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Featured Review: Contest of Queens (Jordan H. Bartlett)

June 30th, 2022 by

 

 

About This Book:

In a Queendom divided, can one girl unite the realms?

Jacs, an inventor’s apprentice from the Lower Realm, has only ever dreamed of what the land among the clouds holds. That is until she finds a letter from Connor, an Upperite boy hoping to learn more about the land below. Little does Jacs know, Connor is actually Prince Cornelius of the Queendom of Frea. With wooden boats and hot air balloons, the two begin a secret correspondence. But their friendship is divided by a heavily-guarded bridge and an inescapable prejudice.

The strength of their bond was thought to transcend distance and time, but when the royal family visits the Lower Realm, the Queendom’s feud is reignited.

To save her people, Jacs must infiltrate the Upper Realm and earn her place to compete in the Contest of Queens. In a story about friendship, love, bravery, and defying gravity, Jacs will strive to prove that a Queendom is strongest when united.

 

 

*Review Contributed by Jan Farnworth, Staff Reviewer*

What I liked:
The relatability of Contest of Queens is undeniable; an age-old issue, the upper class versus lower class, laid out in this story as an upper realm and a lower realm. The upper domain has queens, princes, and everything the rich could desire. The lower realm is the working class, who are looked down on by the upper realm. One day the prince years to know more about the lower domain and sends a letter in a boat to the lower realm and what unfolds is a budding friendship between the two kingdoms.
The imaginative way of telling the story where genders are reversed, queens have all the power, the guards are female, and this concept is fully grasped midway through the book. When things go wrong during a visit between the realm, the lower kingdom is punished beyond measure without regard to who could be at fault. Jacs, our main character, is determined to find a way to bridge the gap between the realms and does the unthinkable by building a ballon and entering the Contest of Queens.
Final Verdict:
This tale is a thought-provoking fantasy novel, a story you can fall into and not come for air for hours. I read it in two days. It was that good. Contest of Queens is one of those gems that needs to be found by more people. Strong world-building, good history, and robust feminist approach to societal economics. I am on the edge of my seat for the next installment in this story.

 

 

*Find More Info & Buy This Book HERE!*

Featured Review: This Vicious Grace (Emily Thiede)

June 29th, 2022 by

 

 

About This Book:

A Summer 2022 Kids’ Indie Next Pick

“Riveting, passionate, and full of high stakes danger.” —Tamora Pierce, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Emily Thiede’s exciting fantasy debut, This Vicious Grace, will keep readers turning the pages until the devastating conclusion and leave them primed for more!

Three weddings. Three funerals. Alessa’s gift from the gods is supposed to magnify a partner’s magic, not kill every suitor she touches.

Now, with only weeks left until a hungry swarm of demons devours everything on her island home, Alessa is running out of time to find a partner and stop the invasion. When a powerful priest convinces the faithful that killing Alessa is the island’s only hope, her own soldiers try to assassinate her.

Desperate to survive, Alessa hires Dante, a cynical outcast marked as a killer, to become her personal bodyguard. But as rebellion explodes outside the gates, Dante’s dark secrets may be the biggest betrayal. He holds the key to her survival and her heart, but is he the one person who can help her master her gift or destroy her once and for all?

“Remixing all the best parts of a dark fantasy and a romantic comedy, This Vicious Grace is a wonderfully fun time from start to finish, with lush, complex worldbuilding, intensely relatable characters, and relationships that are easy to root for.” —Hannah Whitten, New York Times bestselling author of For The Wolf

 

 

*Review Contributed by Olivia Farr, Staff Reviewer*

THIS VICIOUS GRACE is a beautiful and stunning YA fantasy that captured me from the start. Alessa is the Finestra, a person born once in a generation and ordained by the goddess Dea to channel and magnify power from a Fonte, someone with a specific magical gift. The Finestra and her chosen Fonte must battle the scourge of scarabeo that descend on the planet and attempt to wipe them out. Each of the chosen islands is given a Finestra in a generation, and Alessa has been trained since showing her powers about five years earlier.

Now at 18 and with the battle looming, Alessa fears her powers, as they have killed 3 Fontes who have attempted to join with her. Fontes are deserting the island and their divine duty to avoid touching her hands. A fringe religious leader is gaining traction as he suggests she should be destroyed and that her powers arise from evil rather than the divine.

After learning that her guards are willing participants in assassination plots, Alessa takes her life in her own hands and hires a boy, Dante, to be her bodyguard. As the battle looms ever closer, she will need to find a way to connect with the Fontes who have not yet deserted, control her magic, and face her fears – as well as the rebellion growing among her people.

What I loved: This was such an enthralling read, and the world-building is atmospheric and well-paced. The mythology of this world and Alessa’s powers were fascinating, and the island, its people, and culture really came to life throughout the story. The pace on the world-building was perfect with just enough revealed on the way to understand the context without overwhelming the plot. The setting gives rise to some intriguing themes around social responsibility, socioeconomic disparity, treatment of people who have committed crimes due to these disparities, and religion. With the mythology of this world being so lush, there are some really intriguing discussions around the message and the imperfections of the human translation. If dieties are perfection and their messages equally so but humans are flawed, then mistakes are possible in the way it is interpreted and practiced by said humans. It was really thought-provoking, and this is something that will be interesting to see continue to develop and play out in future books.

The main characters were incredibly compelling, and Alessa transforms throughout the story as she begins to question herself, the people around her, and the religion she holds dear. She really comes into her own as she gains confidence in herself and finds her own place amongst the chaos. Dante was everything – a broody hero with a troubled past, and he was immediately endeared to the reader and to Alessa. He is immediately lovable as someone who has turned their pain into endless empathy and understanding for anyone but themselves. He really inspires Alessa to become better than she could have alone. The Fontes also began to grow as people as the story continues, and they each evolve in the reader’s eye as they do in Alessa’s. While there are some less savory secondary characters, this is not a story that deals in black-and-white, and the character complexity reflects this.

This story was an emotional one with plenty of angst, swoon, smiles, and even tears. There was definitely a scene where I cried, and it ripped my heart out. A book that can give you all the feels is certainly one worth reading. The romance, danger, and tension kept me absolutely hooked. This was such a fantastic ride, and I absolutely cannot wait for the next installment. Of note, while the major plotlines are wrapped up in this book (no major cliffhangers), there are still some threads leading to the next book, which will make for a tough wait!

