January 19, 2019

So You Like... #77

2019 is here, and I'm so excited to bring y'all my first recommendations post of the year (if we don't count reviews, anything from Rewind to 2018, or Top Ten Tuesdays). Once again, I've got another So You Like... post themed around diverse YA books!

If you liked...



(for parental expectations and pressure)

If you liked...


you should read...

(Because racism stinks.)

If you love...


then you absolutely have to read...

(For a thriller that is just as enticing.)

If you enjoyed...


then you might like...

(For girls with art in their veins.)

If you liked...



(Because fairytale retellings never go out of style.)

If you like...


then read

(For the fat girls out there who want more than weight loss stories.)

And if you liked...


then you need to read...

(For stories about communities.)

Got any recommendations or So You Like... post topics for me? :)

January 17, 2019

Why I Love Truly Devious

In preparation for the release of The Vanishing Stair in just a few days, I'm going to list a few reasons why I love the first book in the trilogy.

1. The mystery
I read a lot of contemporary and historical fiction but, at my core, I love a good mystery. I love wondering whodunnit and examining all the little clues. And, because this is a trilogy, it's not so easily solved.

2. The extraordinariness and ordinariness of the characters
All the students at Ellingham want to do something special, so they're all very quirky and gifted. At the same time, they do very normal teenager-y things and have moments where they act like very normal people. It's a great balance.

3. The pacing
Truly Devious never felt slow, but it didn't rush to the end either. Because this is a trilogy, it's like act one...except there's definitely plot points resolved within this first book. At the same time, it never felt too long.

4. Stevie's anxiety
The main character, Stevie, has anxiety, and it pops up in such normal ways. Plus, it's nice to see the protagonist of a mystery novel not be so uber confident about everything.

So, if you love a good mystery with an epically mysterious setting, you need to read Truly Devious and book two in the series, The Vanishing Stair, ASAP!

Goodreads  Read Between the Lynes  Barnes & Noble

January 16, 2019

Review: The Gilded Wolves

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
Grade: B
An e-galley was provided by Wednesday Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: Set in a darkly glamorous world, The Gilded Wolves is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous but thrilling adventure.

Paris, 1889: The world is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To find the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin will need help from a band of experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian who can't yet go home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in all but blood, who might care too much.

Together, they'll have to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: I was hoping this would be the historical fiction Heist Society of my dreams. Instead, it doesn't live up to that gorgeous cover.
I never felt connected with any of the characters. The cast is about the same size as Six of Crows's, but here it feels like too many. Because the narration hops from one character to the next, I never felt like I got to know any of them truly. I was told what they were like and what they thought, but I couldn't bring myself to care. 
The setting is rich and inventive. I think some things were a bit too mysterious and unclear though, because I found myself rereading, trying to understand what some item or concept or back story was.

Content warnings: violence, blood, racism.

The Verdict: I have a feeling I'm gonna be a bit of a black sheep for this title. I didn't hate it, but I didn't really love it either.

Will I be adding this book to my library?: I'm not sure. :/

January 13, 2019

Rewind & Review #126

~Back to New York and work! 
~We had our first truly cold day, where it just cuts right through you. 10/10, did not enjoy. And then the cold really kicked in the next week. Winter is here, and I do not like it.
~Got to go to an author launch event for a Bloomsbury title, my first book event of 2019!

Books I Won/Traded for/was Gifted
The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (from my mom)

Books I Bought
Black Enough by various authors, edited by Ibi Zoboi

Books I Read
Between Earth and Sky by Amanda Skenandore (4 stars)
It's Not Like It's a Secret by Misa Sugiura (3 stars)
All the Wandering Light by Heather Fawcett (3.5 stars)
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia (reread)
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas (reread)
Ogre Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (4 stars)
Archenemies by Marissa Meyer (4 stars)
Analee, in Real Life by Janelle Milanes (4.5 stars)
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas (reread)
Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton (3 stars)
Black Enough by various authors (3 stars)
Some Places More Than Others by Renée Watson
Our Year of Maybe by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Blog Posts You Might've Missed in the Last Few Weeks
   (from 12/31-1/5)

   (from 1/6-1/12)

January 12, 2019

DNF Review: The Dead Queens Club

The Dead Queens Club by Hannah Capin
Grade: DNF
Release date: January 29, 2019
An e-galley was provided by Inkyard Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: What do a future ambassador, an overly ambitious Francophile, a hospital-volunteering Girl Scout, the new girl from Cleveland, the junior cheer captain, and the vice president of the debate club have in common? It sounds like the ridiculously long lead-up to an astoundingly absurd punchline, right? Except it’s not. Well, unless my life is the joke, which is kind of starting to look like a possibility given how beyond soap opera it’s been since I moved to Lancaster. But anyway, here’s your answer: we’ve all had the questionable privilege of going out with Lancaster High School’s de facto king. Otherwise known as my best friend. Otherwise known as the reason I’ve already helped steal a car, a jet ski, and one hundred spray-painted water bottles when it’s not even Christmas break yet. Otherwise known as Henry. Jersey number 8.

