Weekly Wrap: July 25th, 2015

Inspired by Kathy and Kelly's Weekly Obsessions and Kay's Bookish Report, this is where I catch you up on things from around the blogosphere that caught my eye over the past week.

I missed last week because I was halfway across the country with limited internet, so this is kind of a double dose of wrap up! Although I'll admit I'm behind on a few things, especially posts from other bloggers, so I'll try to catch up on those for next week!


The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks

Curio by Evangeline Denmark

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

The Forbidden Orchid by Sharon Biggs Waller

The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter

The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude

Return Once More by Trisha Leigh

Around the Blogosphere

Book Riot wrote a great post about fat phobia in YA and how publishing can work to combat it within the books the industry puts out as well as in how they market those books.

Book Bub put together a list of books to read if you enjoyed Gone Girl. There's a great YA featured on that list too, by none other than the wonderful Paula Stokes!

Aimee from The Social Potato made some gorgeous graphics for ACOTAR and ADSOM and I loooove the ADSOM one! Go check them out!

Variety shared the news that Disney is developing a movie based on Julie Murphy's upcoming release, Dumplin! Learn more here.

Publishers Weekly put out their Spring 2016 Children's preview and there are quite a few books on there that I am super intrigued by. Go forth and let your TBR multiply!

New Book Deals

Anchor & Sophia trilogy by Tommy Wallach

 By Your Side by Kasie West

 Hearts Made of Black by Stephanie Garber

 I See London, I See France by Sarah Mlynowski

 Roar by Cora Carmack

 The Art of Starving by Sam Miller

 Wing Jones by Katherine Webber

Song of the Week

Song of the Week is where I try to pick a song I was listening to a lot over the past week, unless I was boring, in which case I just pick one I love! This week's is by an English band I really love and I've been listening to their first full-length album a lot lately.

What's new in your corner of the book world this week? Did I miss anything that you're really excited about? Let me know!


Top Ten Diverse Books

Top Ten Tuesday is created and run by The Broke and the Bookish.

This topic lends itself well to a post I'm working on about diverse books, so it was great to look through my shelves and find some diverse books I'm happy to recommend.

I'm going to divide them up by kind of diversity instead of ranking them like I usually do with Top Ten Tuesday posts.

People of Colour

Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
Like No Other by Una Lamarche


Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark
Alex As Well by Alyssa Brugman

Both (intersectional diversity FTW)

Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler
Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

Neurological diversity

OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu


Three diverse books that I have seriously heard nothing but great things about and which are on my immediate TBR:

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

What are your diverse recs?


Quiet YA Spotlight + Guest Post from Ann Redisch Stampler

Julie, creator of the wonderful #QuietYA hashtag and all around great person has put together a fantastic series with some authors in order to highlight their Quiet YA books. Today I'm excited to be hosting Ann Redisch Stampler, author of Afterparty, Where It Began, and the upcoming How to Disappear, talking about what Quiet YA means to her. Welcome, Ann.

What #QuietYA Means To Me

I grew up in Santa Barbara, with a beautiful white Spanish, red-tile-roofed library.  It was the era of no-talking-in-the-library. So while you’d hear footsteps, a laugh or a dropped book echoing in the high ceilinged rooms, in my memory, there was always a hush.  

For me, this was the hush of connecting with a book, of searching through the stacks, taking books from the shelves and leafing through them.  Retreating to a cool, isolated corner with an armload of volumes which might contain my book.  The perfect one.  The one I had to read right then. The book to that drew me in and spoke to me --mind, heart and soul.

This, for me, is what #QuietYA is all about.  The debate about whether the definition of Quiet YA should be a book without plot pyrotechnics, or a book that’s been undervalued, or a book that hasn’t received major awards is interesting.  But to the YA reader, searching the stacks as I did, wanting to fall into the pages of her perfect book, I’m not sure that definitions matter.

