Friday, March 9, 2018

Future Favorites Friday

I take the 2nd Friday fo every month to highlight some upcoming releases I am looking forward to that I hope are Future Favorites. Feel free to do your own post, just please link back to my blog and tell me about your post in the comments.

One of my favorite books of last year was The Dragon with the Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis. I already had the upcoming companion novel down as one of my most anticipated reads of this year, but became even more excited after the release of the gorgeous US cover. Also there is the synopsis. Fairies. Intrigue. Sign me up!!!!

Once upon a time, in a beautiful city famous for chocolate and protected by dragons, there was a girl so fearless that she dared to try to tell the greatest story of all: the truth.

Silke has always been good at spinning the truth and storytelling. So good that just years after arriving as a penniless orphan, she has found her way up to working for the most splendid chocolate makers in the city (oh, and becoming best friends with a dragon). Now her gift for weaving words has caught the eye of the royal family, who want to use her as a spy when the mysterious and dangerous fairy royal family announce they will visit the city. But Silke has her own dark, secret reasons for not trusting these visitors …

Can Silke find out the truth about the fairies while keeping her own secrets hidden?

Release Date: November 6, 2018 (US) from Bloomsbury Children's August 9, 2018 (UK) from Bloomsbury 


I read a lot of own voices debut books last year, but Ibi Zoboi's American Street probably had the greatest impact on me and stuck with me the longest. When I found out her next book was a modern day Pride and Prejudice set in Brooklyn and dealing with gentrification, I was beyond excited. This rapidly made its way to the top of my anticipated YA release list. 

Zuri Benitez has pride. Brooklyn pride, family pride, and pride in her Afro-Latino roots. But pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood from becoming unrecognizable.

When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons, even as her older sister, Janae, starts to fall for the charming Ainsley. She especially can’t stand the judgmental and arrogant Darius. Yet as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial dislike shifts into an unexpected understanding.

But with four wild sisters pulling her in different directions, cute boy Warren vying for her attention, and college applications hovering on the horizon, Zuri fights to find her place in Bushwick’s changing landscape, or lose it all.

Release Date: September 18, 2018 from Balzer & Bray


Lucy Parker's London Celebrities series is one of my favorite romance series. The third book comes out in May and I'm so happy we finally have a cover to show and get ooh an ahh over. Also it's about a circus performer and a special effects artist. I'm so here for this. And so intrigued. 

Once upon a time, circus artist Trix Lane was the best around. Her spark vanished with her confidence, though, and reclaiming either has proved…difficult. So when the star of The Festival of Masks is nixed and Trix is unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight, it’s exactly the push she needs. But the joy over her sudden elevation in status is cut short by a new hire on the makeup team.

Leo Magasiva: disgraced wizard of special effects. He of the beautiful voice and impressive beard. Complete dickhead and—in an unexpected twist—an enragingly good kisser. 

To Leo, something about Trix is…different. Lovely. Beautiful, even though the pint-size, pink-haired former bane of his existence still spends most of her waking hours working to annoy him. They’ve barely been able to spend two minutes together for years, and now he can’t get enough of her. On stage. At home. In his bed.

When it comes to commitment, Trix has been there, done that, never wants to do it again. Leo’s this close to the job of a lifetime, which would take him away from London—and from Trix. Their past is a constant barrier between them.

Release Date: May 28, 2018 from Carina Press


Are there any upcoming releases you anticipate will be favorites?

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

TTT: Favorite Quotes

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly themed blog hop created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl.

Diplomacy in my own my name.

Do you find it easy to get drunk on words?

           So easy that, to tell you the truth, I am never perfectly sober.


Safety is an illusion.

Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed.

If you say a word, it leaps out and becomes the truth. I love you. I believe it. I believe I am lovable. How can something as fragile as a word build a whole world?

I guess love's kind of like a marshmallow in a microwave on high. After it explodes, it's still a marshmallow, but you know, now it's a complicated marshmallow.

If you trust in yourself...and believe in your dreams...and follow your'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy.