In addition to those mentioned above, themes around sacrifice, family, friendship, defining good and evil, the importance of human connection, self-confidence, survival, and teamwork were similarly compelling. Alessa has spent much of the last several years isolated and willing to sacrifice everything for survival. Her ability to connect has been stolen by a gift that often feels like a curse, and her relationships to friends and family are frequently challenged by their actions in seeing her as a tool rather than as a fellow human. In the midst of this turmoil, Alessa is beginning to take stock of herself, the people around her, and the way that she can use her powers to address the way others are treated as well. Some powerful messages about kindness and forgiveness, including forgiveness wielded as a weapon, were really thought-provoking.

Final verdict: With masterful world-building and endearing characters, THIS VICIOUS GRACE is a stunning YA fantasy that will leave the reader breathless. Highly recommend for fans of DANCE OF THIEVES, THE TIGER AT MIDNIGHT, and THE SHADOWS BETWEEN US.

 

 

*Find More Info & Buy This Book HERE!*

Author Chat with Stephanie Graegin (THE LONG RIDE HOME), Plus Giveaway! ~ US ONLY

June 29th, 2022 by

Today we are chatting with Stephanie Graegin, author of THE LONG RIDE HOME

Read on for more about her, her book, and a giveaway!

 

 

Meet Stephanie Graegin

Stephanie Graegin is the author and illustrator of Fern and Otto, A Story About Two Best Friends and Little Fox in the Forest which garnered four starred reviews and appeared on many Best of the Year lists. She is also the illustrator of several books for children, including You Were the First by Patricia MacLachlan; The Lost Gift by Kallie George; Water in the Park by Emily Jenkins, which received three starred reviews; and Peace Is an Offering by Annette LeBox. Stephanie lives in Brooklyn, New York. Visit her at graegin.com.

Website * Twitter * Instagram

 

 

About the Book: THE LONG RIDE HOME

A tender picture book that celebrates memories and friendship about a young koala and a friend who has moved away.

Little Koala has a long ride home, and every place her mother passes invokes a memory of her best friend: the ice cream shop where they giggled uncontrollably; the hill in the park where they crashed their bikes (that memory also lives on as a little scar on Koala’s knee), the library where they borrowed their favorite book again and again.

Koala’s friendship blooms beautifully on the page, seamlessly interwoven with the ride home, and soon we learn just why these memories are so important: Koala’s friend has moved away. The story ends on a lovely note of hope: Koala and her friend are still close, despite the distance.

The Long Ride Home is a universal and broadly appealing friendship story that explores the power of memory with tenderness, warmth, and heart. Stephanie Graegin expertly balances the bittersweet sensations of cherishing a moment long past with artwork that is rendered in soft, sepia hues in a way that only she can.

 

Pre-order

 

~Author Chat~

 

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

The Long Ride Home came about at the height of the pandemic. It was at a time when we hadn’t left our neighborhood for several months. Like everybody, I was missing family and friends. The idea for the book started from thinking about how places can act like a storage for memories. Passing by places you have been to, or have a connection to, can instantly bring you back in time. Memories are a tangible connection to a previous time and place, a personal collection of all the important people and experiences in our lives. When I was a child, I had to move across the country, and I was devastated when I had to move away from my best friend. But much like our friends in the book, we kept in touch through letters; a ritual we keep to this day.

YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?

I love Koala’s best friend, little Cheetah. She’s quirky, creative, outgoing, and most important of all she’s a wonderful best friend who understands Koala deeply. She’s a perfect complement for Koala.

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

The story came first, but the title came to me right away as I was writing. It’s also part of the very first line. Surprisingly, it didn’t change at all in the process. With the other picture books I’ve written, the titles ended up changing multiple times by the time the book was finished.

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

The adorable Koala looking out the car window of course!

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

 

How to Write One Song by Jeff Tweedy. It’s a fun, quick read. The writing exercises were both fascinating and helpful, and even though it was written with songwriting in mind, it can be applied to writing picture books.

YABC:   What’s up next for you?

I have a Christmas-themed picture book that I illustrated, The Stocking Stuffer written by Holley Merriweather, about a mouse named Tinsel and how he saves Christmas coming out in September. I’m currently illustrating a picture book titled Today, written by Gabi Synder. It’s a companion book to Listen, which Gabi wrote and I illustrated, centered around mindfulness. I’m also working on illustrating the third book in Cynthia Lord’s chapter book series about library toys, Book Buddies.

YABC:   Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?

The scene where Koala is standing outside her best friend’s old house. In a lit-up window you can see a different family inside. Her best friend has since moved away. There’s so much emotion there. It always makes me choke up.

YABC:    What is the main message or lesson you would like your reader to remember from this book?

Friendships complete us. Your friends, especially those best ones who are kindred spirits, are always with you in your heart and memories. The great friendships of your life transcend time and distance.

YABC:      What would you say is your superpower?

Drawing cute critters!

 

 

Book’s Title: THE LONG RIDE HOME

Author/Illustrator: Stephanie Graegin

Release Date: 6/28/22

Publisher: Random House Studio

ISBN-10: 0593426029

ISBN-13: 9780593426029

Genre: fiction picture book

 Age Range: ages 4-8

*GIVEAWAY DETAILS*

 

Five winners will receive a copy of THE LONG RIDE HOME (Stephanie Graegin) ~US ONLY

 

 *Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*

 

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Exclusive Trailer Reveal + Giveaway: Dylan Dover: Into the Vortex (Lynne Howard) ~US/CAN

June 29th, 2022 by

YABC is excited to share the exclusive trailer reveal for

Dylan Dover: Into the Vortex by Lynne Howard!

Read on for more about Lynne, her book, a book trailer reveal & giveaway!

 

 

 

Meet The Author: Lynne Howard

Lynne Howard, author of the Dylan Dover: Into the Vortex series, is a writer, lawyer, and teacher. Passionate about serving her community and dedicated to social and environmental justice, she lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband, children, and two dogs, Halle and Oliver.

