612 Followers
33 Following
christinareadsya

Christina Reads YA

"A children's story which is enjoyed only by children is a bad children's story. The good ones last." --C.S. Lewis

Review: The Star-Touched Queen - Roshani Chokshi

Release Date: April 26, 2016
Source: Netgalley
Published by: St. Martin's Griffin

The Star-Touched Queen - Roshani Chokshi | Goodreads

Cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, sixteen-year-old Maya has only earned the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her world is upheaved when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. But when her wedding takes a fatal turn, Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Yet neither roles are what she expected. As Akaran's queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar's wife, she finds friendship and warmth.

But Akaran has its own secrets - thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Beneath Akaran's magic, Maya begins to suspect her life is in danger. When she ignores Amar's plea for patience, her discoveries put more than new love at risk - it threatens the balance of all realms, human and Otherworldly.

Now, Maya must confront a secret that spans reincarnated lives and fight her way through the dangerous underbelly of the Otherworld if she wants to protect the people she loves.

 
The Star-Touched Queen is a beautifully written gem, lush with an epic romance and imaginative details of an Otherworld inspired by mythology. Sights, scents, textures, and more are captured under Roshani Chokshi's deft hand such that the world and the characters truly come to life. This will not be the only book of hers that I read. (If you are interested, I'd recommend reading one of Chokshi's online stories (I read The Star Maiden by Roshani Chokshi). That will give you a sense of her writing style. If you love her writing style, you're more than likely to really enjoy the book. Alternately, you can also read the first five chapters of The Star-Touched Queen here.)

First and foremost, I would give The Star-Touched Queen to fans of Cruel Beauty and Daughter of Smoke and Bone. The Star-Touched Queen was "pitched as a Hades and Persephone-style romance infused with Indian mythology, about an unlikely princess who must overcome her sinister horoscope and embarks on a quest to unravel her true identity and find the one she loves." You may already see why I made these comparisons but anyway-- the set-up, I think, feels similar to what happens in Cruel Beauty, where Nyx ends up married to the Gentle Lord and things are not as she expected. Here, in The Star-Touched Queen, Maya doesn't expect to end up married. There is a similar level of exploring the meaning of their new marriages alongside worlds and romances that are inspired by mythology. On a detail level, of course the books are very different; plus, Nyx is bitter about her fate, whereas Maya wholeheartedly embraces the idea of marrying someone who wants her to be his equal. Marriage is her escape--and while Nyx discovers that later, Maya knows that from the start, and she's a different lead to follow. Still should have overlapping fanbases. As for Daughter of Smoke and Bone, you can imagine that with the Hades and Persephone pitch, there is talk of an Other/underworld in The Star-Touched Queen - talk of death and fantastical creatures like demons, which fits with DoSaB. Also likely to appeal to DoSaB fans are the lush writing and epic romance within The Star-Touched Queen.

Okay, now enough about the comparisons and more on the book itself. From the start, it's easy to sympathize with Maya, our heroine. Because of her sinister horoscope, Maya has been mistreated by her father's harem and court. They mistrust her and her fate; and I think that it's always easy to sympathize with someone who's less privileged because of their birth. Plus Maya herself is a delightful heroine who, despite the great cause for bitterness, remains optimistic about finding a way for her sinister horoscope to not define who she is or what her future will be. As for the world, Roshani Chokshi hits the sweet spot: she included plenty of details to set the mood and stage for the romance, and the creatures and magic system are elaborated on enough so that you, too, can imagine yourself there and the kind of choices you would have to make. Meanwhile, there's still room for more in the giant world she's built, which means Roshani Chokshi has been posting some cool extras on The Star-Touched Queen website. But maybe you really want to know about the romance. Oh, readers, it is glorious. The romance in The Star-Touched Queen has glorious feminist leanings such that the equality between Maya and her husband is always emphasized. They are equal partners. Romantic one-liners are frequent, but they're also backed up by action -- fighting for that epic love in name and deed. Like I said, beautifully written gem, lush world-building and epic romance.

(If you've ever seen the Broadway version of Aladdin, remember the magic carpet ride with all the lights and the epic romantic singing and the shifting stage. That's what reading this book felt like to me. Wondrous, magical; a whole new world to explore and evoke your imagination.)

I think my only complaint would have been that I wanted more. I wouldn't have minded if the book were a little longer to answer some questions I had-- but I think that's always a great complaint to have of any book. Assuming you liked the book, the more you want, the more successful the author was in hooking you. And that's exactly what happened for me and The Star-Touched Queen.

I hope that you all give this book a chance. It was on my YA 2016 debut TBR list and I nominated it for Most Anticipated 2016 Book for the Epic Reads Book Shimmy Awards. It did not disappoint.

Reader Character Wishlist

There are a bunch of hashtags out there for wishlists – agents have their manuscript wishlists, and my brain is currently freezing so I can’t remember what the hashtag for reader wishlists was, but that exists too. Lately I found myself thinking about some of the characters I’d like to see in more YA novels. Consider this the first of many posts on the kinds of characters I wish populated more YA novels. (I’m sure I’ll think of more characters in the future!)


 

1. Badass Females Who Aren’t Badass B/C of Traditionally Masculine Things

Think of your favorite or at least the most popular SFF “strong female characters.” (I feel like people use badass to describe their friends or SFF characters; for some reason I can’t picture with contemporary??? Does anyone feel this way?). How many of them have power because they’re considered ruthless or they’re given a weapon? (It’s usually the weapon thing that bugs me – as if the only way to power is to have some fighting skill). I’d really like to see some magic system or just a character whose compassion, sensitivity, and conscientiousness is what gives her power. Like Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore. Bitterblue knows how to defend herself because she’s a queen, but that doesn’t much enter the equation. Her power stems more from being a compassionate queen – her compassion helps her country heal from the wrongs inflicted by her psychopathic father (who was the former king).

2. The Girl in the Arranged Marriage Actually Accepts Or Change Her Background a Bit?

Okay, so if you’re going to have the arranged marriage trope, I’d like some girls to be a.) actually happy or accepting (if my parents wanted to set me up on a blind date, I would accept, but I’ve also been raised by Lebanese immigrants. I think that American culture is so individualistic, it doesn’t want to accept the very idea of arranged marriages despite the fact that there is a huge precedent in history and this is *actually* happening in places today) or b.) making the most of the situation like Elisa in The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson or c.) accepts the marriage because arranged marriages were historically ways that women could get more power, and the woman wants to be more empowered. I’d also like to see more books that shake up that character more! So, I’m excited to read Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst because the character ends up falling in love with someone else too, so there’s a conflict between duty and love. I’d love to see an arranged marriage that makes homonormativity the default in the way C.S. Pacat’s Captive Prince series does. Also, why do so many arranged marriages end up focusing on teen girls? They weren’t the only ones either forced or asked to marry other people. Put more diversity in these arranged marriages! Use them to challenge concepts of privilege and racism and so much more.

3. The Chosen One Who’s Not Actually the Chosen One:

Okay, so actually there is a fantasy series out there right now that deals with the concept of the person who is raised as the Chosen One not actually being the Chosen One. I won’t say what that book is because that’d be a spoiler, but I want more characters like this and fewer actual Chosen Ones. I think that fantasy reflects reality with different symbols, so I’m going to talk about a personal story. In high school, I was at the top of my class. I was used to things feeling easy if I put in some work. When I got to college, I was no longer special; I was in a group of really intelligent people who thrived on challenges, and I needed to get on board and try harder. I see this as sort of relating to this “you think you’re special, but you’re not *that* special” and I think that how people react to that situation is interesting and shows a lot of their character. So if you have a character that’s been raised to think one way, and the carpet is swept out from under their feet – what happens to them? Do they become a villain? Do they fade into nothing? Etc. It's like imagining Neville if he'd actually known about the prophecy.

4. Villains!

Stories with villains at the forefront (e.g. The Young Elites)! Complex, complicated villains who aren’t only evil for evil’s sake but who are fully fledged characters are ALWAYS! Appreciated.

(And of course more diverse characters ALL AROUND will always be welcome with me too. I was considering including that on the list but then I don't know that I want to encourage non #ownvoices people to be writing some of the character types, etc.)

So that’s the first of many “reader character wishlists.”

Would you like to read any books with these kinds of characters? What characters would you like to see more of?

 

Christina Makes the Bookish Rounds (100)

Christina Makes the Bookish Rounds is a feature that will let you know about recent MG/YA/NA book related news. I'll post about articles from the publishing industry, cover reveals, discussions from the book community, the latest tv/movie news, and giveaways that you're hosting. If you would like to follow along with cover reveals during the week, see my Pinterest. (If you're interested in how I make these posts, here's your guide.)

Holy shit! I've made a 100 of these posts?!

 
Publishing:
Rights Reports 1, 2:

  • The One Memory of Flora Banks - Emily Barr (YA debut; a psychological thriller as well as a coming-of-age novel, starring a protagonist with no short-term memory who must navigate the Arctic landscape of Norway. The book will publish simultaneously in the U.S. and U.K. in January 2017. Philomel).
  • Aftercare Instructions - Bonnie Pipkin (YA debut; The novel, which Sarah Dotts Barley and Caroline Bleeke will edit, follows a 17-year-old girl who is left at Planned Parenthood by her boyfriend after they agree to abort her unwanted pregnancy. Van Beek calls the book a “format-crushing story” that shifts between a traditional narrative and a play. It's tentatively scheduled for 2017; Flatiron).
  • Untitled - Caitlin Sangster (debut YA fantasy and its sequel, both set in a world ravaged by a sleeping sickness, which follows a teen who must escape the only society she's ever known when she's accused of treason. Publication is planned for fall 2017 and fall 2018; Simon Pulse).
  • It Started with Good-bye - Christina June (YA debut; a contemporary twist on the Cinderella tale. Under stepmother-imposed house arrest for the summer, 16-year-old Tatum launches a secret graphic design business and starts an unexpected romance with a cute cello player. Publication is slated for spring 2017; Blink).
  • Epic Kale: and Other Cleanses for a Broken Heart - Lisa Greenwald (in which a newly dumped high school student and her loyal best friend start a healthy smoothie business out of a mobile snow cone truck while catfishing her ex-boyfriend. Publication is set for summer 2017; Random House).
  • Quicksand Pond - Janet Taylor Lisle (a middle grade novel about the summer that 12-year-old Jessie spends with her family on a New England pond, involving a star-crossed friendship, a reclusive old lady with buried secrets, and a decades-old murder. Publication is scheduled for summer 2017; Atheneum).
  • Breakout - Kate Messner (standalone MG; in which a small town is rocked when two inmates from the nearby maximum-security prison stage a breakout and a tween reporter is caught in the maelstrom. Publication is slated for spring 2018; Bloomsbury).
  • The Stars Beneath Our Feet - David Barclay Moore (the middle grade story of a boy growing up in the projects of Harlem who discovers that creativity and an unlikely friendship – rather than revenge – are the best way to grieve his brother's untimely death. Publication is set for fall 2017; Knopf).
  • Walk It Down - Ashley Hope Pérez (Walk It Down concerns the deaths of two teenagers in a corn storage bin in rural Indiana. The boys die – literally drown in grain – doing the dangerous job known as "walking down the corn." A third boy survives, trapped for hours after witnessing the deaths of his brother and best friend. Publication is scheduled for 2018; Dutton Young Readers).
  • Press Start! - Thomas Flintham (4 book series; The story features the adventures of retro video game character Super Rabbit Boy as he tries to save his pixillated world, while remaining unaware that he is being played by a real human boy. Publication for the first book is slated for spring 2017; Scholastic/Branches).
  • The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett - Chelsea Sedoti (YA debut; a darkly comedic mystery featuring a teenage girl and the disappearance of a classmate. It is scheduled for fall 2016 release; Sourcebooks).
  • Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom - Booki Vivat (debut illustrated MG; a humorous, diary-style story of anxious 11-year-old Abbie Wu's middle-school struggles and triumphs. Publication is set for fall 2016; HarperCollins).
  • The Skeleton Tree - Kim Ventrella (debut MG; the story of a boy who finds beauty – and possibly a friend – in death with the help of an unusual tree growing in his backyard. Publication is slated for fall 2017; Scholastic Press).
  • The Fictional and (Sometimes) Fabulous World of Ruby Starr - Deborah Lytton (MG chapter book series which stars an imaginative fourth grader. The first book is set for spring 2017, with the others scheduled to appear a year apart. Sourcebooks).
  • Sea Otter Heroes - Patricia Newman (MG science title shows how sea otters play a critical role in keeping the ecosystem in balance. Millbrook Press. Publication for the first book is slated for spring 2017…)
  • Zoo Scientists - Patricia Newman (MG science title profiles what three zoos are doing to help save endangered animals...with the second for fall 2017; Millbrook Press).
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Bones - Lauren Baratz-Logsted (a chapter book series; The first two books, to be published simultaneously, are Case File #1: Dogged to Death and Case File #2: Doggone. Each book is a retelling of a different Arthur Conan Doyle tale featuring a dog as Sherlock Holmes. Books one and two will release in September 2016; Month9Books).
 
Nothing from last week.

Awards: The 2016 People’s Choice Awards have a Young Adult category (aka go vote!). Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely won the 2016 Walter Dean Myers award for All American Boys. J.K. Rowling will be receiving the 2016 PEN award for her work against censorship. The 2016 Hans Christian Andersen shortlist was announced. Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engel won the 2016 Charlotte Zolotow Award.

You can also nominate your favorite teen reads for the Teen Choice Book of the Year Award until February 2, 2016.

Authors: Bookishly Ever After - Isabel Bandeira, The Distance from A to Z - Natalie Blitt, Secrets of the Dragon Tomb - Patrick Samphire, Gemini - Sonya Mukherjee, Poppy Mayberry, the Monday - Jennie K. Brown, The Love That Split the World - Emily Henry (and another), Pull - Anne Riley, Salt to the Sea - Ruta Sepetys, The Dark Days Club - Alison Goodman,Symptoms of Being Human - Jeff Garvin, Lady Midnight - Cassandra Clare, American Ace - Marilyn Nelson

Excerpts: Blackhearts - Nicole Castroman, Glass Sword - Victoria Aveyard (chpt 4-7)

Book Trailers: After the Woods - Kim Savage, Pull - Anne Riley, The Siren - Kiera Cass

Multicultural children’s book day is today!

This eleven year old Jersey girl was tired of not seeing herself in books and is now launching the 1000BlackGirls book drive. As of that article, she was at 400 of her 1,000 books. If you’d like to contribute, there is an address at the bottom of the article;Kelly Jensen is also offering to use her knowledge of books featuring black girls.

Unsurprisingly, the diversity in the publishing industry is not great. (“While the lack of diversity among publishing staff was often spoken about, there was very little hard data about who exactly works in publishing…”). You should definitely read the full article and check out the infographic -- they talk more about the challenges of their survey, including the limitations of the U.S. Census (e.g. racial fluidity vs. ‘check this bubble!’), and questions about how these numbers compare to the rest of the world and whether certain areas of publishing (editorial staff) were more open to diversity than others (marketing/publicity). Really fascinating -- if there’s one link to read, read that.

Apparently some free speech groups condemned Scholastic’s pulling of the George Washington cake book. Daniel Older, among others, discusses those groups’ reactions and why Scholastic’s decision to pull the book was appropriate; no text is sacred and context matters. And, as NPR reports, picture books struggle with teaching kids about slavery (aka a further discussion on the book and others… “So the reality is that while kids are already grappling with some of the world's ugliness, she said, adults are still clinging to a Victorian ideal of an innocent child… We must keep the dirty secrets of our society away from those kids. And I think that kids are seeing those contradictions.”). Here was Scholastic’s response to PEN and NCAC.

I don’t tend to read picture books, but this analysis of Last Stop on Market Street and why it won the Newbery makes me want to reconsider that position.

This week is #ILoveMG week run by Workman (i.e. Algonquin YR), and if you’re on twitter, check out the topics for the next three days and participate!

Similarly on twitter, last week on the 21st Courtney Summers started #TotheGirls2016 as she had last year, only now you can submit posts to the tumblr page included in the link all year round, even if you missed tweeting.

Omg, I want this to be my cover for A Tyranny of Petticoats. Maybe like an alternate slip-on cover? I love the original, and I love this artwork too o.OO.

Likewise, look at the art Jenny Han had done in celebration of the pb release for To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

Once J.K. Rowling turned her focus back to Harry Potter (i.e. Cursed Child, Fantastic Beasts), sales of the books more than doubled.

The hot and cold categories of kidlit: what sold in 2015.

Also the bookselling effects of winning the Printz and Newbery: “Print unit sales of Matt de la Peña’s Last Stop on Market Street, illustrated by Christian Robinson, are up 677% over last week, and Bone Gap by Laura Ruby enjoyed a 264% bump.”

Congrats to Matt de la Pena for debuting on the Indie Bestsellers list. And congrats to these 100 bestselling books of 2015, according to USA Today. Lots of YA on that list.

World Read Aloud Day is February 24, 2016. Take Your Child to the Library Day is February 6, 2016. Mark ‘em in your calendars, folks.

The next Rae Carson book in the Gold Seer trilogy is called Like a River Glorious.

Transgender teen star, Jazz Jennings, is publishing her own memoir.

A new Beatrix Potter book will be published this fall.

Kate DiCamillo’s Raymie Nightingale is the first children’s literature book selected for One Book, One South. (In addition to a 20-city author tour and appearances at key trade conferences, Candlewick has partnered with the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance to introduce One Book, One South, Jr.)