Fight with realistic hope,
not to destroy all the world's wrong,
but to renew its good

I think the damned souls in Hell must spend half their time wondering what it was that they really meant to do.

-I can't believe'm talking to the bravest boy I know and you want to quit because someone else has.

-You don't understand. I put so much faith in Dr. Howard. He was my hero.

-Your daddy is always preaching about not putting our faith in  man, not even him.

-Because man will let you down.

-So put your trust in?

-God. And God alone.

-Man can help us, but?

-Man can't save us.

What is one of your favorite quotes?

Friday, March 2, 2018

February Stats

So not anywhere near as good as last month. February was a MONTH. Let me tell you. LOVED A Sky Full of Stars SO MUCH though. I'm still thinking about and unpacking that one.

Did you have a favorite read in February?

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Shorter Musings (YA)

Here are some shorter musings on recently read books.

 In a Perfect World by Trish Doller
Caroline is a character is very much aware of her own privilege, which was nice. She moves to Egypt when her mom takes on work in a clinic there (like Doctors Without Borders). She does have some opinions on Egypt and Islam that are stereotypical, but they are almost immediately corrected in most cases. (That I could tell.) The descriptions of Egypt are amazing. This is a book where the world is a really solid place. All in all I think I would have liked it much more if it had been a friendship story and not a love story. I like Adam as a character A LOT, but felt the romance was one too many weighty things in a story that was already exploring a lot. As a bonus though Caroline has one of the best YA parent couples of all time. Her mom and dad are amazing as parents and as a partnership.

Lucky in Love by Kasie West
After having less than enthusiastic reactions to West's previous two books, I was relieved to enjoy this one so much. Yes, it is the second of two YA novels about 18 year olds winning the lottery and learning about life and love we got this year. I'm not sure why this was a thing, but I like this one better than the other. This was a sweet and fun romance with cute banter, but it was also a great family and friendship story. It was a perfect rainy afternoon read to lighten my mood.

Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser
This is a strong fantasy debut which contained many of the elements I enjoy in YA fantasy. It is mythopoeic, there is political intrigue, and the romance worked for me on most levels. The world building is solid while at the same time the author didn't get bogged down in explaining it. She allows her world to just be making this a quick read. The plot is fast paced and moves from scene to scene quickly. Much of it is spent on boats and I could see how that would get old for some, but I felt the author broke it up well. There was so much happening. It wasn't at all a dull boat ride. The politics could have used a little more substance as could the character development which is why I couldn't completely love it. Still, it is a solid book and I will be reading the sequel and keeping an eye out for this author. (Yes, there is a sequel. BUT. This works perfectly well as a stand alone too.)

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
I have felt a lot of emotions reading Green's books over the years, some positive, some negative, most strong. What I've never felt was bored. Until now. This book has a fabulous concept and a character whose OCD and Anxiety Disorder should be interesting to read about. But so much of the internal monologuing here felt like filler. It's possible this would have worked better as a short story. I don't know. It was missing a lot for  me in terms of character and plot development though.

Wesley James Ruined My Life by Jennifer Honeybourn
Wesley James did not ruin anyone's life. Let's make that clear up front. Quinn has held a grudge against Wesley for years, blaming him for her parents' divorce. I can see how a young girl, confused and scared, would want to find someone to foist her anger over that on. I get that Wesley was an easy target, especially since he was moving. This could have been done really well, but it wasn't because the character development just wasn't there. (Which has been a consistent problem with the Swoons Reads titles.) That being said, if you know teens who can't get enough of fluffy romance that is fairly tame and they've already read all of Kasie West, this book works as a recommendation.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

TTT: Best First Encounters

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly themed blog hop created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl.

This Week's Topic: Love Freebie

Often one of the most memorable parts of a love story is how the couple first meets. I'm not just talking about the meet cutes we see in romantic comedies either (although those are fun), but the more fraught situations and even common ones where two people find themselves connecting for the first time. Here are some of my favorites.

Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane
Poor Peter. He's usually so put together and fully capable. Harriet really knocks him for a loop. It doesn't help that he first lays eyes on her when she's being tried for murder, and she first lays eyes on him when he visits her in jail to offer his investigative prowess to get her off. He proposes in the first minute and a half of their acquaintance. He's way off his game, but the banter is delightful.

