8 Buzz Books for Fall/Winter 2019 [Netgalley Buzz Books]

Buzz Books Fall Winter 2019

NetGalley puts out this great compilation every season of some of the hot new Young Adult books that will be coming out. Here are my thoughts on the 8 books featured.

Legacy and the QueenLegacy and the Queen by Annie Matthew, created by Kobe Bryant (9/3)


Game – Tennis means life and death for the residents of the magical kingdom of Nova, and for twelve-year-old Legacy, it’s the only thing getting her through the long days taking care of the other kids at the orphanage. That’s all about to change when she hears about Silla’s tournament.

Set – Silla, the ruler of Nova, hosts an annual tournament for the less fortunate of her citizens to come and prove themselves and win entrance to the Academy, where they can train to compete at nationals. The prize is Silla’s favor and enough cash to keep open the orphanage, and Legacy has her heart set on both. 

Magic – What Legacy has yet to know is that the other players have something besides better skills and more money than she does. In Nova, tennis can unlock magic. Magic that Silla used to save the kingdom long ago and magic that her competitors have been training in for months already. 

Now, with the world turned against her and the orphanage at stake, Legacy has to learn to use her passion for the game to rise above those around her and shine.

Cover: While I like the cover, it doesn’t make me want to read it.  I quite like the concept though, just not a big tennis person. 6/10

Premise:  I like magical competitions as much as the next girl, but I’m not into a magic/tennis tournament hybrid. WHO ASKED FOR THIS. And, I’m sorry, but I just have a hard time taking this seriously when Kobe Bryant isn’t even listed as an author–they’re not even pretending that he made much of a contribution here. He was probably just like, “What if we have a tennis tournament but…it’s MAGIC.” 2/10

Excerpt: Immediate info-dumping and the tennis aspect sits as weird as I’d feared. 2/10

TBR?: No


The Last True Poets of the SeaThe Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake (10/1)

The Larkin family isn’t just lucky—they persevere. At least that’s what Violet and her younger brother, Sam, were always told. When the Lyric sank off the coast of Maine, their great-great-great-grandmother didn’t drown like the rest of the passengers. No, Fidelia swam to shore, fell in love, and founded Lyric, Maine, the town Violet and Sam returned to every summer.

But wrecks seem to run in the family: Tall, funny, musical Violet can’t stop partying with the wrong people. And, one beautiful summer day, brilliant, sensitive Sam attempts to take his own life.

Shipped back to Lyric while Sam is in treatment, Violet is haunted by her family’s missing piece-the lost shipwreck she and Sam dreamed of discovering when they were children. Desperate to make amends, Violet embarks on a wildly ambitious mission: locate the Lyric, lain hidden in a watery grave for over a century.

She finds a fellow wreck hunter in Liv Stone, an amateur local historian whose sparkling intelligence and guarded gray eyes make Violet ache in an exhilarating new way. Whether or not they find the Lyric, the journey Violet takes-and the bridges she builds along the way-may be the start of something like survival.

Cover: Like…I like it, but I’m getting serious The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe vibes. I literally thought this was a sequel until I saw that it was by a different author. 7/10

Premise: I am definitely intrigued by the premise. I like books with family legacies/curses and I also like the shipwreck hunting aspect of it. I hope that there are some flashbacks to Fidelia as well. 7/10

Excerpt: I like the quick back and forth between Violet and her uncle. It keeps the story moving, fills the reader in on some information, and doesn’t bog the writing down. I’m having a hard time deciding, though, whether Violet is going to be an enjoyable level of snarky, or if it’ll end up being too much. 7/10

TBR?: Yes.


CoralCoral by Sara Ella (11/12)

Coral has always been different, standing out from her mermaid sisters in a society where blending in is key. Worse yet, she fears she has been afflicted with the dreaded Disease, said to be carried by humans—emotions. Can she face the darkness long enough to surface in the light?

