of big on reading magical books right now.

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Vittoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to find her sister’s killer and to seek vengeance at any cost-even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden. (FULL SYNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:
Okay I was mostly sold on this being described as having an enemies to lovers romance which is one of my fave tropes. But I do like the idea of the Seven Deadly Sins especially since I watched Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (and reading the manga) which does some cool stuff with the Sins.

Those Who Prey by Jennifer Moffett

Sadie meets The Girls in this riveting debut psychological thriller about a lonely college freshman seduced into joining a cult—and her desperate attempt to escape before it’s too late. (FULL SYNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:
Any book comped with SADIE get added to my TBR quickly. Also I’ve you haven’t been following me you might not know but I love cult stories. It’s just a topic of high interest for me and I cannot wait to see what this story does with that story element.

Ruinsong by Julia Ember

In Julia Ember’s dark and lush LGBTQ+ romantic fantasy Ruinsong, two young women from rival factions must work together to reunite their country, as they wrestle with their feelings for each other. (FULL SYNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:
A Sapphic Phantom of the Opera?? I’m sold. I also am suprt fortunate enough to have an ARC of this, so I can’t wait to dig into this story.

How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories by Holly Black

This new installment in the Folk of the Air series is a return to the heart-racing romance, danger, humor, and drama that enchanted readers everywhere. Each chapter is paired with lavish and luminous full-color art, making this the perfect collector’s item to be enjoyed by both new audiences and old. (FULL SYNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:
I adored The Folk of the Air trilogy and yeah I get this is kind of a fanservice-y novel but who cares? I want more Jude and Cardan content especially Cardan living in the mortal world.

The Good Girls by Claire Eliza Bartlett

Everyone has a label, whether they like it or not–and Emma was always known as a good girl. But appearances are never what they seem. And the truth behind what really happened to Emma may just be lying in plain sight. As long-buried secrets come to light, the clock is ticking to find Emma’s killer–before another good girl goes down. (FULL SYNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:
I don’t really know but I’m down to read a good sounding thriller and I also love the cover. It’s so minimalistic.


2021 RELEASES

The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould

Courtney Gould’s thrilling debut The Dead and the Dark is about the things that lurk in dark corners, the parts of you that can’t remain hidden, and about finding home in places―and people―you didn’t expect. (FULL SYNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:
Sapphic enemies to lovers in a haunted small town. That’s all that needs to be said honestly.

In the Ravenous Dark by A.M. Strickland

A pansexual bloodmage reluctantly teams up with an undead spirit to start a rebellion among the living and the dead. (FULL SYNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:
This novel sounds so cool! I also love that the author is transparent about this story having so many queer characters. The premise sounds unique and dark.

Sweet & Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley

In this charming debut fantasy perfect for fans of Sorcery of Thorns and Girls of Paper and Fire, a witch cursed to never love meets a girl hiding her own dangerous magic, and the two strike a dangerous bargain to save their queendom. (FULL SYNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:
I’m always won to read magic witch books. It’s just a given. I believe this also has sapphic leads and romance between the main characters which is a rivals to lovers.

Darling by K. Ancrum

A teen girl finds herself lost on a dangerous adventure in this YA thriller by the acclaimed author of The Wicker King and The Weight of the Stars—reimagining Peter Pan for today’s world. (FULL SYNPOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:
One of the many Peter Pan retellings we’ll be seeing in 2021 and this one and the other I’ll mention later has a thriller-y twist to it. I have enjoyed the hell out of the authors two other books and I have no doubt that this one wil be just as compelling.

The Forest of Stolen Girls by June Hur

After her father vanishes while investigating the disappearance of 13 young women, a teen returns to her secretive hometown to pick up the trail in this second YA historical mystery from the author of The Silence of Bones. (FULL SYNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:
I’ve heard so much acclaim towards the author’s debut, THE SILENCE OF BONES and the premise of this one is completely compelling and freshly diverse take on the murder mystery genre.

Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a young woman who desires a law career must be in want of a case. So when seventeen-year-old Lizzie Bennet hears about a scandalous society murder, she sees an opportunity to prove herself as a solicitor by solving the case and ensuring justice is served. (FULL SYNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:
I’m a slut for Pride & Prejuice anything, I want to see that Lizzie x Darcy content. Also this is the first in a Jane Austen inspired murder mystery series?? Where do I sign to get this in my hands immediately?

What Big Teeth by Rose Szabo

MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN MEETS THE ADDAMS FAMILY IN THIS HAUNTING STORY OF ONE GIRL’S ATTEMPT TO RECONNECT WITH HER MONSTROUS FAMILY. (FULL SYNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERSTED:
Monster girls, monster families, monsters everywhere!!! The spirit of Halloween exudes in this book. Bonus for cool cover.

House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland

A dark, twisty modern fairytale where three sisters discover they are not exactly all that they seem and evil things really do go bump in the night. (FULL SYNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:
I’m actually not wanting to read too much into the premise because I like to not know much about some stories. This sounds like one where it’s best to not know much. Obviously I LOVE the cover so there’s that vain interest involved as well lol.

Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas

When children go missing, people want answers. When children go missing in the small coastal town of Astoria, people look to Wendy for answers. (FULL SYNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:
The other Peter Pan retelling with thriller elements as I mentioned earlier. The idea of Peter Pan but with more suspenseful elements captivates me.

Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart

Deadly, fierce, magnetically addictive: this Jamaican-inspired fantasy debut is a thrilling journey where dangerous magic reigns supreme and betrayal lurks beneath every word. (FULL SYNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:
GOD this book is a fresh breath of air for the witchy, magical book genre. As much as I love those kind of books, they can be uhhhh super white. The roots are often hard to define but a lot of it is based on Caribbean, African lore and customs.

Mark of the Wicked by Georgia Bowers

A young witch tries to unravel the mystery of who is framing her for dark magic in Georgia Bowers’ creepy YA debut fantasy, Mark of the Wicked. (FULL SYNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:
I love the premise even though it sounds a little basic if its done well enough I’ll be impressed.

All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O’Donoghue

Maeve’s strangely astute tarot readings make her the talk of the school, until a classmate draws a chilling and unfamiliar card—and then disappears. (FULL SYNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:
Not gonna lie, the cover is so fun to me and it was an instant cover to TBR add.

She’s Too Pretty to Burn by Wendy Heard

An electric romance set against a rebel art scene sparks lethal danger for two girls in this expertly plotted YA thriller. For fans of E. Lockhart, Lauren Oliver and Kara Thomas. (FULL SYNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:
This is inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray but make it sapphic. It’s sounds fresh and modern and I love the idea of a Dorian Gray retelling set in sunny California.

Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

Debut author Angeline Boulley crafts a groundbreaking YA thriller about a Native teen who must root out the corruption in her community, for readers of Angie Thomas and Tommy Orange. (FULL SYNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:
It’s an OwnVoices Native murder mystery story? How could I not be interested?

Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft

A gorgeously gothic, deeply romantic YA debut fantasy about two enemies trapped inside a crumbling mansion, with no escape from the monsters within. (FULL SNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:
Y’all its enemies to lovers wit a Gothic romance compared to Crimson Peak. This should not be a surprise.

The Project by Courtney Summers

The next pulls-no-punches thriller from New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-winning author Courtney Summers, about an aspiring young journalist determined to save her sister from a cult. (FULL SYNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:
COURTNEYS SUMMERS. CULT. I’M SOLD.