Babara Grahame and Peaceable Sherwood
This first meeting also involves a rather precipitous marriage proposal. Also espionage, sleuthing, banter over a dinner table, Christmas, and some light poisoning. Not necessarily in that order.

Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe
The gif speaks for itself

Francesca Spinelli and Will Trombal
These two technically have a passing acquaintance with each other due to some bakery rivalry  their grandmothers have over a supposedly stolen S biscuit recipe, but Will seems genuinely oblivious to that. Their first meeting occurs in front of the whole student body when he calls her out in front of everyone for talking. She gets him back shortly after when they have their first face to face conversation in a teacher's office. She shows him whats what, and it is a beautiful moment. Because Will is clearly: a) usually the smartest person in the room and b) not used to dealing with being told he's wrong and c) never had anyone point out to him that he is and d) finding it kind of hot that this girl had the nerve.

Matt Rosier and Layla Dubois
Her car breaks down. She goes to his house, which is the only place around for miles. He is having a birthday party and celebrating in the best of French ways. Lots of wine. Drunk Matt is hilarious. He automatically assumes she's his birthday present and starts dragging her around and introducing her as his girlfriend. It takes a while before one of his relatives (who have also been celebrating with wine) figures out she doesn't know him. Or any of them. It's one of the funniest opening scenes of a book. I can't do it justice here so clearly you need to discover it for yourself.

Tristan Rosier and Malorie Monsard
(Come to think of it, all the Rosier cousins have rather extraordinary first meetings with their significant others. Huh.) Tristan and Malorie meet in Kindergarten. He is a bundle of energy. She has to sit next to him because she is the closest thing to a calming influence. He likes to throw crayons around to brighten up her world and generally keep things exciting. Awwwww. When they reconnect as adults things are not so fluffy (still awesome), but the picture of tiny Tristan giving crayon gifts and proposing to tiny Malorie gets my heart.

Dimple Shah and Rishi Patel
This couple's first meeting is so epic, it's referred to in the very title of the book AND on the cover art. Both Dimple and Rishi grew up in traditional Indian homes. Dimple's mother is obsessed with her finding the Ideal Indian Husband. The Shahs and the Patels have been exchanging letters. Rishi is totally on board and can't wait to meet his future wife. Dimple is so not anywhere near the ship that her parents don't bother to mention they've set up a meeting with the boy they hope she'll marry. What happens next can partly be blamed on Dimple's parents for their secretiveness. Rishi also bears some burden of blame due to behaving like a complete dork. Needless to say he ends up covered in her iced coffee.

Sandra Foster and Bennet O'Reilly
There are no explosions or confrontations or earth shattering moments when these two meet. They meet as so many couples do: at work. They meet for the first time thanks to a mis-delivered package Sandra has to take down to his department. While this might not seem very memorable in comparison to the others on the list, it's one of those moments heavy with importance. Their second meeting is truly amazing though as they sit and snark corporate policy at a mandatory touchy feely meeting they're forced to go to.

Minerva Dobbs and Calvin Morissey
The first meeting between these two is a perfect example of dramatic irony and it plays out beautifully on the page. As the reader you know Min and you know Cal. You have her history and you know what he's been up to that night. But the things they don't know about each other cause for a frustrating, confusing, and all around weird encounter leading to an evening for the both of them. She thinks he bet someone he could get her into bed. He didn't. But he DID accept the bet that he could get her to leave the building with him. He doesn't know she's just been dumped by the guy who tried to make that bet with him. So they don't get off to the best start, but it is hilarious to experience as a reader because their banter is just so good and yet neither is completely understanding the other.

Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy
This list wouldn't be complete without them. An introvert, who is totally over this party is uber-extrovert of a best friend dragged him to, insults a girl unknowingly close enough to hear. She holds onto her grudge over that like a toddler grasping a toy someone told her to share. It's always delightful to re read for me. Or rewatch. Whichever.

Are there any first meetings that stand out to you? What are your favorites?