Website * TikTok * Facebook

 

 

About the Book: Dylan Dover: Into the Vortex

In a stunning debut, Lynne Howard’s Dylan Dover: Into the Vortex casts a potent reader’s charm over all youngsters clamoring for a new supernatural hero. Dylan believes he is a typical twelve-year-old until he stumbles into a vortex that miraculously transports him to the immortal dimension, a parallel universe.
Dylan not only learns that he is a warlock, but he also discovers a twin brother, extraordinary powers, and a secret prophecy that seems to have Dylan and his family at its crux. Dylan, along with his brother and their new-found wizard friend Thea, begin to unravel the mystery that surrounds their birth and the danger that threatens immortals
and humans alike.
Click here for Book Trailer Reveal:

Book’s Title: Dylan Dover: Into the Vortex

Author: Lynne Howard

Release Date: 6/29 e-book and 7/4 for paperback

Publisher: The Conrad Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-914913-98-3

Genre: MG Fantasy

Age Range: 8+

*GIVEAWAY DETAILS* 

 

Five Winners will receive a signed copy of Dylan Dover: Into the Vortex (Lynne Howard) ~US/CAN

 

 

*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*

 

 

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Waiting on Wednesday ~ June 29, 2022

June 29th, 2022 by

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)

Bone Weaver


Author: Aden Polydoros
Expected Publication Date: September 20, 2022

From the author of The City Beautiful comes a haunting fantasy following Toma, adopted daughter of the benevolent undead, making her way across a civil war-torn continent to save her younger sister as she discovers she might possess magical powers herself.

The Kosa empire roils in tension, on the verge of being torn apart by a proletarian revolution between magic-endowed elites and the superstitious lower class, but seventeen-year-old Toma lives blissfully disconnected from the conflict in the empire with her adoptive family of benevolent undead.

When she meets Vanya, a charming commoner branded as a witch by his own neighbors, and the dethroned Tsar Mikhail himself, the unlikely trio bonds over trying to restore Mikhail’s magic and protect the empire from the revolutionary leader, Koschei, whose forces have stolen the castle. Vanya has his magic, and Mikhail has his title, but if Toma can’t dig deep and find her power in time, all of their lives will be at Koschei’s mercy.

 

 

*Jan’s Choice*

(YABC Staff Reviewer)

Fractured Path


Author: J.C. Cervantes
Expected Publication Date: July 19, 2022

Can dreams come true when you’re living with a family curse?

1965―San Francisco, California

The 1960s are bursting with music and movement and love in San Francisco, perfect for a budding artist like Blake. Unfortunately, the art world is not welcoming to people of her gender or her multi-racial heritage, making it tough to land an internship that could put her on the map. That, plus the fact that Blake’s family has been notoriously riddled with bad luck, makes her feel like she can’t catch a break. Things only get worse when Blake starts to have ominous, confusing visions that grow stronger and more frequent, prompting Blake’s aunt and uncle to tell her about a long-lost family heirloom that could be the key to everything

Fueled by the ambiguous clues in her visions, Blake sets out on a journey through the city to retrieve her ancestors’ legendary mirror. But Blake is not the only one looking for it. Soon she must attempt to unleash her own dormant powers . . . or else risk all she holds dear.

The Mirror: Fractured Path is the third book in the innovative YA fairy-tale quartet, following one family―and the curse that plagues it―over several generations.

 

 

*Mark’s Choice*

(YABC Staff Reviewer)

Tales to Keep You Up at Night


Author: Dan Poblocki
Expected Publishing Date: August 16, 2022

Amelia is cleaning out her grandmother’s attic when she stumbles across a book: Tales to Keep You Up at Night. But when she goes to the library to return it, she’s told that the book never belonged there. Curious, she starts to read the stories: tales of strange incidents in nearby towns, of journal entries chronicling endless, twisting pumpkin vines, birthday parties gone awry, and cursed tarot decks. And at the center of the stories lies a family of witches. And witches, she’s told, can look like anyone…

As elements from the stories begin to come to life around her, and their eerie connections become clear, Amelia begins to realize that she may be in a spooky story of her own…

With hair-raising, spine-chilling prose, Dan Poblocki delivers a collection of interconnected stories that, if you’re anything like Amelia, is sure to keep you up late in the night.

 

 

*Kim’s Choice*

(YABC Staff Reviewer)

The Charmed List


Author: Julie Abe
Publication Date: July 5, 2022

Sometimes you need a little magic to fall in love.

Ellie Kobata has spent most of high school on the sidelines, keeping her art Instagram private and shying away from the world. She can’t even tell her only friend, Lia, who she really is: Ellie is part of a secret magical community, and no one outside of it can know it exists. The only person Ellie could fully relate to was Jack Yasuda – her childhood friend who mysteriously started to snub her a few years ago.

But before senior year, Ellie is ready to take some risks and have a life-changing summer, starting with her Anti-Wallflower List – thirteen items she’s going to check off one by one. With this list, she hopes to finally come out of her shell; even though she can’t share her full self with the world. But when number four on Ellie’s list goes horribly wrong—revenge on Jack Yasuda—she’s certain her summer is cursed. Instead of spending her summer with Lia, Ellie finds herself stuck in a car with Jack driving to a magical convention. But as Ellie and Jack travel down the coast of California, number thirteen on her list—fall in love—may be happening without her realizing it.

In The Charmed List, Julie Abe sweeps readers away to a secret magical world, complete with cupcakes and tea with added sparks of joy, and an enchanted cottage where you can dance under the stars.

 

 

What book are you looking forward to in 2022?

Comment the name of the book below!

Featured Review: Our Crooked Hearts (Melissa Albert)

June 28th, 2022 by

 

 

About This Book:

The suburbs, right now . . . Seventeen-year-old Ivy’s summer break kicks off with an accident, a punishment, and a mystery: a stranger whose appearance in the middle of the road, in the middle of the night, heralds a string of increasingly unsettling events. As the days pass, Ivy grapples with eerie offerings, corroded memories, and a secret she’s always known―that there’s more to her mother than meets the eye.

The city, back then . . . Dana has always been perceptive. And the summer she turns sixteen, with the help of her best friend and an ambitious older girl, her gifts bloom into a heady fling with the supernatural. As the trio’s aspirations darken, they find themselves speeding toward a violent breaking point.

Years after it began, Ivy and Dana’s shared story will come down to a reckoning among a daughter, a mother, and the dark forces they never should’ve messed with.

 

 

*Review Contributed by Olivia Farr, Staff Reviewer*

OUR CROOKED HEARTS is a delicious, dark YA fantasy read. The book takes place in dual timelines, following Ivy in the present, and her mother in the past. Ivy’s story begins quickly as she and her boyfriend almost get into a car accident when they swerved to avoid crashing into a naked girl in the road. The encounter seems strange, and things begin getting stranger when Ivy finds something disturbing in the driveway and all the secrets seem to revolve around her mother.