Kwame Alexander: the ‘Say-Yes’ Guy (“He described how he went from signing 100 books over the course of a weekend to signing 600 books in two-and-a-half hours at Books & Books in Coral Gables, Fla., to encourage booksellers to become “say yes” people, too.”) -- I loved this article.

And I wish that I had PW access so that I could read about how independent bookstores are hand-selling diverse titles -- how booksellers are key to helping make diversity the new normal.

Curious what publishers will be emphasizing come fall 2016? Here are the fall children’s sneak previews.

Macmillan's Imprint Acquires Digital Tween Property 'SpacePop' (“Imprint, a new imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, has acquired the global master publishing rights to SpacePop, a series of digitally distributed animated shorts, from Genius Brands International.”).

Cover Reveals:

Spot the Difference - Juno Dawson, UK
Midnight without a Moon - Linda Williams Jackson
Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen - Jazz Jennings

Discussion/Other Blogger Posts:

If you’re looking to read more books by or about people of color, here are four coming out in February alone.

Looking for some time-bending books to read in 2016? Or maybe you want to read a YA book featuring a scary Artificial Intelligence villain? How about the top recommended African-American children’s books? Or books to read after you’ve watched the 5th Wave?

If you’re like me, there are probably a lot of books that went under your radar last year. Here are 15 books that you might have missed but that come highly recommended from B&N Teen.

Coming of Age, Universality, and Diverse Reads (“One of the most common rebuttals people hear to publishing or selling or promoting diverse literature is that the stories are too specific, or there aren’t enough of “those people in the community” to warrant selling / having the book, essentially that the stories aren’t universal...It’s a disconnect and a fallacy. What people love so much about coming-of-age stories is their universality. We can all relate to the trials and tribulations of growing up and finding yourself, of being in that state of anxiety and confusion. The only difference is some stories are about straight, white characters growing up, and the “diverse” titles are about everyone else.”) 100% agree.

An article about why posts saying you’re not going to read white men this year are meaningless - I found this interesting because I actually like those posts, I like how they’re challenging me too to be a better ally, but I also think the main point is important here too: “If only it were possible to do something good and rewarding without publicly prioritizing what effect that act has on you...I think that these pieces, now, at the dawn of 2016, are dead in the water. I have yet to read a single one that does not arrive at and nearly reinforce the same conclusions that prompted it. We know that white male writers take up too much literary attention; the solution is not necessarily jamming everyone else into a bottle of social justice cough syrup, standing on a soap box, and gulping it all down.”

8 John Green tropes and what they really mean - I could get on board with some of these but not all. I was discussing this with a friend and we both agreed that we want to see less talk of subverting the MPDG trope; most often “subversion” means realizing that the MPDG is a person. Subversion should mean actually telling the story of the MPDG (with her voice! not having the guy character have more insights in his own life about personhood via the MPDG). But that’s not what really happens, most of the time.

According to Teen Vogue, these are the best new YA books of 2016.

According to Pop Sugar, you’ll love these YA books no matter your age.

The Young Adult Fiction Sexual Revolution Is Necessary - I love that this article mentions the portrayal of sex in The Duff, and uses that as a springboard to look at how portrayals have changed and where they still need to go.

DON’T READ THIS NEXT BIT IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN SEASON 2 OF THE 100! I have blacked out the text in case...
The 100 as the Show That’s Breaking New Ground for Queer Representation (“It’s rare and laudable for a series to embrace diverse sexual identities in a way that puts them at the forefront of the story without making sexuality the dominant theme of the narrative. But, as Rothenberg notes, it’s also a factor of the setting in which the series takes place. The world of The 100 is one without sexual orientation, in part because it’s a world where homophobia doesn’t exist — survivors have bigger concerns than other people’s relationships.”)
(show spoiler)

Are you anticipating reading these books in February?

Dear friends, there is no world outside of books.

Quotes for animal lovers!

If you use Google Friend Connect to follow blogs without a Google account, you will need to refollow those blogs.

A teen blogger on things that she believes only happen in YA books: #OnlyinYA.

'Trendy' books: should we really be following the crowd? Hmm. I know people tend to get sucked in via hype, but I don’t know that I can think of trends that have really dominated YA such that everyone wanted to jump the bandwagon. Maybe a couple years back and John Green though.

Books that empower kids to stand up and speak out. The only YA/teen book I knew of there was Chelsea Clinton’s. I’d love to see more lists like this.

These books always put these women in a good mood. YASSSS to The Thief series! It’s interesting to me to see the number of kidlit books on that list. The stuff you read early, you never forget.

An interesting look at how YA adaptations are changing, becoming potentially more pessisimistic than they previously were.

Favorite teachers in kidlit books. Can we add Umbridge to this list? (Jk).

Movies & TV Shows:

Here’s where I admit to having failed. I did not know that Recovery Road was a book. I actually didn’t hear much at all aboutRecovery Road as a YA tv book adaptation; for all the adaptation news that I’ve covered, not until now has it come to my attention, which is a total shame. How did I miss that adaptation? How was it so rarely on any of the anticipated lists, if not having casting announced? *sigh* Well, you may have missed the premiere but you can still catch up with the show, first season and all.

Heyhey, apparently they’ve started filming for Ashes in the Snow / Between Shades of Gray, and it is cold. Here’s a set of pictures for filming with a sunrise drone and another set on the first day of filming.

In the round-up of photos from continuing tv show adaptations: pictures from The Vampire Diaries 7.10, Pretty Little Liars 6.13, The 100 3.2.

Disney released the first The BFG (by Roald Dahl) poster.

A new trailer has been released for Allegiant Part I (by Veronica Roth). You can check out the character graphic for Caleb as well.

On the set of Before I Fall, the actresses playing Sam and her sister.

The 5th Wave did okay in theaters - not as well as some other YA adaptations but perhaps this is because of the Blizzard??? But you’ve got some sites predicting YA adaptations are done.

A Little House on the Prairie movie is in the works at Paramount.

The Looking for Alaska movie adaptation may never happen.

Giveaways:

Adventures in Children's Publishing giveaway(s).

Giveaways listed at Saturday Situation by Lori of Pure Imagination and Candace of Candace's Book Blog.

Don't forget to enter YABC's giveaways for the month.

Sci-fi and Fantasy Friday {SF/F Reviews and Giveaways}.

If you have a giveaway, you should let me know.

Other:

New YA Releases: The Siren - Kiera Cass (rerelease), The Love That Split the World - Emily Henry, Rise of the Wolf - Jennifer Nielsen, The Possibility of Now - Kim Culbertson, Night Study - Maria Snyder, Front Lines - Michael Grant, I’m from Nowhere - Suzanne Myers, I See Reality: Twelve Short Stories about Real Life, The Morrighan’s Curse - Dianna Salerni, The Year We Fell Apart - Emily Martin, It’s All Your Fault - Paul Rudnick, The Prophecy of Shadows - Michelle Madow, The Mystery of Hollow Places - Rebecca Podos, Arrows - Melissa Gorzelanczyk, Anna and the Swallow Man - Gavriel Savit,Shallow Graves - Kali Wallace, The Memory of Light - Francisco X. Stork, Any Other Girl - Rebecca Phillips, Waiting for Callback - Pedita and Honor Cargill (UK).

PB Releases: I Was Here - Gayle Forman, The Mime Order - Samantha Shannon, Beware the Wild - Natalie Parker, A Cold Legacy - Megan Shepherd, Lies We Tell Ourselves - Robin Talley, Saving June - Hannah Harrington, Unleashed - Sophie Jordan, Model Misfit - Holly Smale, Speechless - Hannah Harrington, Dead Ends - Erin Jade Lange, Quake - Patrick Carman,Can’t Look Away - Donna Cooner, The Fire Horse Girl - Kay Honeyman, The Only Thing to Fear - Caroline Tung Richmond,A Wicked Thing - Rhiannon Thomas.

Recent Recommended Reads: Haven’t gotten to anything yet! But you can read about the 2016 YA books (non-debuts) that I want to read.

Which articles did you like best? Did I miss any news? Did you host a cover reveal or discussion that I should have posted about? A giveaway? Leave the links, and I'll either edit this post or post about 'em next week.
 

Booktubing & Blogging

It's weird for me to think that I've been blogging for nearly five years and booktubing for nearly a year now. It's also weird to me that my first instinct is still to say that both are completely separate; they are different mediums, but they've actually got quite a few commonalities. In thinking about my pending blogoversary come this March and the booktube channel anniversary that passed last month, I was thinking about what both have given me.

 

1. I'M CONSTANTLY LEARNING:

I think that's the coolest aspect of both the booktube channel and this book blog. Last week, I messed up my bookish rounds, saying that PulseIt was becoming RivetedLit when Riveted was meant to be publisher neutral. I changed it when I realized, but it's very obvious that there are errors here and there and everywhere on the site. Both booktubing and blogging force you to think somewhat ahead for post ideas and designs, and as someone who sometimes isn't the greatest at planning things out and following through, that's wonderful. I want to be more organized. Both could also use nice photos for each post/video, and that's forcing me to consider how best to use skills in photo editing. For booktubing, I'm still learning about outros, adding in audio music and editing videos. There was a series of videos when I simply didn't want to learn what cards were, which was really silly on my part. But because both are different mediums, they're both challenging me to think in new ways, even while encouraging me to be enthusiastic about one of my passions: books.

2. I'M CONSTANTLY IMPROVING AS A PERSON:

The awesome, life-changing aspect of being both a booktuber and a book blogger is that they're reminding me of who I am and what I like. Quite simply, I'm becoming more confident. The more time I spend on this blog, the more confident in my evaluation of books. The more time I spend booktubing, the more I'm learning to project my voice and say what I want about books. I've been told several times in my life that I'm quiet, which is true. I don't like being in the center of attention, and I probably never will, but that doesn't mean that I can't find a comfort zone and that I can't find a way of expressing myself without compromising those ideals. I've becoming more focused, too, on positive reviews; I'm accepting more of my own limitations, one of which is that negativity makes me feel worse about myself.

3. I'M CONSTANTLY GAINING NEW SKILLS:

There's no doubt that both booktubing and blogging have given me new skills. Let's face it: when you write at least 500-1,000 words a week for almost five years, of course your writing will improve. Especially when it's tempered by reading a lot of books. Blogging has helped steer me towards finding my own "writing voice" and forced me to focus my ideas. I asked one of my friends for some advice on my booktube channel; I know that I'm not quirky, but I also know that I could play to my strengths and that I haven't been doing that so far. She pointed out that I needed to project my energy more; project more, she said, and more of "me" would come through. You know what? She's right. The more energy I use to make a video, of course both the silly and serious side of me would come out more. And the more videos I make, the better I'm getting at public speaking -- I've been having a bunch of interviews for graduate students, and while I still get nervous, I'm much more controlled about my opinions as well. I know that some people don't want to blog or booktube because they're afraid of what might happen if future bosses discovered them, but the truth is that I'm a better employee because of the skills I'm gaining (e.g. public speaking and writing) -- and not just the ones that are specific to the medium in question (e.g. blog design and video editing).

4. I'M CONSTANTLY GETTING DEEPER INTO THE BOOK COMMUNITY:

It's absolutely lovely getting to see people's enthusiasm for books expressed in different ways: whether writing a *FLAIL* ~flail~ into your reviews/posts or flailing about in your videos. The different mediums show different sides to books and the book community, and it's also really interesting seeing what books, particularly in YA, are popular in the blogosphere and popular on various booktube channels, and whether there's overlap.

 
You know what's also really interesting about having both a booktube channel and a blog? I have to describe books in different ways according to the mediums. Here on the blog, I can just post a goodreads summary or a link to the goodreads book page and assume that if my description or excitement interests you, you can check out the book for yourself. On the booktube channel, that's not really possible. You could assume that, but you might lose your viewers when you're talking about a book that they can't easily access. So you have to describe the book in a couple of sentences (or if you're like me, occasionally you'll end up rambling instead). That's another example of seeing how the two mediums have different but equally awesome ways of expressing enthusiasm for books.

5. I'M CONSTANTLY DISCOVERING NEW BOOKS:

Haha, I guess this is maybe the same point as number four or at least more of its implications, but it's a no-brainer that the more invested I am in the book community, the more I will be able to discover new books. My friend, Ameriie, at Books Beauty Ameriie is always chatting about books that I wouldn't have heard about otherwise because I'm so YA-focused. At the same time, many book bloggers (see the sidebar here -->) are reminding me of YA books that I haven't heard of either -- whether published already and on a backlist, or a soon-to-be-published book that's not getting as much attention. I love how both communities are helping me hone into the books I want to read and develop my reading tastes.

6. I'M CONSTANTLY SUCKING AT THE SAME THINGS IN BOTH:

As much as I'm gaining skills from both, well, I'm flawed, and those flaws show up in both mediums in some of the same ways. When I'm lazy or I oversleep or I have a ton of shit to do and not much time left to do it, oooo that's going to show in my blog posts - typos, sentences that don't make sense or I just won't expand on ideas or things will sound too generic or hey, here's the example of that bookish rounds post error. Similarly, as my friend had said, a lot of my booktube videos are low energy and I'm not coming across the way I want. I probably should get better at promoting both the blog and the channel, but I suck at that too. Similarly, I keep wondering how to convey more of myself in both mediums. My friend, this past weekend, said that I was an asshole. I was confused; no one has ever called me an asshole--I try really hard to be kind to everyone. She pointed out the times when I had shoved sour patch kids into her nose and stuffed melting maltballs onto her summer camp bed. Oh, right, I was the trickster asshole with close friends. Yeah, that made sense. But have I ever really conveyed that silliness in with the seriousness here? I don't know. But I guess that's the point of time: more time, more experience, and more evolution, more development of the skills that I listed above and more.
 
Have you ever considered booktubing or blogging? How have blogging or booktubing or bookstagramming changed you? Do you feel that multiple mediums have unique advantages?

Christina Makes the Bookish Rounds (99)

Christina Makes the Bookish Rounds is a feature that will let you know about recent MG/YA/NA book related news. I'll post about articles from the publishing industry, cover reveals, discussions from the book community, the latest tv/movie news, and giveaways that you're hosting. If you would like to follow along with cover reveals during the week, see my Pinterest. (If you're interested in how I make these posts, here's your guide.)

 

Publishing:
Rights Report:

 

  • Lilly and Fin - Cornelia Funke, translated by Oliver Latsch (a story of two merkids who must avoid capture by a human couple who collect rare aquatic creatures. Publication is slated for summer 2017; Random House).
  • Impassioned - Rebecca Ross (a debut fantasy inspired by Renaissance France about the bastard granddaughter of an Earl embroiled in a plot to dethrone the king. Publication is scheduled for fall 2017; HarperTeen).
  • The Disappearances - Emily Bain Murphy (debut YA; The novel follows a teen girl who moves to her recently deceased mother's hometown and discovers that every seven years it is cursed to lose the experiences that weave life together – the stars in the sky, the sound of music, the ability to dream – and that her mother may be to blame. Publication is set for spring 2017; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).
  • The Inevitable Collision of Birdie + Bash - Candace Ganger (debut YA about two teens who fall in love not knowing of their connection to a horrific accident. The book is planned for publication in spring/summer 2017; St. Martin's).
  • Things We Haven't Said - Erin E. Moulton (a YA anthology. It will be a collection of true stories from survivors of sexual violence, geared toward empowering teens of today who are facing similar situations; contributors include Melissa Marr, Carrie Jones, and Cheryl Rainfield. Publication is slated for fall 2016; Zest Books).
  • The House of Months and Years - Emma Trevayne (MG; 10-year-old Amelia Howling doesn’t feel at home in her new house or with her newly enlarged family, but her parents' preoccupation with her orphaned cousins at least allows her the time to uncover the dwelling's secrets. The house is a calendar house – an architectural oddity designed to reflect lengths of time – but within the 12 rooms and behind the 52 windows, Amelia and her family are not alone. Publication is scheduled for spring 2017; Simon & Schuster).
  • Goyle, Guardian - Paul Durham (MG novels set in modern-day Boston. The darkly humorous fantasy adventures feature a 130-year-old-gargoyle whose human form is that of a 12-year-old boy. Publication is set for 2018; Crown Books for Young Readers).
  • Spectrum - Ginger Johnson (debut; a middle grade novel about a boy who can see all the colors of the spectrum in a world of black and white. Publication is planned for spring 2018; Bloomsbury).
  • Dreaming in Code: Ada Byron Lovelace, Computer Pioneer - Emily Arnold McCully (middle grade biography; the daughter of Lord Byron, Ada's wild amalgam of mathematics and poetry gave her uncanny vision into the future. Publication is scheduled for spring 2018; Candlewick).

 

From last week:

 

  • Henry & Eva - Andrea Portes (MG modern gothic series is set in Big Sur and follows the titular brother and sister as they attempt to solve the mystery of their parents' deaths. Publication of the first book is scheduled for winter 2018; HarperCollins).
  • Truth Is - Amanda Searcy (debut; a psychological thriller following two teen girls, one from a Texas border town hoping to outrun her past and another who fears for her future in a public housing complex; when their worlds collide, only one girl will make it out alive. Publication is slated for fall 2017; Delacorte).
  • The others still weren’t posted.

