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YA Review: The Magician’s Daughter (H. G. Parry)

May 24th, 2024 by

About This Book:

In the early 1900s, a young woman is caught between two worlds in H. G. Parry’s cozy tale of magic, miracles, and an adventure of a lifetime.

Off the coast of Ireland sits a legendary island hidden by magic. A place of ruins and ancient trees, sea salt air, and fairy lore, Hy-Brasil is the only home Biddy has ever known. Washed up on its shore as a baby, Biddy lives a quiet life with her guardian, the mercurial magician Rowan. A life she finds increasingly stifling.

One night, Rowan fails to return from his mysterious travels. To find him, Biddy must venture into the outside world for the first time. But Rowan has powerful enemies—forces who have hoarded the world’s magic and have set their sights on the magician’s many secrets.

Biddy may be the key to stopping them. Yet the closer she gets to answers, the more she questions everything she’s ever believed about Rowan, her past, and the nature of magic itself.

*Review Contributed by Rachel Feeck, Staff Reviewer*

An enchanting historical novel full of charming characters, whimsical and spooky magics, and one girl’s journey to save her family from an evil plot decades in the making.

Biddy grew up on the island of Hy-Brasil, an isolated refuge for some of the last magic in the world, in the care of the mage Rowan and his rabbit familiar, Hutchincroft. She longs to see the wider world which she has only read about in novels, but her first foray to England comes only when Hy-Brasil is threatened, and she and Rowan arrive in London armed with a desperate plan to protect their home from the grasping hand of the magical council. Faced with a whole new world, enemies old and new, Biddy begins to uncover dangers and secrets that threaten to undermine everything she’s been told about herself, her trust in Rowan, and magic’s very presence in the world.

This was one of those rare books where, from beginning to end, the only thing I wished to be different was for there to be a sequel. (Alas, none at this time). The workings of magic are largely left a mystery, and there are glimpses of magical artifacts, portals to fae-like worlds, and powers in old yew trees that feel very much of Celtic legend. Biddy is practical, charming, and kind – she cares for Rowan and Hutch, and the land of Hy-Brasil with familiar affection, but isn’t afraid to make herself heard when she disagrees about something important. As she learns about the world through her own experiences independent of Rowan, she learns that maybe this man who raised her has a history beyond what he’s shared with her, and a several themes in the book revolve around trust and responsibility in relationships, and how differently issues of trust are approached when coupled with love, envy, or hate. Biddy’s adventure is clouded with uncertainty and secrets, but deep down, more than anything, she and Rowan, and loyal Hutch, never lose the deep affection they have for one another as family.

I first became acquainted with this author through A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians, a historical fantasy novel about Pitt and Wilberforce, vampires, abolition, and revolution. It became one of my favorite books – in part probably because that’s one of the periods of history I find most interesting – and I’m so happy that The Magician’s Daughter, while not having that advantage, has become a favorite as well. Excited to see what HG Parry will be up to next!

*Find More Info & Buy This Book HERE!*

 

Giveaway: Backpack Explorer Series ~ US ONLY!

May 24th, 2024 by

We are excited to share a giveaway for the Backpack Explorer Series!

 

 

 

About the Book:  Backpack Explorer Series

The best-selling Backpack Explorer series (Now on Roblox!) has become a favorite of nature-curious kids and families. Packed with prompts, activities, interactive field guides, and sensory scavenger hunts, each Backpack Explorer book gets kids outside and exploring the world around them. Colorful, lightweight, and durable, these books are designed to be popped in a backpack and taken along on nature walks—turning any outdoor adventure into an opportunity for nature science learning! In addition to the hands-on activities, the books include a real magnifying glass for outdoor and on-the-page observing, sheets of sticker patches for keeping track of nature finds, and a log for recording naturalist notes. This series is bursting with hundreds of activities for screen-free fun and nature learning for junior naturalists.

Purchase * Goodreads

 

 

 

Title: Backpack Explorer Series (Includes: Beach Walk, Discovering Plants and Flowers, Bug Hunt, Discovering Trees, Nature Adventure Sticker Book, On the Nature Trail, Bird Watch, and Rock Hunt)

Author: The Editors of Storey Publishing

Release Date: Most recent is Backpack Explorer Stickers: Nature Adventure (5/21)

Publisher: Storey Publishing (Hachette)

ISBN-13:

Backpack Explorer Stickers: 9781635868623

Beach Walk: 9781612129020

Bird Watch: 9781635862515
Rock Hunt: 9781635865530
Plants and Flowers: 9781635866759
Discovering Trees: 9781635863468
Bug Hunt: 9781635863130
On the Nature Trail: 9781635861976

*GIVEAWAY DETAILS* 

One (1) winner will receive a copy of all eight books in the Backpack Explorer series ~US Only!