In the before, Dana was 16 and felt like there should be something more. When she and her BFF Fee meet Marion, who is a little older and a lot more mysterious. Marion has found a pathway to magic, and she opens Dana and Fee to their abilities. As things escalate, they will find themselves in the middle of something bigger and more dangerous than they ever could have imagined.

What I loved: This is such a layered and twisty read. The start of the book hooks the reader with the characters and mystery and pulls them into something absolutely riveting and deliciously dark. The plot was endlessly fascinating with surprising turns that were hard to see coming. Both Ivy and Dana’s stories held equal sway in pulling us toward the hidden secrets that had the power to change lives. Later, the story again evolves to show another perspective that brings the reader even further into the mire.

Both Ivy and Dana were compelling characters whose lives were easy to get lost in. Ivy is trying to understand what happened to her, why the boy next door dislikes her so much, and why she feels like something is missing, while also trying to figure out what her mother is hiding. Dana is looking for something bigger than herself and the world that she lives in with her volatile father and consuming friendship with Fee. Marion gives her something that feels like she regains the power that she had lost and gives her something more from the world. They were each complex characters who come to life with each chapter.

This is not a book to be read at nighttime – it is haunting, chilling, and deliciously creepy. As a page-turner, this will keep you up late with all the lights on. The pace is just perfect, building slowly at first and escalating as the story builds. The switches between timelines were seamless and just the right length to keep you invested in both without getting too distant so that you forget one before turning to the other.

Themes around power, friendship, family, betrayal, secrets, memory, dreams, and honesty make this a really consuming read. The use of magic and multiple perspectives really makes these come to life, with key messages around secrets, honesty, and the power of the lies.

Final verdict: Twisty, haunting, and deliciously dark, OUR CROOKED HEARTS is a compelling YA fantasy that is sure to haunt and consume readers.

 

 

*Find More Info & Buy This Book HERE!*

What’s New In YA? June 28, 2022

June 28th, 2022 by

 

June 28, 2022

 

Sometime in Summer (Katrina Leno)

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎Poppy 
  • Reading age: ‎12 years and up
  • Grade level: ‎7 and up

 

From critically acclaimed author Katrina Leno comes a tender love letter to books and summertime, with a touch of magic.

Anna Lucia Bell believes in luck: bad luck. Bad luck made her best friend stop talking to her. Bad luck caused her parents’ divorce. Bad luck is forcing her mother, Miriam, to sell the family’s beloved bookstore. And it is definitely bad luck that Anna seems to be the only person in the world Miriam is unable to recommend a life-changing book.

When Anna finds out that she and her mom are spending two months in a New England seaside town called Rockport, she expects a summer plagued with bad luck too. But Rockport has surprises in store for Anna, including a comet making its first appearance in over twenty years and two new—but familiar—friends.

In what will prove to be the most important summer of her life so far, Anna learns about love, herself, and the magic that an ordinary summer can bring.

 

Blade Breaker (Realm Breaker #2) (Victoria Aveyard)

 

  • Publisher: ‎HarperTeen 
  • Reading age: ‎13 – 17 years
  • Grade level: ‎8 – 9

 

 

In the sequel to Victoria Aveyard’s instant #1 New York Times bestselling Realm Breaker, a divided world must rally, an unstoppable enemy must be defeated, and the fate of the world rests on a blade’s edge.

Andry, a former squire, continues to fight for hope amid blood and chaos.

Dom, a grieving immortal, strives to fulfill a broken oath.

Sorasa, an outcast assassin, faces her past when it returns with sharpened teeth.

Valtik, an old sorceress, summons a mighty power.

And Corayne, a pirate’s daughter with an ancient magic in her blood, steps closer to becoming the hero she’s destined to be.

Together they must assemble an army to face Queen Erida and Taristan’s wicked forces. But something deadly waits in the shadows, something that might consume the world before there’s any hope for victory.

 

 

Stealing Infinity (Stolen Beauty #1) (Alyson Noel)

 

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎Entangled: Teen 
  • Reading age: ‎14 – 18 years
  • Grade level: ‎10 – 12

 

These days, I’ve been killing it when it comes to letting people down. Now I’ve been kicked out of high school, arrested, and accepted into a remote, off-the-grid school owned and operated by an inscrutable billionaire tech guru.

Gray Wolf Academy is looking for a certain kind of student. Ones that no one will miss. Like me.

Then there’s Braxton. The beautiful, oddly anachronistic guy who showed up right when the trouble started. And he’s a total enigma―which means that I definitely can’t trust him, even if there’s something about him that makes me want to.

They all tell me I have a gift. A very rare gift. And Gray Wolf Academy wants me to learn it. To use it. Because if what they say is true, I have all the time in the world.

And that makes me the most dangerous high school student you’ll never know…

The Stealing Infinity series is best enjoyed in order.
Reading Order:
Book #1 Stealing Infinity
Book #2 Ruling Destiny

 

This Vicious Grace (The Last Finestra #1) (Emily Thiede) 

 

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎Wednesday Books 
  • Reading age: ‎13 – 18 years
  • Grade level: ‎7 – 9

 

Emily Thiede’s exciting fantasy debut, This Vicious Grace, will keep readers turning the pages until the devastating conclusion and leave them primed for more!

Three weddings. Three funerals. Alessa’s gift from the gods is supposed to magnify a partner’s magic, not kill every suitor she touches.

Now, with only weeks left until a hungry swarm of demons devours everything on her island home, Alessa is running out of time to find a partner and stop the invasion. When a powerful priest convinces the faithful that killing Alessa is the island’s only hope, her own soldiers try to assassinate her.

Desperate to survive, Alessa hires Dante, a cynical outcast marked as a killer, to become her personal bodyguard. But as rebellion explodes outside the gates, Dante’s dark secrets may be the biggest betrayal. He holds the key to her survival and her heart, but is he the one person who can help her master her gift or destroy her once and for all?

 

The Dream Runners (Shveta Thakrar) 

 

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎HarperTeen 
  • Reading age: ‎13 – 17 years
  • Grade level: ‎8 – 12

A lush tapestry of dreams, myth, and magic—perfect for fans of Holly Black, Roshani Chokshi, and Margaret Rogerson.

Seven years ago, Tanvi was spirited away to the subterranean realm of Nagalok, where she joined the ranks of the dream runners: human children freed of all memory and emotion, who collect mortal dreams for the entertainment of the serpentine, immortal naga court.