 

Awards: I’d highly suggest you check last week’s post, since it had lots and lots and lots of awards and lists thanks to the ALA Youth Media Award announcements. Lee and Low announced their New Voices Award Winner, 2016 Edward Award Nominees (In YA: Endangered by Lamar Giles, A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis, The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury, The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma, Ask the Dark by Henry Turner), the 2016 Sydney Taylor Book Award winners (YA: The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz), the 2015 National Jewish Book Award winners (children’s literature: Oskar and the Eight Blessings - Tanya Simon and Richard Simon, illus by Mark Siegel).

You can also nominate your favorite teen reads for the Teen Choice Book of the Year Award until February 2, 2016.

Excerpts: Gertie’s Leap to Greatness - Kate Beasley, The Publisher’s Marketplace YA Spring/Summer Buzz Books Excerpts (including The Raven King, among many others!)

Authors: Underwater - Marisa Reichardt, Lizzie and the Lost Baby - Cheryl Blackford, Sticks and Stones - Abby Cooper, Ivory and Bone - Julie Eshbaugh, the 100 - Kass Morgan, Burn - Elissa Sussman, The Love That Split the World - Emily Henry, The Radiant Road - Katherine Catmull

Book Trailers: After the Woods - Kim Savage (teaser trailer; full to come on 1/22), Glass Sword - Victoria Aveyard

Multicultural Children’s Day, aka January 27, is coming up soon.

Epic Reads made a recording for the song inside The Siren by Kiera Cass.

Algonquin YR, specifically Workman, has announced a new campaign: I Love MG. On Twitter, they’ll be discussing it January 25-29. → AKA next week! Be on the lookout for #ILoveMG.

Ethnically diverse writers writing for the ages of 8-14 should check out Penguin Random House’s Roll of Thunder Publishing Contest; submissions will start in April.

Simon Teen’s community, Pulseit, has announced the creation of RivetedLit, which is launching in February and focused on YA lit. ← repeating this because I made an error last week when I had first posted the news. RivetedLit is publisher neutral!! PulseIt may have announced the news, but Riveted is still pub neutral!

If you’re looking to keep track of YA debuts releasing in February, here’s a great calendar made by the Sweet Sixteeners.

Lots and lots of YA books being published in January - March 2016, but another great list to help you keep track of them!

If you want to read more books written by diverse authors, you can also read backlist titles in 2016. Here’s a list of 2015 books written by diverse authors.

The Mellon grant from a joined force of five university presses: “A four-year, $682,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded to the University of Washington will help four university presses and the AAUP create a pipeline program to diversify academic publishing by offering apprenticeships in acquisitions departments.”

YES YES YES, the non-white Nancy Drew is actually happening for the tv show adaptation: “But the prospect of a non-white Nancy Drew points to one possible upside to the reboot/remake/revival madness: It opens up the chance for old, beloved stories to be told again with more diverse characters in the spotlight.”

The Diversity Myth: Where Have all the Black Editors Gone? (“Much like this year’s blindingly white selection of Oscar nominees, the overt lack of diverse representation in the publishing world isn’t limited to authors and their books. The Black editor attempting to navigate the intricacies of the corporate publishing system is, by default, a unicorn, simply because Black voices are routinely undervalued and dismissed. In the eyes of white publishing, the universality of a narrative is dependent upon its connection to whiteness.”)

Black Women Writers are also invisible in publishing, but Glory Edim is looking to change that, in part with #WellReadBlackGirl.

It may no longer be Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but you can definitely still check out these recommendations.

Scholastic will no longer be publishing/distributing “A Birthday Cake for George Washington,” and relatedly, Salon discussessmiling slaves at storytime and the need for greater publishing diversity.

A publisher for fangirls by fangirls, with regard to science fiction. (“Mrs. Eckstein started her company, Her Universe, in 2009 after searching for a Star Wars T-shirt at a comic book convention. Unable to find anything suited for women...target an overlooked consumer… Now, Mrs. Eckstein sees another opportunity, this time as a publisher of sci-fi novels written by women.”).

In case you didn’t already know, Alan Rickman passed away last week.

Woohoo! Children’s bookstores got a boost this holiday, with many stores reporting a significant increase in sales, a 7.5%, actually, increase in November.

A Growing (and Fragmented) Children’s Book Market in India (“Currently, the Indian book market is the sixth-largest in the world (valued at $3.9 billion, according to Nielsen) and the second-largest in terms of English-language market (after the U.S.). There are about 10,000 active publishers served by a complex (and often struggling) distribution network, and hindered by rampant piracy (with copies abounding at neighborhood stalls).”)

And news from Canada’s publishing industry, including giving a popular children’s book to Syrian refugees.

A recap of the Diversity in YA panel at ALA Midwinter 2016 from Publisher’s Weekly: “arguably the most well-attended was the YA panel on diversity, which was organized by We Need Diverse Books...The panelists discussed their latest projects, writing diverse characters when one isn’t a member of the group, and how librarians can help create more inclusive collections.“

A brief summary of author and industry events last week.

Wow, did you know that Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard has sold over 157k print units?

And did you know that these YA audiobooks were narrated by celebrities?

Cover Reveals:

*Not really sure if YA/MG(?)


You can vote on the cover for the novella, Iron to Iron, set in the Wolf by Wolf series by Ryan Graudin.

Discussion/Other Blogger Posts:

Choosing your next read based on your Hogwarts House: I am such a sucker for these kind of posts, and I will admit, that as a Hufflepuff, I did love Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

Oooh, more coloring books for YA: which ones would you like to see adapted into that format?

13 of B&N Teen’s Most Anticipated Science Fiction in 2016: yesssssss, please keep these posts coming. I didn’t know that half of these were science fiction works, and I find it interesting too that there doesn’t appear to be as clear of a pattern among them for sci fi covers (vs. say, contemp covers).

Don’t measure your age in terms of Harry Potter facts; you’ll only feel old.

12 of B&N Teen’s Most Anticipated Indie Books of 2016: YES can we all agree that A Fierce and Subtle Poison sounds AWESOME?

Are you an American Horror Story fan? These recs are for you. Or books for Agent Carter fans! Or maybe you really likedAmerican Girl Dolls growing up -- more books for you too! (I wasn’t a doll girl, but I did read a lot of the novels and loooooved them. Josefina and Kit are strongest in my mind still).

That time when your bag was too small to carry all the books you wanted and you had to decide between the books or the bag.

Get hyped for The 5th Wave adaptation this Friday with some memorable quotes from the book!

Looking for female-driven YA novels? Or perhaps the conclusion to these series ending in 2016? Or books that give #tbt new meaning? And of course, the award #winners soon to be on your shelf?

I want this typographic bookshelf so badly.

J.K. Rowling will always have amazing quotes and life truths to share.

Movies/TV Shows:

2016 is poised to have a lot of adaptations, so to make it easier on all of us trying to keep track, I made a calendar of adaptations (w/ their release dates) that I thought were relevant to the YA community.

The Shadowhunters TV show appears to be doing fairly well: its premiere was ABC Family’s top series debut in 2 years (aka Pretty Little Liars). You can check out the episode stills for episode 3, Dead Man’s Party.

Looks like we might be getting another Narnia Movie! The Silver Chair may be headed our way soon.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery is getting an eight episode tv series in Canada with the CBC. That’s really interesting to me since Anne of Green Gables the movie is supposed to release in 2016 (potentially internationally + U.S.?). I guess double the exposure for any adaptation?

You can check out the full cast for the Broadway musical, Tuck Everlasting.

Ahh, the 5th Wave is premiering this Friday! Check out all these clips: Fan Premiere Recap, Featurette: Meet Evan, Featurette: Meet Cassie, Featurette: Meet Dumbo, Featurette: Meet Flinstone, Featurette: Meet Poundcake, Featurette: Meet Ringer,Featurette: Meet Zombie, “Squad,” and “Chase.”

The School for Good and Evil script is currently being revised.

Lots of pics from Ruta Septys about Ashes in the Snow / Between Shades of Gray as they’re building the set: labor camp set, a look into costume design, film production design pics.

Neil Patrick Harris is playing Count Olaf in the Netflix adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (!!!).

Guillermo Del Toro is in development of the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark adaptation.

Giveaways:

Adventures in Children's Publishing giveaway(s).

Giveaways listed at Saturday Situation by Lori of Pure Imagination and Candace of Candace's Book Blog.

Don't forget to enter YABC's giveaways for the month.

Sci-fi and Fantasy Friday {SF/F Reviews and Giveaways}.

If you have a giveaway, you should let me know.

Other:

*In my previous “how to” post, I listed other blogger’s features for how I keep track of new releases. Today and future posts will likely rely on the Hot Off the Press posts by Josephine at Word Revel, a fantastic blogger running an excellent series of posts.

New YA Releases: Sword and Verse - Kathy MacMillan, The Radiant Road - Katherine Catmull, Burn - Elissa Sussman, The Heir and the Spare - Emily Albright, Up to This Pointe - Jennifer Longo, We Are the Ants - Shaun David Hutchinson, Identity Crisis - Melissa Schorr, Bookishly Ever After - Isabel Bandeira, The Isle - Jordana Frankel, Sanctuary Bay - Laura J. Burns, Melinda Metz, Shade Me - Jennifer Brown, Will to Survive - Eric Walters, The Capture - Tom Isbell, Concentrat8 - William Sutcliffe (rerelease), My Second Life - Faye Bird (rerelease)

PB releases: Four: A Divergent Collection - Veronica Roth, Kalahari - Jessica Khoury, The Darkest Part of the Forest - Holly Black, Stray - Elissa Sussman, The Way We Bared Our Souls - Willa Strayhorn, Polaris - Mindee Arnett, The Prey - Tom Isbell,The Five Stages of Andrew Barley - Shaun David Hutchinson, Alex as Well - Alyssa Brugman.

And two more links: a.) here’s a HUGE round-up of YA books that are being published or have been published from January - March of 2016. b.) here’s a calendar of kidlit debuts being published in February if you’d like to keep track.

Recent Recommended Reads: Most of what I’ve read as of late == romance novels or adult fiction. Stuff I won’t write a review for. But you can read about the 2016 YA Debuts on My TBR List. I also discussed booktubing and blogging, and the skills I’ve gained from both this week.

Which articles did you like best? Did I miss any news? Did you host a cover reveal or discussion that I should have posted about? A giveaway? Leave the links, and I'll either edit this post or post about 'em next week.

 

2016 YA Books I Want to Read

The first thing I'd like to emphasize in making a list of 2016 books on my tbr list: you and I both must be better allies and make sure to read books by PoC authors in 2016. If you feel like it's too hard to keep track of that tally, Dahlia Adler has made afantastic running list of YA novels written by authors of color being published in 2016-2017. If you have time, consider looking through that list and seeing which books may be on your tbr list and raise their reading priority, or consider adding the books to your tbr once you've read the GR summaries--whatever you do, at least please look at the list.

Okies! So here are some of my most anticipated books publishing in 2016. This list is definitely not the end all, be all, as that would fail to take account into recommendations and word of mouth from friends, and so on.

 

 
In no particular order...
 
2016 books i want to read


And I Darken by Kiersten White

And I Darken is a spin on Vlad the Impaler, who's now Lada. And directly from the summary: "Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu" (Lada's brother) "are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. " A ruthless leader caught in a game of power plus the Ottoman empire means there's going to be Turkish culture -- which overlaps with a lot of Middle-Eastern culture (e.g. my story on Turkish coins on the Lebanese purse). Plus this last line: "But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point." Some people don't like love triangles, but done right, they can be pretty awesome sources of tension and characterization.

The Smaller Evil by Stephanie Kuehn

I've loved every one of Stephanie Kuehn's novels, which often focus on a character who has mental illness, and feature plenty of mystery and thriller elements plus coming-of-age growth realizations. She's a wordsmith; nothing is wasted. Her characterization of mental illness and race and privilege and so many other issues is on point. Her characterization in general is great--she's giving a clear, distinctive voice to a lot of people whose voices aren't heard in the news very often. And her plotting -- she always, always has surprised me with where her stories go and what plot twists she has in store. Reading the synopsis for The Smaller Evil suggests that we're in for another high stakes psychological thriller with fascinating characters and a complicated plot to boot.

Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee

I meant to read Under the Painted Sky last year, and I still want to -- it's definitely on my list for this year too. Stacey Lee has gotten heaps of praise for her historical YA novels, and I want to be one of her fascinated readers. Outrun the Moon is pitched as being perfect for fans of Code Name Verity, which I loved. It seems to be about the major earthquake to hit San Francisco in the twentieth century. As the last line of the synopsis says, "Breakout author Stacey Lee masterfully crafts another remarkable novel set against a unique historical backdrop. Strong-willed Mercy Wong leads a cast of diverse characters in this extraordinary tale of survival." Sounds amazing, doesn't it? And I want to read more historical YA this year, so Stacey Lee, I'm coming your way!

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Omg. The Raven Cycle is one of my all-time favorite series. I don't really know how to describe it. The first book mentions the idea of a fairy-tale esque curse on Blue: If she kisses her true love, he will die. And then implies that her true love is this boy, Gansey, who seems like a pompous ass when she first meets him. Yet in the end, she gets caught in Gansey's circle; he and his friends are on a quest to discover Glendower, a mythical sleeping Welsh king, who, it's rumored, will grant the person who woke him a wish. Amazing characterization, plotting, atmosphere, magic, explorations of privilege, friendship, romance -- this series has EVERYTHING. READ IT NOW NOW NOW NOW.

The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

Another all-time favorite series. Also not sure how to describe the book. The first book is about Kestrel, the daughter of the Valorian general who helped their empire to win the war. She buys a Herrani slave, Arin, at an auction, and the series goes from threats of war to rebellion to romance to strategy games to OMG THIS HAS EVERYTHING. Great world-building, great characterization, great layered, feeling, great romance-- READ THE BOOKS NOW!

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Truthwitch has been getting a lot of hype, and Susan Dennard has been on my tbr list for a while now, so I thought that I would start here. I don't know too much about the book, but there seems to be four different PoVs, and it's about these two girls who are best friends who are then pursued because one of them has a magical power that means she can discern whether people are telling lies. So in a high fantasy, this equates to a lot of political intrigue and adventure, and putting female friendship at the front is always a plus. I also hear there's a great romance... Action, adventure, political intrigue, friendship, romance--what's not to like?

Summer Days and Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins & A Tyranny of Petticoats edited by Jessica Spotswood.

Anthologies are great. They're an easy way to discover new authors while reading about fascinating worlds and fun characters. The nature of the short story means that everything has to be compact; every scene must work on multiple levels. You can't get by with wasted words. I've enjoyed every anthology that I've read, if not every story within them, and a bunch of YA anthologies have helped me discover some of my favorite authors. For Summer Days and Summer Nights, I'm most excited to read the stories by Stephanie Perkins, Leigh Bardugo, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, and Veronica Roth. For A Tyranny of Petticoats, I'm most excited to read the stories by Elizabeth Wein, Marissa Meyer, and Marie Lu. And the other authors in Summer Days and Summer Nights (Franceca Lia Block, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith) and A Tyranny of Petticoats (Beth Revis, Andrea Cremer, J. Anderson Coats, Caroline Richmond, Katherine Longshore, Saundra Mitchell, Robin Talley, Kekla Magoon, Leslye Waltson, Y.S. Lee, and Lindsay Smith), I'm looking forward to being introduced to or becoming reacquainted with their work!

Bright Smoke Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge

I don't know too much about this book, so I'll just leave the synopsis here ---> "This new series, pitched as "Romeo and Juliet meets Sabriel," re-imagines Shakespeare's story of feuding families and doomed lovers in a city threatened by necromancers and protected by "the Juliet," a girl born in every generation with powerful magic." A.) I've loved everything of Rosamund Hodge's that I've read. Both of her novels, Cruel Beauty and Crimson Bound. And all of her short stories. B.) Romeo and Juliet and necromancers? Oh, wow, that sounds amazing. I really do love the idea too of doomed lovers -- when Rosamund Hodge says that, I actually do believe it for her work, haha. Read how dark her short stories are! Magic, romance, political intrigue (feuding families), beautiful writing -- yes, yes, yes!

 


Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Again, another book where not too much has been released yet, so here's the synopsis --> "Three Dark Crowns tells the story of triplet sisters on a remote island ruled by powerful magic and ancient family lineages. Separated at birth, one of the sisters will grow up to be queen, but in order to ascend to the throne she must hone her magic for a dark purpose: assassinating her other two sisters before they kill her first. " I really enjoyed Anna Dressed in Blood, and I love this element of three sisters, and the crown, and automatic pitting against each other, and magic, and a remote island, and ahhhhhhhh. I love every element -- sounds like great characterization and atmosphere are ahead!

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

Furthermore seems slightly different from Shatter Me. It's Tahereh Mafi's debut MG novel, and it focuses on a sort of fairy-tale like story, where a girl's father disappears and she goes on a quest to find him. Here's what the summary says: "... this captivating new middle grade adventure where color is currency, adventure is inevitable, and friendship is found in the most unexpected places. " Sounds perfect. I also love Mafi's writing, and I trust that it'll be every bit as magical in Furthermore.

Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

I read the excerpt for this novel, and was blown away by the characterization and writing and atmosphere and everything. The blurb says: "A hero. A villain. A liar. Who's who?" It seems to have psychological thriller + suspense elements, mixed with April's talent for characterization and atmosphere. And here's what the last line of the summary says: "For fans of Holly Black, We Were Liars, and The Raven Boys, this mysterious tale full of intrigue, dread, beauty, and a whiff of something strange will leave you utterly entranced." I definitely qualify as a fan of all three, and that definitely puts this book on my radar.