 

*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*

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Interview With Victoria Ying (Amber Brown is Not a Crayon – The Graphic Novel)

May 24th, 2024 by

Today we are very excited to share an interview with Illustrator Victoria Ying (Amber Brown is Not a Crayon)!

 

 

 

Meet the Illustrator: Victoria Ying

Victoria Ying is a critically acclaimed author and artist living in Los Angeles.  She started her career in the arts by falling in love with comic books, this eventually turned into a career working in animation and graphic novels. She loves Japanese Curry, putting things in her shopping cart online and taking them out again, and hanging out with her husband and cat, Bandito. She is the author and illustrator of her own series “City of Secrets and City of Illusion” as well as the Marvel/Scholastic “Shang-Chi and the secret of Immortality” and the illustrator of the DC series “Diana Princess of the Amazons.” Her YA debut “Hungry Ghost” was the recipient of the Harvey Award for best YA/Children’s Graphic Novel in 2023.

Website * Instagram* TikTok * X

 

 

 

About the Book:  Amber Brown is Not a Crayon – The Graphic Novel

Third graders Amber Brown and Justin Daniels have been best friends since the day they first met in preschool. How great of a team are they? Amber helps Justin with his handwriting, and Justin helps Amber with her fractions. They sit next to each other in class and hang out together after school every day—that’s just how it’s always been.

But when Justin finds out his family is moving away, everything starts to feel different. Amber gets sad whenever she thinks about Justin leaving, and Justin seems overwhelmed by all the change to come. Can the two besties figure out a way to say goodbye that will keep their friendship strong, no matter how far apart they are?

This graphic novel adaptation of Paula Danziger’s classic chapter book adds layers of nuance to all of Amber’s ups and downs, making her story burst from the page even more than before.

Amazon * B&N * IndieBound

 

 

 

~Illustrator Chat~

YABC: What are the challenges you faced with bringing someone’s story to life?

I was so honored to be trusted with a project as beloved as Amber Brown. Paula’s original story is so close to the hearts of so many people and I was definitely nervous when I was brought onto the project. I wanted to stay true to the original humor and heart of the story, but I also wanted to have a way to introduce it to a new generation of readers through the artwork. Paula’s direct storytelling style made it easy to adapt, but one challenging drawing aspect that I didn’t expect was how aware I had to be of all of the characters in every scene. Even if they weren’t featured in a scene, I had to know where all the characters were sitting in the classroom at all times!

YABC:  How long did it take you to create the artwork for this book?

The artwork for this book took about six months from sketch to final. I also had help from the wonderful Lynette Wong for colors and she worked an additional three months on top of me. I think the book looks wonderful thanks to her hard work!

YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

It’s a simple scene, but when Amber and Justin kangaroo hop home from school it was so much fun to draw! I got to explore Amber’s curious and imaginative mind and also draw two kids full of joy and exuberance racing home.

YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?

Drawing Amber was so much fun, she’s got so much personality and her hair was always wild and fun to scribble!

YABC: When did you start drawing?

I started drawing at the age everyone starts to draw! The moment I had a crayon in my hand, I was scribbling everywhere, on paper, on old bills, on walls, any surface would do. I think the biggest difference between me and most people is that I just simply never stopped. I kept drawing all through my life and now I get the privilege of doing it as my profession.

YABC: When did you know you wanted to be an illustrator?

When I wasn’t much older than Amber and Justin, I learned that the comic books I loved were written and drawn by one person. I wanted to do that, I wanted to draw and tell stories just like my favorite authors and illustrators and I never looked back. I feel very lucky that the dream I had as a child never left me and that I get to do what that kid wished for.

YABC: What’s up next for you?

I have another Middle Grade adaptation in the works that I can’t quite talk about yet, but it’s another classic that I think many children of my generation grew up with! I also have another YA contemporary project with First Second called “Chasing Sunspots” about growing up in the 2000s as a young artist and navigating the adult world of comics.

YABC:  Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?

Yes! Last year me and some other comics publishing professionals started a non-profit called “The Comics Advocacy Group” (http://www.comicsadvocacygroup.org) that is focused on creating equity and longevity for comics creators! Our first project was giving away 35 mini-grants for creators to help with whatever they might need to bring their comics to life. We hope to continue our mission and bring more creators into the fold and raise up their stories.