Above the sea, Brooke has nothing left to give. Depression and anxiety have left her feeling isolated. Forgotten. The only thing she can rely on is the numbness she finds within the cool and comforting ocean waves. If only she weren’t stuck at Fathoms—a new group therapy home that promises a second chance at life. But what’s the point of living if her soul is destined to bleed?

Merrick may be San Francisco’s golden boy, but he wants nothing more than to escape his controlling father. When his younger sister’s suicide attempt sends Merrick to his breaking point, escape becomes the only option. If he can find their mom, everything will be made right again—right?

When their worlds collide, all three will do whatever it takes to survive, and Coral might even catch a prince in the process. But what—and who—must they leave behind for life to finally begin?

Cover: The cover intrigues me and I really like the color contrast between the artwork and the title. I’m always down for a good fairytale retelling but I feel like there have been some duds lately. 7/10

Premise: Meh. I read one book where emotions were considered a disease and that was enough for me. I’m not really interested in revisiting that concept. On the other hand, it sounds like there could be some good mental health rep in here, so that’s something. 3/10

Excerpt: It’s a little too lyrical…is that the right word? The writing feels like it’s trying too hard to be beautiful and the story gets lost in it. 3/10

TBR?: No.


I'm Not Dying With You TonightI’m Not Dying With You Tonight by Kimberly Jones & Gilly Segal (10/1)

Lena and Campbell aren’t friends.

Lena has her killer style, her awesome boyfriend, and a plan. She knows she’s going to make it big. Campbell, on the other hand, is just trying to keep her head down and get through the year at her new school.

When both girls attend the Friday-night football game, what neither expects is for everything to descend into sudden mass chaos. Chaos born from violence and hate. Chaos that unexpectedly throws them together.

They aren’t friends. They hardly understand the other’s point of view. But none of that matters when the city is up in flames, and they only have each other to rely on if they’re going to survive the night.

Cover: This cover is pretty good, but doesn’t necessarily grab me. 5/10

Premise: This book sounds like it’s probably pretty intense. The summary gives some information, but I’m still not 100% what this book is going to be about. 6/10

Excerpt: I like when two authors write for different POVs. It makes the characters authentically sound like different people because it’s actually written by different people. The writing is nothing special, but it is extremely readable. I’d want to see what people say about this one. 6/10

TBR?: Maybe.


Dear Haiti, Love AlaineDear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika Moulite & Maritza Moulite (9/3)

You might ask the obvious question: What do I, a seventeen-year-old Haitian American from Miami with way too little life experience, have to say about anything?

Actually, a lot.

Thanks to “the incident” (don’t ask), I’m spending the next two months doing what my school is calling a “spring volunteer immersion project.” It’s definitely no vacation. I’m toiling away under the ever-watchful eyes of Tati Estelle at her new nonprofit. And my lean-in queen of a mother is even here to make sure I do things right. Or she might just be lying low to dodge the media sharks after a much more public incident of her own…and to hide a rather devastating secret.

All things considered, there are some pretty nice perks…like flirting with Tati’s distractingly cute intern, getting actual face time with my mom and experiencing Haiti for the first time. I’m even exploring my family’s history—which happens to be loaded with betrayals, superstitions and possibly even a family curse.

You know, typical drama. But it’s nothing I can’t handle.

Cover: This cover is great–I really like it. The title font is awesome and I love all the red. 8/10

Premise: This sounds so fun! And Haiti isn’t a country I know a lot about. I really like the epistolary format as well and I get the sense there could be a really great mother/daughter dynamic in this one? 8/10

Excerpt: I like the writing even if it doesn’t read like I would expect an epistolary novel to. It reads more like a normal book, so I’m not sure the epistolary format is actually adding anything to it yet. 8/10

TBR?: Yes.


Harvey Comes HomeHarvey Comes Home by Colleen Nelson (9/19)

A dog’s world is a world of scents, of adventure. When a runaway West Highland Terrier named Harvey wanders out of his old life guided only by his nose and his heart, lives begin to converge.