Sacrifice by Cindy Pon

I loved Serpentine and can't wait to read the sequel! If you're a fan of how Truthwitch puts female friendship at the forefront, you'd love Serpentine. If you're a fan of the Chinese inspired elements of Alison Goodman's Eon duology, read Serpentine. If you want a lush setting inspired by Chinese mythology, great characterization and an intimate romance, and a plot that doesn't follow the usual conventions, CHECK OUT SERPENTINE and be excited with me for the sequel!

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

I haven't read a single book about Bruja magic. The main character, according to the summary, wants to get rid of her magic and tries to curse it out, only then her family disappears as a result of her actions. And according to the summary, "To get her family back they must travel to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland..." Sounds GREAT.

Poisoned Blade by Kate Elliott

The more I thought about it, the more I enjoyed Court of Fives by Kate Elliott and its complex world-building. As the synopsis for Poisoned Blade says, "the Fives" is "the complex athletic contest favored by the lowliest Commoners and the loftiest Patrons in her embattled kingdom." The main character's world is separated into two classes, so there's also an imbedded class struggle. Here's how I described A Court of Fives: "A love letter to Little Women, female athletes, and epic fantasy set in a Greco-Roman inspired world rife with colonial class warfare." I'd very much recommend this to fans of The Winner's trilogy, and I'm looking forward to seeing what Kate Elliott comes up with in Poisoned Blade.

The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon

Looooooooove the Bone Season. The basic premise is that of an alternative London where you have clairvoyants/"unnaturals" (people with the ability to sometimes manipulate the aether, which is another spiritual plane) and voyants. London is ruled by a government that wants to crush the clairvoyants (hence the "Unnaturals" name), and so the main character is one of many clairvoyants who's in a gang. London is ruled by clairvoyant gangs. Then, one night, she's captured by the voyant police and sent to work at a harsh penal colony, where you find out about the existence of another race, the Rephaim, who essentially are the rulers of London, and they are more powerful than anyone else, particularly in the aether. As the series goes on, you learn more about Samantha Shannon's version of London, the clairvoyant powers, the Rephaim, etc. A series of FANTASTIC world-building, SO much imagination, and a huge, huge cast of characters that leads to unexpected plot twists... and oh, the cinematic action! It's all great fun and so layered, one of those series where rereading, you see all the details the author layered in over time. Highly recommended from me.

Okay, so those books are among my most anticipated non-debuts of 2016. I'd appreciate more recommendations for books to keep an eye out for! I don't think that I have enough books by diverse authors on this list, and I'm looking to be a better ally this year, so if you have any recs, let me know! I will also be keeping an eye out for that as the year goes along. Plus, my list always changes.

Do we have any anticipated titles in common? What are you most looking forward to reading in 2016? Let me know!

2016 YA Debuts I Want to Read

The first thing I'd like to emphasize in making a list of 2016 debuts on my tbr list: you and I both must be better allies and make sure to read books by PoC authors in 2016. If you feel like it's too hard to keep track of that tally, Dahlia Adler has made a fantastic running list of YA novels written by authors of color being published in 2016-2017. If you have time, consider looking through that list and seeing which books may be on your tbr list and raise their reading priority, or consider adding the books to your tbr once you've read the GR summaries.


Okies! So on I go. Here are the 10 debuts that I'm most excited to read in 2016.

 

 

The Loneliness of Distant Beings by Katie Ling

That cover is gorgeous and seems to indicate either a magical realism story or a literary, lyrical contemporary story, like Jandy Nelson's, where the metaphor is emphasized on the cover instead of the people within. The synopsis for the book is a little vague to the point where I'm not entirely sure what the book is about -- is Seren literally floating through space? Or is that a metaphor for her state of mind? And how do Dom becoming the Sun and Seren staying in his orbit play into loyalty to home vs. loyalty to each other? But regardless, I am intrigued, and looking forward to this book.

 
Update: Since I wrote this post & filmed the video, a review has been posted! It looks like the summary is literal so that these teens are actually on a spaceship and they're falling in love. Yay, outer space romance! Yay, new planets! Yay, lyrical cover & writing!

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

If there's a debut that everyone seems to be talking about so far for 2016, it would be The Girl from Everywhere, about a girl traveling to "places of myth and legend... aboard her father's time-traveling ship." I love the idea of traveling across the globe and through centuries with a time-traveling ship. I loved The Mapmaker's trilogy, and it involves map magic that takes the heroine across centuries and the globe, so The Girl from Everywhere sounds right up my alley, especially since the heroine's father in TGfE seems to need a map to travel. Plus the synopsis says that it should appeal to fans of Rae Carson and Rachel Hartman, so that's a double YAY.

The Reader by Traci Chee

A world where reading is forbidden & meant to appeal to fans of Shadow and Bone? Yes, please! I love that the summary emphasizes a survivor-oriented girl who's also emotionally vulnerable-- looking to rescue her aunt and avenge her father's death, and discovering a book that may help her discover the truth. Sounds like she'll be easy to relate to. This sounds like the sort of book that would discuss the wonder of reading itself... yaaaaass. Also, this last line of the synopsis: "overlapping stories of swashbuckling pirates and merciless assassins" Nice.

Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie

An empath who feels emotions both physically and emotionally and who is then forced to serve the emperor? Sounds awesome! An empath charged to seek out assassins, a girl learning the limits of her abilities and trapped between her alliances to the emperor and his brother, and a looming revolution/betrayal? Yes. Political intrigue, magic, romance, betrayal -- everything in a good fantasy read.

The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye

This seems like it's going to be the big fantasy debut of 2016, judging from the reaction to the cover and Evelyn Skye's creation of the Tsar Guard. I like the sound of the enchanter magic, and that there's this Crown's Game duel between the only two enchanters in Russia and that that will lead to one of the characters becoming the Tsar's adviser. The fact that the enchanters may also fall in love - this seems like Shadow and Bone meets the Night Circus, with the looming threat of war with the Ottoman Empire, and I am intrigued, very intrigued.

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

The Star-Touched Queen was "pitched as a Hades and Persephone-style romance infused with Indian mythology, about an unlikely princess who must overcome her sinister horoscope and embarks on a quest to unravel her true identity and find the one she loves." A.) We don't have enough YA fantasy that's actually diverse, and very little YA fantasy that aren't Western or European centric. B.) Indian mythology! C.) I don't even like Hades and Persephone that much, but I read The Star Maiden by Roshani Chokshi and her writing IS GORGEOUS. YES PLEASE to this book. Plus the synopsis promises political intrigue, magic, romance, and more, so um YAH.

A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry

This one has already been blurbed by Nova Ren Suma, and I'm looking to read more YA magical realism because it pushes the boundaries of the typical YA narrative. The description for this is: "In this stunning debut, legends collide with reality when a boy is swept into the magical, dangerous world of a girl filled with poison." Um, yes, please. A Caribbean legend, Puerto Rican setting, magical realism, disappearing girls, girls filled with poison, boys caught in the middle... very interesting, if I'm getting the right impression from the synopsis. "A Fierce and Subtle Poison beautifully blends magical realism with a page-turning mystery and a dark, starcrossed romance--all delivered in lush, urgent prose." YAS, THIS HAS CHRISTINA written all over it.

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

The summary so far says --> "A princess with a forbidden magical gift is shipped off to a neighboring kingdom to marry a prince, but she has to choose between her duty and her heart when she falls in love with his rogueish horse-training sister instead." YES, I was literally talking to one of my friends about WHY this trope of the arranged marriage in fantasy has rarely been skewed in YA. I enjoyed Kiss of Deception primarily because there was a twist to that trope. And something I'd asked was why there aren't lesbian arranged marriages; this is fantasy, you can do anything. My friend said that it would depend on what was to be gained from the marriage (aka she was discussing heirs/reproduction), but I think that's kind of a lazy excuse. I mean history is full of bastards and illegitimate children and children who are born from lovers but who get claimed as royal heirs. Why can't you have gay royal marriages and the couple reproduces with mistresses or the magic system helps or whatever. Basically, I think that you could add in diversity to that trope if you really wanted to, and I love that this book is already promising that. Plus, there's the hint of magic and political intrigue with the queenhood and Game of Thrones comparison.

Even If the Sky Falls by Mia Garcia

This sounds like it should appeal to fans of Gayle Forman's Just One Day. A girl heads to New Orleans with her youth group, and then heads straight into the heart of New Orleans in Mid-summer Mardi Gras. She sees New Oreleans with a guy she just met, and they fall in love in one night, and then an oncoming hurricane is adding extra tension to whatever future they're imagining (is my guess). YES to the New Orleans setting-- one of my good friends lives there, and the visits I've made to NOLA have been fantastic. Yes to this cover which seems to hint at some diversity as well. Yes to this premise. I love the 24 hours sudden but intense love concept; I know some don't like instalove in narratives, but I do believe it can exist, and I love when books explore it as Even if the Sky Falls promises to do.

Bound by Blood and Sand by Becky Allen

The summary says --> "A new YA fantasy series in the vein of Tamora Pierce, exploring class and power. The novel follows a slave girl in a desert world where the magical Well is running dry; when she discovers a source of magic, she may have the power to save the water and her world, but returning the water means saving her slavers." Yes to class & power exploration, yes to magic, yes to magic relating to water, yes to the difficult decisions promised by this book. Yes to the Tamora Pierce comparison!
 
So, those are the 2016 debuts that are most definitely on my TBR list. In some sense, this isn't fair because I already went to the launch event for This Is Where It Ends, so I didn't put that on my list. But, the list always changes and what I end up reading is not always what I think. If you've got some recommendations and already read some great 2016 debuts, let me know!
 
Are any of these debuts on your radar? Have you read any of them already, or are you planning to read some? Let's discuss!

Christina Makes the Bookish Rounds (98)

Christina Makes the Bookish Rounds is a feature that will let you know about recent MG/YA/NA book related news. I'll post about articles from the publishing industry, cover reveals, discussions from the book community, the latest tv/movie news, and giveaways that you're hosting. If you would like to follow along with cover reveals during the week, see my Pinterest. (If you're interested in how I make these posts, here's your guide.)

Hi! Today’s post is going to be really long in the publishing section because of recent award announcements. I don’t expand on “best of” lists, but the ALA Youth Media awards are among the most important for kidlit, so I thought that y’all would like to see all the books listed out instead of going the lists yourselves.

 

Publishing
Rights Report 1 & 2:

 

  • Henry & Eva - Andrea Portes (MG modern gothic series is set in Big Sur and follows the titular brother and sister as they attempt to solve the mystery of their parents' deaths. Publication of the first book is scheduled for winter 2018; HarperCollins).
  • Truth Is - Amanda Searcy (debut; a psychological thriller following two teen girls, one from a Texas border town hoping to outrun her past and another who fears for her future in a public housing complex; when their worlds collide, only one girl will make it out alive. Publication is slated for fall 2017; Delacorte).
  • Hidden - Miriam Halahmy (a novel about two teenagers facing homelessness. Publication is set for spring 2016; Holiday House).
  • Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain - Zac Gorman (middle grade illustrated fantasy series; In the series, a 12-year-old-girl becomes gamekeeper at a massive dungeon full of monsters and winds up having to save the princess when a royal tour goes awry. Publication is planned for winter 2018; HarperCollins).
  • The Super Happy Party Bears series - Marcie Colleen, illustrated by Steve James (These chapter books explore the hijinks of the unrepentantly cheery Bears as they annoy everyone in the Grumpy Woods – yet save the day with a party. Publication of the first two titles is scheduled for fall 2016; Macmillan/Imprint).
  • Rowan Oakwing: A London Fairy Tale - Ed Clarke (an early middle grade novel about a girl who discovers the secret world of fairies hidden in London's parks. Publication is slated for summer 2017; S&S/Aladdin).
  • Boy Robot - Simon Curtis (Boy Robot is the first in a planned science fiction trilogy that follows a group of synthetic cell human teens with special abilities as they fight against the government organization that created them and now wants to destroy them. Publication is scheduled for November 15, 2016; Simon Pulse).
  • Gem & Dixie - Sara Zarr (Gem & Dixie is about two sisters who leave home for a road trip when their deadbeat father tries to reinsert himself into their lives. Publication is set for winter 2017; HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray).
  • Fakespeare - M.E. Castle (In the MG series, a cast of children gets lost in Shakespeare's classic plays where they must deal with villains, ghosts, mysterious odors, and split tights, among other dangers. The first two installments, which will be illustrated by Daniel Jennewein, will tackle Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet. Publication for both books is slated for summer 2017; Macmillan/Imprint).
  • The Forgetting - Sharon Cameron (about a place where, every 12 years, every person forgets everything – life, loves, and self – unless it is written; books are worn tied to the body at all times. But Nadia knows who hasn't written the truth because Nadia is the only person who has never forgotten. Publication is planned for fall 2016; Scholastic Press).
  • Felix Yz - Lisa Bunker (MG novel which takes the form of blog entries written by a boy accidentally fused with a fourth-dimensional being, set during the last month before an experimental procedure which will either separate them or kill them both. Publication is scheduled for summer 2017; Viking).
  • The Star Thief - Lindsey Becker (debut; a middle grade fantasy adventure in which an orphaned girl is caught in the crossfire of a feud between a master of mythical constellations and the captain of a spectacular flying steamship – and doesn't know whose side to join. Publication is slated for spring 2017; Little, Brown).
  • Buried Lives: Slaves of George Washington's Mount Vernon - Carla Killough McClafferty (Buried Lives will bring to light the forgotten lives of the slaves owned by Washington for a middle-grade audience. Publication is tentatively set for fall 2017; Holiday House).

 

Jodi Meadows’s new fantasy trilogy about a girl stripped from her political family and imprisoned, her fellow inmates who know more than they say, and a dangerous secret about illegal dragon trafficking that might be her only hope of escape, to Katherine Tegen Books (announcement from here).

Nothing from last week.

Excerpts: Heartless - Marissa Meyer, The Problem with Forever - Jennifer Armentrout, Glass Sword - Victoria Aveyard, Up to This Pointe - Jennifer Longo, Star Struck - Jenny McLachlan

Authors: Passenger - Alexandra Bracken, Front Lines - Michael Grant, The Way Back to You - Michelle Andreani, How It Ends - Catherine Lo, Firsts - Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, Bounders - Monica Tesler, an open mic with many different authors who talk about their personal experiences on B&N Teen, Chris Grabenstein, Last Stop on Market Street - Matt de la Peña and here with Publisher’s Weekly (he’s the first Hispanic author to win the Newbery and the book is the second picture book to receive the award), Laura Ruby on winning the Printz for Bone Gap, and Sophie Blackall on winning the Caldecott

Awards/Lists: The 2015 Middle East Book Award Winners, The 2016 Amelia Bloomers List,Teen Vogue’s Best 7 YA Books to Read Right Now, the ALA 2016 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers winners were announced (and in the top ten of those quick picks, for fiction: Red Queen; The Iron Trial; Zeroboxer; Dumplin’; The Silence of Six; Shadowshaper; Nimona; Everything, Everything.). Also ALA’s 2016 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Readers (in the top ten for fiction: The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich, read by Charlotte Parry and Christian Coulson; Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan, read Mark Bramhall, David De Vries, Macleod Andrews, and Rebecca Soler; Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero, read by Kyla Garcia; Half Wild by Sally Green, read by Carl Prekopp; Illuminae: The Illuminae Files_01 by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, read by Olivia Taylor Dudley, Lincoln Hoppe, Jonathan McClain; Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray, read by January LaVoy; Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs, read by Kirby Heyborne; Trollhunters by Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Kraus, read by Kirby Heyborne; Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger, read by Moira Quick) and the 2016 Rainbow List were announced (In the top ten for fiction: Polonsky, Ami. Gracefully Grayson;Selznick, Brian. The Marvels; Albertalli, Becky. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda; Mesrobian, Carrie. Cut Both Ways; Reid, Raziel. When Everything Feels Like the Movies; Scelsa, Kate. Fans of the Impossible Life; Stetz-Waters, Karelia. Forgive Me If I’ve Told You This Before). Also the ALA 2016 Best Fiction for Young Adults List (top ten include: Albertalli, Becky. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda; Bardugo, Leigh. Six of Crows; Brooks, Kevin. The Bunker Diary; Crowder, Melanie. Audacity; Older, Daniel José. Shadowshaper; Reynolds, Jason. The Boy in the Black Suit; Ruby, Laura. Bone Gap; Shabazz, Ilyasah and Kekla Magoon. X: A Novel; Shusterman, Neal. Challenger Deep; Silvera, Adam. More Happy than Not.). And the ALA 2016 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults List (top ten fiction include: Anderson, Laurie Halse. Wintergirls; Bracken, Alexandra. The Darkest Minds; Hale, Shannon. Book of a Thousand Days; Jamieson, Victoria. Roller Girl; Kuehn, Stephanie. Charm & Strange; Lewis, John, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell. March 1; Maberry, Jonathan. Rot & Ruin; Meyer, Marissa. Cinder; Mullin, Mike. Ashfall; Yolen, Jane. Briar Rose).