 

 

 

Title: Amber Brown is Not a Crayon – The Graphic Novel

Author: Paula Danziger

Illustrator: Victoria Ying

Release Date: May 21, 2024

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Genre: Graphic Novel/Humor

Age Range: 7 – 10

YA Review: Cool for the Summer (Dahlia Adler)

May 23rd, 2024 by

About This Book:

Lara finally lands the guy of her dreams, only to have her unexpected(ly female) summer fling transfer to her school, in Dahlia Adler’s beloved award-winning YA queer romance, now in paperback!

Lara’s had eyes for exactly one person throughout her three years of high school: Chase Harding. He’s tall, strong, sweet, a football star, and frankly, stupid hot. Oh, and he’s talking to her now. On purpose and everything. Maybe…flirting, even? No, wait, he’s definitely flirting, which is pretty much the sum of everything Lara’s wanted out of life.

Except she’s haunted by a memory. A memory of a confusing, romantic, strangely perfect summer spent with a girl named Jasmine. A memory that becomes a confusing, disorienting present when Jasmine herself walks through the front doors of the school to see Lara and Chase chatting it up in front of the lockers.

Lara has everything she ever wanted: a tight-knit group of friends, a job that borders on cool, and Chase, the boy of her literal dreams. But if she’s finally got the guy, why can’t she stop thinking about the girl?

Dahlia Adler’s Cool for the Summer is a young adult story of self-discovery and new love. It’s about the things we want and the things we need. And it’s about the people who will let us be who we are.

*Review Contributed by Olivia Farr, Staff Reviewer*

COOL FOR THE SUMMER is a delightful YA contemporary romance. Lara (Larissa) is back at school for her senior year, and she feels different – the summer was life changing for her. On her first day back, when the guy she has been dreaming of for years starts flirting with her, she sees someone she never expected – Jasmine, her summer relationship. Although Jasmine has shown up at her school, it seems like she doesn’t want to acknowledge their summer, and Lara is happy to oblige.

As Lara continues with her senior year, it seems like she might be getting what she always thought she wanted (Chase), but she is realizing that it may not actually be what she wants anymore.

What I loved: This was a fast-paced and engaging read that pulls the reader into Lara’s life. The story is told in both now and then perspectives, with Lara dating Chase in the present and Jasmine in the then. The summer was transformative for Lara in many ways, not only in terms of how she questions her identity but also in terms of how she views herself and the way she begins to think more broadly about herself and her life. That confidence is what actually made Chase pay attention to her this year.

Lara had her coming-of-age style plot in the past, over the summer, when she began redefining herself and who she wants to be. That being said, she still struggles with her identity and what it could mean if she was not straight. In the process, she speaks to select others about this and adds to her confusion. Her path to figuring out her identity will resonate with some readers who may find themselves asking similar questions without always having known how they felt.

The dual timelines worked well in the story to show what her summer was like and where her conflicted feelings arose. In the wake of her summer, her relationships with her friends are also evolving, in ways that are ultimately positive. Friendship is a two-way street that both people have to feed their personalities into, and with the changes Lara has undergone, her friendships are also evolving. These relationships were also central to the story.

The story had great summery vibes, and I loved the way the ending all came together. While it took a while for Lara to see what the reader did, the book brought it to a happy and satisfying end.

What left me wanting more: Lara’s personality at school seemed to be around her massive crush on Chase, and it was easy to see why her friendships were strained when this was all she previously talked about. With that in mind, it was easy to see how she could get swept into his orbit now that he was paying attention to her as well. However, these interactions, particularly the physical ones, were challenging to read, as Lara was clearly not very into it.

Final verdict: COOL FOR THE SUMMER is a charming and fast-paced YA contemporary romance that makes for a delightful summery read.

*Find More Info & Buy This Book HERE!*

Interview With K. A. Cobell (Looking for Smoke)

May 23rd, 2024 by

Today we are very excited to share an interview with Author K. A. Cobell (Looking For Smoke)!

 

 

 

Meet the Author: K. A. Cobell

A. CobellStaa’tssipisstaakii, is an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Nation. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she spends her time writing books, chasing her kids through the never-ending rain, and scouring the inlet beaches for sand dollars and hermit crabs. Looking for Smokeis her debut novel.

Website * InstagramX

 

 

 

About the Book: Looking for Smoke

Four teens on the Blackfeet Reservation find themselves the suspects of an investigation when a classmate is found murdered during the annual Indian Days celebrations. K.A. Cobell’s compassionate debut thriller casts a light on the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women epidemic through a page-turning story that readers won’t be able to put down.

Amazon * B&N * IndieBound

 

 

 

~Author Chat~

 

YABC:  What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

 The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women movement (MMIW, MMIWG, MMIWG2S.) There’s a prevalent problem in the US that many people aren’t aware of. Native women are the victims of violent crime far more often than any other group. The murder rate of Native women is three times more than that of white women, and in some locations, the rate is more than ten times the national average. I wanted to shine a light on this issue and create characters who make readers feel something.