Austin, a young volunteer at Brayside retirement home, quickly finds that the audacious Harvey inspires Mr. Pickering, a bitter resident coping with memory loss, to tell stories of his childhood. Moved by the elderly man’s Dust Bowl recollections of grinding poverty and the perseverance of his friends and family, Austin begins to trade his preconceived notions for empathy. But is it enough to give him the resolve to track down Harvey’s original owner?

Cover: Beyond the puppy, this cover really holds zero appeal for me. 2 points for the good doge. 2/10

Premise: I don’t have anything against reading middle grade, but I personally don’t read a lot. The premise makes this sound like a pretty young book, so I probably wouldn’t pick it up. 2/10

Excerpt: I do like that part of the book is written more from the dog’s perspective (though still in 3rd person). 3/10

TBR?: No.


Scars Like WingsScars Like Wings by Erin Stewart (10/1)

Ava Lee has lost everything there is to lose: Her parents. Her best friend. Her home. Even her face. She doesn’t need a mirror to know what she looks like–she can see her reflection in the eyes of everyone around her. 

A year after the fire that destroyed her world, her aunt and uncle have decided she should go back to high school. Be “normal” again. Whatever that is. Ava knows better. There is no normal for someone like her. And forget making friends–no one wants to be seen with the Burned Girl, now or ever. 

But when Ava meets a fellow survivor named Piper, she begins to feel like maybe she doesn’t have to face the nightmare alone. Sarcastic and blunt, Piper isn’t afraid to push Ava out of her comfort zone. Piper introduces Ava to Asad, a boy who loves theater just as much as she does, and slowly, Ava tries to create a life again. Yet Piper is fighting her own battle, and soon Ava must decide if she’s going to fade back into her scars . . . or let the people by her side help her fly.

Cover: Another cover that reminds me of another book. This time I’m getting serious Death Prefers Blondes vibes. I still like it though, the contrasting colors are fun. 7/10

Premise: It sounds interesting since I’ve never read a book featuring a burn victim before. I’m just not sure if I’ll like it if the main character is too angry. It makes me tired when characters are SUPER angry at the world. 5/10

Excerpt: I find the writing to be super compelling and I like the character’s mixture of snark with her other emotions. I also think (and hope) that her relationship with her aunt will prove to be really interesting. 8/10

TBR?: Yes.


Home GirlHome Girl by Alex Wheatle (9/3)

New from the winner of the Guardian Children’s Book Award: Home Girl is the story of Naomi, a teenage girl growing up fast in the care system. It is a wholly modern story which sheds a much needed light on what can be an unsettling life – and the consequences that can follow when children are treated like pawns on a family chessboard.

Cover: I’m not as much a fan of photos for covers compared to illustrations. Also, something about this cover has a low-budget, self-published feel to it. 0/10

Premise: Seems like it could be a really important story, but we’re really not given much to go off of. Just from this premise, I probably wouldn’t pick it up. 3/10

Excerpt: The flow is fast-paced with a lot of British slang, some of which I didn’t really understand. I can see the appeal, but I’ll probably pass on it. 4/10

TBR?: No.



Let me know in the comments what you’ve heard about these books and which ones you’ll be adding to your TBR!

12 Buzz Books for Spring/Summer 2019 (NetGalley Buzz Books)

NetGalley puts out this great compilation every season of some of the hot new Young Adult books that will be coming out. Here are my thoughts on the 12 books featured.


RomanovRomanov by Nadine Brandes (5/7)

The history books say I died.

They don’t know the half of it.

Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them . . . and he’s hunted Romanov before.

Nastya’s only chances of survival are to either release the spell, and deal with the consequences, or enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya’s never dabbled in magic before, but it doesn’t frighten her as much as her growing attraction for Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her . . .

That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.