The 2015 Epic Reads Book Shimmy Award Winners: Best of Shelf: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas; The Pagemaster: Sarah J. Maas; New Kid on the Shelf: Sabaa Tahir; Cover Lust: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard; We Need Diverse Books: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh; Mental Health Matters: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven; Here and Now Award: PS I Still Love You by Jenny Han; Reality Bites Award: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard; Hot Under the Cover Award: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas; World Series Champ: The Selection series by Kiera Cass; Blast from the Past Award: Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson; The Retelling Award: Winter by Marissa Meyer; Epic Adaptations: Mockingjay Part 2; Most Anticipated Award: The Crown by Kiera Cass; Book Nerd of the Year: Sasha ofyoutube.com/abookutopia.

Here’s a round-up from Time about the ALA Youth Media Award Winners and one from CNN and one from Publisher’s Weekly, if you don’t want to read the full list below. The ALA Youth Media Award Winners:

John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature: “Last Stop on Market Street,” written by Matt de la Peña, is the 2016 Newbery Medal winner. The book is illustrated by Christian Robinson. Three Newbery Honor Books also were named: “The War that Saved My Life,” written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley; “Roller Girl,” written and illustrated by Victoria Jamieson; and “Echo,” written by Pam Muñoz Ryan.

Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children: “Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear,” illustrated by Sophie Blackall, is the 2016 Caldecott Medal winner. Four Caldecott Honor Books also were named: “Trombone Shorty,” illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Troy Andrews; “Waiting,” illustrated and written by Kevin Henkes; “Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement,” illustrated by Ekua Holmes, written by Carole Boston Weatherford; and “Last Stop on Market Street,” illustrated by Christian Robinson, written by Matt de le Peña.

Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award, recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults: “Gone Crazy in Alabama,” written by Rita Williams-Garcia, is the King Author Book winner. Three King Author Honor Books were selected: “All American Boys,” by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely; “The Boy in the Black Suit,” by Jason Reynolds and “X: A Novel,” by Ilyasah Shabazz with Kekla Magoon.

Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award: “Trombone Shorty,” illustrated by Bryan Collier, is the King Illustrator Book winner. Two King Illustrator Honor Books were selected: “The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore,” illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, written by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and “Last Stop on Market Street,” illustrated by Christian Robinson, written by Matt de la Peña.

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award: “Hoodoo,” written by Ronald L. Smith, is the Steptoe author award winner.

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award: “Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement,” illustrated by Ekua Holmes, is the Steptoe illustrator award winner.

Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement: Jerry Pinkney is the winner of the Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults: “Bone Gap,” written by Laura Ruby, is the 2016 Printz Award winner. Two Printz Honor Books also were named: “Out of Darkness,” by Ashley Hope Pérez and “The Ghosts of Heaven,” by Marcus Sedgwick.

Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience: “Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah,” written by Laurie Ann Thompson, illustrated by Sean Qualls... wins the award for children ages 0 to 10. “Fish in a Tree,” written by Lynda Mullaly Hunt and “The War that Saved My Life,” by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley...are the winners of the middle-school (ages 11-13). The teen (ages 13-18) award winner is “The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B,” written by Teresa Toten.

Alex Awards for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences: “All Involved,” by Ryan Gattis, “Between the World and Me,” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, “Bones & All,” by Camille DeAngelis, “Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits,” by David Wong, “Girl at War,” by Sara Nović, “Half the World,” by Joe Abercrombie, “Humans of New York: Stories,” by Brandon Stanton, “Sacred Heart,” by Liz Suburbia, “Undocumented: A Dominican Boy’s Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League,” by Dan-el Padilla Peralta, & “The Unraveling of Mercy Louis,” by Keija Parssinen.

Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in children’s video: Weston Woods Studios, Inc., producer of “That Is NOT a Good Idea,” is the Carnegie Medal winner.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Award honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children. The 2016 winner is Jerry Pinkney.

Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults: David Levithan is the 2016 Edwards Award winner.

May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award recognizing an author, critic, librarian, historian or teacher of children’s literature, who then presents a lecture at a winning host site. Jacqueline Woodson will deliver the 2017 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture.

Mildred L. Batchelder Award for an outstanding children’s book translated from a foreign language and subsequently published in the United States: “The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy” is the 2016 Batchelder Award winner. Originally published in French in 2014 as “Le merveilleux Dodu-Velu-Petit,” the book was written and illustrated by Beatrice Alemagna, translated by Claudia Zoe Bedrick. Three Batchelder Honor Books also were selected: “Adam and Thomas,” written by Aharon Appelfeld, iIllustrated by Philippe Dumas and translated from the Hebrew by Jeffrey M. Green; “Grandma Lives in a Perfume Village,”, written by Fang Suzhen, illustrated by Sonja Danowski and translated from the Chinese by Huang Xiumin; and “Written and Drawn by Henrietta,” written, illustrated and translated from the Spanish by Liniers.

Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States: “The War that Saved My Life,” produced by Listening Library, an imprint of the Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group, is the 2016 Odyssey Award winner. One Odyssey Honor Recording also was selected: “Echo,” produced by Scholastic Audio/Paul R. Gagne, written by Pam Muñoz Ryan and narrated by Mark Bramhall, David de Vries, MacLeod Andrews and Rebecca Soler.

Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Award honoring a Latino writer and illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience: “Drum Dream Girl,” illustrated by Rafael López, is the Belpré Illustrator Award winner. Three Belpré Illustrator Honor Books for illustration were selected: “My Tata’s Remedies = Los remedios de mi tata,” illustrated by Antonio Castro L., written by Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford; “Mango, Abuela, and Me,” illustrated by Angela Dominguez, written by Meg Medina and “Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras,” illustrated and written by Duncan Tonatiuh.

Pura Belpré (Author) Award: “Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir,” written by Margarita Engle, is the Belpré Author Award winner. Two Belpré Author Honor Books were named: “The Smoking Mirror,” written by David Bowles; and “Mango, Abuela, and Me,” written by Meg Medina, illustrated by Angela Dominguez.

Stonewall Book Award - Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award given annually to English-language children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience: “George,” written by Alex Gino and “The Porcupine of Truth,” written by Bill Konigsberg... are the winners of the 2016 Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Awards respectively. Two honor books were selected: “Wonders of the Invisible World,” written by Christopher Barzak and “Sex is a Funny Word: A Book about Bodies, Feelings, and YOU,” written by Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth.

William C. Morris Award for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens: “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda,” written by Becky Albertalli is the 2016 Morris Award winner. Four other books were finalists for the award: “Because You’ll Never Meet Me,” written by Leah Thomas; “Conviction,” written by Kelly Loy Gilbert; “The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly,” written by Stephanie Oakes; and “The Weight of Feathers,” written by Anna-Marie McLemore.

I didn’t go over: YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction, the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award, and the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award. Also deleted the publisher information from each book, as I figured you’d search for them on Goodreads + elsewhere if interested.

If you’re looking for interviews with some of the winners, check out the authors section above!

We Need Diverse Books announced the winners of its mentorship program: Lisa Braithwaite, nonfiction mentee with Patricia Hruby-Powell; Deirdre D Havelock, picture book mentee with Nikki Grimes; Sun Jones, young adult mentee with Malinda Lo; Charlene Willing-McMannis, middle grade mentee with Margarita Engle, and Jacqueline Alcántara, illustration mentee with Carolyn Dee Flores.

Diversity is not a black and white issue and children’s books shouldn’t present it that way.

Algonquin YR, specifically Workman, has announced a new campaign: I Love MG. On Twitter, they’ll be discussing it January 25-29. ← I have been reposting this little blurb about #ILoveMG for the last couple of weeks, but now Publisher’s Weekly has written an article on the hashtag and campaign! Here’s a #ILoveMG post by a librarian.

Ethnically diverse writers writing for the ages of 10-14 should check out the Roll of Thunder Publishing Contest set for April by Penguin Random House.

The format of the recently announced sci-fi duology by Lauren Oliver sounds intriguing, and in this interview with Publisher’s Weekly, she talks about the big plans HarperCollins has plus the Before I Fall movie.

HarperCollins won the lawsuit over Open Road and is now publishing an ebook of Julie of the Wolves.

Just as children’s books need diversity, so do comic books.

Renee Ahdieh will be writing both stories from The Wrath and the Dawn that readers voted on.

Simon Teen’s community, Pulseit, has announced the creation of RivetedLit, which is launching in February and focused on YA lit.

Cover Reveals:

 


Discussion/Other Blogger Posts:

Have you read any of the popular YA books releasing in January?

Why the British tell children’s stories better than Americans -- Me: Why do people make such grand, sweeping statements?

When J.K. Rowling finished Harry Potter, she graffitied a bust of a hotel statue.

It’s all about quotes: sad quotes from your favorite children’s books, quotes on body positivity

Nerdist’s list of 2016 books they can’t wait to read in 2016 features some YA novels. So does Kirkus’s 10 Most Anticipated Titles of 2016 and Goodreads’s 15 Highly Anticipated Titles of 2016.

People on tumblr tend to come up with some of the best posts on YA theories and tropes.

Emma Watson is launching her own feminist book club. I love when celebrities tweet about reading books, so more of these please.

Do you think that the focus of YA movies will shift onto contemporaries now that the Hunger Games franchise has ended? (“Needless to say, we’re at the teen movie tipping point...Of course, that’s not to say dystopian teen epics are going away completely (nor should they)...However, since “The Hunger Games” bowed in November, interest has certainly peaked — but has it waned?.. I’d say so. At this point in the zeitgeist, dystopian YA has a tendency to all look the same after a while...There will always be stories about teenagers coming-of-age in a confusing modern world. I would bet my menial life-savings on it. But what makes stories like “Looking For Alaska,” “Eleanor & Park” and Becky Albertalli’s “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” is that they capture what being a teen is really like. The fear and fun and unexplainable sadness and all of the emotions you feel at any given moment.”). Expecting to see more articles like this crop up, especially depending on how new adaptations do in the theater and beyond.

The New York Public Library just revealed a bunch of images for people to use (in memes?), and some of them are really interesting and quite random.

YA readers make New Year’s resolutions in a particular way.

A comic about the reality of reading and its escape.

2016 YA books with utterly irresistible concepts: yeah, I think that I’d agree in general with the title and some books being auto-buy just because of concept. Like The Winner’s Curse and in this list, The Girl from Everywhere among others.

If you’re a Sherlock fan, these recommendations are for you.

14 of B&N Teen’s Most Anticipated Historical Fiction of 2016: one of my New Year’s bookolutions was to read more YA historical fiction, so I am all over this list, especially Salt to the Sea and Outrun the Moon and A Tyranny of Petticoats.

What’s it like when you’re not a debut author anymore? (“Book releases are kind of like human birthdays….And then eventually you get to the age where you forget how old you are and just want to eat pizza in your apartment with your pants off. Depressing? Sure, but at least you made it to another year.– Hannah Moskowitz”)

Oh, that feeling that another book will never be as good.

I frequently link to B&N Teen blog posts here, and here’s a round-up from the editor of their favorite posts of 2015.

You know what’s sad? Carrie Fisher was in the news a bunch before the release of the new Star Wars movie, but I feel like a lot of articles pretty much emphasized how much weight she’d lost instead of how she’s a mental health hero.

Diverse fantasy books that will challenge your idea of fantasy fiction! Hello… list made for me. (“Fantasy recommendation lists are characterized by their safety...More often than not, though, the recommendations that they receive are the same few critically acclaimed authors whose work is all too often presented as representative of the genre. My belief is that Fantasy literature is the perfect lens for readers to challenge our ideas of humanity, violence, society, and power.”)

Attention to Book Nerds Who Like Yoga!

Gayle Forman's books teach you lots of life lessons.

I wrote about my own New Year’s Bookolutions if you’re interested.

Movies/TV Shows:

2016 is poised to have a lot of adaptations, so to make it easier on all of us trying to keep track, I made a calendar of adaptations (w/ their release dates) that I thought were relevant to the YA community.

Did you watch the Shadowhunters tv premiere yesterday? If not, you’ll be able to watch on Netflix today. And here’s something to tide you over for next week: stills from the next episode, The Descent into Hell Is Easy. Plus, you should let me know if these 10 things made it into the show (or were at least hinted at, in the beginning) -- I didn’t have the opportunity to watch yet.

A new poster for The Jungle Book adaptation.

The season 3 extended trailer for 100 was revealed. So was an intense new clip and photo of Clarke, and a clip of Sam Mendeson the show.

New photos and a clip from the 5th Wave, releasing in less than 9 days now.

Another character graphic for Allegiant: Christina.

Giveaways:

Adventures in Children's Publishing giveaway(s).

Giveaways listed at Saturday Situation by Lori of Pure Imagination and Candace of Candace's Book Blog.

Don't forget to enter YABC's giveaways for the month.

Sci-fi and Fantasy Friday {SF/F Reviews and Giveaways}.

If you have a giveaway, you should let me know.

Other:

New YA Releases: Teen Frankenstein by Chandler Baker, Other Broken Things by Christa Desir, The Heir and the Spare by Emily Albright, The Killing Jar by Jennifer Bosworth, Traveler (Seeker #2) by Arwen Elys Dayton, Zero Day by Jan Gangsei,Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira, The Assassin's Masque (Palace of Spies #3) by Sarah Zettel, Underwater by Marisa Leichhardt, Up From the Sea by Leza Lowitz, American Ace by Marilyn Nelson.

Recent Recommended Reads: You can read my review of The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows. I also just finished reading Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman, which I actually really enjoyed so maybe more on that later?

I went to the launch event for Passenger by Alexandra Bracken and Truthwitch by Susan Dennard, which was a lot of fun. Do y’all ever want me to write up event recaps? I sometimes don’t even really mention them, but if you’re curious enough, I can.

Which articles did you like best? Did I miss any news? Did you host a cover reveal or discussion that I should have posted about? A giveaway? Leave the links, and I'll either edit this post or post about 'em next week.

 

Review: The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows

Release Date: April 5, 2016
Source: Edelweiss

Published by: Katherine Tegen Books

Warning: there may be spoilers for The Orphan Queen.

The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows | Goodreads

Wilhelmina has a hundred enemies.

HER FRIENDS HAVE TURNED. After her identity is revealed during the Inundation, Princess Wilhelmina is kept prisoner by the Indigo Kingdom, with the Ospreys lost somewhere in the devastated city. When the Ospreys’ leader emerges at the worst possible moment, leaving Wil’s biggest ally on his deathbed, she must become Black Knife to set things right.

HER MAGIC IS UNCONTROLLABLE. Wil’s power is to animate, not to give true life, but in the wraithland she commanded a cloud of wraith mist to save herself, and later ordered it solid. Now there is a living boy made of wraith—destructive and deadly, and willing to do anything for her.

HER HEART IS TORN. Though she’s ready for her crown, declaring herself queen means war. Caught between what she wants and what is right, Wilhelmina realizes the throne might not even matter. Everyone thought the wraith was years off, but already it’s destroying Indigo Kingdom villages. If she can’t protect both kingdoms, soon there won’t be a land to rule.

In this stunning conclusion to THE ORPHAN QUEEN, Jodi Meadows follows Wilhelmina’s breathtaking and brave journey from orphaned criminal on the streets to magic-wielding queen.

 

If The Orphan Queen was the duology opener, tinged with a hint of romance, mystery, magic, and political intrigue, The Mirror King is the bittersweet conclusion that deepens the stakes and our understanding of and intimacy with the characters before we let go. Notably, while the Orphan Queen was a nod to Wil's legacy, The Mirror King is the book in which Tobiah must assert his own and accept the burden of his powers. Both characters have their own character arcs -- where the Orphan Queen featured more of Tobiah as Black Knife and Wil's sneaking around the palace, her nightly adventures, The Mirror King is about the myriad challenges that he and Wil face as not-so-future rulers of their countries. Here are the hard truths about being responsible for other lives.

The Mirror King picks up right where The Orphan Queen left off: Tobiah has been seriously injured, and Wil is partly responsible for her relation to Patrick, who wishes to put her back on her throne. Tobiah eventually makes a recovery, and the wraith boy returns empty-handed. Tobiah and Wil will have to work together to keep their countries at peace and find a solution to the ever growing wraith problem. They have common enemies, and whatever happens between them, they must ensure that their kingdoms are safe first and foremost.

The Mirror King has a lot of plot twists, particularly with regard to the wraith boy and the magic system that Jodi Meadows established, that I didn't see coming. The wraith boy's actions have rippling consequences, and he's much like an inner darkness within Wil (a mirror) that she must confront herself before she can control and prevent any further rashness on his part. Really, he is the first subject she must exert her authority over and rule. Because his understanding is also limited (a creature woken from a deadly mist thing produced by magic users... Mm yeah...), he's got an element of unpredictability that makes The Mirror King feel fresh. How human is he? Is he a part of Wil, and just how far does her animating magic extend? Can he exert his own will and what guides his actions? His limitations and purposes are well explored here. As are the limitations of the magic system in general -- which brings its own surprises.

Similarly, now that Wil's magic has been exposed, it's out for good. The Mirror King has a lot of magic, a lot more political intrigue because our main characters have more on their plates this time around. More of the world is explored as well; with the threat of wraith pressing in, we get to see more of other countries like Aecor. We also get to see new manifestations of magic, and clever ways to keep Tobiah and Wil talking even when they are separated, each on their own journeys.

On that note, the Mirror King shows how much better Tobiah and Wil are together when they actually work together. The Orphan Queen ended on a less than happy note for their romance; The Mirror King throws quite a few hurdles in their way as well. But when all is said and done, and their countries are struggling, and they are the hope of their people, they work well together to provide the stability needed during crisis. And they'll balance each other.

