My Most Anticipated Horror & Thrillers Books for 2020 – Part Two

Part two of my need to tell everyone about spooky reads. 2020 features a wide spectrum of interesting horror/dark concepts from thrillers, dark fantasy, retellings, and other creepy stuff. 2020 is also the year for queer & POC rep in these kind of stories and I couldn’t be happier. You’ll notice most of these books feature both kinds of representation.

If you see anything you want to add to your TBR just click on the titles and it’ll take you to Goodreads!

WITCHES OF ASH AND RUIN BY E. LATIMER

COVER DESIGN BY PHIL BUCHANAN

Modern witchcraft blends with ancient Celtic mythology in an epic clash of witches and gods, perfect for fans of V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic trilogy and A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES.

Seventeen-year-old Dayna Walsh is struggling to cope with her somatic OCD; the aftermath of being outed as bisexual in her conservative Irish town; and the return of her long-absent mother, who barely seems like a parent. But all that really matters to her is ascending and finally, finally becoming a full witch-plans that are complicated when another coven, rumored to have a sordid history with black magic, arrives in town with premonitions of death. Dayna immediately finds herself at odds with the bewitchingly frustrating Meiner King, the granddaughter of their coven leader.

And then a witch turns up murdered at a local sacred site, along with the blood symbol of the Butcher of Manchester-an infamous serial killer whose trail has long gone cold. The killer’s motives are enmeshed in a complex web of witches and gods, and Dayna and Meiner soon find themselves at the center of it all. If they don’t stop the Butcher, one of them will be next.

With razor-sharp prose and achingly real characters, E. Latimer crafts a sweeping, mesmerizing story of dark magic and brutal mythology set against a backdrop of contemporary Ireland that’s impossible to put down.

MY THOUGHTS

#ownvoices rep for OCD and bi rep! Celtic mythology and witchcraft! Sounds fun! On a side note I do have some mixed feelings about the fact that the character is outed HOWEVER I’m glad that it actually states in the synopsis instead of people having to find out without warning, so applaud whomever wrote the synopsis for that.

WHEN WE WERE MAGIC BY SARAH GAILEY

A sly, witchy dark comedy about four teens whose magic goes wildly awry from Magic for Liars author Sarah Gailey, who Chuck Wendig calls an “author to watch.”

Keeping your magic a secret is hard. Being in love with your best friend is harder.

Alexis has always been able to rely on two things: her best friends, and the magic powers they all share. Their secret is what brought them together, and their love for each other is unshakeable—even when that love is complicated. Complicated by problems like jealousy, or insecurity, or lust. Or love.

That unshakeable, complicated love is one of the only things that doesn’t change on prom night.

When accidental magic goes sideways and a boy winds up dead, Alexis and her friends come together to try to right a terrible wrong. Their first attempt fails—and their second attempt fails even harder. Left with the remains of their failed spells and more consequences than anyone could have predicted, each of them must find a way to live with their part of the story.

MY THOUGHTS

MORE QUEER WITCH STORIES! Also I enjoy dark comedy which I know is very niche but if that is your cup of tea, join the club.

FOREST OF SOULS BY LORI M. LEE

COVER DESIGN BY LAURA BENTON AND ART BY CHARLIE BOWATER

Danger lurks within the roots of Forest of Souls, an epic, unrelenting tale of destiny and sisterhood, perfect for fans of Naomi Novik and Susan Dennard.

Sirscha Ashwyn comes from nothing, but she’s intent on becoming something. After years of training to become the queen’s next royal spy, her plans are derailed when shamans attack and kill her best friend Saengo.

And then Sirscha, somehow, restores Saengo to life.

Unveiled as the first lightwender in living memory, Sirscha is summoned to the domain of the Spider King. For centuries, he has used his influence over the Dead Wood—an ancient forest possessed by souls—to enforce peace between the kingdoms. Now, with the trees growing wild and untamed, only a lightwender can restrain them. As war looms, Sirscha must master her newly awakened abilities before the trees shatter the brittle peace, or worse, claim Saengo, the friend she would die for.

MY THOUGHTS

Forest of Souls seems to lean more towards the fantasy genre but it still gives off horror vibes so it fits the bill. Spiders are spooky y’all. According to the author “this book features Asian-coded characters being warriors and shamans, queens and mentors, villains and friends, all within a secondary world fantasy.” Also I’m in love with the cover! So haunting and gorgeous.

GHOST WOOD SONG BY ERICA WATERS

COVER DESIGN BY JENNA STEMPEL-LOBELL & ART BY ALIX NORTHRUP

Shady Grove is her father’s daughter, through and through. She inherited his riotous, curly hair, his devotion to bluegrass, and his ability to call ghosts from the grave with his fiddle.

That cursed instrument drowned with him, though, when his car went off the road, taking with it the whispering ghosts, nightmares, and the grief and obsession that forced her daddy to play.

But Shady’s brother was just accused of murder, and so she has a choice to make: unearth the fiddle that sang her father to the grave and speak to the dead to clear her brother’s name, or watch the only family she has left splinter to pieces.

The ghosts have secrets to keep, but Shady will make those old bones sing.

MY THOUGHTS

A Southern gothic story and it apparently takes place in Florida and features a Bi MC.

WHERE DREAMS DESCEND BY JANELLA ANGELES

COVER DESIGN BY KERRI RESNICK & ART BY MICAELA ALCAINO

A debut fantasy duology pitched as The Phantom of the Opera meets Moulin Rouge, the story follows Hellfire House’s star showgirl who, haunted by a dark past, must enter a magician’s competition in order to secure her freedom from the handsome, enigmatic keeper of the club, even as mysterious accidents seem to plague her every move.

MY THOUGHTS

Not much to go on but Phantom meets Moulin Rouge is a very great way to get to read this. I’ve had this on my TBR ever since it was announced so I’ve been dedicated to this book for a long time. Also support Filipino authors!

YOU’RE NEXT BY KYLIE SCHACTE

When a girl with a troubled history of finding dead bodies investigates the murder of her ex, she uncovers a plot to put herself—and everyone she loves—on the list of who’s next.

Flora Calhoun has a reputation for sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong. After stumbling upon a classmate’s body years ago, the trauma of that discovery and the police’s failure to find the killer has haunted her ever since. One night, she gets a midnight text from Ava McQueen, the beautiful girl who had ignited Flora’s heart last summer, then never spoke to her again.

Just in time to witness Ava’s death from a gunshot wound, Flora is set on a path of rage and vengeance for all the dead girls whose killer is never found. Her tunnel-visioned sleuthing leads to valuable clues about a shocking conspiracy involving her school and beyond, but also earns her sinister threats from the murderer. She has a choice—to give up the hunt for answers, or keep digging and risk her loved ones’ lives. Either way, Flora will regret the consequences. Who’s next on the killer’s list?