That Weekend by Kara Thomas

That weekend changes everything.

What happened on the mountain? And where are Kat and Jesse? Claire knows the answers are buried somewhere in her memory, but as she’s learning, everyone has secrets – even her best friends. And she’s pretty sure she’s not going to like what she remembers. (FULL SYNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:
I just discovered this when the cover was revealed. I have to say my intrigue comes from this sounding so eerily similar to a WIP I had at one point lol

The Witch King by H.E. Edgmon

To save a fae kingdom, a trans witch must face his traumatic past and the royal fiancé he left behind. This debut YA fantasy will leave you spellbound. (FULL SYNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:
Ever since I became entranced by The Folk of the Air, I wanted more fae stuff and this promises that but with more queer characters.

How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao

In a YA thriller that is Crazy Rich Asians meets One of Us is Lying, students at an elite prep school are forced to confront their secrets when their ex-best friend turns up dead and they’re the prime suspects in her murder. (FULL SYNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:
This is a dark academia but with Asian rep and I’m so interested in that aspect alone.

The Obessesion by Jesse Q. Sutanto

A classic sort of love story…except somebody might wind up dead. (FULL SYNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:
I recommend reading up on the full synopsis because it tells so much more than I could describe. It sounds dark as hell for YA novel.

The Devil Makes Three by Tori Bovalino

The demon will stop at nothing to stay free, manipulating ink to threaten those Tess loves and dismantling Eliot’s strange magic. Tess is plagued by terrible dreams of the devil and haunting memories of a boy who wears Eliot’s face. All she knows is to stay free, the demon needs her… and he’ll have her, dead or alive. (FULL SYNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:
Demons and haunted, forbidden books? An absolute terror if I had to live through that, but since its a story I can manage.

Sing Me Forgotten by Jessica S. Olson

Cast into a well at birth for being one of the magical few who can manipulate memories when people sing, she was saved by Cyril, the opera house’s owner. Since that day, he has given her sanctuary from the murderous world outside. All he asks in return is that she use her power to keep ticket sales high—and that she stay out of sight. For if anyone discovers she survived, Isda and Cyril would pay with their lives. (FULL SYNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:
Another Phantom of the opera retelling this time with a much more fantastical element that it seems removed from that story but the premise is very much, PHANTOM.

Don’t Tell a Soul by Kirsten Miller

Stay up all night with this modern day Rebecca! Perfect for fans of Truly Devious—a haunting story about a new girl in an old town filled with dark secrets . . . that might just kill her. (FULL SYNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:
Haunted house and spooky old town filled with secrets?? Say no more.

These Hollow Vows by Lexi Ryan

From New York Times best-selling author Lexi Ryan, Cruel Prince meets A Court of Thorns and Roses in this sexy, action-packed fantasy about a girl who is caught between two treacherous faerie courts and their dangerously seductive princes. (FULL SYNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:
Okay this could be medicore maybe because it sounds basic with it being not only another enemies to lovers but also there’s a love triangle. However I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt and take a chance on this fae book.

The Mary Shelley Club by Goldy Moldavsky

New York Times –bestselling author Goldy Moldavsky delivers a deliciously twisty YA thriller that’s Scream meets Karen McManus about a mysterious club with an obsession for horror. (FULL SYNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:
If I had to join a mysterious club it would be this one that’s named after the baddest horror bitch ever, Mary Shelley.

Our Last Echoes by Kate Alice Marshall

Kara Thomas meets Twin Peaks in this supernatural thriller about one girl’s hunt for the truth about her mother’s disappearance in Kate Alice Marshall’s most commercial book yet. (FULL SYNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:
TWIN FUCKING PEAKS!!!!

The River Has Teeth by Erica Waters

Natasha is angry. Della has little to lose. They are each other’s only hope. (FULL SYNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:
I loved GHOST WOOD SONG from this author, and I cannot wait to read her next novel which sounds as darkly magical as GWS.

(Me) Moth by Amber McBride

A debut YA novel-in-verse that is both a coming-of-age and a ghost story. (FULL SYNOPSIS HERE)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:
I love the idea of a horror novel but told in verse. I’ve been wanting to read more verse novels and this sounds so cool and unique.


Wow there are so so many books here!!! Sorry that this took a while to post but wow! I hope y’all liked this post and if you want more like this in the future please let me know!!!

Happy Halloween to those who celebrate it and have a great weekend!! 🎃

Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of 2020

2020 has certainly been a year. The book world has no doubt been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the most recent Black Lives Matter movement. Book release dates have been delayed or changed to later dates, which pushed a lot of books I wanted to read into the later half of 2020. I have many 2020 releases on my radar and I wanted to share them with y’all.

Also for all of my posts I’ll be sharing this carrd for any who reads to check it out, donate and learn about the things that have happened and are currently happening in the world right now.

And before I get into talking candidly about books on my TBR I want to make my stance clear about who I am and what my blog stands for.

~Black Lives Matter!!! ACAB!!! Trans Rights!!! Free Palestine!!! Fuck ICE!!! Fuck Trump!!!~

ISSUES GOING ON IN THE WORLD CARRD

AUGUST RELEASES

AUGUST 4

THE BLACK KIDS BY CHRISTINA HAMMONDS REED

Perfect for fans of The Hate U Give, this unforgettable coming-of-age debut novel explores issues of race, class, and violence through the eyes of a wealthy black teenager whose family gets caught in the vortex of the 1992 Rodney King Riots.

Even though its set during 1992 California, the synopsis of this novel and the themes are still relevant and timely to current day politics and movements. I actually don’t know too much about the Rodney King Riots, which is a damn shame and honestly goes to show how much the U.S. school system fails to teach students about the U.S’s racist history.

THEY WISH THEY WERE US BY JESSICA GOODMAN

Gossip Girl meets One of Us Is Lying with a dash of The Secret History in this slick, taut murder mystery set against the backdrop of an exclusive prep school on Long Island.

Okay so my interest in this mostly lies within its comp to The Secret History but I’m also compelled by the Gossip Girl comp. I really enjoy dark academia and snobby privileged kid stories set in prep schools. It’s kind of a guilty pleasure. I enjoy their pretentious names and attitudes and enjoy that by the end they usually get punished for thinking they are above everyone else. Also this was recently optioned for a TV Series, known as The Player’s Table.

LOBIZONA BY ROMINA GARBER

Some people ARE illegal. Lobizonas do NOT exist. Both of these statements are false. Manuela Azul has been crammed into an existence that feels too small for her. As an undocumented immigrant who’s on the run from her father’s Argentine crime-family, Manu is confined to a small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida.

A werewolf fantasy series that sounds unique and actually interesting??? Sign me up!! I’ve heard from many raving reviews about this book that this is an amazing start to a new fantasy series. I cannot wait to be a part of this hype train for a fresh and diverse fantasy series from an Argentine author.

THE DARK TIDE BY ALICIA JASINSKA

The Wicked Deep meets A Curse So Dark and Lonely in this gripping, dark fairy-tale fantasy about two girls who must choose between saving themselves, each other, or their sinking island city.

It’s a sapphic dark fantasy. That just about sums up why I’m interested in reading this. I’m a simple girl. I like witches. I like queer witches.

AUGUST 11

SIA MARTINEZ AND THE MOONLIT BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING BY RAQUEL VASQUEZ GILLILAND

Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe meets Roswell by way of Laurie Halse Anderson in this astonishing, genre-bending novel about a Mexican American teen who discovers profound connections between immigration, folklore, and alien life.