Quiet YA is about being so connected to a book, so involved in the book’s world, so fascinated by the characters, that all the other noise in the reader’s life fades to the almost-sacred silence of the Santa Barbara Public Library.  
Quiet YA represents the reader’s opportunity to range through a citadel of books like the childhood library where I wanted to pitch a tent.  That was my fantasy:  spending the night alone in that library, black words on white pages illuminated by a flashlight, teaching my imagination to fly; expanding my understanding of the world and my ability to see things from different points of view; demanding that I feel empathy for people who reached up from the pages and grabbed my heart.

As I entered my teen years, books allowed me to create that quiet place of passionate involvement wherever I went.  I carried books around with me, and they carried me away and brought me back nourished and refreshed.

It is a wonder to me now that books with teen characters are being published in such great numbers, and are so highly valued by their readers.  The moments of intense involvement with characters and stories are heightened when the reader is, developmentally, in a place so similar to the characters who speak to her, that she’s able to experience the story with a unique emotional immediacy.  For older readers, Quiet YA moments pull us back into a fuller appreciation of where we’ve been, and shed light on our process of becoming who we are.

Quiet YA isn’t a book, but the experience of interacting with a book.

I wish you all a flashlight, a tent, and the YA novel that compels you to enter its world.

Thank you, Ann, for such a fantastic post. 

Just so you know, Ann's book Afterparty is a Kindle bargain right now. You can grab that here: http://amzn.to/1JfH6Zq

Make sure you also enter the (US only) giveaway with books provided by some of the awesome participating authors, including Afterparty

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Weekly Wrap: July 10, 2015

Inspired by Kathy and Kelly's Weekly Obsessions and Kay's Bookish Report, this is where I catch you up on things from around the blogosphere that caught my eye over the past week.


Suffer Love by Ashley Herring Blake
I absolutely adore the range of blues on this one. They're such gorgeous colours.

Mr. Fahrenheit by T. Michael Martin
As much as I'm not usually a huge fan of eye covers (the Shatter Me series covers excepted), this one is such a cool and theme appropriate use of the eye imagery that I can't help but think it's totally worth it.

The Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
I kind of have mixed feelings on this one because I don't love how close the imagery is to the first one... I wanted it to have an equally striking but different strong symbol on it, but alas. I do really like the silver blood dripping with the red from before, though, and that tagline is flawless.

Around the Blogosphere

Tiff of Mostly YA Lit wrote a really good post about sexual violence in Sarah J. Maas' new book, A Court of Thorns and Roses. Definitely worth a read because she brings up some great points. Check it out here.

Christa of More Than Just Magic wrote a great post for Women Write About Comics on learning storytelling through childhood toys, specifically Barbies. As someone who also used to make up elaborate stories and plots for my Barbies, I found this a really interesting read. Read it here.

The Mary Sue also had an excellent post this week, theirs about one of my favourite shows, The 100, and how it has a pretty incredible cast of diverse female characters (and diverse in so many different ways). Read that here.

New Book Deals

Prince in Disguise by Stephanie Kate Strohm

Transference by Bethany Wiggins
 (DRAGONS, GUYS. I love me some dragons)

Rising Three by Jennifer Rush

4 Wizards by Noelle Stevenson and Todd Casey

Four Weeks, Five People by Jennifer Yu

Riverkeep by Martin Stewart

The Radius of Us by Marie Marquardt

Also recently announced: the third book in Anne Blankman's three book deal with HarperCollins. This one is separate from her duology and is called Traitor Angels. Here's a little more info:
"The Da Vinci Code meets Graceling in this romantic YA adventure from award-winning author Anne Blankman. In TRAITOR ANGELS, Elizabeth discovers an explosive secret concealed in the epic poem Paradise Lost -- a secret that tears apart the fabric of society."
Whaaaaaat? Does that not sound amazing? I am already SO excited for this one.
Traitor Angels is due out Summer 2016.

