Another super long monthly wrap-up? Yes ma’am.
Why are months thirty days that seems so long ugh?! If you’re not up and ready for scrolling through and skimming I honestly don’t know why you’d want to rea this whole thing this post, I’ll be doing a Twitter thread later today with the highlights of this month!
Without further ado, let’s dive right into everything!
(most recent on the top, oldest on the bottom)
- Bitter Brews by Lillie Vale (no cover) | 5 stars – I was doing some CP work for this book and so this marks the second time I’ve read this! It’s still an amazing read and I can’t spoil anything, but I love where Vale is taking this!
- A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas | 2 stars – I was not a fan just because of some of the more unhealthy aspects of the novel (the romantic relationships). I did find this to be kind of entertaining on the surface though, but the more I thought about it, the less I liked it. Full review here.
- Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke | 4 stars – This was definitely a good read and we totally need more books like it (college setting, with humor, not an exceptional protagonist) although at times I felt like nothing was really happening. Full review here.
- The Final Six by Alexandra Monir | 2.5 stars – Wasn’t too much of a fan of this because I found the premise to be kind of unrealistic and wasn’t into the romance. Full review here.
- Truthwitch by Susan Dennard | 4 stars – This was a good read! It wasn’t “SUPER AMAZING OMG I NEED MORE” but I definitely sped through the novel and had a lot of fun reading it!
- Windwitch by Susan Dennard | 4 stars – Likewise with the sequel; I just had some problems relating to the characters, but I really enjoyed the complexities of the plot and how Dennard formed the world.
- Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed | 5 stars – I really enjoyed this debut! It was a fantastic read and I loved seeing the impact of Islamophobia on the Muslim community, especially from the terrorist attack. I also liked how Maya wasn’t portrayed as “super Muslim” which is something I think a lot of people can relate to. Full review here.
- A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab | 4 stars – I liked this! It was interesting and very well written and very dark (gave me the chills!). I couldn’t relate a lot to the characters, which is a problem I’ve been having with Schwab’s work, but hopefully this will change with the more I read of it! Longer review here.
- The Last Girl on Earth by Alexandra Blogier | 1.5 stars – Not a fan. Unrealistic premise, execution fell flat, and just not a story I really enjoyed. Full review here.
- The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi | 4.5 stars – Very nice, magical, well-written read! I can’t wait to dive into the next book–this is such a fun and spell-binding world!
- Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely | 4.5 stars – Totally LOVED this one! It was unique and entertaining and has a ton of potential for a sequel which I really hope will come! There are so many great things about this debut. Full review here.
- Reign the Earth by A. C. Gaughen | 4 stars – This was such an interesting read and I really loved how it addressed all the topics of domestic abuse in a fantasy setting, which ended up being a very profound narrative. Full review here.
- S.T.A.G.S. by M.A. Bennett | 4 stars – Delacorte publishes some of the best mystery/thriller books in YA and this one definitely didn’t let me down! Although its start was kind of rocky, it ended up sucking me in with it’s boarding school murder mystery! Full review here.
- The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye | 4 stars – I read this as a part of my “series of the month” and it was such a good read! I felt it was a little lacking diversity-wise, but it was an interesting and magical novel with an entertaining plot. Full review here.
- Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis | 4 stars – At first after reading, I was so-so about it, but as I kept thinking about it more and more, I ended up liking it more and more. This is a very deep narrative and definitely not for everyone, especially with how complex it is. Full review here.
- Little and Lion by Brandy Colbert | 4 stars– I really enjoyed this! There’s a ton of awesome diversity in this book, and the sibling relationships are so on point! Full review here.
- The Crown’s Fate by Evelyn Skye | 3.5 stars – I have to say, I liked the first book in this duology a lot more (it felt like not a lot really happened in this novel) but I did like how Skye managed to neatly wrap everything up.
- Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley | 2.5 stars – Ended up not really being a fan of this novel–felt too cliché and superficial and two dimensional for both the MCs and villains. Full review here.
- Layover by Amy Andelson and Emily Meyer | 2 stars – Was not a fan because nothing really happened or got resolved and it was just a lot of cutesy kids running around LA. Did do a nice job with some of the issues involving divorce, but everything else was a let-down. Full review here.
- Down and Across by Arvin Ahmadi | 4.5 stars – Such a great coming-of-age story–I totally enjoyed this! It was interesting and I loved seeing all the struggles Saaket went through and how he got to somewhere he wanted to be. Full review to come on February 4th.
- Emma by Jane Austen | 3 stars – Read this for school (my choice) and did not enjoy as much as I did Sense and Sensibility because it was predictable (enemies to lovers) and slow in the middle. Time to take a break from Austen’s romances.
- The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo | 4.5 star average– Great book and another dive into the Grishaverse which I thoroughly enjoyed. You’ll love it if you love any of Bardugo’s work, or darkish fantasy (although not as dark as I was expecting…).