MY THOUGHTS

So I am going to point out that there’s already a great horror film called You’re Next that I really like but this obviously seems to be very different. Also there seems to be some sapphic vibes so even better.

BLOOD COUNTESS BY LANA POPOVIC

A historical YA horror novel based on the infamous real-life inspiration for Countess Dracula

In 17th century Hungary, Anna Darvulia has just begun working as a scullery maid for the young and glamorous Countess Elizabeth Báthory. When Elizabeth takes a liking to Anna, she’s vaulted to the dream role of chambermaid, a far cry from the filthy servants’ quarters below. She receives wages generous enough to provide for her family, and the Countess begins to groom Anna as her friend and confidante. It’s not long before Anna falls completely under the Countess’s spell—and the Countess takes full advantage. Isolated from her former friends, family, and fiancé, Anna realizes she’s not a friend but a prisoner of the increasingly cruel Elizabeth. Then come the murders, and Anna knows it’s only a matter of time before the Blood Countess turns on her, too.

MY THOUGHTS

Historical YA horror is all I ever wanted and Elizabeth Bathory is the perfect subject.

THE SILENCE OF BONES BY JUNE HUR

COVER DESIGN BY KATIE KLIM & ART BY KASIQ JUNGWOO

I have a mouth, but I mustn’t speak;
Ears, but I mustn’t hear;
Eyes, but I mustn’t see.

1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seol is living out the ancient curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Indentured to the police bureau, she’s been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman.

As they delve deeper into the dead woman’s secrets, Seol forms an unlikely bond of friendship with the inspector. But her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect, and Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder.

But in a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly.

June Hur’s elegant and haunting debut The Silence of Bones is a bloody tale perfect for fans of Kerri Maniscalco and Renée Ahdieh.

MY THOUGHTS

This sounds so refreshing. A murder mystery set in 1800s Korea. This by far is one of the most interesting premises for a mystery I’ve read in a while. I also have to give props to the cover. The shades of blue make this feel so noir-ish.

FROZEN BEAUTY BY LEXA HILLYER

BEFORE
Everyone out in Devil’s Lake, Michigan, knows the three Malloy sisters: perfect big sister Kit; tomboy Tessa, who shares more with Kit than most people realize; and Lilly, the baby of the family, determined to make her own mark. Yet as close as they are, there are certain things sisters don’t tell one another. And one of them is keeping a secret that will turn their little world inside out.

NOW
No one knows exactly what happened to Kit in the woods that night—all they have are a constellation of facts: icy blue lips and fingers cold to the touch, a lacy bra, an abandoned pick-up truck with keys still in the ignition. Still, Tessa, even in her fog of grief, is certain that her sister’s killer wasn’t Boyd, the boy next door whom they’ve all loved in their own way. There are too many details that don’t add up, too many secrets still tucked away.

But no matter how fiercely she searches for answers, at the core of that complicated night is a truth that’s heartbreakingly simple.

Told in lush, haunting prose, Frozen Beauty is a story of the intoxicating power of first love, the deep bonds of sisterhood, and a shocking death that will forever change the living

MY THOUGHTS

Horror stories with sisters is a great combination. I wasn’t even sure what genre this was until actually looking into the synopsis, but this sounds quite haunting indeed.

I KILLED ZOE SPANOS BY KIT FRICK

COVER DESIGN BY DEBRA SFETSIOS-CONOVER & ART BY LEVENTE SZABO

What happened to Zoe won’t stay buried.

When Anna Cicconi arrives in the small Hamptons village of Herron Mills for a summer nanny gig, she has high hopes for a fresh start. What she finds instead is a community on edge after the disappearance of Zoe Spanos, a local girl who has been missing since New Year’s Eve. Anna bears an eerie resemblance to Zoe, and her mere presence in town stirs up still-raw feelings about the unsolved case. As Anna delves deeper into the mystery, stepping further and further into Zoe’s life, she becomes increasingly convinced that she and Zoe are connected—and that she knows what happened on New Year’s.

Two months later, Zoe’s body is found in a nearby lake, and Anna is charged with manslaughter. But Anna’s confession’s is riddled with holes, and Martina Green, teen host of the Missing Zoe podcast, isn’t satisfied. Did Anna really kill Zoe? And if not, can Martina’s podcast uncover the truth?

Inspired by Serial and Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, this thrilling story of psychological suspense is told in three interwoven timelines, including the transcript of a fictionalized true crime podcast.  ‘

MY THOUGHTS

I’ve had this on my TBR since it was known originally as Windermere. It’s interesting to see that podcasts have made their way into YA novels. I loved that aspect in Sadie by Courtney Summers, and I hope it works here too.

THE DARK TIDE BY ALICIA JASINSKA

COVER DESIGN BY NICOLE HOWER & ART BY HELEN CRAWFORD WHITE

A fast-paced, well-plotted fantasy retelling of an ancient Scottish fairy tale ballad, this exciting debut will appeal to fans of Stephanie Garber’s CARAVAL, Shea Ernshaw’s THE WICKED DEEP, and Kendare Blake’s THREE DARK CROWNS.

Every year on Walpurgis Night, Caldella’s Witch Queen lures a young boy back to her palace. An innocent life to be sacrificed on the full moon to keep the island city from sinking.

Convinced her handsome brother is going to be taken, sixteen-year-old Lina Kirk enlists the help of the mysterious Tomas Lin, her secret crush, and the only boy to ever escape from the palace. Working together they protect her brother, but draw the Queen’s attention. When the Queen spirits Tomas away instead, Lina blames herself and determines to go after him.

Caught breaking into the palace, the Queen offers Lina a deal: she will let Tomas go, if, of course, Lina agrees to take his place. Lina accepts, with a month before the full moon, surely she can find some way to escape. But the Queen is nothing like she envisioned, and Lina is not at all what the Queen expected. Against their will, they find themselves falling for each other. As water floods Caldella’s streets and the dark tide demands its sacrifice, they must choose who to save: themselves, each other, or the island city relying on them both.

MY THOUGHTS

Sapphic. Witches. Scottish Fariy Tale. Enemies to lovers. What more can I say?

RED HOOD BY ELANA K. ARNOLD

You are alone in the woods, seen only by the unblinking yellow moon. Your hands are empty. You are nearly naked.

And the wolf is angry.