 

YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?

 I like all four of my main characters for unique reasons, but Eli First Kill is my favorite. He’s rough around the edges, desperately keeping secrets, and giving his friends all kinds of reasons to doubt him… but he has his reasons.

 

YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?

 The title came about a third of the way through drafting the novel. Looking For Smoke is my fifth great grandfather’s name, and it slowly steered the atmosphere of the book until all of a sudden, I knew that was the title. I tried to honor my family by using a lot of their names throughout the book, so using one for the title was very fitting.

 

YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

 I never cry in books or movies. Okay, maybe I’ve gotten misty-eyed a few times… but there are two scenes in this book that make me teary-eyed whenever I read them, which is saying a lot for me! One scene is too much of a spoiler to mention, but another is when a character discovers someone important to her is dead. I’m proud of the grief I managed to put into words. I feel it every time!

 

YABC:  Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?

 Start with the characters. If you have fully formed characters with wounds, secrets, and desperate wants, the plot is much easier to find. I’ve had plenty of moments where I’ve been stuck wondering what to write next, but if I have a character who feels whole enough, most of the time they help me find the new direction.

 

YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?

 I love the smoke! I wanted a cover with atmosphere, and the way the smoke is surrounding the girl creates such a mysterious scene. It blurs her edges and makes us wonder if she is coming out of the smoke or disappearing with it.

 

YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2024?

 I’m really excited to add Megan Davidhizar’s debut YA thriller, Silent Sister, to my shelf. It’s about two sisters who disappear on a class trip, and only one of them returns—without her memories.

 

YABC: What’s a book you’ve recently read and loved?

 I loved Megan Lally’s That’s Not my Name. In this thriller, a girl has disappeared, and her boyfriend seems to be the only person still looking for her… because everyone else thinks he killed her. The alternating points of view keep the pace tight, and the twist at the end gutted me. I highly recommend it!

 

YABC:   What’s up next for you?

I have another novel publishing with Heartdrum, date to be determined. I was also lucky enough to contribute to an anthology called Legendary Frybread Drive-In with Cynthia Leitich Smith and an incredible group of authors, which will release sometime in 2025.

YABC:   What advice do you have for new writers?

Find an uplifting writing community. It can be a big group or even just a critique partner or two. Feedback and support from other writers truly help your craft grow and sharpen. We all need an outside perspective to see opportunities for improvement in our stories that we can’t see ourselves.

 

 

 

Title: Looking for Smoke

Author: K. A. Cobell

Release Date: 6/4/24

Publisher: HarperCollins/Heartdrum

Genre: YA Thriller

Age Range: 13+

Giveaway: No One Likes a Burp (Zoe Foster Blake)~ US ONLY!

May 23rd, 2024 by

We are excited to share a giveaway for No One Likes a Burp (Zoe Foster Blake)!

 

 

 

Meet the Author: Zoe Foster Blake

Zoë Foster Blake is an Australian author, columnist, magazine editor, and cosmetics entrepreneur. She’s worked for over a decade in journalism, writing for publications such as Cosmopolitan, Harper’s BAZAAR, and Sunday Style, and is the founder of all-natural Australian skin-care line Go-To. Zoë has written four novels — Air Kisses, Playing the Field, The Younger Man, and The Wrong Girl — and a dating and relationship book Textbook Romance, written in conjunction with Hamish Blake. Her first picture book, No One Likes a Fart, was the winner of Children’s Picture Book of the Year in the 2018 Australian Book Industry Awards. She lives in Springfield, Australia.

 

 

 

About the Book: No One Likes a Burp

From the author of No One Likes a Fart comes a hilarious companion picture book that highlights the adventures of Burp and her friend Fart as they help others and learn that kindness can overcome first impressions. Burp loves wafting around the world. But everywhere she goes, people don’t seem to like her! So, Burp has an idea: she’s going to team up with her best friend, Fart, and they’re going to become Superstinkers and help others in trouble! With laugh-out-loud text from Zoë Foster Blake and engaging illustrations by Adam Nickel, readers will see that anyone can become a hero and save the day!

 

 

 

Title: No One Likes a Burp

Author: Zoe Foster Blake

Illustrator: Adam Nickel

Release Date: 5/21/24

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

ISBN-13: 9780593753118

Genre: Picture Book

Age Range: 3-7

 

 

 

*GIVEAWAY DETAILS* 

Three (3) winners will receive a copy of No One Likes a Burp (Zoe Foster Blake) ~US Only!