- Your One and Only by Adrianne Finlay | 4.5 stars – Great dystopian that got really intense during the end! Wasn’t the biggest fan of the romance, but the rest was really good! Full review to come tomorrow with blog tour.
- Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray | 4 stars – This was a fun read! I enjoyed it a lot more than I did A Thousand Pieces of You (maybe multidimensional travel just isn’t my thing) and I am anticipating the next novel in the series!
- American Panda by Gloria Chao | 5 stars – Such a great & relatable #OwnVoices novel on being a Taiwanese-American teen! Chao does a great job of forming Mei and portraying all her struggles! Full review to come with blog tour February 5th.
- Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee | 4 stars – This was such a fun read and I enjoyed it a lot. I wanted to relate to Tash more, but I did love the portrayal of her asexuality!
Books that Came Out
There were SO MANY awesome books that came out this month! Here are some of the ones I loved/am excited for!
I’m not going to link them all up because I’ve written multiple posts on how I’m so excited about all of these (and likning things up takes a lot of time!) but you can check out all of my “most anticipated” below in the “Posts this Month” section!
Posts this Month
You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon Blog Tour (+Giveaway!) | 5 stars
ARC: Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke | 4 stars
DRC: The Final Six by Alexandra Monir | 2.5 stars
ARC: Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed | 5 stars
ARC: The Last Girl on Earth by Alexandra Blogier | 1.5 stars
DRC: S.T.A.G.S. by M.A. Bennett | 4 stars
DRC: Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen | 4 stars
Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis | 4 stars
DRC: Layover by Amy Andelson & Emily Meyer | 2 stars
Cover Geeks & Design
Cover Geek #18: Book Covers with POC Representation
Cover Geek #19: Flowery Covers
Cover Geek #20: Ombre Covers
Cover Geek #21: Why Covers Are Important (a reminder post)
Cover Geek #22: Dresses on Covers
5 Ways to Read More (with GIFs!) Part II
How to Get Access to Books (Legally!)
Spotlight: Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington & Street Team Sign UpsSpotlight: Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington & Street Team Sign Ups
News in the Bookish World
YA Twitter Drama
Renee Ahdieh’s Smoke in the Sun cover reveal (below) rekindled discussion about POC representation on covers. Some are unhappy their covers don’t match, some argue that the fact that POC on a cover should nullify any unhappiness, and some are angry that the cover change to add a POC on the cover occurred after the series appeared as a bestseller. This is similar to the discussion over the An Ember in the Ashes cover change.
A petition about Goodreads floated around and spurred outrage from bloggers and authors alike about the idea of censoring negative reviews. They soon changed the content of the petition stating “We give up” but it originally had claims such as banning the ability to rate without leaving a review. Find the petition here.
YA Twitter Non-Drama
Mostly peaceful discussion about needing more college representation in young adult books. Slight outrage with ideas such as “college aged = being in college.
Cover Reveals (+ exclusive excerpts)
Smoke in the Sun (Flame in the Mist #2) by Renee Ahdieh (info here)
What You Left Me by Bridget Morrissey (info here)
A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes #3; UK Edition) by Sabaa Tahir (info here)
Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse (info here)
Tell Me No Lies by A.V. Geiger (info here)
Exile (The Extinction Trials #2) S.M. Wilson (info here)
Unstoppable Moses by Tyler James Smith (info here)
Burning Maze (Trials of Apollo #3) by Rick Riordan (info here)
Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessel (info here)
That’s Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger (info here)
Escaping from Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3) by Kerri Maniscalco (info here)
Bright We Burn (And I Darken #3) by Kiersten White (info here)
Life L1k3 by Jay Kristoff (info here)
500 Words or Less by Juleah del Rosario (info here)
City of Ghosts by V.E. Schwab (info here)
Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepard (info here)
Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman (info here)
The Dark Beneath the Ice by Amelinda Berube (info here)
All of This is True by Lygia Day Penaflor (info here)
Blanca & Roja by Anna Marie McLenmore (info here)
Legendary (UK Edition) by Stephanie Garber (info here)
It’s Your Universe by Ashley Eckstein (info here)
Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now by Dana L. Davis (info here)
Rule by Ellen Goodlett (info here)
The Queens of Innis Lear (UK Edition) by Tessa Gratton (info here)
A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney (info here)
Bruja Born by Zoraida Cordova (info here)
A Court of Frost and Starlight (US & UK Edition) by Sarah J. Maas (not actually sure where the info originally came from–it just started popping up on my feed!)