Pre-Order Offers

Julie Murphy is running a US only pre-order campaign for her upcoming release, Dumplin', where you can get an adorable Dumplin' pin for sending proof of your pre-order to her! More details (and picture courtesy of) her tumblr, here.

Song of the Week

A new addition to Weekly Wrap (which only started last week itself, but whatever) because I listen to music so often that I might as well share some of it with you! I'll try to pick a song I was listening to a lot over the past week, unless I was boring, in which case I'll just pick one I love! This week's is definitely one I've been overplaying, though. Actually, since it's the first week, I'll give you two: the one that introduced me to Ryn Weaver, and the song of hers that has become my new obsession.


What's new in your corner of the book world this week? Did I miss anything that you're really excited about? Let me know!


Underrated YA: Contemporary Edition

Part Three! (Super delayed part three but hey! It's here!)

I've talked about this before but in response to this crazypants Buzzfeed list, today I'm going to tell you about some actual underrated YA (in my humble opinion, anyway) that you should probably go get your hands on ASAP. This follows along the lines of Twitter's response to the same article which took place under #quietYA.

Note: Since I'm being all adamant about the fact that I want to shed light on truly underrated books here, I've put some rules in place for myself. 1, Nothing that's been on the NYT Bestseller list (because guys, that's not underrated). 2, Nothing that currently has a fancy (major) "Award Winner/Nominee" medal on its cover (like for the Morris Debut Award - sorry, In the Shadow of Blackbirds and Charm & Strange! I still love you!) because that can definitely help with exposure. 3. Nothing that I've seen talked about constantly on social media/blogs within my slice of the book world because I figure you're all exposed to similar chatter and then those books aren't really underrated to you anymore, are they?

When I started writing this, I realized that I had so many recs there was no way I could have fit all the books I wanted to rec into one post. So I decided to turn this into a mini-series type deal, hence the second part of the title. This is part three and will cover contemporary novels. I already featured "genre" novels here and historical fiction here.

With all that said, here are my contemp picks!

Five Summers and Like No Other by Una Lamarche
Both of Una Lamarche's novels thus far have explored love in a very moving and involved way. The first looks at the bonds of friendship and the way they are strained and tested, and the second at a seemingly unconventional but actually very universal romance that crosses faith and race lines.
(My review of Five Summers here)

Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley
This is basically the book version of the DCOM Cadet Kelly but darker and with even more girl badass-ness. It's about dealing with grief, dealing with sexism and unfair hostility, and rising above it all to prove that a girl (in this case, the amazing Sam) is just as good as anyone else (not to mention way more kick-butt).
(My review here)

The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes
If you love your lighthearted YA romance with a mismatched pair, fake dating, and some serious character growth, then please tell me why on earth you have not yet read The Art of Lainey.
(My review here)

Behind the Scenes by Dahlia Adler
This is a "fluffy" Hollywood romance book that actually includes some serious deeper issues and explores the development of a romance when there are other complications really well and honestly. It's a lot of fun but isn't afraid to also bring out some other emotions at times.

Dangerous Girls and Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas
Dangerous Girls especially, but man, if you like books that play with your mind and you're looking for a thrill, these are some of the most interesting and criminally underrated YA around.
(My review of Dangerous Girls here)

Goodbye, Rebel Blue by Shelley Coriell
Another really interesting exploration of grief and discovering or rediscovering yourself in the aftermath. The character growth for the protagonist, Rebel, is strong, as is the growth in her relationships. This one has a great helping of both attitude and heart which I found made it easy for me to really enjoy.
(My review here)

Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark
A smart and sensitive novel in verse that looks into gender fluidity and transgender identity from the perspectives of three very different individuals who each struggle with having a lot on their plates. Reminiscent of Ellen Hopkins, who is fantastic.
(My review here)