Y’ALL!!! I’ve been so excited for this book ever since it was announced on Publishers Weekly. It’s already optioned for a TV series! I love alien stuff and I’m interested to see how this author ties alien mythology with that of the current day politics dealing with ICE. Also I’m a sucker for not only beautiful covers, but beautifully BLUE covers.

STAR DAUGHTER BY SHVETA THAKRAR

This gorgeously imagined YA debut blends shades of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust and a breathtaking landscape of Hindu mythology into a radiant contemporary fantasy.

Diving into my most vain reason for adding a book to my TBR, this cover is STUNNINGLY GORGEOUS. But the synopsis is equally as compelling. I adore contemporary fantasy settings and I’m also fascinated with the fact that the MC is the daughter of a mortal and a star. A F*CKING STAR. That’s cool as hell.

AUGUST 25

WHERE DREAMS DESCEND BY JANELLA ANGELES

Where Dreams Descend is the startling and romantic first book in Janella Angeles’ debut Kingdom of Cards fantasy duology where magic is both celebrated and feared, and no heart is left unscathed.

One of the many upcoming YA retellings of Phantom of the Opera, but honestly bring them all on!!! I’m here for it! This one especially because it’s diverse and has some Moulin Rouge elements that make my filthy Phantom heart flutter. Can’t wait to consume this.

ELATSOE BY DARCIE LITTLE BADGER & ILLUSTRATED BY ROVINA CAI

Imagine an America very similar to our own. It’s got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream. There are some differences. This America been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly everyday, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across the world through rings of fungi. But other forces are less charming and should never see the light of day. Elatsoe lives in this slightly stranger America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered, in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect facade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and she will rely on her wits, skills, and friends to tear off the mask and protect her family.

An Indigenous graphic novel that sounds beautiful and magical. I can’t wait to read this. I also love the art style from Rovina Cai.

THE COMPANION BY KATIE ALENDER

The other orphans say Margot is lucky. Lucky to survive the horrible accident that killed her family. Lucky to have her own room because she wakes up screaming every night. And finally, lucky to be chosen by a prestigious family to live at their remote country estate. But it wasn’t luck that made the Suttons rescue Margot from her bleak existence at the group home. Margot was handpicked to be a companion to their silent, mysterious daughter, Agatha. At first, helping with Agatha–and getting to know her handsome older brother–seems much better than the group home. But soon, the isolated, gothic house begins playing tricks on Margot’s mind, making her question everything she believes about the Suttons . . . and herself. Margot’s bad dreams may have stopped when she came to live with Agatha – but the real nightmare has just begun.

This sounds delightfully creepy. I’m probably going to wait to read this for Halloween season.

HARROW LAKE BY KAT ELLIS

A can’t-put-down, creepy thriller about the daughter of a horror film director who’s not afraid of anything–until she gets to Harrow Lake.

This is everything I’ve ever wanted. This is giving me Friday the 13th and I Know What You Did Last Summer vibes. Being teen slasher stories back!


SEPTEMBER RELEASES

SEPTEMBER 1

THE INSOMNIACS BY MARIT WEISENBERG

A sharp and romantic novel about two suburban teens who can’t sleep uncovering the secrets of their neighborhood by night. Think The Summer I Turned Pretty with flashes of Rear Window

This combination of YA romance and Hitchcock thriller sounds so impressive and wild. Like romance with some freaky shit going down? I’m in.

NONE SHALL SLEEP BY ELLIE MARNEY

The Silence of the Lambs meets Sadie in this riveting psychological thriller about two teenagers teaming up with the FBI to track down juvenile serial killers.

Two things I am obsessed with SADIE (one of my favorite YA thrillers ever) and THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (one of my favorite films ever). How could I not like the sound of this???

THROWAWAY GIRLS BY ANDREA CONTOS

Caroline Lawson is three months away from freedom, otherwise known as graduation day. That’s when she’ll finally escape her rigid prep school and the parents who thought they could convert her to being straight. Until then, Caroline is keeping her head down, pretending to be the perfect student even though she is crushed by her family and heartbroken over the girlfriend who left for California. But when her best friend Madison disappears, Caroline feels compelled to get involved in the investigation. She has her own reasons not to trust the police, and she owes Madison — big time.

Uhhh prep school + murder. Gimme this now. Also this is apparently sapphic 👀👀👀

WE ARE NOT FREE BY TRACI CHEE

Fourteen teens who have grown up together in Japantown, San Francisco. Fourteen teens who form a community and a family, as interconnected as they are conflicted. Fourteen teens whose lives are turned upside down when over 100,000 people of Japanese ancestry are removed from their homes and forced into desolate incarceration camps.

Another part of US history that the US school system actively tries to pretend never happened, Japanese internment camps during WWII era. Like I said regarding the Rodney King riots, I don’t have much knowledge about the topic of Japanese interments camps. I’m not expecting this story to teach me everything about this topic but it’s a start for me to actually learn more about this time and also the horrific treatment of Japanese American citizens.

THE UNRAVELING OF CASSIDY HOLMES BY ELISSA R. SLOAN

In vein of Daisy Jones & The Six and Everything I Never Told You, this debut novel probes the dark side of fame after a former pop star ends her own life.

It’s not everyday I get to say that I’ve interacted with an author because I am timid as hell and have made the most lukewarm author interactions on Twitter. But this author happens to be a fellow book blogger!!! I’m so excited to read this not just because I’ve interacted with them but also it sounds awesome!

CEMETERY BOYS BY AIDEN THOMAS

Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him. When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.

We love to see when necromancy goes wrong!!! One of the most up and coming hyped books of the year, CEMETERY BOYS is going to be a ride!

FLYY GIRLS – LUX: THE NEW GIRL & MICAH: THE GOOD GIRL BY ASHLEY WOODFOLK

Meet the Flyy Girls. The group of girls who seem like they can get away with anything. Veteran author Ashley Woodfolk pens a gorgeous and dynamic series of four Harlem highschoolers, each facing a crossroads of friendship, family, and love.

There’s TWO books coming out at the same time from this new series. They’re both contemporary and aimed at a younger teenage audience. I’ve also seen where these will be released in paperback first off meaning it will be more accessible to its intended audience. I haven’t talked about it yet but I think YA novels should make paperbacks available from the start because from remembering when I was a young teen I could. never afford a hardback. MAKE YA MORE ACCESSIBLE TO ITS AUDIENCE!!!

ROAD OUT OF WINTER BY ALISON STINE

Urgent and poignant, Road Out of Winter is a glimpse of an all-too-possible near future, with a chosen family forged in the face of dystopian collapse. With the gripping suspense of The Road and the lyricism of Station Eleven, Stine’s vision is of a changing world where an unexpected hero searches for a place hope might take root.

I’ve been craving a near future dystopian for a while. I mean we are basically living in a dystopian so I want to escape into another one. At least one that doesn’t involve anything related to the one we’re going through.

TRANSCENDENT KINGDOM BY YAA GYASI

Yaa Gyasi’s stunning follow-up to her acclaimed national best seller Homegoing is a powerful, raw, intimate, deeply layered novel about a Ghanaian family in Alabama.

HOMEGOING was very good. One of my favorite reads and I’ve been waiting desperately for Yaa Gyaasi’s next novel and it’s finally here!!!