But when one of Tanvi’s dream harvests goes awry, she begins to remember her life on earth. Panicked and confused, she turns to the one mortal in Nagalok who might be able to help: Venkat, the dreamsmith responsible for collecting the dream runners’ wares and shaping them into the kingdom’s most tantalizing commodity. And as they search for answers, a terrifying truth begins to take shape—one that could turn the nagas’ realm of dreams into a land of waking nightmare.

From the author of the Indie Next selection and Andre Norton Award finalist Star Daughter, this stand-alone contemporary fantasy, inspired by the nagas and garudas of Hindu mythology, is full of slow-burning romance, haunting intrigue, and shimmering magic.

 

Katzenjammer (Francesca Zappia) 

 

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎Greenwillow Books 
  • Reading age: ‎14 – 17 years
  • Grade level: ‎9 – 12

American Horror Story meets the dark comedy of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis as Cat searches for a way to escape her high school. A tale of family, love, tragedy, and masks—the ones others make for us, and the ones we make for ourselves. Katzenjammer will haunt fans of Chelsea Pitcher’s This Lie Will Kill You andE. Lockhart’s We Were Liars.

Cat lives in her high school. She never leaves, and for a long time her school has provided her with everything she needs. But now things are changing. The hallways contract and expand along with the school’s breathing, and the showers in the bathroom run a bloody red. Cat’s best friend is slowly turning into cardboard, and instead of a face, Cat has a cat mask made of her own hardened flesh.

Cat doesn’t remember why she is trapped in her school or why half of them—Cat included—are slowly transforming. Escaping has always been the one impossibility in her school’s upside-down world. But to save herself from the eventual self-destruction all the students face, Cat must find the way out. And to do that, she’ll have to remember what put her there in the first place.

Using chapters alternating between the past and the present, acclaimed author Francesca Zappia weaves a spine-tingling, suspenseful, and haunting story about tragedy and the power of memories. Fans of Marieke Nijkamp’s This Is Where It Ends and Karen McManus’s One of Us Is Lying will lose themselves in the pages of this novel—or maybe in the treacherous hallways of the school.

 

Our Crooked Hearts (Melissa Albert)

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎Flatiron Books
  • Reading age: ‎14 – 18 years
  • Grade level: ‎10 – 12

 

The suburbs, right now . . .
Ivy’s summer break kicks off with an accident, a punishment, and a mystery: a stranger whose appearance in the middle of the road, in the middle of the night, heralds a string of increasingly unsettling events. As the days pass, Ivy grapples with eerie offerings, corroded memories, and a burning question: What if there’s more to her mother than meets the eye?

The city, back then . . .
Dana has always been perceptive. And the summer she turns sixteen, with the help of her best friend and an ambitious older girl, her gifts bloom into a heady fling with the supernatural. As the trio’s aspirations darken, they find themselves speeding toward a violent breaking point.

Years after it began, Ivy and Dana’s shared story will come down to a reckoning among a daughter, a mother, and the dark forces they never should’ve messed with.

 

The Song That Moves the Sun (Anna Bright) 

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎HarperTeen 
  • Reading age: ‎14 – 17 years
  • Grade level: ‎9 – 12

 

This sweeping YA fantasy romance full of star-crossed love, complex female friendship, and astrological magic is perfect for fans of Laini Taylor, Alexandra Bracken, and V.E. Schwab. From the acclaimed author of The Beholder.

Best friends Rora and Claudia have never felt more like their lives are spiraling out of control. And when they meet Major and Amir—two boys from one of the secret cities of the spheres, ruled by the magic of the astrological signs—they discover they’re not alone. There is a disruption in the harmony between the spheres, and its chaos is spreading.

To find the source of the disharmony, Rora and Claudia will embark on a whirlwind journey of secrets, romance, and powerful truths—about themselves, each other, and two long-ago explorers named Dante and Beatrice, who were among the first to chart this course toward the stars.

Inspired partly by the classic works of Dante Alighieri, this gorgeous stand-alone contemporary fantasy will captivate readers of Lore and Star Daughter.

 

The Black Girls Left Standing (Juliana Goodman) 

 

  • Publisher: ‎Feiwel & Friends 
  • Reading age: ‎14 – 18 years
  • Grade level: ‎10 – 12

 

In Juliana Goodman’s powerful young adult debut The Black Girls Left Standing, Beau Willet will stop at nothing to clear her sister’s name.

Sixteen-year-old Beau Willet has dreams of being an artist and one day leaving the Chicago projects she’s grown up in. But after her older sister, Katia, is killed by an off-duty police officer, Beau knows she has to clear her sister’s name by finding the only witness to the murder; Katia’s no-good boyfriend, Jordan, who has gone missing. If she doesn’t find him and tell the world what really happened, Katia’s death will be ignored, like the deaths of so many other Black women who are wrongfully killed.

With the help of her friend, Sonnet, Beau sets up a Twitter account to gather anonymous tips. But the more that Beau finds out about her sister’s death, the more danger she finds herself in. And with a new relationship developing with her childhood friend, Champion, and the struggle to keep her family together, Beau is soon in way over her head. How much is she willing to risk to clear her sister’s name and make sure she’s not forgotten?

 

Godslayers (Gearbreakers #2) (Zoe Hana Mikuta)

 

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎Feiwel & Friends 
  • Reading age: ‎13 – 18 years
  • Grade level: ‎7 – 9

 

 

Godslayers―Zoe Hana Mikuta’s high-octane sequel to Gearbreakers―is perfect for fans of Pacific Rim, Pierce Brown’s Red Rising Saga, and Marie Lu’s Legend series.

The only way to kill a god is from the inside…

The Gearbreakers struck a devastating blow against Godolia on Heavensday, but the cost of victory has been steep. Months later, the few rebels who’ve managed to escape the tyrannical empire’s bloody retribution have fled to the mountains, hunted by the last Zenith―Godolia’s only surviving leader.

Eris has been held prisoner since the attack on the capital city, which almost killed her. And she begins to wish it had when she discovers Sona―the girl she loves, the girl she would tear down cities for―also survived, only to be captured and corrupted by the Zenith. The cybernetic brainwashing that Sona has forcibly undergone now has her believing herself a loyal soldier for Godolia, and Eris’ mortal enemy.