Canary by Rachele Alpine 
This, along with books like Courtney Summers' recent All the Rage, is such an incredibly important book because of the way it deals with sexual assault. It blows the doors wide open on the treatment young women often receive after they try to open up about their experience with sexual assault and it places itself firmly on their side, something that young women often really need to read.
(My review here)

The Way We Fall and The Lives We Lost by Megan Crewe
These are not your conventional contemporary but I shelved them here because despite the apocalyptic-like virus, our world is still completely recognizable, and it is changed through something that is really quite realistic. These are great stories of survival in a situation that doesn't actually seem impossible for us, which is a little unnerving and, I find, makes the scenarios that play out that much more interesting, and the characters that much easier to relate to.
(My reviews here and here)

What underrated contemporary YA should I be reading to add to this list? I'd love to hear what your faves are!


Top Ten Hyped Books I've Never Read

Top Ten Tuesday is run by The Broke and the Bookish.

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
Despite having read almost all of JG's other books, the premise of this one just didn't do anything for me. I don't gravitate towards sad books in general, so I just never really bothered with it. My feelings are overwhelmingly "meh".

Cassandra Clare (City of Bones and its infinite sequels/spinoffs)
Basically a combined lack of no interest plus the overwhelming number of books I'd have to read if I got into these series meant that I just never bothered and still don't plan to.

The Host by Stephanie Meyer
I do actually own this one and everyone seems to think it was better than Twilight. I haven't seen the movie yet either, but both are on my "eventually" list.

Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park, Fangirl, etc etc)
I own her two YA so far but these are more that I just kind of keep putting off. I'm not especially drawn to them but maybe one day I'll pick them up.

The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa
Fey and I don't often get along - it takes a really unique, exciting, or exceptional fey book to keep me interested, and I just don't think I could handle an entire series about them.

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi
Ehhh I don't want to talk about this one but it fits the list criteria. I just haven't read it for specific reasons and don't plan to.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
I read one of Asher's other books, The Future of Us, and it didn't do a ton for me so I never bothered continuing with his books, despite the talk surrounding this one.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Another overwhelming case of "meh." I was just never drawn in by the idea of this one and I don't expect that to change any time soon.

Meg Cabot's Princess Diaries series
I have read other Meg Cabot - I want to get that out before you all jump at me. I just never actually started the Princess Diaries at the age I should have and so the whole thing just kind of passed me by. And now, at this point, the idea of taking on the entire series is a liiiittle overwhelming.

Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass series, ACOTAR)
This one IS CHANGING. I promise! I own the three Throne of Glass books as well as the bind up of novellas (which I've actually just started) and I'm taking part in Bloomsbury's readalong that started this week counting down to Queen of Shadows. These are perhaps the only books on this list that I actually seriously intend to read within a reasonable time frame (because who knows when I'll read The Host and Rainbow Rowell), so yay for SJ Maas!


Weekly Wrap: July 3rd, 2015

I wanted to try something a little new that was inspired by a couple of different kinds of posts, including Kathy and Kelly's Weekly Obsessions and Kay's Bookish Report wherein I catch you up on things from around the blogosphere that caught my eye over the past week, whether that be new covers revealed, an exciting pre-order campaign that you might want in on, or awesome posts from other bloggers. So I'm going to give this a shot this week and hopefully over the next couple weeks and see how it goes!


Holy smokes, so many of the Winter covers have been revealed over the last couple weeks! I don't even know where to start, but there were some gorgeous ones recently. I'm not going to go too far back because I'll just end up posting too many, but here are a few of the recently released ones that I'm loving:

Down With the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn (named after a song by my favourite band NBD).
Not only does this book sound so different and interesting, but that cover is bright and intriguing and would definitely catch my eye on the shelf at a book store!

Ravenous by MarcyKate Connolly.
This art is both adorable and fantastically realized. I love the colours and the art style and the title treatment... basically all of it!