 

*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*

 

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Interview With Hannah Reynolds (SUMMER NIGHTS AND METEORITES)

May 23rd, 2024 by

Today we are very excited to share an interview with Author Hannah Reynolds (Summer Nights and Meteorites)!

 

 

 

Meet the Author: Hannah Reynolds

Hannah Reynolds grew up outside of Boston, where she spent most of her childhood and teenage years recommending books to friends, working at a bookstore, and making chocolate desserts. She received her BA in creative writing and archaeology from Ithaca College, which meant she never needed to stop telling romantic stories or playing in the dirt. After living in San Francisco, New York, and Paris, she came back to Massachusetts and now lives in Cambridge.

Website * Instagram* Facebook

 

 

 

About the Book:  Summer Nights and Meteorites

From the two-time Sydney Taylor Honor author comes another sweet Nantucket-set summer romance, perfect for fans of Rachel Lynn Solomon and K.L. Walther.

Jordan Edelman’s messy dating days are over. After a few too many broken hearts, and a father who worries a bit too much, she’s sworn off boys—at least for the summer. And since she’ll be tagging along on her father’s research trip to Nantucket, she doesn’t think it’ll be too hard to stick to her resolution.

But hooking up with the cute boy on the ferry doesn’t count, right? At least, not until that cute boy turns out to be Ethan Barbanel. As in, her father’s longtime research assistant Ethan Barbanel, the boy Jordan has hated from afar for years. And to make matters worse, Jordan might actually be falling for him.

As if that didn’t complicate her life enough, Jordan’s new summer job with a local astronomer turns up a centuries-old mystery surrounding Gibson’s Comet—and as she dives into her research, what she learns just might put her growing relationship with Ethan in jeopardy.

Amazon * B&N * IndieBound

 

 

 

~Author Chat~

 

YABC:  What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

Growing up, my dad used to take me to a field near our house to watch meteor showers. I knew I wanted this novel to be the relationship between a girl and her father, and so it was natural for me to draw on some of my own experiences — aka the dad is super into space and science. I thought it would be fun to make the heroine, Jordan, fall for her dad’s assistant, especially if she already resented him for getting a lot of her father’s attention — it made the set up very fun and filled with instant tension.

YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?

I loved writing Jordan, who is prickly on the outside to hide how soft she is inside, and how hurt she can get. It’s hard for my favorite character in each book not to be the POV one, but I also especially love the triplets — three thirteen year old menaces who inspire loving fear in everyone who meets them.

YABC: What research did you do to write this book?

One of my favorite things that I’ve been hearing from readers about Summer Nights and Meteorites is that they learned things from it – and that’s great to hear, because I learned so much while writing it. I researched the history of women in astronomy, from Maria Mitchell, a Nantucket women who was the first American to discover a comet, to the Harvard Computers, a group of woman at the turn of the 20th century who documented the stars. This whole book is about women astronomers, so I needed to learn a lot about them!

YABC: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve wanted to be a writer my entire life. As a teenager, I wrote fanfiction, which was the first place I found a writing community, and then I went to college for creative writing. I feel incredibly lucky that I get to have the career I’ve dreamed of since I was little.

YABC: What type of scene do you love to write the most?

I love banter! My favorite thing to do is to write the two main characters getting to know each other through sharp, witty exchanges… which inevitably turn romantic at some point. A book with great banter and chemistry is my favorite, and so I loved writing fierce, alternative Jordan and preppy, wealthy Ethan as they got on each other’s nerves… and realized how much fun they had doing so.

YABC:   What is your favorite writing space?

In my apartment, I write on the couch with the sun spilling over me, but I’m also a huge fan of writing in cafes. I live in Cambridge, a college town, so there’s a million different places to go. That’s also great because I have local writer friends, too, so we often combine a coffee date with a writing one.

YABC: How do you plan to celebrate the launch of your book?

Boston locals can find me at Porter Square Books (Cambridge edition) at 7pm on Thursday, May 23, where I’ll be in conversation with author Jenny Howe. (There will be treats). I love in-person events so I’m very excited for this one! I also plan to have many, many good meals with family and friends (it’s getting to be rooftop season, so if I can be constantly outside, I will be). I’m also taking a day off to go to the beach and relax – a must during such a busy time.

YABC:   What’s up next for you?

I have another YA book in the works! It’s kind of a new and different story, but I’m super excited to share it – and like all my books, it’s very romantic, and filled with a bit of mystery. Follow me on Instagram @HannahElisaWren to stay up to date on all my book news!

 

 

 

 

Title: SUMMER NIGHTS AND METEORITES

Author: Hannah Reynolds

Release Date: May 21, 2024

Publisher: Putnam, Penguin Teen

Genre: Contemporary YA

Age Range: 13+

YA Review: Just Another Epic Love Poem (Parisa Akhbari)

May 22nd, 2024 by

About This Book:

Best friendship blossoms into something more in this gorgeously written queer literary romance.