If you liked the mix of romance, magic, adventure and intrigue in The Orphan Queen, you're sure to like the character-focused journeys for Wil and Tobiah in The Mirror King, every bit as magical and romantic as its predecessor. The ending is open enough, I think, for maybe another story, someday, perhaps a novella? Well, one could hope anyway.

2016 Young Adult Adaptations

Hello, everyone! Last month, I gathered a round-up of adaptation news from the past six to seven months that I had covered in my bookish rounds posts. The six to seven months was an arbitrary number, and I had missed some adaptation news in choosing that limit.

 
I had also, however, gotten a few things wrong. For one, I had originally written that The 5th Wave adaptation was releasing January 15th; a week later, I realized that the date was set at January 22nd. I edited the post, but it turns out that I wasn't the only one with a mistaken idea of the release date. One of my friends, only a week ago, said that she had seen something that said January 15th. I assured her it was the 22nd, but that was the last straw. Certainly, there are a number of articles about reading the book before you see the movie, yet some of them also include movies that don't have set release dates. I thought that it would be useful to create a calender infographic of the upcoming 2016 young adult and middle grade adaptations.

*Note: Not all of these are strictly Young Adult adaptations -- some are more "kidlit" (e.g. The Little Prince, Tuck Everlasting, etc.) and some had franchises in MG/YA but may not be anymore (e.g. Harry Potter & Cursed Child, Fantastic Beasts, etc.), but I thought that all would be relevant to the YA community.

 
JANUARY:
 
MARCH:
APRIL:
MAY:
JULY:
OCTOBER:
NOVEMBER:
DECEMBER:
And for the rest....
 
 
RELEASE DATES NOT YET CONFIRMED*
A Calender of 2016 Young Adult and Middle Grade
Adaptations. Click to enlarge the image.
*For these movies, the release date is listed as 2016, but the actual date has not been confirmed. Whether they will actually be released this year is yet to be determined.
ONGOING TV SHOWS:
*Can't make a calender of adaptations without nodding to the successful ones that are still running!
 
*Note: Since Alex Skarsgård is playing Tarzan and has bulked up for the role, I figured that his character was probably not meant to be like the Disney version anymore.
 
If you're wondering where I got all this information from, again last month, I gathered a round-up of adaptation news from the past six to seven months that I had covered in my bookish rounds posts. Those posts have all the links to trailers, posters, etc.
 
So those are the 2016 young adult and middle grade adaptations! (Or at least “relevant to the YA/MG community” since HP & Cursed Child, & Fantastic Beasts may not be technically YA/MG). Which ones will you be watching / seeing this upcoming year? Are you going to withhold your judgment on others? Let me know!

New Year's Bookolutions 2016

Last year, I was tagged by my friend, Ameriie, at Books Beauty Ameriie for New Year's Bookolutions. I had a lot of fun discussing the books I was planning on reading this past year (LOL can you guess my success rate?!), and so I thought that I'd do the tag again this year.

 
New Year's Bookolutions 2016!

Number one, a series I plan to begin:

Last year I wrote The Seven Realms series, with The Demon King as the first book, by Cinda Williams Chima. Sadly, I have not read this series yet. It's still on my TBR.

This year, I'm writing the Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander. I can't remember which author mentioned the series in an interview, but that reminded me of an article I'd read in my Children's Literature class three years ago about how the Lloyd Alexander series handled its religious undertones compared to the His Dark Materials series (among others). It sounds like these are classic children's literature that have inspired many writers over the years, and I'm looking forward to seeing why.

Number two, a series I plan to finish:

Last year I wrote The Legend trilogy, with Champion as the last and final book, by Marie Lu. Sadly, I have not read this EITHER yet. Okay, I'm 0/2 so far. Doesn't mean I won't read these books this year!

This year, I'm writing the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. I pre-ordered Winter, so I've had the book since November, but since it's 800 pages, I was reluctant to take it home with me. Seemed too heavy for my carry-on, so that's only left maybe 20 or so days when I've had the chance to read the book. So, now that I'm back in New Jersey, and vacation is over, one of my goals is to finally pick up that book and finish the series! It's exciting to see such good things being said about the series closer (especially all the fan choice awards!).

Number three, a book that I've put off reading year after year:

Last year I wrote An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison, because it had been assigned reading for my Biological Basis of Psychopathology class, and I hadn't read it then nor since. To be fair to myself, part of the reason why I haven't read this yet has to do with my having moved this past summer. I took a lot of books with me to the office each day, and er, I still haven't brought a good portion of them home with me yet. Likely, this book is one of them, and out of sight, out of mind.

That being said, this year, I'm planning on reading Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. I keep putting off this trilogy for a number of reasons, one of which being that my friend who committed suicide got me the books as a gift, and I know I won't be able to discuss the books with him. But I want to know why he considered Brandon Sanderson his favorite author; I want to know why he gave me these books, and want to read these book gifts!
 
Number four, a book or series that I plan to reread:

Last year, I wrote Harry Potter + The Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner. Both are, in fact, true. I recently read HP, actually, owing to the marathon ABC Family/Freeform had over Christmas(?) weekend of the movies. And TQT by MWT? I reread that series whenever I've got a book hangover, because it's awesome and will leave me in awe regardless.

This year, I'll reread The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. Since The Raven King is being released in 2016, I'll finally have all four books. I've already reread the first two books via the audiobook (WHICH I LOVE-- I love Will Patton's narration soooooo much), and I can't wait to do all four the same way or even reading through the text for various clues. Maggie Stiefvater has repeatedly said that she's plotted the books so that they would reward readers with their details. A reread would indeed make for a great experience.

Number five, a genre that I'd like to read more of:

"I guess that I'd say nonfiction books with relation to science concepts or fantasy and literary criticism." That's definitely still true, even if I didn't really achieve that. I've got to stop reading my romance novels and be a little more focused if I want this to come true.

This year, I'm planning on reading more YA historical fiction. It was pretty sad while writing my Book Shimmy Award nominations, when I realized that I hadn't really read much in that genre, and how I had to nominate a book with fantastical elements. So here's to getting around to more historical fiction, including books that I'd written on my TBR list for 2015 like Under the Painted Sky by Stacey Lee.

Number six, the number of books I want to read:

Last year I wrote between 50 and 75. I definitely achieved that number, and I'm going to go with the same number this year. Hell, in the past two months, I've managed to read about 16 books. I think 50-75 books is a fair assumption for 2016, and I don't want to stress myself out and say over 100 or something, especially given the resolution I name below!

Number seven, my non-bookish resolution:

This year, I'm going to follow in Anna's footsteps and say that my non-bookish resolution is to choose what's best for me. Come this February, I will be officially visiting some graduate schools, and come May, I will presumably (assuming I get accepted after my interviews!) be choosing a place for the next five years of my life. This coming year is going to be full of excitement and inescapable life decisions. So, resolution: I will choose what's best for me.

So I'm probably supposed to tag people to continue this, but if y'all want to use the tag, you should! How would you answer these questions? What are some of your book and non bookish resolutions? Let me know!
 

Christina Makes the Bookish Rounds (97)

Christina Makes the Bookish Rounds is a feature that will let you know about recent MG/YA/NA book related news. I'll post about articles from the publishing industry, cover reveals, discussions from the book community, the latest tv/movie news, and giveaways that you're hosting. If you would like to follow along with cover reveals during the week, see my Pinterest. (If you're interested in how I make these posts, here's your guide.)

 

Publishing:
Rights Report

 

  • No Fair! No Fair! And Other Jolly Poems of Childhood - Calvin Trillin, illus by Roz Chast (the first book of poems for children; is inspired by some of Trillin's real-life experiences, with an eye toward the humor of familiar, everyday topics. Publication is set for October 2016; Scholastic's Orchard Books).
  • Feathervein - Tonya Hurley (a YA contemporary fantasy, follows Wren, a lonely girl with a gift for communicating with birds. She leaves behind a fractured family to investigate her mother's mysterious disappearance on a birding expedition in the Louisiana bayous, and enters a world steeped in folk magic. Publication is slated for fall 2017; Feiwel and Friends).
  • Forward - Abby Wambach (a memoir & young reader’s edition... the 2015 Women's World Cup champion and highest international goal scorer of all time, male or female. The books are scheduled for fall 2016; Dey Street & HarperCollins Children's Books).
  • Dimple & Rishi - Sandhya Menon (a contemporary YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married. Publication is set for summer 2017; Simon Pulse).
  • Little Dead Riding Hood and Other Scarytales - Kiersten White (MG debut; a collection of stories. A publication date has not been set; Scholastic Press).
  • Sleepover Surprise - Suzanne Selfors (MG; When Leilani's grandmother accidentally sends out sleepover invitations to the kids on the do-not-invite list, Leilani winds up hosting a group of oddballs she doesn't know – and never wanted to. But Leilani learns that none of them are quite what they seem at first glance, as the group works together to gather ingredients for a secret recipe that legend says will grant them a wish. Publication is scheduled for spring 2017; Macmillan/Imprint).
  • 27 Magic Words - Sharelle Byars Moranville (MG; When Kobi is very young, her mother writes 27 magic words on post-its and gives them to Kobi before she and Kobi's amateur magician dad are lost at sea in a sailing accident. Eventually, Kobi cracks the magic of most of the words and uses them to try to keep her new family together, negotiate a decent couch, and survive fifth grade. Publication is slated for fall 2016; Holiday House).

 

Nothing from last week.

Awards/Lists: Amazon’s Best YA Books of January. The Cybil award YA finalists were announced. Teen’s Best Books of 2015. Frances Hardinge won the 2015 Costa children’s book award. The 2016 Sendak Fellows were announced.

Vote in the 2015 Book Shimmy Award finals, winners to be announced January 11th. You can also nominate your favorite teen reads for the Teen Choice Book of the Year Award until February 2, 2016.

Excerpts: One Would Think the Deep - Claire Zorn, The Warden - Madeleine Roux

Book trailers: Comics Squad: Lunch!

Authors: Brigid Kemmerer & Kelly Fiore on Thicker Than Water (and another with Fiore here), Sarah J. Maas and Susan Dennard on Truthwitch, Curio - Evangeline Denmark, Paper Wishes - Lois Sepahban, This Is Where It Ends - Marieke Nijkamp(and another here), Enter Title Here - Rahul Kanakia, The Museum of Heartbreak - Meg Leder, Momotaro: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters - Margaret Dilloway, The Lost Celt - A.E. Conran, The Girl from Everywhere - Heidi Heilig, unusual holiday gifts that authors have received

Jake Marcionette is the youngest New York Times bestselling author.

Ransom Riggs recommended his favorite books from 2015. And on that note, 22 YA authors recommend their 2015 Must-Read Picks.

You can vote on the extra content that Renee Ahdieh will be writing for The Wrath and the Dawn duology.

Algonquin YR, specifically Workman, has announced a new campaign: I Love MG. On Twitter, they’ll be discussing it January 25-29.

If you’re looking to diversify your bookshelves, here’s a list of 2015 MG & YA books written by African American authors, as compiled by Zetta Elliott.

We Need Diverse Books also made a flowchart of young adult novels they’d recommend as well as a flowchart of their middle grade recommendations.

Gene Luen Yang was named the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature 2016-2017. Here’s an interview with him via NPR.

The statistics for 2016 debut novels from Sweet Sixteeners was interesting. I keep thinking that fantasy has saturated the market, but contemporary still leads the charge. I wonder how this compares to other years? Contemporary always seems to have the most published (excluding the years of YA PNR flooding the market? maybe?), but did the fantasy percentage published go up, or am I just making things up?

Kim Savage’s ‘After The Woods’ Shows Why Strong Female Characters Don’t Need To Be Likeable → I haven’t read this book, but I can agree with the title alone. Anti-heroines, unlikable MCs, yay!

2015 debut authors share what they learned in their debut year here and here.

Scholastic got a bunch of kids together in a video to share why they read.

A new piece in the Harry Potter World → this time, it’s on Merope Gaunt.

You may have already heard about this or were targeted if you’re a YA book blogger → a summary of a catfishing scheme to review a book.

There’s a scheduled series of interviews this week with the Morris Award finalists (esp since the 11th is the big reveal day for the Youth Media Awards → expect that week’s rounds to be huuuuge). So far, you’ve got the interview with Leah Thomas, author of Because You’ll Never Meet Me, and the interview with Becky Albertalli, author of Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.

Epic Reads made an infographic of all the HarperCollins books being published in 2016. Reeeallly helpful, especially since it’s broken down by genre.

A company is looking to make personalized books.

I think this might be an old graphic, but I just found it and I love it. It’s a *map* looking at the interaction between readers, writers, and the publishing industry (“Writing Reviews Rock,” “Social Media Shores,” “Revision River”).

The 2015 Nerdies were announced: part 1 and part 2 - the finalists. This is the first time I’m hearing about these so that’s why they’re not in the “awards” section.

Do you think that no topic should be taboo when writing for teenagers? (“If you asked the parents and care-givers who objected to these books whether anything is off-limits in writing for teenagers, their answer would be different from that of the writers...The boundaries exist; whether writers should obey them is another matter.”)

My answer to the above question: No topic should be taboo! But, apparently these books were so dangerous they had to be pulled off shelves. So if you ever run into that situation, maybe. But not the topics themselves.

The recent explosion of interest in classic folk stories may be because: “The core of fairy tales seems to reach deeper—well beyond the delights and shocks caused by improbable events—towards a species of raw honesty and authenticity.”

What’s Trending? What Is, What Was, What’s Soon to Be in Kid Lit - a good general summary of some trends in YA last year (like wishing for more diverse books but the stats being lower than we hoped, etc.).

Cover Reveals:

middle grade young adult cover reveals
On Through the Never - Melissa E. Hurst
Golden Boys - Sonya Hartnett, new publisher design
Red Ink - Julie Mayhew, new publisher design
young adult cover reveals
Cruel Intentions - Scarlett York, NA
Heartless - Leah Rhyne, new publisher design


Discussion & Other Blogger Posts:

Looking for a 2016 read? These articles have got you covered → Popcrush’s most anticipated 2016 YA books, Paste Magazine’s 10 most anticipated YA books of 2016, B&N Teen’s 20 Most Anticipated January 2016 releases, B&N Teen’s 12 Most Anticipated Sequels of 2016, B&N Teen’s 13 HIghly Anticipated Sophomore Standalones of 2016, Bustle’s January 2016 13 Best YA Books to Read When the Snow Inevitably Falls, Reading Brightly’s 16 of the Most Exciting YA Books to Read in 2016, Reading Brightly’s The Books Kids Say They Can’t Wait to Read in 2016, Book Riot’s 15 Rad YA Books Coming in 2016

If you’re planning out what to read in 2016, B&N Teen has a really cute YA Book Bingo card that you can fill out with each read from the upcoming year.

Book Riot also has the “Read Harder” 2016 Challenge if you’d like to follow along with that.

Lots of best of 2015 lists still around → best books for women 2015… but interestingly, did you think that best of lists this year were more diverse? I didn’t really notice that, but if that’s indeed a trend, I’d love that.

According to USA Today, these were the must-read romances of 2015 and BookRiot says these YA couples left them breathless this past year.

If you’re looking for something to read to fulfill your Hamilton craving, here are some recommendations. And some more recommendations if you want to read a graphic novel memoir, like the YA Honor Girl pubbed by Candlewick.

Ah, Buzzfeed, your quizzes never fail to amuse. Based on your Zodiac sign, you can discover which member of the Order of the Phoenix you are.

A compilation of great articles & books on girls of color and YA dystopian literature.

The New Year’s Resolutions of a book nerd - don’t buy more books, read XYZ books, follow this challenge, and on it goes each and every year. And here’s a video to that effect too. And more book nerd goals and New Year’s Resolutions inspired by Harry Potter and authors’ reading resolutions for 2016 too.

If you’ve still got holiday gift cards left, here are some ebooks you can get. Timeless classics you can also get with those gift cards.

This is when I know I’m behind on pop culture. There’s a Sherlock Special coming up(?), and if you’re excited, these YA books may be what to read afterwards.

Oh, bookstagram. I adore the pictures set in different colors. I wish I had a rainbow’s worth but alas.

Quotes on winter + taking a chance, and while you’re at it, check out these great opening lines in kidlit (I kinda love those posts because they’re so subjective--except that a lot of people do repeat The Hobbit + HP1).

With all the upcoming movie adaptations this year, try not to spoil the adaptations for your friends.

Movies and TV Shows:

Did y’all like it when I compiled 6-7 months worth of news from this section into a round-up of options, casting news, etc.? As in… should I make another post like that with ALL the options, casting news, etc. from 2015? That would mean including the news from the bookish rounds I’ve made since then and a few more that I’d cut off as the arbitrary limit, like the posts from January-March.

^ Actually, in that list, I didn’t really cover some other movies that I think some of you are interested in, like the live-action Beauty and the Beast movie and so on. I only occasionally cover stuff on fairy tales etc. because they’re not technically adaptations of specific books (also maybe Alice and the Looking Glass, which I just missed). Anywho, here’s some old news: Chloe Grace Moretz has been cast in the live action flick of The Little Mermaid.

The premiere of Shadowhunters the show is coming up really soon. Here was Cassandra Clare’s first visit to the set, and here’s a new teaser video.