Since her grandmother became her caretaker when she was four years old, Bisou Martel has lived a quiet life in a little house in Seattle. She’s kept mostly to herself. She’s been good. But then comes the night of homecoming, when she finds herself running for her life over roots and between trees, a fury of claws and teeth behind her. A wolf attacks. Bisou fights back. A new moon rises. And with it, questions. About the blood in Bisou’s past and on her hands as she stumbles home. About broken boys and vicious wolves. About girls lost in the woods—frightened, but not alone.

Elana K. Arnold, National Book Award finalist and author of the Printz Honor book Damsel, returns with a dark, engrossing, blood-drenched tale of the familiar threats to female power—and one girl’s journey to regain it.

MY THOUGHTS

Getting real here but I don’t often seek out retellings but I do find myself enjoying them especially if they subvert the original story’s ideas and themes and challenge them. This being a Little Red Riding Hood retelling, this has the opportunity to be fantastic or messy. This does sound promising.

THE SHADOWS BETWEEN US BY TRICIA LEVENSELLER

Alessandra is tired of being overlooked, but she has a plan to gain power:

1) Woo the Shadow King.
2) Marry him.
3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.

No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King’s power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves, and she’s going to do everything within her power to get it.

But Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. As attempts on his life are made, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen—all while struggling not to lose her heart. After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?

MY THOUGHTS

This sounds like it’ll enemies to lovers and also full of morally grey characters so I’m into that stuff. Especially a female lead who is morally grey.

SEVEN DEADLY SHADOWS BY COURTNEY ALAMEDA & VALYNNE E. MAETANI

COVER DESIGN BY ERIN FITZSIMMONS & ART BY SAM WEBER

Kira Fujikawa has always been a girl on the fringe. Bullied by her peers and ignored by her parents, the only place Kira’s ever felt at home is at her grandfather’s Shinto shrine, where she trains to be a priestess.

But Kira’s life is shattered on the night her family’s shrine is attacked by a vicious band of yokai demons. With the help of Shiro—the shrine’s gorgeous half-fox, half-boy kitsune—Kira discovers that her shrine harbors an ancient artifact of great power . . . one the yokai and their demon lord, Shuten-doji, will use to bring down an everlasting darkness upon the world.

Unable to face the Shuten-doji and his minions on her own, Kira enlists the aid of seven ruthless shinigami—or death gods—to help stop the brutal destruction of humankind. But some of the death gods aren’t everything they initially seemed, nor as loyal to Kira’s cause as they first appeared.

With war drawing nearer by the day, Kira realizes that if this unlikely band of heroes is going to survive, they’re going to have to learn to work together, confront their demons, and rise as one to face an army of unimaginable evil.

MY THOUGHTS

YAY for more Japanese inspired supernatural stories. I know Courtney Alameda is known for her horror stories so I’m hoping to see that in this.

ALL YOUR TWISTED SECRETS BY DIANA URBAN

This thrilling debut, reminiscent of new fan favorites like One of Us Is Lying and the beloved classics by Agatha Christie, will leave readers guessing until the explosive ending.

Welcome to dinner, and again, congratulations on being selected. Now you must do the selecting.

What do the queen bee, star athlete, valedictorian, stoner, loner, and music geek all have in common? They were all invited to a scholarship dinner, only to discover it’s a trap. Someone has locked them into a room with a bomb, a syringe filled with poison, and a note saying they have an hour to pick someone to kill … or else everyone dies.

Amber Prescott is determined to get her classmates and herself out of the room alive, but that might be easier said than done. No one knows how they’re all connected or who would want them dead. As they retrace the events over the past year that might have triggered their captor’s ultimatum, it becomes clear that everyone is hiding something. And with the clock ticking down, confusion turns into fear, and fear morphs into panic as they race to answer the biggest question: Who will they choose to die?

MY THOUGHTS

Okay this isn’t a book that high up on my TBR but its still a thriller and sometimes that’s all I need to know.

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

A YA fantasy anthology featuring fresh takes on old souls with vampire stories.

MY THOUGHTS

Vampires are here to stay y’all. Also the title is so perfect. I see a lot of great authors here and I can’t wait to see the different vampire stories we’ll get.

INK IN THE BLOOD BY KIM SKEJKAL

A lush, dark YA fantasy debut that weaves together tattoo magic, faith, and eccentric theater in a world where lies are currency and ink is a weapon, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Kendare Blake.

Celia Sand and her best friend, Anya Burtoni, are inklings for the esteemed religion of Profeta. Using magic, they tattoo followers with beautiful images that represent the Divine’s will and guide the actions of the recipients. It’s considered a noble calling, but ten years into their servitude Celia and Anya know the truth: Profeta is built on lies, the tattooed orders strip away freedom, and the revered temple is actually a brutal, torturous prison.

Their opportunity to escape arrives with the Rabble Mob, a traveling theater troupe. Using their inkling abilities for performance instead of propaganda, Celia and Anya are content for the first time . . . until they realize who followed them. The Divine they never believed in is very real, very angry, and determined to use Celia, Anya, and the Rabble Mob’s now-infamous stage to spread her deceitful influence even further.

To protect their new family from the wrath of a malicious deity and the zealots who work in her name, Celia and Anya must unmask the biggest lie of all—Profeta itself.

MY THOUGHTS

Tattoo magic? This sounds so bizarre but so fascinating.

LITTLE CREEPING THINGS BY CHELSEA ICHASO

When she was a child, Cassidy Pratt accidentally started a fire that killed her neighbor. At least, that’s what she’s been told. She can’t remember anything from that day, and her town’s bullies, particularly the cruel and beautiful Melody Davenport, have never let her live it down.

But then Melody goes missing, and Cassidy thinks she may have information. She knows she should go to the cops, but she recently joked about how much she’d like to get rid of Melody. She even planned out the perfect way to do it. And then she gets a chilling text from an unknown number: I’m so glad we’re in this together.

Now it’s up to Cassidy to figure out what really happened before the truth behind Melody’s disappearance sets the whole town ablaze.

MY THOUGHTS

Of course to really scare me just throw a creepy doll on the cover. If I’ve learned anything from scary stories about kid’s toys is to not mess with creepy baby dolls.

My Most Anticipated 2019 Horror,Thrillers & Mysteries – Part One

2019

I thought I’d start this little series with some newly released and upcoming releases that sound perfect for Halloween. I did two posts like this last year and had fun with it. You can read part one here and part two here.

Feel free to add any of these to your TBR by clicking n on the titles which will take you to Goodreads!

THE BONE HOUSES BY EMILY LLOYD-JONES

Seventeen-year-old Aderyn (“Ryn”) only cares about two things: her family, and her family’s graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don’t always stay dead.

The risen corpses are known as “bone houses,” and legend says that they’re the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good?

Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them deep into the heart of the mountains, where they will have to face both the curse and the long-hidden truths about themselves.

MY THOUGHTS

The cover is haunting first all. Skulls are always the perfect aesthetic for a spooky book. Apparently this features zombies or at least “the undead” and curses and I’m interested to see how this novel tackles zombies since there’s so many ways to use zombies.

THE TENTH GIRL BY SARA FARING

Simmering in Patagonian myth, The Tenth Girl is a gothic psychological thriller with a haunting twist.

At the very southern tip of South America looms an isolated finishing school. Legend has it that the land will curse those who settle there. But for Mavi—a bold Buenos Aires native fleeing the military regime that took her mother—it offers an escape to a new life as a young teacher to Argentina’s elite girls.

Mavi tries to embrace the strangeness of the imposing house—despite warnings not to roam at night, threats from an enigmatic young man, and rumors of mysterious Others. But one of Mavi’s ten students is missing, and when students and teachers alike begin to behave as if possessed, the forces haunting this unholy cliff will no longer be ignored.

One of these spirits holds a secret that could unravel Mavi’s existence. In order to survive she must solve a cosmic mystery—and then fight for her life.

MY THOUGHTS

I think I was already sold by it being a “gothic psychological thriller” but the fact that its base in Patagonian myth seems like it’ll be a more refreshing tale. This is also an #ownvoices Latinx horror!

THE LIBRARY OF THE UNWRITTEN BY A.J. HACKWITH

In the first book in a brilliant new fantasy series, books that aren’t finished by their authors reside in the Library of the Unwritten in Hell, and it is up to the Librarian to track down any restless characters who emerge from those unfinished stories.

Many years ago, Claire was named Head Librarian of the Unwritten Wing—a neutral space in Hell where all the stories unfinished by their authors reside. Her job consists mainly of repairing and organizing books, but also of keeping an eye on restless stories that risk materializing as characters and escaping the library. When a Hero escapes from his book and goes in search of his author, Claire must track and capture him with the help of former muse and current assistant Brevity and nervous demon courier Leto.

But what should have been a simple retrieval goes horrifyingly wrong when the terrifyingly angelic Ramiel attacks them, convinced that they hold the Devil’s Bible. The text of the Devil’s Bible is a powerful weapon in the power struggle between Heaven and Hell, so it falls to the librarians to find a book with the power to reshape the boundaries between Heaven, Hell … and Earth.

MY THOUGHTS

The premise is stands out to me. I mean, a library in Hell, characters unfinished stories emerging and probably causing chaos.

NINTH HOUSE BY LEIGH BARDUGO

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.

MY THOUGHTS

I’ve never read anything by Leigh Bardugo. I’ll admit the the hype for her Grishaverse series makes me intimidated to even begin reading them. But this one caught my eye because its not Grishverse related and its about secret societies in Yale. I know this will be a bit darker than what she’s known for but I enjoy reader darker stories sometimes. Also this already has TV deal so I really want to see if I like it before the show starts.

THE BEAUTIFUL BY RENEE AHDIEH

In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful.

BEYOND THE BLACK DOOR BY A.M. STRICKLAND

Kamai was warned never to open the black door, but she didn’t listen …

Everyone has a soul. Some are beautiful gardens, others are frightening dungeons. Soulwalkers―like Kamai and her mother―can journey into other people’s souls while they sleep.

But no matter where Kamai visits, she sees the black door. It follows her into every soul, and her mother has told her to never, ever open it.

When Kamai touches the door, it is warm and beating, like it has a pulse. When she puts her ear to it, she hears her own name whispered from the other side. And when tragedy strikes, Kamai does the unthinkable: she opens the door.

A.M. Strickland’s imaginative dark fantasy features court intrigue and romance, a main character coming to terms with her asexuality, and twists and turns as a seductive mystery unfolds that endangers not just Kamai’s own soul, but the entire kingdom …

MY THOUGHTS

This is one of my most hyped for the year. It’s got a villain romance, #ownvoices ace rep & demi-biromantic rep. Dark fantasy is thriving this year folks.

GRAVEMAIDENS BY KELLY COON

The start of a fierce fantasy duology about three maidens who are chosen for their land’s greatest honor…and one girl determined to save her sister from the grave.

In the walled city-state of Alu, Kammani wants nothing more than to become the accomplished healer her father used to be before her family was cast out of their privileged life in shame.

When Alu’s ruler falls deathly ill, Kammani’s beautiful little sister, Nanaea, is chosen as one of three sacred maidens to join him in the afterlife. It’s an honor. A tradition. And Nanaea believes it is her chance to live an even grander life than the one that was stolen from her.

But Kammani sees the selection for what it really is—a death sentence.

Desperate to save her sister, Kammani schemes her way into the palace to heal the ruler. There she discovers more danger lurking in the sand-stone corridors than she could have ever imagined and that her own life—and heart—are at stake. But Kammani will stop at nothing to dig up the palace’s buried secrets even if it means sacrificing everything…including herself.

MY THOUGHTS

I honestly haven’t look much into this because I want to go without knowing what I’m getting into. But it does sounds unique and compelling.

WINTERWOOD BY SHEA ERNSHAW

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wicked Deep comes a haunting romance set deep in the magical snow-covered forest, where the appearance of a mysterious boy unearths secrets that awakens the enchanted, but angry, woods.

Be careful of the dark, dark wood . . .

Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.

Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.

But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.

MY THOUGHTS

The Wicked Deep was so good that I had to immediately add Winterwood to my TBR. Shea Ernshaw’s stories are very atmospheric and I hope this one is as well. I think one of the best things a scary story can be atmospheric.

SONGS FROM THE DEEP BY KELLY POWELL

A girl searches for a killer on an island where deadly sirens lurk just beneath the waves in this gripping, atmospheric debut novel.

The sea holds many secrets.

Moira Alexander has always been fascinated by the deadly sirens who lurk along the shores of her island town. Even though their haunting songs can lure anyone to a swift and watery grave, she gets as close to them as she can, playing her violin on the edge of the enchanted sea. When a young boy is found dead on the beach, the islanders assume that he’s one of the sirens’ victims. Moira isn’t so sure.

Certain that someone has framed the boy’s death as a siren attack, Moira convinces her childhood friend, the lighthouse keeper Jude Osric, to help her find the real killer, rekindling their friendship in the process. With townspeople itching to hunt the sirens down, and their own secrets threatening to unravel their fragile new alliance, Moira and Jude must race against time to stop the killer before it’s too late—for humans and sirens alike.

MY THOUGHTS

Speaking of atmospheric, this one also fascinates me. I’m loving that we’re getting more sea-related horror and SIRENS!