Over the past five years, Mitra Esfahani has known two constants: her best friend Bea Ortega and The Book—a dogeared moleskin she and Bea have been filling with the stanzas of an epic, never-ending poem since they were 13.

For introverted Mitra, The Book is one of the few places she can open herself completely and where she gets to see all sides of brilliant and ebullient Bea. There, they can share everything—Mitra’s complicated feelings about her absent mother, Bea’s heartache over her most recent breakup—nothing too messy or complicated for The Book.

Nothing except the one thing with the power to change their entire friendship: the fact that Mitra is helplessly in love with Bea.

Told in lyrical, confessional prose and snippets of poetry Just Another Epic Love Poem takes readers on a journey that is equal parts joyful, heartbreaking, and funny as Mitra and Bea navigate the changing nature of I love you.

*Review Contributed by Adrien Guerra, Staff Reviewer*

What I Loved:

I had only read a few pages of this book and already didn’t want to put it down because of how beautifully written it was. This book managed to break my heart and then put it back together again by the end. It was something that I needed to read and there is so much that I will revisit when I need to hear it.

This book covers so many things going beyond what you expect from a romance. Some of the things that this book covers include: addiction, grief, religion, sexuality, friendship, and relationships. I appreciate the attention that was given to the affect that addiction has on a family unit as well as the complexity of the individual’s relationship with addiction. Through the depiction of addiction in this book we are able to see how someone may be struggling with grief as the image they have of this individual has to shift to fit who they are now and who they will be beyond the addiction.

This book also shows how trust can affect relationships, both romantic and familial. This book navigated the aspects of healing quite well as Mitra worked to trust those that have lost it as well as to be able to trust new people. This was an important aspect of Mitra’s story.

The main point that kept me reading this book was the discussion of what being queer in a religious setting was like and how it felt to be queer and non-religious in this setting. Mitra and Bea both navigate this aspect of their lives quite differently and this really spoke to me because it can show how the same thing has a different impact on different individuals. I liked that we saw what it was like being in a Catholic school and not subscribing to the religion and also being queer. I thought it was interesting to see how Mitra navigated this and how her sister navigated not being Catholic. It was nice to see that Mitra, Azar, and Bea navigated the space differently.

What Left me Wanting More:

Through this book you are introduced to our main character, Mitra, her sister, Azar, her best friend/love interest, Bea, her mom, dad, and several others at school. I really enjoyed all of the characters that are included in this book even if you briefly interact with some. I found even the background characters to be intriguing and add something to the story. I was really hoping that we would get more time with some of the background characters to get to know them and how they felt about Mitra and Bea. I really wanted more time with both of their families to see how those relationships would continue to develop.

The Final Verdict:
Just Another Epic Love Poem is beautifully written, and has to be shared with everyone that I encounter. There were so many lines that had me pause to think and reflect on my life when I was that age. This book wasn’t afraid to be real when it came to fears and insecurities that arise in teenage relationships and show how those can negatively impact others.

Good Points
I loved that this story was told in a combination of prose and verse, it was beautifully written. It was great to have both Mitra and Bea’s perspective told throughout the story to follow along with the behind the scenes of what is happening in their lives apart from the relationship they have with one another.

*Find More Info & Buy This Book HERE!*

 

Guest Post: Author Kristin Wright (Here’s Where She Meets Prince Charming), Plus Giveaway ~ US Only!

May 22nd, 2024 by

Today we are excited to share a guest post from author Kristin Wright (Here’s Where She Meets Prince Charming) !

Read on for more about Kristin, the book, and a giveaway!

 

 

 

About the Author: Kristin Wright

Kristin Wright is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and has simultaneously been a small-town general practice lawyer handling criminal defense and the vice president of the elementary school PTA. She lives in Virginia with her husband, sons, and two beagles. For more information about the author visit www.kristinbwright.com.

Website * Instagram * Facebook * X

 

 

 

About the Book: Here’s Where She Meets Prince Charming

“…gorgeous, funny, and compelling.” —Mary Ann Marlowe, Some Kind of Magic

On paper, seventeen-year-old Natalie Tremayne has it all. She’s got stellar grades, a passion for theater, and more than enough talent in the swimming pool to make her plans for four parent-free years at the college of her dreams realistic. The only place she’s missing anything is socially: the tall and buoyant body that benefits her in the pool has only ever intimidated the boys at her school.

When the enigmatic new kid Campbell Adams gets the lead role in the school’s production of Beauty and the Beast, Natalie begins to wonder if her drought is about to come to an end. Their connection is instant: Campbell is a mystery that Natalie is determined to crack.