Cover: This cover is beautiful! I love the colors and the castle especially. I am so IN for anything about the Romanovs. 7/10

Premise: Very intriguing. I like the element of magic coming into this story. I’m not exactly sure how I feel about the Bolshevik romance…but who am I kidding? I’ll probably love it. 7/10

Excerpt: This sounds great so far! It sounds like they’re painting Rasputin to be a good guy at this point? I mean, maybe I’m biased from the Anastasia movie, but that guy seriously gives me the creeps, so I hope we find out later he’s a villain. 8/10

TBR?: Yes


Once and FutureOnce & Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy (3/26)

When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she is revealed to be the newest reincarnation of King Arthur. Then she meets Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager, and together they must break the curse that keeps Arthur coming back. Their quest? Defeat the cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind.

No pressure.

Cover: I mean…I kind of like the cover, but I feel like it also looks like a ton of other covers I’ve seen. 6/10

Premise: This book is being sold as “inclusive” and as a “bold original retelling”. This is definitely not the first “King Arthur as a girl” book that I’ve seen or read. I don’t really know how King Arthur being a girl is “inclusive”? That stuff aside, though, it does sound interesting. 6/10

Excerpt: I’m not super impressed by the excerpt. The main character seems kind of annoying and the book is supposed to be set in the future, but it doesn’t really feel like the future. 4/10

TBR?: Probably not


The Missing of ClairdeluneThe Missing of Clairdelune by Christelle Dabos (5/7)

Book 2 of the Mirror Visitor Quartet

When our heroine Ophelia is promoted to Vice-storyteller by Farouk, the ancestral Spirit of Pole, she finds herself unexpectedly thrust into the public spotlight and her special gift is revealed to all. Ophelia knows how to read the secret history of objects and there could be no greater threat to the nefarious denizens of her icy adopted home than this. Beneath the golden rafters of Pole’s capitol, Citaceleste, she discovers that the only person she may be able to trust is Thorn, her enigmatic fiancé. As one after another influential courtier disappears, Ophelia again finds herself unintentionally implicated in an investigation that will lead her to see beyond Pole’s many illusions to the heart of the formidable truth.

Cover: I quite like this cover. It’s deceptively simple by just being one color, but there’s a lot going on. 7/10

Premise: I haven’t read the first book yet so I’m skipping both the premise and excerpt.

Excerpt: Skipped

TBR?: The first book is called A Winter’s Promise and it sounds very intriguing. So the first book is on my TBR, at least. Also, this book was originally written in French, so this would be great for any “books originally written in another language” challenges.


Much Ado About Mean GirlsMuch Ado About Mean Girls by Ian Doescher (4/23)

Power struggles. Bitter rivalries. Jealousy. Betrayals. Star-crossed lovers. When you consider all these plot points, it’s pretty surprising William Shakespeare didn’t write Mean Girls. But now fans can treat themselves to the epic drama–and heroic hilarity–of the classic teen comedy rendered with the wit, flair, and iambic pentameter of the Bard. Our heroine Cady disguises herself to infiltrate the conniving Plastics, falls for off-limits Aaron, struggles with her allegiance to newfound friends Damian and Janis, and stirs up age-old vendettas among the factions of her high school. Best-selling author Ian Doescher brings his signature Shakespearean wordsmithing to this cult classic beloved by generations of teen girls and other fans. Now, on the 15th anniversary of its release, Mean Girls is a recognized cultural phenomenon, and it’s more than ready for an Elizabethan makeover.

Cover: The cover doesn’t THRILL me. I’m not making grabby hands at it, but it’s okay. 5/10

Premise: I don’t know how I feel about this book…I feel like there’s definitely a group of people out there who will love this book. I’m just not really sure it’s for me. The original movie is so good, I have a hard time believing that iambic pentameter is really going to make it better. 4/10

Excerpt: The writing just doesn’t flow like Shakespeare. Sure, it might technically be in iambic pentameter, but it still reads kind of jerkily. I’m sure the author worked really hard on it though. 3/10

TBR?: No


Please Send HelpPlease Send Help by Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin (7/16)

In this hilarious follow-up novel to the New York Times bestseller I Hate Everyone But You, long distance best friends Ava and Gen have finally made it to the same time zone (although they’re still over a thousand miles apart).