Anyways, those are some books that you should check this spooky szn. Feel free to add your thoughts on these books and other books from 2019 that are great for this season!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

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 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.


 

 

 

Anticipated May Releases

I would have had an Anticipated Releases for April back in March, but I honestly wasn’t sure what all was coming out that month but I have so many April Releases to add to my TBR now.

Most of these will be YA Releases but I do have a few that are outside of the YA sphere.

The books with the star icons next to them are the ones I’m most anticipating and most likely will buy and read sooner than later. So here are of my thoughts, first impressions, and reasons why I want to read most of these.


star imageTiffany Sly Lives Here Now by Dana L. Davisstar image
Release Date: May 1
tiffany sly lives here

This is YA contemporary of a girl who goes to live with her biological father after her mom dies but also comes to learn that there’s another man claiming to be her biological father. The premise just sounds really interesting and I can’t wait to read this one. Also I love the cover.


star imageSong of Blood & Stone by L. Penelopestar image
Release Date: May 1
song of blood & stone

This seems like a really interesting fantasy series. I think this is New Adult. That cover is also really gorgeous.


The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green
Release Date: May 1
the smoke thieves

This one I’m slightly less interested in, but it is YA fantasy with multiple POVs, so that means I’m either going to really enjoy it or really dislike it. 


star imageBrightly Burning by Alexa Donne star image
Release Date: May 1
brightly burning

So I’ve heard of Alexa Donne from her YouTube channel where she talks about the process of writing and about being an author. I haven’t gotten around to watching all of her videos but she seems really informative and passionate about writing, I can’t wait to read this one. The basic premise is that this is Jane Eyre in Space, which really sold me on this story.


star imageGirl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blakestar image
Release Date: May 1
girl made of stars

Another YA contemporary but this one is much more emotional and about a more difficult, hard-to-talk-about topic. This book deals with the main character’s brother being accused of rape and how the MC deals with that struggle. This book talks about victim blaming, sexual assault, and consent which is a very relevant topic today. This is also listed under the LGBT+ shelf on Goodreads and I know that the author has written another book that has F/F romance, How to Make a Wish (which is on my really-need-to- read list) & I think that this book is #OWNVoices. Also I have to give a shoutout to the beautiful cover.


star imageShip It by Britta Lundinstar image
Release Date: May 1
ship it

So the premise of this sounds really interesting and also very eerily similar to some real life drama that has happened with some popular television series concerning queerbaiting and how some TV shows disrespect their LGBTQA+ audiences. But also I quickly read a review that said that this story is actually kind of darker than you’d expect, so I can’t wait to be surprised. This BTW is #OWNVoices.


A Date with Darcy by Tiffany Schmidt
Release Date: May 1
a date with darcy

LMAO So this book…I’m not positive if I’ll absolutely love this one since it sounds just like a wish fulfillment story but at the same time, it sounds fun so why not?? Also this was originally titled “Bookish Boyfriends” but I think since it’s apparently going to be a series they changed it to “A Date with Darcy”.


The Pisces by Melissa Broder
Release Date: May 1
the pisces

WOW THIS COVER. It’s so weird and beautiful. This is one of the few books on here I have that isn’t a YA. I just follow the author on Twitter and she tweets about her anxiety and depression with humor.


I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman
Release Date: May 3
i was born for this

I still want to read Radio Silence by this same author before I get to this, but I don’t I would mind reading this one first anyways. The plot is something that doesn’t entirely interest me but I’ve heard that Alice Oseman’s writing is really good.


star imageUndead Girl Gang by Lily Andersonstar image
Release Date: May 8
undead girl gang

This just sounds like a lot of fun and I’m all about girl gangs.


The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo
Release Date: May 8
the way you make me feel maurene goo

So I want to get into more YA romance and just romance in general so I feel like this might be a good place to start. It has a cute premise and also has an Asian MC!


What Should Be Wild by Julia Fine
Release Date: May 8
what should be wild

Yes another non-YA book. This cover is really what got me. But the synopsis is pretty good and I didn’t expect it to be a fantasy for some reason. I feel like this could one of those surprise reads.


star imageAll of This Is True by Lygia Day Penaflorstar image
Release Date: May 15
all of this is true

So I just quickly read through the synposis because I don’t want to know too much going into this one. I want to say its a thriller/suspense/drama. IDK But I’m kind of getting Misery vibes from this one since its about these girls who befriend their favorite author.


star imageMy So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharmastar image
Release Date: May 15
my so called bollywood life

I know absolutely nothing about Bollywood. However this book still sounds a lot of fun and cute. This is also another YA romance that I think I’ll like.


star imageOut of the Blue by Sophie Cameronstar image
Release Date: May 15
out of the blue

This is a British YA fantasy novel with a f/f romance and fallen angels. One of the characters is Sri Lankan. I don’t think I’ve read a f/f romance with a paranormal element in it yet so this sounds pretty unique.


Onyx and Ivory by Mindee Arnett
Release Date: May 15
onyx and ivory

Another YA fantasy with a forbidden romance in it. IDK Maybe this could surprise me. I adore the cover!!


star imageMonday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson star image
Release Date: May 22
monday's not coming

A YA contemporary / mystery. I also really just love this cover! It’s so minimalist and stylish!


Furyborn by Claire Legrand
Release Date: May 22
furyborn

The premise of this one is really interesting since it’s separated by long periods of time. This sounds like a more refreshing YA fantasy but I’ll have to wait and see.


star imageAlways Never Yours by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka

Release Date: May 22
AlwaysNever_BOM_4p.indd

The cover looks really cute and the premise sounds cute. Sometimes you have to have the fluffy stuff too I guess lol. Also I’ve heard that the love interest is Japanese-American!


From Twinkle, with Love by Sandhya Menon
Release Date: May 22
from twinkle with love

So I want to read When Dimple Met Rishi before I get to this one but FTWL in my opinion has a premise that sounds more interesting to me being that the MC wants to be a filmmaker which was once a dream job I had when I was younger. Both of the covers for WDMR and FTWL are really cute!


The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde
Release Date: May 22
the brightsiders

The title instantly reminds of me Mr. Brightside by The Killers and that may be the number one reason why I want to read this one. But seriously I’ve heard that Jen Wilde’s previously released book Queens of Geek was super good and she writes LGBTQA+ characters really well. Also this about a band and I love stories about musicians and bands and music in general.


Thanks for reading! Comment down below what May Releases you’re excited for and put down some recs for me to read if I missed anything.