SEPTEMBER 15

WHO I WAS WITH HER BY NITA TYNDALL

Corinne struggles to make sense of her grief and what she truly wants out of life, she begins to have feelings for the last person she should fall for. But to move forward after losing Maggie, Corinne will have to learn to be honest with the people in her life…starting with herself.

I know this sounds sad but I’m here for sad. Also for bi rep! I actually don’t know too much about this one besides looking at the GR synopsis.

GROWN BY TIFFANY D. JACKSON

Korey Fields is dead. When Enchanted Jones wakes with blood on her hands and zero memory of the previous night, no one—the police and Korey’s fans included—has more questions than she does. All she really knows is that this isn’t how things are supposed to be. Korey was Enchanted’s ticket to stardom

Tiffany D Jackson is well known for her hard hitting thriller contemporary stories like ALLEGEDLY and MONDAY’S NOT COMING. Stories that explore racial issues and the nuances that involve Black lives. This sounds sort of like a murder mystery with a character that sounds like R. Kelly, so this will be on the darker side. I have to mention that I love the cover. It’s minimalist but stands out so vibrantly.

HORRID BY KATRINA LENO

From the author of You Must Not Miss comes a haunting contemporary horror novel that explores themes of mental illness, rage, and grief, twisted with spine-chilling elements of Stephen King and Agatha Christie.

One of my most anticipated this year. Everything about HORRID sounds like my nice spooky cup of tea. And can we talk about that cover?? It’s hauntingly beautiful.

LEGENDBORN BY TRACY DEONN

Filled with mystery and an intriguingly rich magic system, Tracy Deonn’s YA contemporary fantasy Legendborn offers the dark allure of City of Bones with a modern-day twist on a classic legend and a lot of Southern Black Girl Magic.

I’m calling it now that this will be the next big YA series. It’s Arthurian mythology but with a Black Girl lead. I’ve been following this author on Twitter and I trust her vision and she’s a Loki fan. I just have a feeling that this will be the YA series that I fully immerse myself into.

WATCH OVER ME BY NINA LACOUR

Watch Over Me is another stunner from Printz Award-Winning author Nina LaCour, whose empathetic, lyrical prose is at the heart of this modern ghost story of resilience and rebirth.

You had me at ghost story! This seems like it won’t be as much as much horror as it will be more of a quiet horror story that focuses more on the psyche and emotions vs spooky, which I’m okay with. I adore the cover and I think this will be a beautiful read.

SEPTEMBER 22

WHITE FOX BY SARA FARING

After their world-famous actor mother disappeared under mysterious circumstances, Manon and Thaïs left their remote Mediterranean island home—sent away by their pharma-tech tycoon father. Opposites in every way, the sisters drifted apart in their grief. Yet their mother’s unfinished story still haunts them both, and they can’t put to rest the possibility that she is still alive. Lured home a decade later, Manon and Thaïs discover their mother’s legendary last work, long thought lost: White Fox, a screenplay filled with enigmatic metaphors. The clues in this dark fairytale draw them deep into the island’s surreal society, into the twisted secrets hidden by their glittering family, to reveal the truth about their mother—and themselves.

This sounds cool as hell. Combing film with an eerie thriller/horror! I don’t want to look too heavily into this, this genre is IMO meant to be gone into with no knowledge of what’s to come.

VAMPIRES NEVER GET OLD EDITED BY ZORAIDA CORDOVA & NATALIE C. PARKER

Eleven fresh vampire stories from young adult fiction’s leading voices! In this delicious new collection, you’ll find stories about lurking vampires of social media, rebellious vampires hungry for more than just blood, eager vampires coming out―and going out for their first kill―and other bold, breathtaking, dangerous, dreamy, eerie, iconic, powerful creatures of the night.

Just right after witches, vampires are my second favorite supernatural being. Vampires are so cool and alluring. I’m very excited to read this anthology and see what kind of vampires we’ll get to see. Vampires are making a comeback baby!!!!

EVERY BODY LOOKING BY CANDICE ILOH

Every Body Looking is a debut novel in verse in the style of Elizabeth Acevedo and Jason Reynolds. Candice Iloh’s book tells the story of Ada–daughter of an immigrant father and an African American mother–and her struggle to find a place for herself in America and in her own family.

I’ve discovered by reading THE POET X and BLOOD WATER PAINT that I actually enjoy novels in verse (?) Which was something I never expected to enjoy but now I want to read all the novels in verse out there. This even has a comp to Elizabeth Acevedo. Also this is going to be a duology and there’s something that compels me about contemporary duologies and series in general much more than fantasy ones now. I feel like it much rarer to get a contemporary set series. Unless it’s on the more romance side.

MISS METEOR BY TEHLOR KAY MEJIA & ANNA-MARIE MCLEMORE

There hasn’t been a winner of the Miss Meteor beauty pageant who looks like Lita Perez or Chicky Quintanilla in all its history. But that’s not the only reason Lita wants to enter the contest, or why her ex-best friend Chicky wants to help her. The road to becoming Miss Meteor isn’t about being perfect; it’s about sharing who you are with the world—and loving the parts of yourself no one else understands. So to pull off the unlikeliest underdog story in pageant history, Lita and Chicky are going to have to forget the past and imagine a future where girls like them are more than enough—they are everything.

Two of the biggest names in YA, both queer Latinx authors. This is the collaboration we didn’t know we needed. I’ve read AMM and I love their magical realism writing and stories.

SEPTEMBER 29

A DEADLY EDUCATION BY NAOMI NOVIK

A Deadly Education is set at Scholomance, a school for the magically gifted where failure means certain death (for real) — until one girl, El, begins to unlock its many secrets. There are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships, save strategic ones. Survival is more important than any letter grade, for the school won’t allow its students to leave until they graduate… or die! The rules are deceptively simple: Don’t walk the halls alone. And beware of the monsters who lurk everywhere. El is uniquely prepared for the school’s dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out millions. It would be easy enough for El to defeat the monsters that prowl the school. The problem? Her powerful dark magic might also kill all the other students.

Listen I loved UPROOTED and SPINNING SILVER. I even bought Illumicrate’s 90 something dollar worth special cover editions for both of them. I’ll read whatever Ms. Novik throws my way. But besides my adoration for her work, this sounds cool as hell. Dark wizard school with maybe a villainous/morally grey female protagonist? I fuck so much with that shit.

BURNING ROSES BY S.L. HUANG

When Rosa (aka Red Riding Hood) and Hou Yi the Archer join forces to stop the deadly sunbirds from ravaging the countryside, their quest will take the two women, now blessed and burdened with the hindsight of middle age, into a reckoning of sacrifices made and mistakes mourned, of choices and family and the quest for immortality.

Uhhh this sounds badass as fuck. I don’t know much else to say. I’m here for it though.


OCTOBER RELEASES

OCTOBER 6

HUSH BY DYLAN FARROW

A stunning and timely debut from activist Dylan Farrow, Hush is a powerful feminist fantasy full of surprising insights, that casts a ray of light into the shadows of a society based on silencing and lies.

Anything that’s most likely a big fuck you to that scumbag W*ody A*len is something I like to see.

THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE BY V.E. SCHWAB

A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget. France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Truth be told, I haven’t read anything from Victoria Schwab. So there’s a good chance this will be the first one form her that I pick up. What can I say? I love a good Faustian deal story and a story where someone falls for the literal devil.