Emma Watson started the New Year in tweeting her support for Noma Dumezweni, the actress playing a black Hermione. Yayyy, support all around! Hint, hint, Hollywood, publishing industry, etc.

The 5th Wave movie is coming soon - January 22nd. They’ve got some cool graphics: wallpapers for your phone, “stay human,” and “trust no one.” And if you’d like a sneak peek, looooads of clips this week → an exclusive clip from Just Jaredwith Evan & Cassie, “he’s one of us,” a featurette discussing how they adapted the book into a film, “I Will be Ready,” “Fight Back,” and “Human.”

EEE, more sneak peeks at Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them! A picture & discussion on the casting choice of Eddie Redmayne plus an exclusive look at Eddie Redmayne in the film.

Allegiant is also coming soon. Graphics on Peter, Tris, and Evelyn.

And it looks like Before I Fall will indeed be released in 2016 (I know I’ve said this before, but looking at more shots from the movie-- I’m more and more convinced). Here are screenshots from Claire’s video, highlights from the movie including Sam, Sam + Lindsey, etc., and the Kingston family headshots.

New pictures for the 6th season of Pretty Little Liars!

Similarly, new pictures for the 3rd season of the 100!

“Glyndebourne will next year stage an opera based on Nothing, a YA novel by Danish author Janne Teller released in the UK by Scottish independent publisher Strident.” Whaa. That’s the first I’ve heard of a YA opera adaptation, I guess.

“Tim Federle, author of the Broadway-set novel ‘Better Nate Than Ever,’ has joined Claudia Shear as co-librettist of the upcoming new Broadway musical Tuck Everlasting.” I like Broadway, but I know nothing -- is co-librettist similar to writing screenplays?

Giveaways:

Adventures in Children's Publishing giveaway(s): New Releases 1/04/16! Win TWO of the great new YA novels that release this week, plus read interviews and a round-up of all this week's new YA novels. Giveaway ends 1/10/16.

Giveaways listed at Saturday Situation by Lori of Pure Imagination and Candace of Candace's Book Blog.

Don't forget to enter YABC's giveaways for the month.

Sci-fi and Fantasy Friday {SF/F Reviews and Giveaways}.

I will probably be posting a giveaway soon, myself, re: best books 2015 & anticipated 2016 reads.

If you have a giveaway, you should let me know.

Other:

New YA Releases:

December 27 - January 2: Thicker Than Water by Brigid Kemmerer, Endure by Sarah B. Larson, What's Broken Between Us by Alexis Bass, Before Goodbye by Mimi Cross, HEAR by Robin Epstein.

January 3 - 9: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard, Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine, This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp,Passenger by Alexandra Bracken, Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, Thicker than Water by Kelly Fiore, Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley, Upon a Kiss by Robin Palmer, Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake, This Song is (Not) for You by Laura Nowlin, Winter's Bullet by William Osborne, Life at the Speed of Us by Heather Sappenfield.

Recent Recommended Reads: You can read my review of Passenger by Alexandra Bracken. I also wrote about my favorite books that I’d read in 2015.

I went to the launch event for This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Njikamp. Lovely to hear her discuss her writing process (plotting, putting aside a science fiction WIP to write about the four characters in TISITE, whose voices were loud in her head after she saw a school bus for the first time), getting immersed in American culture because gun culture & school shootings = not really a thing in the Netherlands, and much more. Sona Charaipotra, a co-author of Tiny Pretty Things, was the host, and she was also really nice. You may hear more about both books from me in the future.

Which articles did you like best? Did I miss any news? Did you host a cover reveal or discussion that I should have posted about? A giveaway? Leave the links, and I'll either edit this post or post about 'em next week.

 

Christina Makes the Bookish Rounds (96)

Christina Makes the Bookish Rounds is a feature that will let you know about recent MG/YA/NA book related news. I'll post about articles from the publishing industry, cover reveals, discussions from fellow bloggers, the latest tv/movie news, and giveaways that you're hosting. If you would like to follow along with cover reveals during the week, see my Pinterest. (If you're interested in how I make these posts, here's your guide.)

 

Publishing:
Rights Report + another report:

 

  • You Bad Son - Dan Santat (a YA graphic novel based on Santat's experience growing up as an only child in a Thai-American family, which centers on his decision to go to art school over pursuing a career in medicine, and what his family faced when his mother was diagnosed with cancer...The first book will publish in fall 2017; Roaring Brook Press).
  • Lailu Loganberry's Mystic Cooking - Heidi Lang (r.) & Kati Bartkowski (debut which follows the youngest master chef in 300 years in her efforts to open a restaurant where anyone, not only the wealthy, can feast on her fantastic cuisine including everything from kraken calamari to dragon steak. Publication is slated for summer 2017; S&S/Aladdin).
  • Follow Me Back - A.V. Geiger (YA debut; a romantic thriller for the online generation, told through a combination of police transcripts, Twitter DMs, and a dual POV narrative. When a disguised pop star and his #1 Twitter fan arrange to meet in real life, fake identities are revealed and what should have made for the world's best episode of Catfish turns deadly. Publication is planned for summer 2017; Sourcebooks Fire).
  • The Gone Away Place - Christopher Barzak (a YA novel about a 17-year-old girl suffering from survivor's guilt after a natural disaster devastates her community. Publication is scheduled for fall 2017; Knopf).
  • Untitled - Julie Murphy (untitled companion novel to Dumplin', which follows supporting characters from the first book in the months after Willowdean's star turn in the Clover City pageant. Publication is set for 2018; Balzer + Bray).
  • Boomerang - Helene Dunbar (in which a teen who was assumed kidnapped returns to the town he ran from with a scheme to save the boy he had an intense, complicated relationship with during his years away, only to find that while he's changed over the past five years, so has the town. Publication is slated for fall 2017; Sky Pony Press).
  • Betty (working title) - Ilyasah Shabazz (a middle grade biographical novel based on the early years of her mother, Betty Shabazz, civil rights icon and wife of Malcolm X. Renée Watson will collaborate. Publication is scheduled for winter 2018; Farrar, Straus and Giroux).
  • The Survivors Club: The True Story of a Very Young Prisoner of Auschwitz - Michael Bornstein and Debbie Bornstein Holinstat (This middle grade book reveals how young Michael – whose liberation at age four from Auschwitz was captured in now-famous newsreel footage taken by Soviet soldiers – and several other members of his family from Poland dodged death during the Holocaust, eventually reuniting after the war and emigrating to the U.S. Publication is slated for March 2017; Farrar, Straus & Giroux).
  • Project Mc2 from MGA Entertainment (Project Mc2 is a team of four super-smart girls who use their love of science and spy skills as they go on missions for their secret organization NOV8. The first title, a middle-grade novelization of the Netflix series with experiments included, will publish in March 2016, with a second to follow in fall 2016. Macmillan/Imprint).
  • Morbid Obesity: Murder at Camp Bloom - Terry Blas and Molly Muldoon, illustrated by Matthew Seely (After teens Jesse and Noah witness a murder at fat camp, they join forces with two other campers to find the killer – who could be one of the counselors. Publication is set for 2018; Oni Press).
  • Be Light Like a Bird - Monika Schröder (a middle grade novel about a 12-year-old girl whose life is thrown into upheaval following the death of her father and her struggle to discover the person she's meant to be. Publication is planned for fall 2016; Capstone).

 

From last week:

 

  • The Excavation of Lincoln Malone - Cordelia Jensen (The novel-in-verse tells the story of “virtual” twins: Holly, adopted from Ghana, who fits in perfectly at the sisters' competitive school and at home; and Linc, who struggles to fit in despite her biological connection, and the choices each girl makes, leading them on journeys of self-discovery and identity through a lens of photography, New York City history, and West African culture. Publication is scheduled for spring 2018; Philomel).
  • The Real Marvelous - Samantha Mabry (In it, a young couple working the maguey plantations of the Southwest in a world plagued by water shortages, injustice, and dark superstition, must flee their old home for a new one that may or may not be cursed. Publication is set for fall 2017; Algonquin Young Readers).

 

Awards/Lists: Booklist’s Audio choices for Youth, YALSA’s 2016 Excellence in Nonfiction award nominees (er, this was announced at the same time as the Morris finalists; I missed the link, my bad), Hypable’s Best Books of 2015, Rick Riordan’sfavorite books of 2015, Buzzfeed’s Best YA Books of 2015, The Daily Beast’s Best Children’s books of 2015, Publishing Crawl's Best Books of 2015.

Vote in the Book Shimmy Award Semifinals! You can also nominate your favorite teen reads for the Teen Choice Book of the Year Award until February 2, 2016.

Excerpts: And I Darken - Kiersten White, The Finishing School - Gail Carriger (extras), Passenger - Alexandra Bracken,Infinity Lost - S. Harrison, and a lot of 2016 books from Penguin Teen.

Authors: The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You - Lily Anderson, Seven Ways We Lie - Riley Redgate, The Distance to Home - Jenn Bishop, The Lost Celt - A.E. Conran, authors’ favorite gifts and holiday traditions, Thicker Than Water - Kelly Fiore, The Siren - Kiera Cass, Dumplin’ - Julie Murphy

A brief summary of author and industry events from last week.

The children’s breakfast speakers for BEA 2016 were announced: Jamie Lee Curtis, Sabaa Tahir, Gene Luen Yang, and Dav Pilkey.

These 10 YA Fiction authors ruled 2015, including Sabaa Tahir, who in addition to what the article says, also has the BEA children’s breakfast next year.

We Need Diverse Books is launching a campaign called Drum It Up, trying to sell copies of Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music, by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Rafael López. Engle is the first Latin@ author to win the Newberry. (“From November 28 to January 1st, bookstores will be drumming up interest in the book by striving to sell as many copies as possible.”).

Algonquin YR, specifically Workman, has announced a new campaign: I Love MG. On Twitter, they’ll be discussing it January 25-29.

You can follow along with the January release dates of 2016 debuts with this printable calendar. Other calendars for other months to follow.

The title of the third Snow Like Ashes book is Frost Like Night.

The most reblogged books on tumblr include Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and the Raven Cycle.

A really interesting article on colonial narratives in science fiction. Considering that Star Wars is SO popular right now, I’m willing to bet that the Next Big Thing/Trend in YA will be sci-fi. (Fantasy is everywhere--because Game of Thrones is popular. There’s an upswing in time travel novels because of Outlander. Star Wars ⇒ sci-fi or science fantasy, really, is going to make its comeback.).

The most important writing from people of color in 2015. Great links ahead--my reading for the rest of tonight.

The Youth Media Awards will be announced January 11th. Sam Bloom discusses his experience as a white male judge for the Coretta Scott King Book award.

A wishlist from the mods at Writing With Color: “this page is a resource for writers, so we thought writers might want to know what kinds of representation would make us more likely to get excited about your book. We don’t speak for everyone in our demographic, just ourselves, but we hope this post gives you some cool writing ideas.” Can I also flail? Because I’d love to read books with the characters they’ve mentioned as well.


Moral of the story: Pursue what you love, regardless of your gender.

Black Comic Book festival is at the Schomburg Center Jan 16.

Kaye @gildedspine has formed @themuslimsquad: “We are called The Muslim Squad because our particular interest and concern is in boosting and supporting Muslim voices, which is crucial right now."

If you’re looking for soome book recs, #GayYABookClub has got you covered too!

Maryland will be mailing free books each month to Baltimore’s children.

Publisher's Weekly compiled its most popular posts of the year.

Cover Reveals:

young adult cover reveals
Allegiant - Veronica Roth, movie tie-in edition
young adult cover reveals
Little Cat's Luck - Marion Dane Bauer, illus by Jennifer A. Bell

Hardcovers will be published with the original Winner’s Trilogy covers, while paperbacks will have the new cover design.

Discussion & Other Blogger Posts:

If you’re looking to get EXCITED for 2016 reads, these articles have got you covered → Bustle’s 18 most anticipated YA 2016 novels from January through April, Gurl’s most anticipated YA 2016 novels, B&N Teen’s 25 Most Anticipated 2016 Contemporary YA, B&N Teen’s 26 Most Anticipated 2016 Fantasy YA, B&N Teen’s 15 Most Anticipated LGBTQ YAs of 2016, We Need Diverse Books 10 2016 Must Reads, B&N Teen’s 13 Highly Anticipated Sophomore Standalones of 2016, Reading Brightly’s 16 Most Exciting YA Books to Read in 2016

According to the Kirkus blog, these were the stand-out YA reads of 2015.

I like how Penguin Teen is writing more blog posts grouping its books under themes or, like here, discussing the excitement for Salt to the Sea with reader tweets.

If you’re a fan of Jesse the Reader, Kat of Katytastic, or Christine of Polandbananabooks, check out this interview on their virtual book club, when they first met, etc.

Are you a Jane Austen fan? These 6 book recommendations are for you.

Things that book nerds do during the holidays -->I definitely tried planning out what I was going to read, though, er, that may not be going so well so far lol.

What do you gift the book nerd who has everything? Heh. My mom just convinced my brother to give me a Barnes & Noble gift card, so that’s one option?

Quotes on loving yourself.

Vintage photos of people in libraries. Libraries helping kids since their inception.

This season, get your book gifts from a bookstore.

The fantasy fanatics in your life might like these books as gifts.

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton may have a ship similar to Han/Leia from Star Wars.

John Green & Bustle have recommended these ten books.

YAS YAS YAS can we all discuss how awesome it was that they cast a black Hermione?

Movies & TV Shows:

I compiled 6-7 months worth of news from THIS SECTION in my bookish rounds here → YA Adaptation (Movies & TV Shows) Round-up. It doesn’t include what I mentioned two weeks ago or last week or even this week, but it’s a running list of things optioned, things with actors attached, things released next year, etc.

The Between Shades of Gray movie seems to be moving forward: a conceptual film sketch.

A picture of Tim Burton and Asa Butterfield working on the Miss Peregrine’s Movie.

One month until The 5th Wave movie releases. I actually saw the trailer preview before Star Wars, which must’ve taken a lot but also hit core audiences, huh? Anyway, here’s a behind the scenes look at the movie.

If you didn’t already know, the cast for the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child London play was announced: Jamie Parker, Noma Dumezweni & Paul Thornley. Some people were up in arms about a black Hermione, but J.K. Rowling pwned them all by pointing out the white default and how a black Hermione is not only possible but also WELCOMED. I saw loads of tweets on #BlackHarryPotter, which is also YASSSSSSSS. (I wish the new illustrated versions of Harry Potter also had Black Hermione or other black characters. Alas.).

Oh, hey, oops, here’s another movie I missed: Ghostbusters has released a promotional photo, and the movie’s being released July 15. (Even more character posters here!).

There are a couple of new Allegiant posters you could check out, mainly of Tris and Four hugging with quotes from the book as captions. Also the poster that’s on the movie tie-in version of the book (which I featured above).

Lionsgate has pushed back Allegiant Part 2 / the final Divergent film / Ascendant to June 9, 2017.

The season 3 poster for the 100 was released.

I don’t really cover Pretty Little Liars that much, but check out the poster for the next season.

The Before I Fall adaptation is done filming. Another picture, a drenched photo, Kent’s party, drinks thrown at Juliet, and a round-up of other photos here. You can follow the movie twitter here, and it’s reported to be released in 2016, after all.

An animated poster for The Jungle Book adaptation.

Netflix has acquired rights to The Shadowhunters TV show so that a day after the episode airs, it can be played on Netflix.

Another movie I forgot to cover? Fallen by Lauren Kate. Looks like that will be releasing sometime in 2016.

And according to this MTV list of read the book before you see the movie, Nerve by Jeanne Ryan is set to release sometime in 2016 as well.

The Emily Windsnap series by Liz Kessler will be developed into a movie by Robert Stromberg.

Giveaways:

Adventures in Children's Publishing giveaways: Win a book pack of popular or recent YA titles, plus swag to help reward readers, for underfunded classrooms, schools, or libraries. Know a school or library who needs books? Nominate them!. Ends 1/1/16.

Giveaways listed at Saturday Situation by Lori of Pure Imagination and Candace of Candace's Book Blog.

Don't forget to enter YABC's giveaways for the month.

Sci-fi and Fantasy Friday {SF/F Reviews and Giveaways}.

You have until January 1st to complete your Storyboard Sprites board and win a book up to $15.

If you have a giveaway, you should let me know.

Other:

New YA Releases (the week of Dec 23): This Raging Light by Estelle Laure, Reduced to Dust by Gabrielle Arrowsmith, See How They Run by Ally Carter

ALSO! If you follow this and want to know the release date of 2016 debuts, check out this printable calendar (with only January listed but other months to follow).

Recent Recommended Reads: You can read my raving recommendation of The Mapmakers trilogy by S.E. Grove. I'm on vacation... and still need to write a review for Passenger... and make a best books blog post. lololol okay, so there may also not be a bookish rounds post next week - not sure if there will really be enough since a lot of people seem to be on vacation. But also, it's really hard to motivate yourself on vacation. Woo! Happy reading, y'all!

Which articles did you like best? Did I miss any news? Did you host a cover reveal or discussion that I should have posted about? A giveaway? Leave the links, and I'll either edit this post or post about 'em next week.
 

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Release Date: January 5th, 2016
Source: ARC via publisher
Published by: Disney Hyperion

Passenger - Alexandra Bracken | Goodreads

passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever.