Sav

My Ultimate Book Bucket List

So I know most people have a list of classic and critically acclaimed books that they want to read at some point in their lives. Sort of like a bucket list. Here is my reading bucket list that I hope to complete someday. I most likely will make this an individual page on my blog where I can update it as I read more from this list.

BOOK OWN READ
1984 by George Orwell
A Room Of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
A Room With a View by E.M. Forster
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Daisy Miller by Henry James
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Dune by Frank Hebert
Emma by Jane Austen
Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Howards End by E.M. Forster
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Middlemarch by George Eliot
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Wintersong
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Siddharta by Herman Hesse
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Stranger in a Strange Land by
Sula by Toni Morrison
Tess of D’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
The Female Man by Joanna Russ
The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R.R. Tolkien
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Stranger by Albert Camus
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Manga Series I’m Currently Reading & Series To Read

Besides reading YA and other books, I also read manga. I started reading & collecting manga last year and now I’m obsessed with it. However buying manga is not just, kind of pricey (since they come in volumes like comic books & other graphic novels) but also time consuming. Also I made a list of some manga series I want to read & collect at some point as well. If you’re interested in manga like I am and don’t see a book mentioned on here that you think I should check out, please comment down below! I would love to get some recommendations! 🙂


Currently Reading / TBR

These are series that I have already started and/or have begun collecting. So for all of these I am not finished with them. Also all of these are still in publication, being translated from Japanese to English. Some series are more behind than others in terms of translations, but I’m going by the English translations.

The Ancient Magus Bride (Mahoutsukai no Yome) – Kore Yamazaki
Genres / Themes: Shounen / Fantasy / Magic
No. of Volumes Published in English: 8
Finished / Ongoing?: Ongoing
Volumes Owned: 1, 2
Anime?: YES / SEEN


Yona of the Dawn (Akatsuki no Yona) by Mizuho Kusanagi
Genres / Themes: Shoujo / Fantasy
No. of Volumes Published in English: 11
Finished / Ongoing?: Ongoing
Volumes Owned: 3
Anime?: YES / SEEN


Dorohedoro by Q Hayashida
Genres / Themes: Seinen / Horror
No of Volumes Published in English: 20
Finished / Ongoing?: Ongoing
Volumes Owned: 1
Anime?: NO


Golden Kamuy by Satoru Noda
Genres / Themes: Seinen / Action / Adventure / Comedy
No. of Volumes Published in English: 4
Finished / Ongoing?: Ongoing
Volumes Owned: 1, 2, 3, 4
Anime?: YES / Airs on April 9 + plan on watching


Delicious in Dungeon (Dungeon Meshi) by Ryoko Kui
Genres / Themes: Seinen / Fantasy / RPG-esque / Cooking
No. of Volumes Published in English: 4
Finished / Ongoing?: Ongoing
Volumes Owned: 1
Anime?: NO


Land of the Lustrous (Houseki no Kuni) by Haruko Ichikawa
Genres / Themes: Shounen / Fantasy / Sci-Fi
No. of Volumes Published in ENG: 5
Finished / Ongoing?: Ongoing
Volumes Owned: 1, 2
Anime?: YES / SEEN


The Girl from the Other Side (Totsukuni no Shoujo) by Nagabe
Genres / Themes: Shounen / Fantasy / Magic
No. of Volumes Published in ENG: 4
Finished / Ongoing?: Ongoing
Volumes Own: 1,2
Anime?: NO


Want to Read

This is basically my list of the manga series I definitely want to read. All of them are still currently being published with the exceptions of 20th Century Boys, Fullmetal Alchemist & Pluto. So those will be much easier for me to find. I won’t go into too much detail for these as I don’t really know much except for genres. But I will include the synposis for each of these which I got from Goodreads and few of my own thoughts for why I want to read them.

Yotsuba by Kiyohiko Arima

Presents the story of the new kid in town – little Yotsuba, a green-haired and wide-eyed girl who doesn’t have a clue… about anything! With no knowledge of the world around her, and an unnatural fear of air conditioners, Yotsuba has her new neighbors’ heads spinning. This book is written by Kyohiko Azuma, creator of Azumanga Daioh.

So this is a slice of life / comedy about a little girl and growing. Pretty simple concept but I’ve heard a lot of great things about the story and the art.


20th Century Boys by Naoki Urasawa

Mankind would not have made the new age, encountering the crisis at the end of the last century, that almost wiped them out… if it weren’t for “them”. In 1969, “they” who were still in their youth, created a symbol. In 1997, as the footsteps of the disaster slowly starts to show out, the symbol revives. This is the story about several boys, that save the world.

This is an acclaimed manga series and it sounds super interesting and mysterious. I know that there is a cult involved in this. There’s sci-fi elements too.


Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa

Alchemy: the mystical power to alter the natural world; something between magic, art and science. When two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, dabbled in this power to grant their dearest wish, one of them lost an arm and a leg…and the other became nothing but a soul locked into a body of living steel. Now Edward is an agent of the government, a slave of the military-alchemical complex, using his unique powers to obey orders…even to kill. Except his powers aren’t unique. The world has been ravaged by the abuse of alchemy. And in pursuit of the ultimate alchemical treasure, the Philosopher’s Stone, their enemies are even more ruthless than they are… 

I know the anime adaptation is super popular and really good and I haven’t seen that yet either but I feel like I want to read the manga series first. This has fantasy and magical elements in it. It’s also known as one of the best manga series ever so I’m really anticipating collecting & reading this series.


Pluto by Naoki Urasawa x Osamu Tezuka

In a distant future where sentient humanoid robots pass for human, someone or some thing is out to destroy the seven great robots of the world. Europol’s top detective Gesicht is assigned to investigate these mysterious robot serial murders; the only catch is that he himself is one of the seven targets.

This is another accalaimed series. I’ve heard that the story and characters are well written and the art is amazing.


A Bride’s Story by Kaoru Mori

Acclaimed creator Kaoru Mori (Emma, Shirley) brings the nineteenth-century Silk Road to lavish life, chronicling the story of Amir Halgal, a young woman from a nomadic tribe betrothed to a twelve-year-old boy eight years her junior. Coping with cultural differences, blossoming feelings for her new husband, and expectations from both her adoptive and birth families, Amir strives to find her role as she settles into a new life and a new home in a society quick to define that role for her.

I saw this series from a Twitter user who recommends a lot of great manga and anime, where I also discovered The Ancient Magus Bride & Delicious in Dungeon. They also recommended this series which takes place in 19th century Asia. From the scans I’m seen from it, the art is beautifully detailed. So much so that these are hardcovers and a lot more expensive than the typical manga volume.