WE WERE RESTLESS THINGS BY COLE NAGAMATSU

From debut author Cole Nagamatsu comes an atmospheric contemporary fantasy about three teens coming of age in the wake of a mysterious death.

I swear I saw a Twin Peaks comp for this book and Twin Peaks is the magic phrase to make me pick up anything. A perfectly haunted read for October.

A CUBAN GIRLS’S GUIDE TO TEA AND TOMORROW BY LAURA TAYLOR NAMEY

Teenage master of Cuban cuisine, Lila Reyes, is eager to inherit her family’s Miami bakery along with her sister, Pilar. But between spring and graduation, Lila’s abuela dies, her best friend abandons her, and her long-time boyfriend dumps her. Fearing Lila’s emotional health, her parents defy her wishes and entrust her summer to family and their Winchester, England inn. Even though she’s given a space to cook at the inn, she longs for Miami, the seat of her Cuban roots. Being a Miami Cuban baker is her glorified past and destined future, forged by years of training by her loving abuela.

Possibly the fluffiest of reads on my radar, I have to some fluffy romance and this promises it. The cover is so cute! Also I love Cuban food so much so I can’t wait to have my mouth water.

OCTOBER 13

THE MIDNIGHT BARGAIN BY C.L. POLK

Beatrice Clayborn is a sorceress who practices magic in secret, terrified of the day she will be locked into a marital collar that will cut off her powers to protect her unborn children. She dreams of becoming a full-fledged Magus and pursuing magic as her calling as men do, but her family has staked everything to equip her for Bargaining Season, when young men and women of means descend upon the city to negotiate the best marriages. The Clayborns are in severe debt, and only she can save them, by securing an advantageous match before their creditors come calling.

Sorcery is a topic of interest as I have a story idea about sorcery so it makes sense that I would want to read a story similar to what I’m writing. With this being an October release, magic will be in the air.

THE ONCE AND FUTURE WITCHES BY ALIX E. HARROW

In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.

Witches during the time of suffragettes sounds interesting! I haven’t read from this author yet but I have heard wonderful things about The Ten Thousand Doors of January, but also some valid critique about that novel having a mixed race MC and the author being white. So while I am interested in this novel in particular, I’ll keep my ear and eyes open on anything that seems provlematic

BLACK SUN BY REBECCA ROANHORSE

From the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Resistance Reborn comes the first book in the Between Earth and Sky trilogy, inspired by the civilizations of the Pre-Columbian Americas and woven into a tale of celestial prophecies, political intrigue, and forbidden magic.

Rebecca Roanhorse is an author that’s been on my radar since I heard of Trail of Lightning and the praises I’ve seen everywhere on Book Twitter I am so excited to read a series from a Black Native author.

A GOLDEN FURY BY SAMANTHA COHOE

In her debut novel A Golden Fury, Samantha Cohoe weaves a story of magic and danger, where the streets of Oxford and London come to life, and the curse of the Philosopher’s Stone will haunt you long after the final chapter.

Alchemy, Philosopher’s Stone, and ~magic~? Possibly my most anticipated October release. I just my October to be filled with a book full of magical alchemy.

THE TRUTH PROJECT BY DANTE MEDEMA

Seventeen-year-old Cordelia Koenig was sure of many things going into her last year of high school. For one, she wasn’t going to stress over the senior project all her peers were dreading—she’d just use the same find-your-roots genealogy idea that her older sister used for hers. Secondly, she’d put all that time spent not worrying about the project toward getting reacquainted with former best friend and longtime crush Kodiak Jones who, conveniently, gets assigned as Cordelia’s partner. All she has to do is mail in her DNA sample, write about her ancestry results and breeze through the rest of senior year. Done, done and done But when Cordelia’s GeneQuest results reveal that her father is not the man she thought he was but a stranger who lives thousands of miles away, Cordelia realizes she isn’t sure of anything anymore—not the mother who lied, the life she was born into or the girl staring back at her in the mirror. If your life began with a lie, how can you ever be sure of what’s true.

It’s about time someone wrote a hard hitting contemporary about ancestry and DNA tests. I think the concept is so compelling and it’s one that may not get attention with it being released alongside a lot of hyped fantasy titles but I hope it gets some recognition.

BEYOND THE RUBY VEIL BY MARA FITZGERALD

A dark, queer YA fantasy that’s perfect for fans of the Three Dark Crowns series and Wicked Saints. After Emanuela Ragno kills the one person in Occhia who can create water, she must find a way to save her city from dying of thirst.

I’ve seen this novel mentioned so much on Book Twitter and I had waited in anticipation for its cover reveal, so I have high expectations for this book.

WINTER, WHITE AND WICKED BY SHANNON DITTEMORE

Mad Max: Fury Road meets Frozen in this striking YA fantasy about a rig driver’s journey to save her friend

By solely mentioning MAD MAX FURY ROAD, I have HIGH expectations for this to be epic and grandiose while also exploring the themes that MMFR portrayed so well. With a comp like that I can’t help but expect nothing but excellence

YOU KNOW I’M NO GOOD BY JESSIE ANN FOLEY

From Printz Honor winner and William C. Morris Award finalist Jessie Ann Foley comes the story of one girl’s battle to define herself as something other than her reputation.

Aside from the fact that this shares the title of a great Amy Winehouse song, the story of a troubled teen girl is up my alley. I haven’t seen much talk around this so I hope it doesn’t end up being a overlooked because it sounds like it could actually be good.

COME ON IN EDITED BY ADI ALSAID

This exceptional and powerful anthology explores the joys, heartbreaks and triumphs of immigration, with stories by bestselling and beloved YA authors who are themselves immigrants and the children of immigrants.

Another anticipated anthology of mine. I can’t wait to read these stories!

OCTOBER 20

PLAIN BAD HEROINES BY EMILY M. DANFORTH

The award-winning author of The Miseducation of Cameron Post makes her adult debut with this highly imaginative and original horror-comedy centered around a cursed New England boarding school for girls—a wickedly whimsical celebration of the art of storytelling, sapphic love, and the rebellious female spirit.

There’s something surprising to me that this book isn’t already being hyped up? It’s from the author of The Miseducation of Cameron Post and it’s not being talked about already?? Maybe because it’s aimed at adults but even established YA authors who venture into adult lit get some attention (Schwab, Bardugo, etc.) but it sounds like it would have strong crossover appeal. I also love the title. PLAIN BAD HEROINES. We always need those ❤️

AMONG THE BEASTS & BRIARS BY ASHLEY POSTON

Here there are no droughts, disease, or famine, and peace is everlasting. It has been this way for hundreds of years, since the first king made a bargain with the Lady who ruled the forest that borders the kingdom. But as Aloriya prospered, the woods grew dark, cursed, and forbidden. Cerys knows this all too well: when she was young, she barely escaped as the woods killed her friends and her mother. Now Cerys carries a small bit of the curse—the magic—in her blood, a reminder of the day she lost everything. The most danger she faces now, as a gardener’s daughter, is the annoying fox who stalks the royal gardens and won’t leave her alone.

No lies. I love the cover. But maybe there will be something about this that ends up drawing my attention further. I enjoy a good curse story. So there’s something with more substance that I can give for putting this on my to read list.