With the rebellion shattered and Godolia moving forward with an insidious plan to begin inducting Badlands children into a new Windup Pilot program, the odds have never been more stacked against the Gearbreakers. Their last hope for victory will depend on whether Eris and Sona can somehow find their way back to each other from opposite sides of a war…

 

Blood and Moonlight (Erin Beaty) 

 

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎Farrar, Straus and Giroux 
  • Reading age: ‎14 – 18 years
  • Grade level: ‎10 – 12

 

In Erin Beaty’s fantasy mystery-thriller, Blood and Moonlight, an orphan with a secret, magical sight gets caught between a mysterious genius and the serial killer he’s hunting.

Rising above the city of Collis is the holy Sanctum. And watching over its spires is Catrin, an orphan girl with unique skills―for she alone can spot the building’s flaws in construction before they turn deadly.

But when Catrin witnesses a murderer escaping the scene of his crime, she’s pulled into a dangerous chain of events where the only certainty is that the killer will strike again. Assigned to investigate is the mysterious and brilliant Simon, whose insights into the mind of a predator are frighteningly accurate.

As the grisly crimes continue, Catrin finds herself caught between killer and detective while hiding her own secret―a supernatural sight granted by the moon, destined to make her an outcast, and the only thing that might save her and those she loves from becoming the next victims…

 

Ride With Me (Lucy Keating) 

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎Clarion Books 
  • Reading age: ‎12 years and up
  • Grade level: ‎7 – 9

 

In this charming contemporary YA novel, neighborhood rideshare driver Charlie Owens embarks on a collision course with love when she crashes into the school’s cute but annoying party boy and wrecks his car and her no-strings-attached attitude toward life.

As a driver for her local ride share app, Charlie Owens loves what the open road gives her: freedom, extra cash for an epic road trip, and a path to getting out of her sleepy town of Chester Falls, Massachusetts. She’s seen her fair share of mysterious passengers and explosive break-ups in the backseat of her car, but Charlie lives a no-strings-attached lifestyle and never gets involved.

But when a routine post-party pick-up ends with Charlie crashing into Andre, her school’s notorious party boy, she’s forced to make a deal to drive him anywhere he needs to go, anytime, until his car can be repaired. Suddenly Charlie and Andre are stuck together, and they couldn’t be more different. But Andre’s charm wins over Charlie’s passengers, and she soon finds herself at risk of breaking her most sacred rule: don’t fall in love.

 

A Secret Princess (Margaret Stohl, Melissa de la Cruz )

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers 
  • Reading age: ‎12 – 17 years
  • Grade level: ‎7 – 9

 

A surprising and romantic YA retelling-mashup of A Little Princess and The Secret Garden by bestselling authors Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz.

Best friends Mary Lennox, Sara Crewe, and Cedric Erroll are best friends. And thank goodness, since their boarding school is basically insufferable. When one of the friends suffers a personal tragedy, a plan—and a secret—change everything for the trio . . . for good.

Filled with charm and romance, and inspired by some of classic literature’s most beloved characters, The Secret Princess is the perfect blend of A Little Princess and The Secret Garden—and the perfect companion to Jo & Laurie.

 

 

Clementine Book One (Tillie Walden)

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Image Comics (June 28, 2022)
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 13 – 16 years
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 7 – 9

“Tillie Walden is the future. Her boldly authentic voice brings new heights to the world of The Walking Dead. I couldn’t be more proud of what she’s doing with this series.” –Robert Kirkman (The Walking DeadInvincible)

“CLEMENTINE is an arresting exploration of trauma, community, and hope, devastatingly rendered in Tillie Walden’s signature style. A triumph of the zombie genre.”–Shannon Watters (Lumberjanes)

“With CLEMENTINE, beloved cartoonist Tillie Walden blows open the WALKING DEAD universe with a story full of blossoming relationships in the shadow of wintery death. It’s ominous and magical and will have you craving more when the final page turns.” –Chip Zdarsky (DaredevilStillwater)

“CLEMENTINE brings its own distinct voice, style, and sensibility to the Walking Dead universe, which is quite a feat on its own. On top of that, it’s an exquisitely drawn story about how to survive trauma and find strength in ourselves and others.” –Kelly Sue DeConnick (Pretty DeadlyCaptain Marvel)

“Walden’s knack for character development and unique perspective result in a tale perfect for diehard fans of The Walking Dead, as well as newcomers.”-Library Journal (starred review)

FROM THE WORLD OF ROBERT KIRKMAN’S THE WALKING DEAD…
…CLEMENTINE LIVES!

Clementine is back on the road, looking to put her traumatic past behind her and forge a new path all her own.

But when she comes across an Amish teenager named Amos with his head in the clouds, the unlikely pair journeys North to an abandoned ski resort in Vermont, where they meet up with a small group of teenagers attempting to build a new, walker-free settlement.

As friendship, rivalry, and romance begin to blossom amongst the group, the harsh winter soon reveals that the biggest threat to their survival…might be each other.

 

Featured Review: Stealing Infinity (Alyson Noel)

June 27th, 2022 by

 

 

About This Book:

My life goes completely sideways the moment I meet the mysterious Braxton. Sure, he’s ridiculously hot, but he’s also the reason I’ve been kicked out of school and recruited into Gray Wolf Academy―a remote island school completely off the grid. I never should have trusted a face so perfect.

But the reality of why Gray Wolf wanted me is what truly blows my mind. It’s a school for time travelers. Tripping, they call it. This place is filled with elaborate costumes and rare artifacts, where every move is strategic and the halls are filled with shadows and secrets.

Here, what you see isn’t always what it appears. Including Braxton. Because even though there’s an energy connecting us together, the more secrets he keeps from me, the more it feels like something is pulling us apart. Something that has to do with this place―and its darker purpose. It’s all part of a guarded, elaborate puzzle of history and time…and I might be one of the missing pieces.

Now I have all the time in the world. And yet I can’t shake the feeling that time is the one thing I’m about to run out of…fast.

 

 

*Review Contributed by Olivia Farr, Staff Reviewer*

STEALING INFINITY is a mysterious and intriguing YA fantasy. Natasha’s life was forever altered when her father disappeared, and she has barely been holding her head above water with trying to help her mother pay the bills and live her life the way she wants. When her glamorous friend Elodie convinces her to skip school to go to an exclusive club, she agrees – but everything from there changes her life forever.

