February 7, 2019

Guest Post: Author Lillian Clark's Book Recommendations

Hey, y'all, I'm so excited to welcome Lillian Clark to the blog today, and she's going to talk about a topic near and dear to my heart - book recommendations. I love sharing the books I'm excited about, and I enjoy seeing others do it, too. So, without further ado, here's Lillian. :)

Hello! First, I want to thank you so much for having me, Emma! 

I can barely believe that Immoral Code will be out in the world so soon! I can’t wait for readers to meet Nari, Reese, Keagan, Bellamy, and San. They’re so dear to my heart at this point, and I hope that if you pick up the book, it’ll leave you feeling like their sixth friend.

Today I’m going to chat about—drumroll—books! Ha, I know. Surprising. But! Not my book. Rather, a handful of the books I’ve loved most in the past, am obsessed with now, and know you’ll all fall in love with this year.

Up first? The past:

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

These are the books that I credit with making me a reader. When I read them as a kid, I wanted to be Lyra so bad it hurt. Or, well, maybe my small, animal-obsessed self really just wanted a daemon? I’m not sure. It’s probably both. In any case, these were the first books to teach me that reading is like slipping into a different world (apt, right?). My parents read the first one to me, then by The Subtle Knife I was reading (and rereading) on my own. By the time the third one came out, I’d been bothering my local bookseller begging for updates for years. I can barely believe we’re getting to revisit this world and this story again now!

Feed by M. T. Anderson

While His Dark Materials made me a reader, this book made me a young adult writer. Not only do I love the sci fi setting of this book and the incredible voice (it took me a few pages, but once I fell into it, I was hooked), but the heavy, complex overarching theme helped me realize how powerful YA is. In hindsight, OBVIOUSLY. But this book lit a fire in me that I’ve been feeding ever since. (Fun fact: Feed makes a cameo in Immoral Code!)


Wow, this book. The main thought I had during and after reading this book was that I wished it’d been around when I was a teen. Frankie’s confidence was so refreshing. And the way she managed her relationship with Matthew was downright empowering. Even in my 20s, I left that book remembering that I didn’t need to define myself by my proximity to or relationship with anyone else. That I’m enough all on my own.

Next up, recent reads! 2018 was such a fabulous year for books. Here a just a few of my favorites:

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Sparse, evocative, immersive, this book is amazing. The second I read the last page and closed the book, I opened it up and started reading it again. Which is really the best thing I can say about it because I have done that exactly twice in my whole reading life.

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

I mean, come on. This book is such a treat! I love the world. I love Isobel. I love Rook. I love March and May. All of it. It’s a joy. An action, magic, and romance packed joy.

You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon

So, okay, Solomon is a master. This book is real and heartbreaking and raw. I was absolutely blown away by the skill shown in the two POVs. The subtle yet consequential differences between how the sisters see themselves and how they see each other is nothing short of brilliant. Full of nuance and heart, it’s a must read.

Time for my favorite one… Future releases!! I’ve had the incredible fortune to read a number of books coming out this year, and here are some of my favorites (in order of release):

Enchanteé by Gita Trelease

How do I adequately express my adoration for this book? Short answer, I don’t. Trelease has written an epic historical fantasy, one worthy of losing yourself in. Gorgeous writing, fabulous world building, intrigue, history, and a magical dress! Get on this one, lovelies. It’s a dream.

You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn

Clay and Annie! Clay and Annie! Clay and Annie! Okay, sorry, but pick this one up and you’ll be chanting it with me, I promise. I fell in love with Hahn’s messy, hopeful, heart-filled characters, and I know you will too.

Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan

Who hasn’t wanted to work at an amusement park?? Sure, maybe not in a sweltering hot dog suit, but still. This book is such a gem. Lou may be her own worst enemy at times, but she’s also an incredibly vivid and loveable character. I want to spend my summer at Magic Castle Playland too!

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

Dark, fascinating, and brilliantly bizarre, this book is like nothing else I’ve read lately. I absolutely could not put it down. Both claustrophobic yet expansive, you’ll feel like you’re locked in at Raxter with the rest of the girls. I’m pretty sure a part of me never left.

Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon

My heart! Prepare yourselves, people, because Gravemaidens is going to blow you away. Inspired by Sumerian myth, Coon’s debut flung me a few millennia into the past. I could feel the heat in my hair, the dust on my skin. Then, of course, things got interesting. Very interesting. Do not miss this one.

Bonus! I call “books that make me want to be a better writer.” 

The list:

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

I read each of these books with a sense of awe. They’re books I know I’ll be able to pick up time and time again and find something new every reread. Each one taught me something (many things) about craft. Each one inspired me to keep writing, to try harder, to get better and expect more of my writing and myself. Brilliance in print.

Thank you so much for reading about some of my favorite books! And another huge thank you to Emma for hosting me!

You're so welcome! Thank you for sharing some excellent recommendations! Immoral Code is on sale in just a few weeks, so preorder it now. Lillian is even running a giveaway for anyone preorders or requests the book at their library; you can get more details on her website. :)


For Nari, aka Narioka Diane, aka hacker digital alter ego “d0l0s," it’s college and then a career at “one of the big ones," like Google or Apple. Keagan, her sweet, sensitive boyfriend, is happy to follow her wherever she may lead. Reese is an ace/aro visual artist with plans to travel the world. Santiago is off to Stanford on a diving scholarship, with very real Olympic hopes. And Bellamy? Physics genius Bellamy is admitted to MIT—but the student loan she’d been counting on is denied when it turns out her estranged father—one Robert Foster—is loaded.

Nari isn’t about to let her friend’s dreams be squashed by a deadbeat billionaire, so she hatches a plan to steal just enough from Foster to allow Bellamy to achieve her goals.


Lillian Clark, a graduate of the University of Wyoming, grew up riding horses, climbing trees, hiking, and going on grand imaginary adventures in the small-town West. She’s worked as a lifeguard, a camp counselor, and a Zamboni driver, but found her eternal love working as a bookseller at an independent bookstore in historic downtown Laramie, WY. Now living with her husband, son, and two giant dogs in the Teton Valley of Idaho, she spends her snowy winters and sunny summers reading almost anything and writing books for teens.

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