As a new queen is crowned, however, things long hidden in the woods descend on the kingdom itself. Cerys is forced on the run, her only companions the small fox from the garden, a strange and powerful bear, and the magic in her veins. It’s up to her to find the legendary Lady of the Wilds and beg for a way to save her home. But the road is darker and more dangerous than she knows, and as secrets from the past are uncovered amid the teeth and roots of the forest, it’s going to take everything she has just to survive. Less

OCTOBER 27

KINGDOM OF THE WICKED BY KERRI MANISCALCO

From the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Stalking Jack the Ripper series comes a new blockbuster series… Two sisters. One brutal murder. A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself…And an intoxicating romance

No I haven’t read her best known series (I promise to get to it one day!!). Yes I am here because I heard this serves some excellent enemies to lovers romance. Which I am trash for. That’s all folks!

THE VALLEY AND THE FLOOD BY REBECCA MAHONEY

Debut author Rebecca Mahoney delivers an immersive and captivating novel about magical places, found family, the power of grief and memory, and the journey toward reconciling who you think you’ve become with the person you’ve been all along.

I’ve yet to hear anyone mention this title and I think it deserves some mention. It promises a beautiful, thoughtful and magical look into PTSD and grief, which are things that I can relate to.

MAGIC DARK AND STRANGE BY KELLY POWELL

The Bone Witch meets Sherlock Holmes in this thrilling historical fantasy about a girl with the ability to raise the dead who must delve into her city’s dangerous magical underworld to stop a series of murders.

This sounds like the PERFECT October read! Necromancy + murder mystery!!! I can’t believe more people aren’t talking about this one.


NOVEMBER RELEASES

NOVEMBER 10

THOSE WHO PREY BY JENNIFER MOFFETT

Sadie meets The Girls in this riveting debut psychological thriller about a lonely college freshman seduced into joining a cult—and her desperate attempt to escape before it’s too late.

Say the word cult and I am yours. Also the YA marketing team is really using that SADIE comp loosely and dangerously. But I love this sound of this novel.

THE QUEEN’S COUNCIL: REBEL ROSE BY EMMA THERIAULT

Happily ever after is only the beginning as Belle takes on the responsibility of becoming queen and learns to balance duty, love, and sacrifice, all while navigating dark political intrigue—and a touch of magic

Yes yes yes. It’s yet another YA Beauty & The Beast retelling. This one seems to be a more of a “what happens after happily ever after” scenario and I’m a sucker for B&TB. It all depends on the execution for me and I hope this succeeds in winning me over.

NOVEMBER 17

THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS BY CHLOE GONG

Perfect for fans of The Last Magician and Descendant of the Crane, this heart-stopping debut is an imaginative Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai, with rival gangs and a monster in the depths of the Huangpu River.

This sounds like it’ll be a *delight* haha It’s been a while since I’ve read a Romeo & Juliet retelling and this one will bring on a fresh new voice and take on that classic tragic love story. I also have to shoutout the author’s Twitter account has the best content!

THE BRIGHT AND BREAKING SEA BY CHLOE NEILL

Chloe Neill brings her trademark wit and wild sense of adventure to a stunning seafaring fantasy starring a dauntless heroine in a world of magic and treachery.

So this was added to my TBR because of the cover (Rovina Cai’s art is GORGEOUS) and I have been craving some pirate/seafaring adventure stories with female leads, thanks to the resurgence of Pirates of Caribbean I’ve seen lately on my Twitter timeline. I loved Elizabeth Swann!!! PIRATE KING!!!

NOVEMBER 24

HOW THE KING OF ELFHAME LEARNED TO HATE STORIES BY HOLLY BLACK

This new installment in the Folk of the Air series is a return to the heart-racing romance, danger, humor, and drama that enchanted readers everywhere. Each chapter is paired with lavish and luminous full-color art, making this the perfect collector’s item to be enjoyed by both new audiences and old.

I still need to finish The Folk of the Air series by reading THE QUEEN OF NOTHING, but I have to say that I’m excited for this bonus novel. It’s definitely fan service material but honestly I crave more of this series and it’s characters particularly Jude and Cardan.

RUINSONG BY JULIA EMBER

In Julia Ember’s dark and lush LGBTQ+ romantic fantasy Ruinsong, two young women from rival factions must work together to reunite their country, as they wrestle with their feelings for each other.

The other Phantom of the Opera retelling I’m excited for. Mostly because it’s f/f.

DECEMBER RELEASES

DECEMBER 1

A CURSE OF ROSES BY DIANA PINGUICHA

Based on Portuguese legend, this #OwnVoices historical fantasy is an epic tale of mystery, magic, and making the impossible choice between love and duty…

Possibly one of the most gorgeous and compelling curses I’ve ever heard of. Turning things into flowers by touching or swallowing them? Sounds nice but I would still love some food. In all seriousness this sounds lovely and it’s also a sapphic fairytale from an OwnVoices Portuguese author.

THE GOOD GIRLS BY CLAIRE ELIZA BARTLETT

Everyone has a label, whether they like it or not–and Emma was always known as a good girl. But appearances are never what they seem. And the truth behind what really happened to Emma may just be lying in plain sight. As long-buried secrets come to light, the clock is ticking to find Emma’s killer–before another good girl goes down.

Unlikeable female characters!!! That’s all I really need to be interested in a story like this. And add some murder. I’m sold!


I’ve you ever made it this far here’s a gold star for you ⭐️ and I appreciate you 🙂

Thanks for reading and let me know what 2020 releases coming up yp

More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn – Blog Tour Review

Buy this book: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250231642

SYNOPSIS

Growing up under his punk rocker dad’s spotlight, eighteen-year-old Luke Greenly knows fame and wants nothing to do with it. His real love isn’t in front of a crowd, it’s on the page. Hiding his gift and secretly hoarding songs in his bedroom at night, he prefers the anonymous comfort of the locally popular podcast he co-hosts with his outgoing and meddling, far-too-jealousy-inspiringly-happy-with-his-long-term-boyfriend twin brother, Cullen. But that’s not Luke’s only secret. He also has a major un-requited crush on music blogger, Vada Carsewell. 

Vada’s got a five year plan: secure a job at the Loud Lizard to learn from local legend (and her mom’s boyfriend) Phil Josephs (check), take over Phil’s music blog (double check), get accepted into Berkeley’s prestigious music journalism program (check, check, check), manage Ann Arbor’s summer concert series and secure a Rolling Stone internship. Luke Greenly is most definitely NOT on the list. So what if his self-deprecating charm and out of this world music knowledge makes her dizzy? Or his brother just released a bootleg recording of Luke singing about some mystery girl on their podcast and she really, really wishes it was her?

In More Than Maybe, Erin Hahn’s swooniest book yet, Luke and Vada must decide how deep their feelings run and what it would mean to give love a try.


REVIEW

Rating: 4 out of 5.

If there’s one thing I’ve taken from reading both of Erin Hahn’s stories, it’s that she has THE KNACK, the powerful ability to write swoonworthy romance. Vada and Luke are cute, adorable, awkward, angsty All that good stuff that makes for a great teen romance. I enjoyed both characters together and on their own.

Vada is a confident, spunky teen girl with a path to music journalism that makes me feel so nostalgic because I also wanted to go down that path in high school as well. I even interviewed a music journalist for one of those kind of dumb and awkward as hell “interview a person in a career you want to into things” for school. But I can tell that Vada has the PASSION and that critical lens of a music critic that I appreciated seeing. Although I cannot tolerate Stevie Nicks slander (mostly joking) and some of her own music choices because I can’t help being a pretentious music snob.