Upcoming Novels I’m Excited For
Title Update: Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon (2019) (info first announced in her newsletter)
Title Update: Frozen Reign (Burning Glass #3) by Kathryn Purdie (8 November 2018) (info here)
New Book Announcement: Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin (June 2018) “A twist on the classic story of finding love where you least expect it, following the complicated budding relationship of Ayesha and Khalid, pitched as a modern-day Muslim Elizabeth and Darcy.” (info here)
New Book Announcement: Five Midnights in July by Ann Dávila Cardinal (2019) “A twist on a Caribbean boogeyman myth set in contemporary Puerto Rico, the novel features a girl who is forced to spend the summer with her police commissioner uncle. While following his investigation into a series of grisly murders, she uncovers an ancient evil beyond the rule of law.” (info here)
New Book Announcement: Saint Rosa of the Sea by Nina Moreno (summer 2019) “Gilmore Girls meets Practical Magic–the women in Rosa’s family are cursed: her abuela is exiled from Cuba, her mother is reckless, and Rosa is forbidden to go to the sea. Rosa dreams of finally seeing their island, but her study abroad plans crumble amid political changes just as she crashes into a quiet boy from the docks.”(info here)
New Book Announcement: Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford (fall 2019) “In which a young woman from a village in the sea must impersonate her twin on land to save everyone she loves from a tyrannical prince.” (info here)
New Book Announcement: An Affair of Poisons by Addie Thorley (winter 2019) “A reimagining of the infamous 17th-century murder scandal in France. After unwittingly helping her mother poison King Louis XIV, 17-year-old alchemist Mirabelle Monvoisin begins brewing curatives to undermine her mother’s Shadow Society and help her former enemy, Josse de Bourbon, reclaim control of Paris.” (info here)
New Book Announcement: Black Enough: Stories of Black Teenhood in America edited by NBA finalist Ibi Zoboi (winter 2019) “A YA anthology of coming-of-age stories. The anthology features contributors Rita Williams-Garcia, Coe Booth, Dhonielle Clayton, Brandy Colbert, Renée Watson, Tracey Baptiste, Jason Reynolds, Kekla Magoon, Jay Coles, Nic Stone, Lamar Giles, Leah Henderson, Justina Ireland, Varian Johnson, Tochi Onyebuchi, Liara Tamani, and Ibi Zoboi. (info here)
New Book Announcement: The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy Colbert (spring 2019) “Centers on Birdie, a teen who has a close bond with her parents until first love and a family secret threaten to tear them apart.” (info here)
New Book Announcement: Rat-Girls by A.K. Small (spring 2019) “Best friends Marine and Kate have trained at the Paris Opera Ballet School since childhood, where they now compete for the ultimate prize: to be the one girl selected to join the Opera’s prestigious corps de ballet. But their bond begins to fracture as selection day draws near.” (info here)
New Book Announcement: Fly with Me by author of the Blacktop Series (under the pseudonym L.J. Alonge) Lanre Akinsiku (summer 2020) “The story of a boy who has been an outcast in town ever since his sister flew away—but things change when he begins to dabble in her special kind of magic.” (info here)
New Book Announcement: Obey! The Secret Parents’ Guide to Hacking Your Kids by Emmy-winning writer Peter Bakalian (spring 2019) “In this parody, a teenager discovers a secret diabolical parenting manual and, risking the retaliation of F.A.R.T. (Families Against Rotten Teens), exposes it to the world and triggers a kid rebellion.” (info here)
New Book Announcement: The Voice in My Head by Dana L. Davis (summer 2019) “When Indigo Phillips hears a voice in her head telling her she can save her terminally ill twin sister’s life, she delays her medically assisted suicide to drag her family on a road trip filled with drama, fighting, forgiveness, and eventually, closure.” (info here)
New Book Announcement: Broken Things by Lauren Oliver (October 2018) “A standalone thriller, Broken Things features two girls who have been accused of killing their best friend, allegedly driven by their obsession with a fantasy novel that began to play out in real life; years later, new facts come to light.” (info here)
New Book Announcement: Fantasy trilogy Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao (summer 2019) “The epic follows a fugitive princess with a dark secret and a charismatic con man who forge an unlikely alliance in order to save themselves, each other, and their kingdom.” (info here)
New Book Announcement: Internment by Samira Ahmed (spring 2019) “Set in the near future, Muslim Americans are forced into an internment camp, and 17-year-old Layla Amin must find the courage to fight back against Islamophobia, oppression, and complicit silence.” (info here)
New Book Announcement: The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala (winter 2019) “The #ownvoices novel is set in a world inspired by ancient India, where a soldier hunts the rebel girl accused of killing his General. When their beliefs are thrown into question, the solider and the rebel must decide between loyalty to their old lives or to a love that’s made them dream of new ones.” (info here)
New Book Announcement: YA adaption of Carol Anderson’s (l.) White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide called Between Black and White: Challenging Our Racial Divide written by Tonya Bolden (September 2018) “Featuring new content on the repercussions of racism in post-Obama America, photographs and archival images, and additional backmatter and resources.” (info here)
New Book Announcement: The Art of Breaking Things by Laura Sibson (summer 2019) “Some girls can’t say “me too”—even when they need to—but when aspiring artist Skye worries that her own sister is in danger, she must trailblaze her own route and confront her past.” (info here)
Note: Big thanks to PW’s weekly Rights Reports for helping find all this delicious news!
Full Love, Simon Movie Trailer is out! Watch it here!
Is there any news you’re especially excited for?