My Hero Academia by Kohei Horikoshi

What would the world be like if 80 percent of the population manifested superpowers called “Quirks” at age four? Heroes and villains would be battling it out everywhere! Being a hero would mean learning to use your power, but where would you go to study? The Hero Academy of course! But what would you do if you were one of the 20 percent who were born Quirkless?

Middle school student Izuku Midoriya wants to be a hero more than anything, but he hasn’t got an ounce of power in him. With no chance of ever getting into the prestigious U.A. High School for budding heroes, his life is looking more and more like a dead end. Then an encounter with All Might, the greatest hero of them all, gives him a chance to change his destiny…

So I’m a big fan of the anime series, which reminds me that the 3rd season is airing very very soon and I can’t wait. But I really want to catch up to where the manga is at some point.


Horimiya by Hero x Daisuke Hagiwara

Hori may seem like a normal teenage girl, but she’s a completely different person after school. In her workaholic parents’ absence, Hori has been like a parent for her little brother since she was young herself. Between taking care of her brother, feeding them both, and housework, she doesn’t have much time for a usual teenage social life. 

One day, she meets someone else who does not present his true self at school: a quiet, glasses-wearing boy called Miyamura. She’d assumed he was bookish, and possibly an otaku, but Hori couldn’t have been more wrong. Outside of school, Miyamura is a friendly guy with many piercings, and he’s not very good at academics. Now the two of them have someone with whom they can share both halves of their lives!

This is another one that I’ve seen someone on the internet read and recommend. This is a romance manga which I haven’t really read much of yet and I honestly don’t know too much about it expect that the two characters are opposites and I always love opposites attract romances.


Thanks for reading this super long post lol!

Sav

Upcoming 2018 YA Anthologies I’m Excited For

One of my reading goals this year was to read something different than the normal novel, so I figured I’d pick up some anthologies, and there are SO MANY interesting and diverse ones coming out this year. I have yet to read an anthology so I hope these make me more interested in other anthologies from previous years.

*DISCLAIMER – release dates can be changed at any moment so these release dates aren’t 100% confirmed!!*

UPDATE (April 20) : Cover Revealed for Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens 


Toil & Trouble: 16 Tales of Women & Witchcraft
RELEASE DATE: August 28th

toi & trouble

A young adult fiction anthology of 16 stories featuring contemporary, historical, and futuristic stories featuring witchy heroines who are diverse in race, class, sexuality, religion, geography, and era.

I always love a good story with witches in it, but 16 stories is even better. Also the fact that there will be some diversity in this is awesome. Some of the writers I already enjoy such as Zoraida Cordova, Emery Lord, Tess Sharpe, and Nova Ren Suma. But I’ve also heard of some of the other writers and I can’t wait to see what witchy stories they have to tell.

Our Stories, Our Voices: 21 YA Authors Get Real About Injustice, Empowerment, and Growing Up Female in America
Release Date: August 14th

our stories

This collection of twenty-one essays from major YA authors—including award-winning and bestselling writers—touches on a powerful range of topics related to growing up female in today’s America, and the intersection with race, religion, and ethnicity. Sure to inspire hope and solidarity to anyone who reads it, Our Stories, Our Voices belongs on every young woman’s shelf.

YAY a YA feminist book with diverse authors is a plus!! Also it sounds all too relevant in today’s environment.

All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages
Release Date: February 27th 2018

all out

Take a journey through time and genres and discover a past where queer figures live, love and shape the world around them. Seventeen of the best young adult authors across the queer spectrum have come together to create a collection of beautifully written diverse historical fiction for teens. 

So by the time I put out this post the book will have already been released but STILL. This sounds like such a great anthology.

Fresh Ink: An Anthology
Release Date: August 14th

fresh ink

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

So this needs like a really great #OWNVoices anthology. wow my money is going to be blown on all these anthologies!!!

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings
Release Date: June 26th

a thousand beginnings and endings

Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings. These are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries. 

Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate.

East and South Asian folklore & mythology??? Written by Asian authors??? I’m immediately sold.

The Radical Element  (A Tyranny of Petticoats #2)
Release Date: March 13th

the radical element

In an anthology of revolution and resistance, a sisterhood of YA writers shines a light on a century and a half of heroines on the margins and in the intersections.

So this is a sequel anthology, to A Tyranny of Petticoats, which is also on my TBR. I believe that these stories are based off of historical figures and famous women, which I’m 101% here for! Again like so many of the other anthologies features plenty of authors that I have enjoyed in the past.

(Don’t) Call Me Crazy 
Release Date: October 2nd

dont call me cray

Algonquin Young Readers has acquired an anthology from Kelly Jensen titled (Don’t) Call Me Crazy, which will explore, through essays, artwork, poetry, and other ephemera, the ways that mental illness impacts individuals, family and friends, with contributions from Victoria Schwab, Adam Silvera, Libba Bray, Esmé Wang, Yumi Sakugawa, Mike Jung, s.e. smith, Meredith Russo, and Stephanie Kuehn, among others. A publication date has not been announced.

This one really hits home for me, because I suffer from mental illness and its super important to not only hear stories from other people who also suffer from mental illnesses but also to give those who don’t understand what we go through.

Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens
Release Date: September 18th

unbroken anthology cover

A YA Anthology of short stories featuring disabled teens, written by #OwnVoices disabled authors. The stories reflect a range of genres and disabilities; contributors include bestselling authors Kody Keplinger and Francisco X. Stork, as well as newcomers Fox Benwell, Keah Brown, and more.

I just found out about this the other, and the fact that its #OWNVoices rep really makes me hopeful for this particular anthology.


My main take away from all these is that I’m definitely going to read these this year not only just because all of them have GORGEOUS and STYLISH covers (like wow props to the illustrators and cover designers!!!) but also something I really admire about all of these anthologies is the inclusion of marginalized voices such as POC/LGBTQA+/disabled voices. 

Thanks for reading! Also comment down below whatever you want like what you think about these anthologies and some you’d recommend me to read!

Thanks,

Sav 

Decluttering My Goodreads TBR Part 2

Part 2 out of this continuing saga of me trying to declutter my massive TBR list on Goodreads.

Read My First Decluttering TBR Post Here

How this works is:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

I have decided that I’ll be looking through 10 books since I have a ways to go.

As you’ll see in this one I have a bunch of graphic novels and comics, as I was going through a huge phase of wanting to read more of those things.