And Luke is simply adorable. An introverted Brit who’s dad is a former punk rocker??? I feel like I definitely wrote this character in some of my own stories before because that kind of character is definitely my type.

Th side characters were quite likable. I really enjoyed the story with the Loud Lizard bar owner/Vada’s potential stepdad Phil and the dysfunctional relationship she has with her biological dad Marcus. It was a interesting side story that added some drama but not too much drama to drag down the romance. I was mostly okay with the side characters not having so much dimension since this story isn’t about them but I still wold have liked some characters to have been fleshed out a little more than a few personality traits. If I had to critique that.

Also I have to applaud the absolute power move of referencing characters and songs from your previous book because it was so good 😉

If I had anything else to critique it would maybe be the lack of diverse music choices? This is definitely a ME thing and it doesn’t affect the rating for the book but as far as someone who is interested music journalism I would think listening to an even wider variety of music other rock and sub-genres of that would be beneficial. I can see however since she’s writing for Rolling Stone she’d be more into that genre but I guess this was more focused on classic rock and alternative music which I can’t complain about.

My biggest takeaway is that MUSIC IS EVERYTHING. I’m listening to music as I type this review because of course I am. The passion found throughout the characters, the references, and writing was so fun to see. No matter what kind of music you listen to, who you listen with and where, listening and creating music is such an experience.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ERIN HAHN is the author of You’d Be Mine and More Than Maybe. She teaches elementary, would rather be outside and makes a lot of playlists. So many playlists in fact, that she decided to write books to match them! She married her very own YA love interest who she met on her first day of college and has two kids who are much, much cooler than she ever
was at their age. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, aka the greenest place on earth and has a cat named Gus who plays fetch and a dog named June who doesn’t.

Author website: https://www.erinphahn.com/
Author Twitter: @erinhahn_author
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17130322.Erin_Hahn
Author Instagram: @erinhahn_author

2019 Anthologies TBR

Last year in around this same time I did a post about 2018 YA anthologies I was excited for and this year has even more great anthologies to anticipate.

Much like last year this year’s anthologies are filled with diverse voices and unique themes.

EDIT 3/9/2019: I added a few more that I discovered after some more research!

Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America edited by Ibi Zoboi

I’m excited to read an #ownvoices Black anthology and this features some of my new favorite authors: Renee Watson and Brandy Colbert! This book is already out as of typing this!

Black Enough is a star-studded anthology edited by National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi that will delve into the closeted thoughts, hidden experiences, and daily struggles of black teens across the country. From a spectrum of backgrounds—urban and rural, wealthy and poor, mixed race, immigrants, and more—Black Enough showcases diversity within diversity.

Whether it’s New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds writing about #blackboyjoy or Newbery Honor-winning author Renee Watson talking about black girls at camp in Portland, or emerging author Jay Coles’s story about two cowboys kissing in the south—Black Enough is an essential collection full of captivating coming-of-age stories about what it’s like to be young and black in America.


Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of
Food & Love
edited by Caroline Tung Richmond & Elsie Chapman

What’s better than an anthology about food? An anthology about food featuring diverse voices and cultures and family! I know I’m going to be super hungry while reading this one but it sounds so worth it.

From some of your favorite bestselling and critically acclaimed authors—including Sandhya Menon, Anna-Marie McLemore, and Rin Chupeco—comes a collection of interconnected short stories that explore the intersection of family, culture, and food in the lives of thirteen teens.

A shy teenager attempts to express how she really feels through the confections she makes at her family’s pasteleria. A tourist from Montenegro desperately seeks a magic soup dumpling that could cure his fear of death. An aspiring chef realizes that butter and soul are the key ingredients to win a cooking competition that could win him the money to save his mother’s life.

Welcome to Hungry Hearts Row, where the answers to most of life’s hard questions are kneaded, rolled, baked. Where a typical greeting is, “Have you had anything to eat?” Where magic and food and love are sometimes one and the same.

Told in interconnected short stories, Hungry Hearts explores the many meanings food can take on beyond mere nourishment. It can symbolize love and despair, family and culture, belonging and home.


Color Outside the Lines
edited by Sangu Mandanna

This one is all about interracial relationships and I’m already hearing great things about the stories. I think my most anticipated one is Tara Sim’s which features a F/F Hades x Persephone retelling with Persephone as a Indian MC.

Daniel Ehrenhaft at Soho Teen has bought Sangu Mandanna’s Color Outside the Lines, a YA anthology centered around interracial relationships and the complicated, rewarding and sometimes hilarious dynamics between friends, family, and first loves. The collection features Anna-Marie McLemore, Elsie Chapman, Karuna Riazi, Lydia Kang, L.L. McKinney, Lori M. Lee, Lauren Gibaldi, Tara Sim, Eric Smith, Caroline Tung Richmond, Kelly Zekas, Tarun Shanker, Samira Ahmed and Adam Silvera, and more. Publication is set for fall 2019; Eric Smith at P.S. Literary brokered the deal for world rights.


His Hideous Heart
edited by Dahlia Adler

Edgar Allan Poe reimaginings !!! I don’t really know what else to say but this wow I’m super pumped for this and it also comes out on my birthday.

Thirteen of YA’s most celebrated names reimagine Edgar Allan Poe’s most surprising, unsettling, and popular tales for a new generation.

Edgar Allan Poe may be a hundred and fifty years beyond this world, but the themes of his beloved works have much in common with modern young adult fiction. Whether the stories are familiar to readers or discovered for the first time, readers will revel in Edgar Allan Poe’s classic tales, and how they’ve been brought to life in 13 unique and unforgettable ways.

Contributors include Kendare Blake (reimagining “Metzengerstein”), Rin Chupeco (“The Murders in the Rue Morge”), Lamar Giles (“The Oval Portrait”), Tessa Gratton (“Annabel Lee”), Tiffany D. Jackson (“The Cask of Amontillado”), Stephanie Kuehn (“The Tell-Tale Heart”), Emily Lloyd-Jones (“The Purloined Letter”), Hillary Monahan (“The Masque of the Red Death”), Marieke Nijkamp (“Hop-Frog”), Caleb Roehrig (“The Pit and the Pendulum”), and Fran Wilde (“The Fall of the House of Usher”).


Take the Mic: Fictional Stories of Everyday Resistance
edited by Bethany C. Morrow

A very timely and relevant anthology about resistance. I love the power that this cover exudes.

A young adult anthology featuring fictional stories of everyday resistance.

You might be the kind of person who stands up to online trolls.
Or who marches to protest injustice.

Perhaps you are #DisabledAndCute and dancing around your living room, alive and proud.

Or perhaps you are the trans mentor that you wish you had when you were younger.

Maybe you call out false allies, or stand up to loved ones. 

Maybe you speak your truth and drop the mic, or maybe you take it with you when you leave.

This anthology features fictional stories–in poems, prose, and art–that reflect a slice of the varied and limitless ways that readers like you resist every day. TAKE THE MIC’s powerful collection of stories features work by literary luminaries and emerging talent alike, including Newbery-winner Jason Reynolds, New York Times bestseller Samira Ahmed, anthologist and contributor Bethany C. Morrow, Darcie Little Badger, Jem Yoshioka, Keah Brown, Laura Silverman, L.D. Lewis, Sofia Quintero, Ray Stoeve, Yamile Mendez, and Connie Sun, with cover and interior art by Richie Pope.