Through their hilarious, sometimes emotional, but always relatable conversations, Ava and Gen are each other’s support systems through internships, relationship troubles, questionable roommates, undercover reporting, and whether or not it’s a good idea to take in a feral cat. Please Send Help perfectly captures the voice of young adults looking to find their place in the world and how no matter how desperate things seem, you always have your best friend to tell it like it is and pick you back up.

Cover: I’m not a huge fan of the cover. The colors and font just aren’t doing it for me. 3/10

Premise: I was NOT a fan of the first book (I DNF’d after 115 pages). This book claims that it’s going to be relatable, but I did not find the characters relatable at all in the first book so…not buying that. 1/10

Excerpt: Nope. 1/10

TBR?: No


VoicesVoices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc by David Elliott (3/26)

Told through medieval poetic forms and in the voices of the people and objects in Joan of Arc’s life, (including her family and even the trees, clothes, cows, and candles of her childhood). Along the way it explores issues such as gender, misogyny, and the peril of speaking truth to power. Before Joan of Arc became a saint, she was a girl inspired. It is that girl we come to know in Voices.

Cover: Not a huge fan of that cover. For some reason it looks a little old-fashioned to me. 3/10

Premise: The premise is interesting…I could see it either being really good or really weird.  But I’m betting more on weird. 4/10

Excerpt: The writing is actually quite beautiful. I’ll admit that I don’t know that much about Joan of Arc, so this might be a good read for me. 6/10

TBR?: Yes


Descendant of the CraneDescendant of the Crane by Joan He (4/2)

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant and alluring investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

Cover: This is a great cover. It’s very reminiscent of classic Asian artwork that I’ve seen. It also gives me Alice in Wonderland vibes? 7/10

Premise: Yeah. I’m into it. 8/10

Excerpt: The writing is good and I like the use of alliteration (not sure if it’s intentional, but I like it). 8/10

TBR?: Yes


A Place for WolvesA Place for Wolves by Kosoko Jackson (4/2)

James Mills isn’t sure he can forgive his parents for dragging him away from his life, not to mention his best friend and sister, Anna. He’s never felt so alone.

Enter Tomas. Falling for Tomas is unexpected, but sometimes the best things in life are.

Then their world splits apart. A war that has been brewing finally bursts forward, filled with violence, pain, and cruelty. James and Tomas can only rely on each other as they decide how far they are willing to go―and who they are willing to become―in order to make it back to their families.

Cover: I like this cover quite a bit. I like the contrast of the black and white photo in the background and the bright font colors. 8/10

Premise: It’s described as Aristotle and Dante meets Code Name Verity. I’m not necessarily buying that since Code Name Verity is one of the greatest best friendship stories I’ve ever read and this is definitely a romantic relationship… I think they just said Code Name Verity because there’s a war? 3/10

Excerpt: The writing is good, but I still have no sense of what the plot might be. It seems like the book might be told in the “present” and in flashbacks provided by letters that James has written to his sister and I do like that. 4/10

TBR?: No


OperaticOperatic by Kyo Maclear illus. by Byron Eggenschwiler (4/2)

It’s almost the end of middle school, and Charlie has to find her perfect song for a music class assignment. The class learns about a different style of music each day, from hip-hop to metal to disco, but it’s hard for Charlie to concentrate when she can’t stop noticing her classmate Emile, or wondering about Luka, who hasn’t been to school in weeks. On top of everything, she has been talked into participating in an end-of-year performance with her best friends.

Then, the class learns about opera, and Charlie discovers the music of Maria Callas. The more she learns about Maria’s life, the more Charlie admires her passion for singing and her ability to express herself fully through her music. Can Charlie follow the example of the ultimate diva, Maria Callas, when it comes to her own life?