1) Jane, the Fox, and Me by Fanny Britt

Hélène has been inexplicably ostracized by the girls who were once her friends. Her school life is full of whispers and lies — Hélène weighs 216; she smells like BO. Her loving mother is too tired to be any help. Fortunately, Hélène has one consolation, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. Hélène identifies strongly with Jane’s tribulations, and when she is lost in the pages of this wonderful book, she is able to ignore her tormentors. But when Hélène is humiliated on a class trip in front of her entire grade, she needs more than a fictional character to allow her to see herself as a person deserving of laughter and friendship.
Leaving the outcasts’ tent one night, Hélène encounters a fox, a beautiful creature with whom she shares a moment of connection. But when Suzanne Lipsky frightens the fox away, insisting that it must be rabid, Hélène’s despair becomes even more pronounced: now she believes that only a diseased and dangerous creature would ever voluntarily approach her. But then a new girl joins the outcasts’ circle, Géraldine, who does not even appear to notice that she is in danger of becoming an outcast herself. And before long Hélène realizes that the less time she spends worrying about what the other girls say is wrong with her, the more able she is to believe that there is nothing wrong at all.
This emotionally honest and visually stunning graphic novel reveals the casual brutality of which children are capable, but also assures readers that redemption can be found through connecting with another, whether the other is a friend, a fictional character or even, amazingly, a fox.

This sounds just up my alley!! A dark and emotional story with a fairy tale-ish spin.

VERDICT: Keep 

2) Lumberjanes, Vol 2: Friendship to the Max by Noelle Stevenson

Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are not your average campers and Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady-Types is not your average summer camp. Between the river monsters, magic, and the art of friendship bracelets, this summer is only just beginning. Join the Lumberjanes as they take on raptors and a sibling rivalry that only myths are made of.

This New York Times bestseller and Eisner Award-nominated series is written by awesome all-star Noelle Stevenson and brilliant newcomer Grace Ellis, and illustrated by the tremendously talented Brooke Allen.

As I said here in my first Decluttering post, I wasn’t interested in reading this series at the moment.

VERDICT: DELETE 

3) This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki & Mariko Tamaki

Every summer, Rose goes with her mom and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. It’s their getaway, their refuge. Rosie’s friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different. Rose’s mom and dad won’t stop fighting, and when Rose and Windy seek a distraction from the drama, they find themselves with a whole new set of problems. It’s a summer of secrets and sorrow and growing up, and it’s a good thing Rose and Windy have each other.

In This One Summer two stellar creators redefine the teen graphic novel. Cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, the team behind Skim, have collaborated on this gorgeous, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful story about a girl on the cusp of her teen age — a story of renewal and revelation.

Every time I see this in the book store I always want to grab it but I never seem to. The cover on the art has always appealed to me and reading the synopsis makes it clear that  I do want to get to this at some point.

VERDICT: KEEP 

4) Sex Criminals #1: Suzie Down in the Quiet by Matt Fraction

A SEX COMEDY FOR COMICS
Suzie’s a normal girl with an extraordinary ability: when she has sex, she stops time. One night she meets John… who has the same gift. And so they do what any other sex-having, time-stopping, couple would do: they rob banks. In the vein of THE 40-YEAR OLD VIRGIN and BRIDESMAIDS, Image Comics invites you to come along with MATT FRACTION (Hawkeye, SATELLITE SAM) and CHIP ZDARSKY (Prison Funnies, Monster Cops) for the series that puts the “comic” back in “comics” and the “sexy” back in “sex crimes.”

I’m actually interested in this particular series but  I’m going to delete since this is the single issue and I’d prefer to read it in volumes instead.

VERDICT: DELETE

5) Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel is perfect for the legions of fans of the web comic and is sure to win Noelle many new ones.

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

I’m probably going to keep this just because its not like Lumberjanes where its a bunch of different volumes to collect and it would be a good way to sample Noelle Stevenson’s work.

VERDICT: KEEP 

6) Pride and Joy (Runaways #1) – Brian K. Vaughan

Meet Alex, Karolina, Gert, Chase, Molly and Nico – a group of teens whose lives are about to take an unexpected turn…

A very short synopsis but I basically know some of the story behind the Runaways series and I have to say that I’m not as interested in this series as I once was. I may revisit this at some point but for now, I’m moving on from it.

VERDICT: DELETE 

7) American Vampire Vol. 1 – Scott Snyder & Stephen King

From writers Scott Snyder and Stephen King, American Vampire introduces a new strain of vampire – a more vicious species – and traces the creatures’ bloodline through decades of American history.
Snyder’s tale follows Pearl, a young woman living in 1920s Los Angeles, who is brutally turned into a vampire and sets out on a path of righteous revenge against the European monsters who tortured and abused her. And in King’s story set in the days of America’s Wild West, readers learn the origin of Skinner Sweet, the original American vampire – a stronger, faster creature than any vampire ever seen before.
Don’t miss out as Snyder and King set fire to the horror genre with this visionary, all-original take on one of the most popular monster stories!
This beautiful collection features a new introduction by Stephen King and bonus art including character sketches, variant covers and more!

Collecting: American Vampire 1-5 

That name-drop of Stephen King really sparked my interest in this, however I think I’m going to let this one go because I don’t own it yet and there’s several other things I’d rather get to before this one, and also because I haven’t seen it in any book store.

VERDICT: GO 

8) Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol

Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn’t kidding about the “Forever” part.
Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century.
Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya’s normal life might actually be worse. She’s embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she’s pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs.
Or so she thinks. Spooky, sardonic, and secretly sincere, Anya’s Ghost is a wonderfully entertaining debut from author/artist Vera Brosgol.

This synposis sounds interesting to me and it’s only one book. So I’ll have to save up some money for this one and read it for Halloween season!!

VERDICT: KEEP 

9) The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before 

So this is actually my first time ever reading this synopsis and I have to say that I’m more interested in reading this than I ever have been. I know from Booktube and other book blogs that this is a fairly popular YA series. I’ve heard many claim The Raven Cycle a favorite series of theirs, so the hype for this is pretty huge. That being said, I have heard some criticisms of the series that make me really ponder whether I would even enjoy it. I think I will try to read the first book at least and see whether I would continue or not.

VERDICT: KEEP 

10) A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) by George RR Martin

Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.

Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.

I own this book and the other books in the series and I will definitely be getting around to this at some point since I do really enjoy the show (for the most part anyways). ITS F***ING GAME OF THRONES.

VERDICT: KEEP 


TOTAL: Out of 10

Keep: 6
Delete: 4

February TBR

It’s February already !!?!?! So why not post my really late February TBR?


And I Darken by Kiersten White
Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney C. Stevens
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
The Girl from Eveywhere by Heidi Heilig
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon
The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis 
Land of the Lustrous Vol. 1 (Houseki no Kuni Vol.1) by Haruko Ichikawa 
Delcious in Dungeon Vol. 1 (Dungeon Meshi Vol. 1) by Ryoko Kui