It’s a Whole Spiel edited
by Katherine Locke & Laura Silverman

Another #ownvoices anthology featuring Jewish writers!! I also really love covers that have a bunch of people on them.

Knopf has acquired It’s a Whole Spiel, a YA anthology by Jewish writers, edited by Katherine Locke and Laura Silverman. With contributions from #ownvoices authors including David Levithan, Nova Ren Suma, and more, the anthology will contain contemporary stories with Jewish protagonists who are diverse in sexuality, ability, race, and level of religious observance. Publication is planned for fall 2019.


Hope y’all enjoyed this little post and made your TBR get a bit bigger. Also feel free to suggest some anthologies I missed coming out this year or from previous years!

Anticipated September Releases

It’s been a while since I’ve done an Anticipated Releases post, so I guess I’m just going to start this back up again this month.

This is possibly my favorite month for covers. I’ve also already talked about some of these before on my blog but I just wanted to remind everyone that they are out there in case anyone is interested.

Click on the images of the covers to go to Goodreads to add these and read the synopsis for each book!


A Room Away from the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma
Release Date: September 4th
a room away from the wolves

So from the synopsis alone, this sounds weird and mysterious and magical. I’m sold. Also I plan about talking about this cover for a long time because its stunning.


Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer
Release Date: September 4th
not even bones

I’ve talked about this one before. This is described as “Dexter meets This Savage Song”. I’m here for all the dark YA fantasies. This is super perfect for the upcoming Halloween season, and I’m hoping to pick this up for my October TBR.


Sadie by Courtney Summers
Release Date: September 4th
sadie cover

Currently reading this and I’m enjoying it. It’s got a unique format, told in two perspectives. One is told through a podcast, The Girls based on Sadie’s story and what comes of it, and the other perspective is Sadie’s journey seen through her eyes.


Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman
Release Date: September 11th
summer bird blue

I am a sucker for Akemi Dawn Bowman’s covers. Starfish‘s cover is equally as gorgeous. This is about grief and depression and features a multiracial MC who is questioning where she fits on the asexual and aromantic spectrum.


Analee, in Real Life by Janelle Milanes
Release Date: September 18th
analee in real life

I found out about this a while ago and it sounds interesting. It’s about an anxious Cuban teen who plays RPGs who is trying to get out of her comfort zone when she gets a crush.


The Deepest Roots by Miranda Asebedo
Release Date: September 18th
the deepest roots

I can’t wait to read this because of its focus on friendship. I also want to see how it uses magical realism.


Pride by Ibi Zoboi
Release Date: September 18th
pride

A retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in Brooklyn with Afro-Latino and Black characters!! This is also deals with gentrification and social class. I can’t wait to see how Ibi Zoboi tells this version of P&P.


What the Woods Keep by Katya de Becerra
Release Date: September 18th
what the woods keep cover

So this is described as being a mix of mystery, science fiction, and dark fantasy. That’s all I got from this because I have a feeling that this is the type of book I should go into not knowing too much about it so I can have an even better experience. I might have to add this to my October TBR.


A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney
Release Date: September 25th
a blade so black

Alice in Wonderland meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer with a black girl as the protagonist written by a black woman. That’s all I have to say. So hyped for this one!


For a Muse of Fire (#1) by Heidi Heilig
Release Date: September 25th
for a muse of fire

This sounds super epic. The first in a series and I can’t wait to see what unfolds. I’m most interested in seeing how the book deals with its mental illness rep. The heroine is bipolar and I don’t think I’ve read many YA fantasies that have mental illness representation, especially bipolar rep in them. This is also an Asian inspired fantasy (YAY for diverse fantasies!!!)

Also the author included content warnings for the following: Mental illness (bipolar), blood use in magic, gun violence, war, colonialism, racism, descriptions of dead bodies, mention of reproductive coercion, mentions of torture, mention of suicide


The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
Release Date: September 25th
img_5934

And last but not least! This is a retelling of Frankenstein. I was super impressed by And I Darken by Kiersten White and I loved how well she writes anti-heroines and dark fantasies, so I have a feeling this will be just as good. This is very high on my book wishlist especially with October coming and it’s on my TBR. *crosses fingers that it can somehow fall into my hands*. Frankenstein has always been a story that has intrigued me and also inspired me in some ways.


Thanks for reading if you made it this far. Comment down below some September releases you’re excited especially ones I didn’t mention and you think I should check out!

Sav

Anticipated June Releases

Coming at yall with some more books I can’t wait to spend all my money on !!!


Mariam Sharma Hits the Road by Sheba Karim
Release Date: June 5
mariam sharma hits the road

A fun read about 3 three Muslim friends going on a road trip???? Sign me up.


Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl
Release Date: June 5
neverworld wake

I don’t really know anything about this except its YA sci-fi but the cover really reminds me of this iconic image from The End of Evangelion (Neon Genesis Evangelion).

end of evangelion


Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Perez
Release Date: June 5
sweet black waves

“Inspired by the star-crossed tale of Tristan and Iseult, this is the story of the legend’s true heroine: Branwen” 

So I have no knowledge of the story of Tristan and Iseult but I hope to read it by the time I get to this. I’m just super interested in reading some retellings of famous stories/myths/folklore.


Smoke in the Sun (#2) by Renee Ahdieh 
Release Date: June 5
smoke in the sun

I haven’t read Flame in the Mist yet, the first book of this duology, but I really want to get around it! From what I know this is a Mulan retelling set in Feudal era Japan. Also I personally love the new covers.


Bruja Born (Brooklyn Brujas #2) by Zoraida Cordova
Release Date: June 5
bruja born

Also another sequel to a book that I haven’t read yet, which is Labyrinth Lost. I have zeor clue what this one is actually going to be about, but I know that MC of Labyrinth Lost is bi, so I’m pretty hyped to get into this series.


Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno 
Release Date: June 5
summer of salt

Solely based off the cover this looks like it could have a queer romance. Which I’m obviously 100% here for. It’s also described as magical realism which is one of my favorite things. I haven’t heard many people talk about this one yet but I think once it comes out more people will.


Final Draft by Riley Redgate
Release Date: June 12
final draft

I know a lot of people have hyped up Riley Redgate’s first novel, Noteworthy (which is also on my TBR). This one seems really interesting and the cover is stunning.


Not the Girls You’re Looking For by Aminah Mae Safi
Release Date: June 18
not the girls youre looking for

From the cover this looks like a cute YA contemporary but from reading some of the reviews, it’s a lot more intense, so I’m interested to see how this folds out.


Wild Blue Wonder by Carlie Sorosiak 
Release Date: June 26
wild blue wonder

Blue blue blue. One of my favorite covers. I adore this cover. I already raved about this in this post about my favorite blue covers. I know that the actual story is about a summer camp and its has some romance in it. It could be pretty good.


A Thousand Beginnings and Endings – Edited by Ellen Oh & Elsie Chapman (Anthology)
Release Date: June 26
a thousand beginnings and endings

I was hype for a while ago when I talked about all the YA anthologies coming out this year, and I’m so excited to pick this up. It’s all about Asian authors writing stories about Asian mythology. What’s not to like?


My Plain Jane (The Lady Janies #2) by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows
Release Date: June 26
my plain jane

I bought My Lady Jane recently and I’m hoping that’s good, because I love the covers for these two books. Also I’ve heard that these are satirical books and I’ve been looking for more funny books.