Cover: I like the top half of the cover, but not so much the bottom half and I can’t really articulate why. 5/10

Premise: I like the premise quite a bit. I like the idea of our main character discovering and delving into a new passion. I also like that this is a graphic novel. I don’t like the possibility of a love triangle that has been presented. 6/10

Excerpt: Yes. I loved it. I love that the drawings don’t feel super finished–they mostly seem like just pencil drawings and I think it’s a really good feel for the book. I’m invested in Charlie’s story already. 8/10

TBR?: Yes


OutcastsOutcasts by Claire McFall (4/23)

Book 3 in the Ferryman series

Tristan and Dylan have escaped death and conquered destiny. Nothing is stopping them from being together.

But every action has a consequence, and their exile to the real world has caused an imbalance in the afterlife. It’s owed two souls – and it wants them back.

When the world of the dead claims Dylan’s parents to restore the balance, Dylan and Tristan are offered a terrible bargain: stay together and condemn innocent souls to death, or return to the wasteland to take their place and be separated. Forever.

Are they willing to make the ultimate sacrifice?

Cover: I like the cover–I like the simplicity and the colors. I don’t like the title font. 7/10

Premise: I haven’t read the first two books so I’m not going to rate the premise or excerpt.

Excerpt: Pass.

TBR?: I feel super torn regarding the premise of the first book. On one hand, it’s a little intriguing. On the other hand, it reads like a bunch of other supernatural romance books I’ve already read. Back on the first hand, it has a semi-high rating on Goodreads (3.87). I just don’t know.


BloodleafBloodleaf by Crystal Smith (3/12)

Princess Aurelia is a prisoner to her crown and the heir that nobody wants. Surrounded by spirits and banned from using her blood-magic, Aurelia flees her country after a devastating assassination attempt. To escape her fate, Aurelia disguises herself as a commoner in a new land and discovers a happiness her crown has never allowed. As she forges new bonds and perfects her magic, she begins to fall for a man who is forbidden to rule beside her.

But the ghosts that haunt Aurelia refuse to abandon her, and she finds herself succumbing to their call as they expose a nefarious plot that only she can defeat. Will she be forced to choose between the weight of the crown and the freedom of her new life?

Cover: The cover looks dark and mysterious and exciting. For some reason I really like the title font and the background color really speaks to me. 8/10

Premise: We’ve had an ARC of this book sitting in or workroom for the last two months. The premise isn’t super compelling to me and that’s why I haven’t picked it up before now. I just doesn’t feel very original? Heir that has forbidden magic that they must keep hidden…I just feel like I’ve heard it a couple times before. But, like it’s got a 4.02 on Goodreads? 4/10

Excerpt: I feel like the author’s trying too hard. Something about the adjectives used just doesn’t feel very smooth. 4/10

TBR?: No


To Best the BoysTo Best the Boys by Mary Weber (3/19)

Every year for the past fifty-four years, the residents of Pinsbury Port receive a mysterious letter inviting all eligible-aged boys to compete for an esteemed scholarship to the all-male Stemwick University. Every year, the poorer residents look to see that their names are on the list. The wealthier look to see how likely their sons are to survive. And Rhen Tellur opens it to see if she can derive which substances the ink and parchment are created from, using her father’s microscope.

In the province of Caldon, where women are trained in wifely duties and men are encouraged into collegiate education, sixteen-year-old Rhen Tellur wants nothing more than to become a scientist. As the poor of her seaside town fall prey to a deadly disease, she and her father work desperately to find a cure. But when her Mum succumbs to it as well? Rhen decides to take the future into her own hands—through the annual all-male scholarship competition.

With her cousin, Seleni, by her side, the girls don disguises and enter Mr. Holm’s labyrinth, to best the boys and claim the scholarship prize. Except not everyone’s ready for a girl who doesn’t know her place. And not everyone survives the maze.

Cover: Yes. THIS is a good cover. 9/10

Premise: I am all in for this premise! A labyrinth sounds so deliciously twisty and full of puzzles (I love books with puzzles). I was actually so close to requesting this on NetGalley already, but I was worried it won’t live up to my expectations. 9/10

Excerpt: The writing is not as compelling as I would have hoped. That dampens my enthusiasm for this book a little. 7/10

TBR?: Yes


Let me know in the comments what you’ve heard about these books!