 

With any book that heavily features cinematic action, there's always the danger (for me) of dissociating from the characters because the focus is more on the plot than their plight. However, this did not happen with Passenger. From the opening pages, I identified with the main characters, Nicholas and Etta, and their character struggles. In the prologue, we are shown a crucial, character-defining moment in Nicholas's life; from that moment on, it's easy to understand his bitterness, his dissociation with the world around him and the privileges and legacy he cannot claim. In the first chapter, Etta is revealed to be a violin prodigy with a competitive, ambitious attitude; she's been waiting a long time for her debut, and she will not back down, a quite refreshing outlook (to me) for a young female character. Both characters are immediately rendered flawed yet sympathetic, with their own struggles to overcome in the duology.

Because Outlander is so successful, it seems like there is an increase in YA time-travel novels (for 2016 and beyond). Honestly, I like this trend, and I want to emphasize how Passenger is different from others in YA that I've read. Perhaps the most key element to this difference is the emphasis in Passenger on travelers not belonging to any one culture. In Passenger, time-traveling has become heavily regulated due to one family bending the others under its heel and a diminished ability to time-travel because of a decline in the population of the genetic predisposition therein. Alex Bracken has imagined several details to accompany the time-traveler "belonging" aspect of her world-building: people being orphaned from their time, shifting timelines because of the actions of certain characters and the war between families for power over the time passages; the discussion of wealth and power inherent to the privilege of time traveling and changing history. In order to survive the trials put by the dominating family with the most time travelers, people have been forced to take desperate action. People from that family, and others, have to learn several languages and the ability to blend in with the tenor and feel of a time period, even when its attitudes are so different from their own. Alex Bracken doesn't seem to skimp on historical detail, even when they're not accepted in our own time but are clearly markers of the struggles faced by characters from their own time period. Altogether Passenger is a fascinating look into history and culture with its well-developed world-building. I once saw that teachers recommended YA historical fiction to their students as a way of encouraging their interest in history; I can see Passenger among these novels, for it is clear that Alexandra Bracken has done her research to make the atmosphere and attitudes realistic.

The romance between Etta and Nicholas is of the slow-burn kind. While the two are indeed instantly attracted to each other, neither knows what to make of and whether to trust the other. Through their shared trials on their quest to retrieve a valuable object, they get to know one another and that attraction is allowed to simmer. However, the romance never takes over the main quest plot or the suspense that Alex Bracken builds about their motives and those of the other characters. In short, Passenger will have a huge audience. Also, it would make for an amazing movie, and I would not be surprised if, in the coming weeks, we hear of a Hollywood studio snatching the rights to this book. Check out the book trailer if you don't believe me.

If you're a The Darkest Minds fan, I do think that you're going like Passenger; there's a similar blend of cinematic action, romance, suspense, and emotionally charged situations. I also would recommend this to fans of A Thousand Pieces of You. Of the time travel YA novels published so far (that I have read!), ATPoY seems the most similar. Cinematic in scope and sharpened by suspense, family drama, flawed, interesting characters, and an intense romantic bond, Passenger is sure to nab its own legion of fans eager for the sequel, especially after that explosive ending.

Read the Mapmaker's Trilogy by S.E. Grove!

The Glass Sentence & The Golden Specific are the most inventive MG fantasy novels that I've read since Harry Potter. I don't read a lot of MG, true, but they are also much more inventive than a lot of YA I've read. Highly, highly, HIGHLY recommended.

 
After the below synopses, I will ramble in true fangirl style about my love for these books.

The Glass Sentence by S.E. Grove | GOODREADS
Release Date: June 12, 2014 (hardcover; pb: June 16, 2015)
Published by: Viking Books for Young Readers
 
She has only seen the world through maps. She had no idea they were so dangerous.

Boston, 1891. Sophia Tims comes from a family of explorers and cartologers who, for generations, have been traveling and mapping the New World—a world changed by the Great Disruption of 1799, when all the continents were flung into different time periods. Eight years ago, her parents left her with her uncle Shadrack, the foremost cartologer in Boston, and went on an urgent mission. They never returned. Life with her brilliant, absent-minded, adored uncle has taught Sophia to take care of herself.

Then Shadrack is kidnapped. And Sophia, who has rarely been outside of Boston, is the only one who can search for him. Together with Theo, a refugee from the West, she travels over rough terrain and uncharted ocean, encounters pirates and traders, and relies on a combination of Shadrack’s maps, common sense, and her own slantwise powers of observation. But even as Sophia and Theo try to save Shadrack’s life, they are in danger of losing their own.

The Glass Sentence plunges readers into a time and place they will not want to leave, and introduces them to a heroine and hero they will take to their hearts. It is a remarkable debut.


IF YOU HAVEN'T READ BOOK 1 AND ARE AFRAID OF SPOILERS, DON'T READ THIS NEXT SYNOPSIS.

The Golden Specific by S.E. Grove | GOODREADS
Release Date: July 14, 2015
 

The eagerly-awaited sequel to the best-selling The Glass Sentence -- a historical, fantastical adventure perfect for fans of Philip Pullman!

It is the summer of 1892, one year since Sophia Tims and her friend Theo embarked upon the dangerous adventure that rewrote the map of the world. Since their return home to Boston, she has continued searching for clues to her parents’ disappearance, combing archives and libraries, grasping at even the most slender leads. Theo has apprenticed himself to an explorer in order to follow those leads across the country—but one after another proves to be a dead end.

Then Sophia discovers that a crucial piece of the puzzle exists in a foreign Age. At the same time, Theo discovers that his old life outside the law threatens to destroy the new one he has built with Sophia and her uncle Shadrack. What he and Sophia do not know is that their separate discoveries are intertwined, and that one remarkable person is part of both.

There is a city that holds all of the answers—but it cannot be found on any map. Surrounded by plague, it can only be reached by a journey through darkness and chaos, which is at the same time the plague’s cure: The Golden Specific.

 

And the cover for The Crimson Skew, the third and final book in the Mapmakers Trilogy, was recently released as well. That book will be releasing July 12, 2016. You can read my initial thoughts up to page 85 of The Golden Specific as well.

Note: this is categorized, I think, as middle grade, but the characters are 13-14 years old. You could just as well categorize them as young adult, if you're hesitant to read them because of the label.

WHY YOU NEED TO READ THIS TRILOGY*:
*The Crimson Skew may not have been released yet but yes yes yes it is making my 2016 list...

1) This trilogy is not just for kids. I like to think of the quote I have on my about page: "A children's story which is enjoyed only by children is a bad children's story. The good ones last." (From Lewis, C.S. "On Three Ways of Writing for Children." On Stories: And Other Essays in Literature. New York: Harcourt Inc., 1982: 31-43.). The best kind of MG and YA stories are the ones with themes so resonant that adults can identify with them as well, and with recognizable yet colorful characters, complex world-building and plotting. When I read The Glass Sentence and The Golden Specific, my first thought was that I would recommend these books to readers of all ages. As I stated in my review of The Glass Sentence, the books focus on making of time what you want. The books focus on family, belonging, history, myth, and story-telling.

2) This trilogy is also perfect for kids. The Golden Specific would be excellent to facilitate discussion among kids about immigration policies and the founding of the United States, what happened to Native Americans. The trilogy is, in many ways, a discussion on historical constructs: this is what happened in our past (Age of Verity); need we repeat these events in the future? Who is telling the story - the people we're destined to become or the ones we're choosing to be every day, or the people empowered by their Age? It has these very deep embedded questions that a teacher or parent could use to ask questions of the kid, and for the kid? This series also has all the magical adventure, fun, wit, and sheer imagination that something as famous as Harry Potter does (note: I haven't read His Dark Materials, so I can't speak to the Phillip Pullman comparison). I have the sense that S.E. Grove can do anything; her imagination is truly remarkable.

3) Sophia, and the other characters, are as adorable as ever. I love that these books are clearly led by Sophia. Theo becomes a hero with his own character arc in The Golden Specific, but to me the books are still centered around Sophia, who is one of my favorite heroines for her resourcefulness, loyalty, and determination. I love that S.E. Grove has created a female lead who doesn't give up her willingness to trust other people, even in the face of dangerous and frightening circumstances. I love that she comes across her own realizations in the appropriate amount of time, and I love that her flaw, time and time again, is what helps her to succeed -- in accepting herself, she becomes stronger with each book. As for the other characters, my original complaint from The Glass Sentence was that they didn't pop for me as much as I'd liked. No such complaint for The Golden Specific! Because you get other points of view besides Sophia's, the characters feel more complex. They have their own agendas, and seeing the characters through more than just Sophia's perspective allowed for added shades to their character. Additionally, The Golden Specific did a wonderful job highlighting how the characters are both their own people and defined by the world and Ages in which they live.

4) The world-building is phenomenal. If I expanded on this category, it would be incoherent fangirly rambles in which I praise S.E. Grove's imagination and all the remarkable little details that she adds to make the atmospheres and settings palpable, imaginable, and within our reach. So, I'll just have to curtail my discussion; also check my review of the first book for more on that note.

In comparing The Glass Sentence to The Golden Specific, I'd say that The Golden Specific picks up the stakes; the other points of view (besides Sophia's) allow for additional complexity in the plot but sacrifice a little of the thematic emphasis that The Glass Sentence had on making of time what you want. I think that also hints at how dynamic this series is. While The Glass Sentence had a whole heap of magic and enchanted me with this grand world, The Golden Specific pushed my imagination as a reader, because I could not predict where the plot was headed; there were so, so many details, and the world-building is so expansive that I didn't know where the book would take me next. Reading was an adventure of its own! One last thing I will also say is that if you've read The Glass Sentence, I would suggest rereading before reading The Golden Specific. Because the world-building is so expansive, I had a harder time remembering certain aspects of the plot and world that turned out to be crucial to The Golden Specific.

A wonderfully well-written, timeless adventure through Ages and worlds both marvelous and dangerous, with colorful and developed characters at the forefront. You cannot miss out on The Mapmaker's trilogy by S.E. Grove.

Best Books I Read in 2015

Today I thought that I'd share my favorite reads from 2015. I've been posting these on a Goodreads shelf all year long, but some of them are books I'd also marked as favorites in 2014: Made You Up by Francesca Zappia, Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma, The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski, and The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon. Those I read in 2014, though they were officially published in 2015 -- would still recommend reading those! Last year I only made a video as a means of recommending books to people who didn't like YA much, but this year I wanted to make a full list!

 

*note: not all were published in 2015!

Great contemporary reads --

Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed, Dumplin' by Julie Murphy, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart, Delicate Monsters by Stephanie Kuehn, and Black Iris by Leah Raeder

Written in the Stars is a heartfelt exploration of an arranged marriage in Pakistan, written simply to maximize its impact and our identification with the main character on her horrific journey. Dumplin' is a romantic coming-of-age about a fat girl who competes in a beauty pageant to regain her confidence and self-love. About a girl trying to break into a men-only secret society, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is another great read from E. Lockhart. And what happens when you take three self-destructive, morally grey people and force them to interact with each other? A high stakes psychological thriller from Stephanie Kuehn, potentially her best work yet in Delicate Monsters. Black Iris is Leah Raeder's heart book, sexy, romantic suspense layered with questions about gender identity and sexuality. All are wonderful explorations of growing up in a patriarchal world.

You can read my reviews of: Black Iris, Delicate Monsters, and Dumplin'. I nominated Dumplin' and Delicate Monsters in theEpic Reads Book Shimmy Awards, and encouraged others to be excited for the release of Dumplin'.

Magical realism that takes risks in its narrative --

Chime by Franny Billingsley, Bone Gap by Laura Ruby, and The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle

YA magical realism is a wonderful expanding genre that's pushing the boundaries of the typical YA narrative. All three of these stories are told in their own cyclical, winding ways, and all three have absolutely gorgeous writing. Chime tells the story of a girl regaining her confidence as she discovers the truth; Bone Gap tells a story about perception and beauty; and The Accident Season tells the story of a family broken by a tragic past. Highly recommended, and can't wait for more magical realism to crop up.

I discussed Bone Gap and The Accident Season here. I nominated Bone Gap in the Epic Reads Book Shimmy Awards.

Female-led historical journeys --

Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson, Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein, and Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

Elizabeth Wein is a reigning queen of YA historical fiction, and Rose Under Fire was a gorgeous tale of female friendship tested under terrible circumstances. Walk on Earth a Stranger is about a girl with a fantastical ability to discover gold on an Oregon Trail-like, self-discovery journey to California, and it's as fantastic as that sounds.Daughter of the Forest is loosely based on the legend of the Children of Lir and "The Six Swans," a fairy tale told by the Grimms and many more. It's gorgeous and I absolutely adore the commingling of tender romance, Celtic atmosphere, and fantastical curses.

You can read my review of Walk on Earth a Stranger. Because of my love for Daughter of the Forest, I wrote a recommendation list of adult fiction for YA readers. I nominated Walk on Earth a Stranger in theEpic Reads Book Shimmy Awards, and encouraged others to be excited for its release.

Er, the only Urban Fantasy recommendation I have is Burned by Karen Marie Moning. A few years ago, I got caught up in adult urban fantasy, which is often sexy and led by kickass heroines. At this point, I'm not reading much adult UF (though feel free to recommend me some books!); only the Fever series remains on my tbr list.

Fantasy! Fantasy! Fantasy!

The Golden Specific by S.E. Grove, Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman, Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith, Uprooted by Naomi Novik, Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge, Serpentine by Cindy Pon, Eon by Alison Goodman, Poison Study by Maria Snyder, and A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

Goodness, where to start? The Golden Specific is a part of the MG trilogy I said was most inventive MG fantasy I've read since Harry Potter. Shadow Scale is the much anticipated sequel to Seraphina, and is, like its predecessor, a wonderfully written masterpiece. Crown Duel is the most fun I've had with fantasy in a while. As Small Review said: "It's like a fantasy Pride and Prejudice with an imperfect main character who grows throughout the book, a swoony slow burn hate-turned-love romance, and lots and lots of political intrigue." Uprooted has a side plot of slow burning hate-to-love romance, a determined, spirited heroine who learns to wield magic with skill, plenty of plot twists and an absolutely wonderful main female friendship. Plus, of course, a creative fairy tale world, with a cinematically creepy evil Wood. Crimson Bound is very much of the same ilk as Uprooted; enjoyed one, and well, you should read the other. At its core, Serpentine features a wonderful main female friendship which runs well alongside a sweet romance, lush setting inspired by Chinese folklore, and an innately discussable premise about a girl with a power that makes her feel Other. Eon is an epic fantasy inspired by Japanese and Chinese mythology, full of daring adventure and heartbreaking action and romance, and layered with questions on gender identity. I'd definitely recommend Poison Study to fans of Throne of Glass; Poison Study is about the food taster to the Commander of a military regime, and the political intrigue, magic, and romance she unexpectedly finds. A Thousand Nights is a loose epic fantasy retelling of 1001 Nights, and features a heroine who defies the odds in not only surviving the threat of murder from her husband but also in becoming a stronger leader and a goddess in her own right. ALL FANTASTIC FANTASY READS!

You can read my reviews of: A Thousand Nights, Eon, Serpentine, Crimson Bound, Uprooted, Shadow Scale, and the Mapmakers trilogy. I discussed Crown Duel and Poison Study here. I nominated Serpentine and A Thousand Nights in theEpic Reads Book Shimmy Awards.

Science Fiction for your Star Wars craving --

Stone in the Sky by Cecil Castellucci

I'm thinking that the success of Star Wars is going to led to an upswing in YA science fiction. In the meantime, however, perhaps you'd like to satiate a craving for YA sci fi with Cecil Castellucci's space epic. In the Tin Star duology, our scavenger-esque, survivor oriented heroine must fend for herself while navigating intergalatic politics and a sweet, cross-species romance, and answer for crimes she did not commit.

You can read my review of Stone in the Sky here.

Nonfiction for the rainy days --

Six Myths of Our Time by Marina Warner, The Silk Road: A Very Short Introduction by James A. Millward, and Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Brown Girl Dreaming is an absolutely amazing memoir. I usually say that I don't read things written in verse, but man am I glad that I broke that "rule" for BGD! HIGHLY recommended for everyone. Jacqueline Woodson can evoke beautiful imagery in such few words. I related to her experiences despite having a very different identity. Can't wait to read more from her. As for the other two books, if you're interested in cultural myths or the Silk Road, you'll be as pleased as I was in reading them.

Writing out this list made me realize what sort of books I'm looking to read for 2016 and beyond, and the kind of books that I specifically enjoy. Almost all my favorite contemporaries are diverse books; I no longer am interested in reading books from the perspective of a white, cisgendered, heterosexual, able-bodied, neurotypical, rich teenager unless, like Frankie Landau-Banks, they have something very different to offer. I also don't read a lot of science fiction or historical fiction, it seems, but I'm looking to change that, particularly since historical fiction seems really focused on its leading ladies and the friendships that change their lives. YA Magical realism is my go-to for stories that break the mold, and I'd love to see more books published in that genre. Fantasy? Man, there's a reason fantasy is my favorite genre. Fantasy books that give me romance ship feelings (Crown Duel, Poison Study), or are fairy tale retellings with atmosphere (Uprooted, Crimson Bound), or are layered, literary stories I can slowly unpeel (A Thousand Nights, The Golden Specific, Shadow Scale), or are coming-of-age stories with complex and diverse world-building (Eon, Serpentine) -- yes. These are my kind of books. If any of that fits your reading tastes, you may be interested in reading some of the recommendations above.

What were the favorite books that you read in 2015? Do we share any? Have you read any of the books I listed? Let's discuss!