Convicted of a crime she did not knowingly commit, Natasha feels backed into a corner – a corner that takes the shape of a secretive private school, Gray Wolf Academy, where everyone and everything is a lie. She finds herself without many friends and with more enemies than she would care to have. Braxton, the boy who helped with her recruitment, is someone she feels like could be someone she trusts – but it’s clear he is keeping secrets too. As she becomes more entrenched into Gray Wolf, Natasha will have to decide how she is willing to move forward and the terrible things she is willing to do and endure to keep her place there.

What I loved: This was such an atmospheric and intriguing read. The story moves quickly with a plot that keeps the reader guessing and anticipating what could be next. It is easy to become enchanted by the school and mysterious people there, many of whom are full of lies, understanding why Natasha feels and acts the way she does, while also understanding why it is problematic. There are some cult-like elements to the school with the forced separation from past lives, levels of achievement for which different privileges are given, and inner circle/hazing rituals that ensure the inability of the person to want to leave. This journey was particularly fascinating as Natasha evolves during her stay at the Academy.

There are several themes around family, grief/loss, friendship, romance, memory, time, secrets, and morality that added to the intrigue of the story and gave the reader some deeper topics to consider. Family is a particularly challenging one, as Natasha has locked away her father in her grief and has also come to terms with her origin and her relationship with her mother that was broken after the loss with her father and again when she left for the Academy. Memory is a particularly slippery concept in this book, as others frequently lie, hypnosis is used as a tool to alter perspectives, and Natasha experiences what she calls Unraveling in witnessing the memory of something more vague.

The temperamental nature and sensitivity of time adds a sci-fi element to the story, which begins with the riveting prologue. The morality of everything is a fine balance that is frequently re-evaluated over time, as Natasha begins to reconsider some thing that she previously saw as more black-and-white. This was a theme that seems as though it will continue to develop in later books – the good and bad guys seems to change throughout the story and the reader is left wondering where the cards will fall as we learn more.

Natasha is a compelling character, who is ultimately trying to find her own place in the world, while protecting herself and her heart from disappointment. Her effort is expended towards these goals and leads to the situations and predicaments in which she finds herself as well as the ways in which she moves through them. While not all of her actions will be likable, they all seemed understandable in her own context. She is still evolving and growing as a character, and her growth will likely continue along with her knowledge and experience in later books.

Final verdict: STEALING INFINITY is a highly compelling and riveting YA fantasy read that will leave readers reeling and eagerly awaiting the next installment. Highly recommend for fans of CRAVE, IT ENDS IN FIRE, and VAMPIRE ACADEMY.

 

 

*Find More Info & Buy This Book HERE!*

Spotlight on Theo and Sprout: A Journey of Growth (Joseph Gergen), Plus Giveaway! ~ US Only

June 27th, 2022 by

 Today we’re spotlighting Theo & Sprout: A Journey of Growth by Joseph Gergen!

Read on for more about Joseph, his book, and a giveaway!

 

 

 

Meet Joseph Gergen:

Born and raised on the plains of North Dakota. Moved to Twin Cities because it’s actually warmer. Enjoy creating in whatever form it takes. I’ve pursued writing, painting, and furniture making. The enjoyment is in the doing. My writing tends to fall into magical realism where I let the characters tell me where the story should go.

 

Website * Twitter * Instagram

 

 

 

About the Book: Theo and Sprout: A Journey of Growth

Sprout says she’s there to help him, to guide him. Theo, an introverted, teenage boy form a large family, is not so sure about that. He’s not sure about much of anything at the moment. You see, Theo is thrown into absolute uncertainty one morning after he has showered for school when Sprout shows up.

While Theo longs for some guidance through the perils of adolescence, the guidance he knew his family wouldn’t give him, he isn’t prepared for Sprout to present herself and offer it to him. In fact, he doesn’t appear to have a choice since Sprout, sassy and confident about her presence, won’t go away.

Thus begin the adventures of Theo and Sprout.

Amazon

 

 

~Excerpt from Theo and Sprout: A Journey of Growth ~

SPROUT. My brother had no idea the impact the nickname he derisively gave me would have. Neither of us knew how unwittingly appropriate it would become. Was it destiny or self-fulfilling prophecy? I don’t know. Memories and dreams and possibilities like to mix together. As far as my past is concerned and the makeup of who I am and what shaped me, I can make no distinction between memory and reality and dream. I usually don’t try.

While I certainly don’t remember all of my childhood, and many aspects are densely foggy, I remember with clarity the day my life changed. I was preparing for school in the basement bathroom—the small, cramped bathroom that seemed more like a large porta-potty with a shower than an actual bathroom. Wet towels covered the floor and almost all available surfaces. Countless toiletries jumbled themselves wherever space allowed them to balance or stack. Most of these did not belong to me. They belonged to my collection of brothers and sisters. I had a toothbrush. I knew that. Usually, I found toothpaste. If I absolutely needed a less common toiletry, I picked through a baffling array of products, many of which I had no understanding, until I found something useful.

The bathroom door could have been used in a magic show, presenting only an illusion of a door. The useless expandable accordion door secured itself with a weak set of magnets. No locking mechanism whatsoever. Talk about a constant childhood fear. Forever filled with anxiety a sibling would barge in on me as I did my business. Brothers would barge in like some bad slapstick comedy knowing, like we all knew, if the door was closed, the bathroom was in use. If the boys heard the shower, they wouldn’t hesitate to sneak in and use the toilet. The girls exhibited more restraint. They at least would knock before they told you to hurry up, which would never sped up your business. Of course, just because the door was closed didn’t always mean someone was on the toilet. The girls fondly engaged in hours of preening before the mirror. So, privacy—that wasn’t a thing growing up.

The day my life changed I don’t recall anything out of the ordinary going on, neither in the bathroom nor the world at large. Spring had ushered in milder weather and the near ending of the school year. My freshman year of high school. And have I mentioned I was an average 15-year-old boy? I was short and lean, a sprout. My hair buzzed close to my head. My face was angular, all the fat sapped away from constant running. I didn’t spend much time worrying about my body image. It just was.

When puberty enters the scene, the body has a few topics it wants to talk about. You should probably pay attention or ask for guidance. I did not. Deep down I knew I needed guidance, but since my parents and family hadn’t provided any in the first 15 years of life, I suspected any request for guidance would have ended in terrible awkwardness. I guess my older brother BJ gave me guidance, if you call tough love and admonishments to be more manly guidance.