Daughters of Ruin by K.D. Castner.
LOOK AT THAT COVER. And a synopsis was just recently released and it's basically about rival "sister" princesses, so colour me intrigued!

Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto.
The fooooont. So gorgeous. Priorities = in check.

Assassin's Heart by Sarah Ahiers.
I don't really know what's actually happening in this cover, but I do know I want to stroke it's sumptuous colours and richness forever.

This is Where the World Ends by Amy Zhang
Striking like her first novel, and in a similar way; I really like the style of this one.

The Land of 10,000 Madonnas by Kate Hattemer
The colour scheme, the illustrations over the photo, the giant map covering the models... this one just works for me. Doesn't hurt that it sounds awesome, either.

The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian
This one is a really great use of shape and colour, and according to Siobhan the finished dust jacket is going to be all shiny, so it should be cool!

Around the Blogosphere:

You may have seen the #OTSPSecretSister around on Twitter, and the lovely ladies behind it have put up a post about the new session starting this month. See if it's something you'd be interested in getting in on - it seems like it spreads a lot of cheer in the community - by reading the post and checking out the three blogs: Alyssa's, Brittany's and Amy's! (Same info post on each blog, but check them all out anyway!)

Hafsah of IceyBooks is pretty well known for her fantastic eye for design, and she's taken that offline to her own Etsy shop! Check out her gorgeous handlettered goodies - these would make fantastic gifts, maybe even for your #OTSPSecretSister if you're taking part this time! See her post on them here.

Bekka of Pretty Deadly wrote a really interesting post here about love triangles and why she doesn't despise them like so many bloggers seem to. After hearing a lot of good points from the anti-triangle side, I liked seeing some points in their favour!

Shae over at Shae Has Left the Room gave us some insight into a lesser known part of the publishing world with her post about the work she was doing as an intern at a scouting agency. If you've ever been curious about book scouts or foreign rights, definitely give this post a look!

Bloomsbury is doing a readalong for the Throne of Glass series leading up to the Queen of Shadows release that I'm thinking of joining because I haven't actually read them yet... don't hate me! But the hashtag on Twitter is #ReadThroneofGlass and they're starting next week with The Assassin's Blade, the compilation of novellas. More info here.

The first character profile from Evelyn Skye's cast for her 2016 debut release, The Crown's Game, has been revealed on her website. This is a fun way to get a glimpse at the characters before getting to read the book, plus she's running a giveaway to go along with it! See more here.

New Book Deals:

Looking back at the past few weeks, there have been a few new deals announced for books that could be very interesting. Notably:

The Bastard Table by Andrew Shvarts

The Black Witch by Laurie Forest

Joaquin's Rebellion + sequel, The Long Journey Home by Guadalupe Garcia McCall 

Devil and the Bluebird by Jennifer Mason-Black

This Promise I Will Keep by Aisha Saeed

Mirror In the Sky by Aditi Khorana

City of Secret Rivers by Jacob Sager Weinstein (Middle Grade)

There was also an unofficial announcement of a 2016 release from Mindy McGinnis on her website, where she described the project, The Female of the Species, as "a rape-revenge vigilante justice contemporary." Uh, sign me up please. 

Pre-Order Offers:

I didn't pre-order much before I became a blogger, and though I still don't too often, sometimes authors/publishers run really fun offers where you get cool swag of some sort if you pre-order. SO. Here are a few of those that have caught my eye (likely because I'm excited for the book):

Erin Bowman is running one for Vengeance Road where you automatically get a swag pack for pre-ordering, plus she's running a contest to go along with it! Find that here.

Lindsay Smith is also giving away swag packs to people who preorder her upcoming fantasy, Dreamstrider, plus your pre-order gets you in the running for a gift card to a book store of your choice! Find that here.

Bloomsbury is giving Throne of Glass series buttons to people who send in proof of purchase of Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas by August 31st. Find that here.

Anything exciting go on this week in another corner of the blogosphere that I might have missed? Link me up!