Meet Cleves. Girlfriend number four and the narrator of The Dead Queens Club, a young adult retelling of Henry VIII and his six wives. Cleves is the only girlfriend to come out of her relationship with Henry unscathed—but most breakups are messy, right? And sometimes tragic accidents happen…twice…

When did I stop reading?: 23% into my e-galley.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Well that was disappointing. The main problem with The Dead Queens Club stems from the fact that the narrative hops around constantly, going back in time and going forward with no real signals. Plus, there are a heck ton of characters to keep straight and no one's personality felt fully-formed. Also I felt like the author tried to make Henry likable? And there's no way anyone who's based on Henry VIII could be likable. I appreciated that Anne of Cleves was the narrator, but she just added nothing. I also didn't understand how anything worked at their high school, and I'm wondering if I'm too far removed from high school now?? (Dear God, I hope not.)

The Verdict: Maybe there's an audience for this book, but it's not me.

Will I be adding this book to my library?: No.

January 11, 2019

Random Friday: New-to-Me Authors in 2018

Want to participate in Random Fridays? Just do the following:
  • Include the above image in your post and link back to my blog.
  • Blog about this week's topic (or a variant of it).
  • Add the link to your Random Friday post at the bottom of this one.

I don't think I read quite as many new-to-me authors in 2018, but I'm gonna list my faves nonetheless!

1. Kate Messner
Not quite a newbie (I'd read and liked The Seventh Wish a few years ago), but I read more of her backlist (and frontlist cause Breakout is awesome) while interning at Bloomsbury.

2. Maureen Johnson
I loved Truly Devious, so I'm definitely going to be watching what she writes from now on. And I guess I should tackle her backlist now, too.

3. Elissa Brent Weissman
Oh, The Length of a String was so beautiful and heartbreaking.

Who were some of your favorite 2018 authors, new to you or not?

January 8, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Books of 2019

Get ready, cause this list is gonna be a doozy. I'm dividing it between books with pretty much confirmed release dates and ones that haven't had anything set in stone yet, but I'm hoping they'll still release in 2019.

Confirmed 2019 Titles

1. The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson

2. King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

3. Enchantée by Gita Trelease
(Although why did they have to add a face to that gorgeous cover? D: )

4. Spectacle by Jodi Lynn Zdrok

5. Sherwood by Meagan Spooner

6. Return of the Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

7. Night Music by Jenn Marie Thorne

8. You'd Be Mine by Erin Hahn

9. In the Key of Nira Ghani by Natasha Deen

10. In the Neighborhood of True by Susan Kaplan

11. Summer of a Thousand Pies by Margaret Dilloway

12. Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

14. With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

15. Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo

16. If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann

17. Symptoms of a Heartbreak by Sona Charaipotra

18. I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn

19. Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao

20. Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey

21. The Last Word by Samantha Hastings

22. The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

23. The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy Colbert

24. A Treason of Thorns by Laura E. Weymouth

25. Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen

26. A Match Made in Mehendi by Nandini Bajpai

27. Hungry Hearts by various authors

28. Maybe This Time by Kasie West

29. Virtually Yours by Sarvenaz Tash

30. Color Me In by Natasha Diaz

31. Midsummer's Mayhem by Rajani LaRocca

Unconfirmed 2019 Titles

1. Sick Kids in Love by Hannah Moskowitz
This is definitely for fans of TFIOS, but I'm sure it'll be even better.

2. The Door to Narnia by Lina Maslo
I'm not usually interested in picture books, but I can't resist one about C.S. Lewis.

3. She's The Worst by Lauren Spieller
Um, a sister story in the vein of two of the most iconic teen movies of all time? Count me in.

4. Ten Blind Dates by Ashley Elston
The Holiday meets My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It sounds deliciously fun.

5. Three Dark Crowns #4 by Kendare Blake

6. It's a Whole Spiel by various authors
A Jewish YA anthology! :)

7. Misaligned by Gloria Chao
I love stories about small Midwestern towns, especially if the main character isn't white.

8. The Map From Here to There by Emery Lord
It's Emery-fricking-Lord.

Which 2019 releases are you looking forward to most?