 

Book’s Title: Theo and Sprout: A Journey of Growth

Author: Joseph Gergen

Release Date: 5/21/2022

Publisher: Joseph Gergen

ISBN-13: 978-1734736625

Genre: Coming of Age

Age Range: 14+

 

*GIVEAWAY DETAILS*

 

 

Ten winners will receive a paper copy of Theo and Sprout: A Journey of Growth (Joseph Gergen) ~US ONLY

 

*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*

 

 

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Indie Superstars with the Author of The 716 + GIVEAWAY (International)

June 27th, 2022 by

Welcome to YA Books Central’s “Indie Superstars” column. This monthly event will spotlight the best and brightest of the indie community.

You don’t want to miss out on these talented authors!

 

This week we’re interviewing S.J. Pratt, Author of The 716.

 

 

Caitlin Haines: Can you tell us a little about The 716?

S.J. Pratt: Absolutely! The 716 is a young adult, science fiction novel with feminist vibes and some fun engineering and technology. It’s perfect for anyone looking for an easy read that might get you thinking, a good dose of humor, a touch of romance, strong sibling bonds, and a robotic bestie who loves tea.

The 716 is set in a future where women rule and men are considered the subservient sex. With this backdrop, we follow the story of two driven and passionate protagonists who both want to be engineers: Andy, who can’t achieve his dream because only women can go to university, and Olivia, who is destined to be the future leader of Meliora so of course, can’t go and be an engineer either. When these two meet, Andy gets the chance to prove himself on the female stage and unbeknownst to either of them, they set the scene to change the course of history.

 

Caitlin: Where did the inspiration come from?

S.J.: I was having a drink with a friend, talking about a pretty awful sexual assault that had happened at a stop on my walk to work (like, I had to walk past that spot every day) and my friend was kind, but he wasn’t really interested. And then, and I don’t remember why, but we ended up talking about if our positions were reversed, if it were men that had to think about which route to take home at night, men who would worry if their clothing was too flirtatious and whether that really had anything to do with being a victim? And it sparked this amazing conversation and suddenly I could see a real fire in my friend. It was like he could actually empathize and visualize what it might be like to be in a woman’s shoes, and it got me thinking: could we get more men passionate about gender equality and eliminating sexism if they could experience it themselves? So, I started with this idea of a boy who wants to be an engineer but can’t because you know, sexism, and the story grew and developed from there.

 

Caitlin: What is it about science fiction that draws you in so much?

S.J.: I love the possibilities of science fiction. I love the stars, the science, the technology and the vast possibilities. I love the ability to ask and attempt to answer the age-old question of “What if?” What if robots had feelings and personalities? What if we met aliens? What if we could teleport anywhere in the universe instantly? Or, in my case, what if we flipped sexism on its head and women were naturally in charge? And what if a young man wanted to be more than his sexist society allows him to be? Science fiction is the perfect stage for lots of fun and exploration.

 

Caitlin: Who is your favorite character in this book and why?

S.J.: Oo, tough question! I’d have to say RAY (the most adorable floating ball of light ever). Andy originally designed him to be an automatic light for his aunt’s mechanic workshop, but RAY developed into this amazing friend, someone who calls out prejudice when he sees it, challenges Andy to step up and think outside the box, and promotes more inclusive ways of doing things. He also loves tea and changes color based on his mood.

 

Caitlin: Do you have a background in engineering? If so, what kind?

S.J.: I’ve always loved engineering and tech, but honestly, as a young, shy woman, I didn’t think I could do it. There was one woman in the mechatronics program at my university when I attended, and she was so made to be an engineer. Was I? I didn’t know. So I went into business, aiming to own and run my own company by the time I was 30. Well, as the universe would have it, I met an aerospace engineer and together we started an aerospace engineering company (and yes, yay, before I was 30). And it’s been awesome. I get to be a part of an amazing team, seeing incredible tech coming to life every day. Like, we recently created a capsule for a local scientist to go in a small satellite so she could experiment with the effects of zero gravity on her science, isn’t that awesome? It certainly is for me. So, while I am not an engineer myself, I know a decent bit about it and I am privileged to have a tribe of engineers around me who helped a lot with all the plane mechanics and engineering in my novel.

 

Caitlin: What’s one thing you have to have while writing (music, quiet, snacks, coffee, etc.)?

S.J.: Coffee! Luckily, I am a morning person so this works well. I also have an insanely large mug collection and have different mugs for different vibes (e.g. one with a bunch of books by female authors on it to inspire me to keep going, one with whales on it for calming, slower scene writing).

 

Caitlin: Can you give us a hint at what’s to come next? Is this part of a series?

S.J.: The 716 is a part of a series, yes! A trilogy, in fact.

As for a hint to what comes next, well, we will see this idea of gender equality grow and take a foothold in the community, we’ll see some embrace it and some people resist it. There will be some tough times, especially for Andy, and we’ll get to learn more about Our Mother as she tries desperately to hold on to power (and in her mind, peace). And there will be more adorable RAY moments too. 😊

Meet S.J. Pratt

S.J. Pratt loves writing young adult science fiction. She runs an aerospace engineering company by day and writes in the early hours of the morning. She hopes she was a notetaker for Jane Austen in a past life, is currently an avid feminist and coffee addict, and as a sci-fi nerd she looks forward to culminating her existence as an omnipotent space whale. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand with her incredible husband and incredibly needy cat.

Sign up for S.J. Pratt’s newsletter to get the first 3 chapters of the novel for free!

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Giveaway

A vivid coming of age story filled with feminism, engineering and the courage of everyday heroes.

Olivia is destined to be the future leader of Meliora. She’s smart, rich, and innovative, and she has a pink Identifeye light. Andy is destined to be a waiter and househusband. His blue Identifeye light prevents him from pursuing his dream of becoming an engineer. After all, who ever heard of a male engineer? But when Andy’s life becomes entangled with Olivia’s and he gets the chance to prove himself on the female stage, everything starts to change.

In a society where men are second-class citizens and only binary gender norms are acceptable, Andy and Olivia must confront their own beliefs and decide what kind of world they want to live in. Will they do what is expected or what is right? And will the wrong choice spell disaster?

Fans of The Lunar Chronicles, Divergent and Noughts and Crosses will enjoy this original and thought-provoking sci-fi adventure with a touch of romance.

 

Enter to win an ebook copy of The 716,
as well as a bookmark and signed character art
in this (International)

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