But when the secret he’s made himself invisible to hide has nothing to do with the Dread Pirate Roberts or sparkling in the sunshine, Natalie finds herself swimming in a whole new pool of reality. With her high school days coming to an end and college on the horizon, Natalie will have to learn that the best way to make the universe laugh is to make a plan, and that the lemonade you make yourself out of life’s lemons is the best drink in the world.

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~Guest Post by Kristin Wright~

 

I was fat in high school. Back then, being fat put me in a fairly predictable box. I wasn’t on the homecoming court. I was an active participant in theater with a good singing voice, but I never got any parts that didn’t involve playing an old lady with sprayed silver hair. I never got asked to prom. Graduation meant I was able to walk away from all those teenage anxieties and start over as whoever I wanted to be.

One of the best parts of being a writer is getting to rewrite history. My sons spent a lot of time on swim teams. Once, at one of their swim meets, I saw a girl whose confidence just surrounded her. Like me in high school, she was tall and carried more weight than the other girls, but unlike me, she wore that racing swim suit with the same unconcern with which I wear my pajamas in my bed. I was fascinated by that kind of strength at that age. I watched her as she dove in and killed it, beating the other swimmers in her heat by half a length. She was beautiful, and the “Belle” of the swim meet.

I wrote Here’s Where She Meets Prince Charming about that girl, or who I imagined she might be. I thought a girl like that would be involved in everything. She’d also do theater. She’d be an academic superstar and curious about everything. She’d be on a rocket ship to a prestigious college. She’d have good parents who understood that love means letting go. Nothing would derail such a girl.

Nothing except maybe romance.

In my book, that girl, Natalie, meets a boy and has to decide whether she has time to slow her rocket ship for a little detour. Campbell is a mystery. He’s a transfer student who keeps to himself and makes himself invisible. When he’s cast as the lead in the school musical Beauty & the Beast (Natalie, of course, gets Mrs. Potts, the old lady with the silver-sprayed hair), she can’t stop herself from trying to find out what he’s hiding behind his castle walls. What she finds makes her question the narrow path to the future her feet have always trod and lights up all the alternate paths for life after high school.

The last semester of high school is a mind-expanding time. College or jobs or the future yawns wide in front of you as you arrive dazed and blinking toward the end of the tunnel of childhood. You realize that that who you are, where you live, who your “family” is, and even what you enjoy are all open for change. I love writing about that time when all the doors are still open, and all the decisions are still revocable.

Here’s Where She Meets Prince Charming is my YA debut AND my romance debut (first but not last—watch for two more in 2025 and 2026!). I have three published thrillers for adults already out there, but something about the possibilities combined with the real anguish and serious difficulties of the transition from child to adult keeps drawing me back to writing for teens.

It has been a thrill to work with Owl Hollow Press on this book (and the next two) and I’m so excited for you all to meet Natalie and Campbell!

 

 

 

Title: Here’s Where She Meets Prince Charming

Author: Kristin Wright

Release Date: May 21, 2024

Publisher: Owl Hollow Press

ISBN-10 : ‎ 1958109584

ISBN-13: ‎ 978-1958109588

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance

Age Range: 14-18+

 

 

 

*Giveaway Details*

 

Five (5) winners will receive a signed copy of Here’s Where She Meets Prince Charming (Kristin Wright) ~ US ONLY

 

*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway!*

 

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Waiting on Wednesday ~ May 22, 2024

May 22nd, 2024 by

Waiting on Wednesday

 

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

 

 

*Connie’s Choice*

(YABC Site Manager)

The Thirteenth Child

Author: Erin A. Craig

Expected Publication Date: September 24, 2024

Drawing on the Grimm Brothers’ dark fairytale, “Godfather Death,” this new novel by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of House of Salt and Sorrows is a sweeping, fantastical saga of actions and consequences.

This is the story of Hazel, a young healer navigating a ruthless court to save the life of the king, grappling with a pantheon of gods with questionable agendas as she fights for agency and true love in her own life as the goddaughter of none other than Death himself.

All gifts come with a price.

Hazel Trépas has always known she wasn’t like the rest of her siblings. A thirteenth child, promised away to one of the gods, she spends her childhood waiting for her godfather—Merrick, the Dreaded End—to arrive.

When he does, he lays out exactly how he’s planned Hazel’s future. She will become a great healer, known throughout the kingdom for her precision and skill. To aid her endeavors, Merrick blesses Hazel with a gift, the ability to instantly deduce the exact cure needed to treat the sick.

But all gifts come with a price. Hazel can see when Death has claimed a patient—when all hope is gone—and is tasked to end their suffering, permanently. Haunted by the ghosts of those she’s killed, Hazel longs to run. But destiny brings her to the royal court, where she meets Leo, a rakish prince with a disdain for everything and everyone. And it’s where Hazel faces her biggest dilemma yet—to save the life of a king marked to die. Hazel knows what she is meant to do and knows what her heart is urging her toward, but what will happen if she goes against the will of Death?

From the astonishing mind of Erin A. Craig comes the breathtaking fairy tale retelling readers have been waiting for— what does a life well-lived mean, and how do we justify the impossible choices we make for the ones we love? The Thirteenth Child is a must-read for fans of dark fairy tales, romantasy, and epic fantasy alike.

 

*Cherokee’s Choice*

(YABC Staff Reviewer)

A Crown of Shadows and Starlight

Author: Aubrey Winters

Expected Publication Date: July 31, 2024

The long awaited and thrilling conclusion to Astrid and Castiel’s story.

 

 

*Lillian’s Choice*

(YABC Indie Co-Manager)

The Mirror of Beasts

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Expected Publication Date: 07/30/2024

#1 New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Bracken is back with the electrifying sequel to SILVER IN THE BONE, in which fresh betrayal ignites ancient magic to wake the dead, and a cursed girl with no magic of her own must put the past to rest.

With the dream of Avalon in ruins, Tamsin and her friends are all that stands in the way of Lord Death’s plans to unleash the horrors of Anwnn on the world of the living. As the Wild Hunt carves a bloody path across continents, Tamsin is mustering allies, tracking down powerful artifacts, and traversing into new otherlands in search of a way to stop him.

Legend tells of a “Mirror of Beasts,” powerful enough to trap even Lord Death in its accursed glass, but the mirror is not all that it seems. Tamsin must confront her own darkest secrets if she hopes to tap the mirror’s strength to defeat her enemies.

Arthurian legend bleeds into contemporary action, and scars of the past are torn open anew by a starcrossed love that refuses to go quietly. This riveting conclusion to the Silver in the Bone duology will hold you in its thrall until the very last page.

 

*Mark’s Choice*

(YABC Staff Reviewer)

A Whisper of Curses (Park Row Magic Academy 2)

Author: J. Elle

Publishing Date: 7/4/24

New York Times bestselling author J. Elle continues her magical middle grade series with our favorite witches from Park Row Magick Academy!

In the world between realms, anything can happen . . .

The new Park Row Magic Academy construction is underway, and Kyana is searching for magic activities to fill the school break. When she visits the building for supplies, she’s grabbed by an Available spirit! Even though she’s able to slip its grasp, something is wrong-she can’t stop crying and laughing uncontrollably. Is she cursed?

Then Ashley shares an invitation to a camp for magical learning. Ash thinks that whatever curse is messing with Kyana, Dr. Minzy, a famous teacher there, will know how to fix it.

But once they reach the secret camp site, the magical portal suddenly collapses-they’re trapped! Ash is almost sure Availables are involved. With the camp in chaos, Kyana still under the mysterious curse, and Russ broadcasting everything to the MagickNet, Ashley must choose: Say something about what she suspects, or mind her business and trust Dr. Minzy? Are the Availables up to something nefarious, and can Kyana, Ashley, and Russ figure out what’s going on and save them all?

In this adventurous sequel to A Taste of Magic, the young city wizards must navigate a mystery in the wilderness, decide how to speak up, and be the heroes they need.

 

*Jan’s Choice*

(YABC Staff Reviewer)

Children of Anguish and Anarchy (Legacy of Orisha Book 3)

Author: Tomi Adeyemi

Expected Publication Date: June 25, 2024

Brace for the storm of Tomi Adeyemi’s #1 New York Times-bestselling Legacy of Orïsha series finale.

New allies rise.
The Blood Moon nears.
Zélie faces her final enemy.
The king who hunts her heart.

When Zélie seized the royal palace that fateful night, she thought her battles had come to an end. The monarchy had finally fallen. The maji had risen again. Zélie never expected to find herself locked in a cage and trapped on a foreign ship. Now warriors with iron skulls traffic her and her people across the seas, far from their homeland.

Then everything changes when Zélie meets King Baldyr, her true captor, the ruler of the Skulls, and the man who has ravaged entire civilizations to find her. Baldyr’s quest to harness Zélie’s strength sends Zélie, Amari, and Tzain searching for allies in unknown lands.

But as Baldyr closes in, catastrophe charges Orïsha’s shores. It will take everything Zélie has to face her final enemy and save her people before the Skulls annihilate them for good.

 

What book are you looking forward to in 2024?

Comment the name of the book below!

 

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