Buzz Books 2018 | Young Adult Spring/Summer (part 2/2)

NetGalley puts out this great compilation every season of some of the hot new Young Adult books that will be coming out. Here are my thoughts on the last 6 books featured and here’s a link to my thoughts on the first 6. As always, covers link to Goodreads.

Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen (3/20)

Orphan Monster SpyCover: This seems like a historical fiction war thriller maybe? Which is potentially intriguing, but just based on the cover I don’t know that I would pick it up off a shelf. 4/10

Premise: OKAY. This premise is actually super interesting to me. As we all know, I love books about boarding schools and this sounds like it’s right up that alley. This book sounds like a cross between Wolf by Wolf and the Finishing School series. 9/10

Excerpt: The book starts off pretty fast-paced and I really like the German that’s sprinkled throughout. I’m definitely interested in reading more–hopefully the main character continues to hold my interest. 8/10

TBR?: Yes

Furyborn by Claire Legrand (5/22)

FurybornCover: I don’t know…this just looks like a lot of books that are being published right now. Some kind of high-ish fantasy land where a girl comes from nothing to become a super powerful queen/leader/ruler. It just seems a little generic at this point? I think a few years ago this would have really appealed to me though. 6/10

Premise: Does this book involve some kind of time travel too? I don’t know, I’m really not interested in this. The premise does not appeal to me at all. 2/10

Excerpt: I can already tell that this world is going to take way too much set-up time than I would want to invest. And the writing was fine, but not good enough to keep my attention. Also, already knowing that it’s a trilogy is another strike against it imo. 2/10

TBR?: No

Twelve Steps to Normal by Farrah Penn (3/13)

Twelve Steps to NormalCover: I feel very neutral about this cover. I like the simplicity of it and the overall design, but it just doesn’t really look like it’s going to be about something that I’m interested in. 5/10

Premise: The summary makes me slightly more interested in this book. I like the idea of the main character having to come back to her old life and reevaluate things. I’m less certain about the fact that it’s written by a Buzzfeed writer. I’ve read some really great things on Buzzfeed, but also some things that weren’t so well-written. 6/10

Excerpt: The writing feels fresh, in a way. I think the main character will be interesting and difficult at times, but overall likable. I also think we’re going to see some really complicated interactions between her and her dad and that’s kind of exciting to explore. 7/10

TBR?: Yes

Frat Girl by Kiley Roache (3/27)

Frat GirlCover: This book just feels like it’s trying too hard. The tagline on the cover is “there’s a feminist in the frat house”. That just seems like it’s going to come with such obvious complications. In my opinion, a book could have the same overall topics and themes but handle it in a much more subtle and mature way. This feels like too much. 2/10

Premise: Yeah okay, that summary is pretty much exactly what I thought it might be. It just leaves me with a big, sarcastic, “Gee, wonder how this is going to turn out?”. It has the slightest potential of becoming a cute college romance, but I can just tell that the main characters are actually going to bug the crap out of me. 4/10

Excerpt: I can already tell that I don’t like any of these characters. The main character herself is fine, but her two friends are too snarky and rebellious to feel realistic. 3/10


Reclaiming Shilo Snow by Mary Weber (3/6)

Reclaiming Shilo SnowCover: This looks like it will be some kind of sci-fi book with probable romance between a human girl and a not-quite-human boy (my money’s on cyborg, but could be alien I suppose). Again, maybe would have appealed to me a few years ago, but now…yawn. 4/10

Premise: The summary told me nothing except that this is actually the second book in a series. That is not necessarily something that is in this book’s favor. After reading the summary for the first book, I am still not very interested. 3/10

Excerpt: I’m going to skip the excerpt since the book is not the first in a series. Wouldn’t want to spoil anything.

TBR?: No

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young (4/24)

Sky in the DeepCover: This cover is slightly intriguing. Why does she have an axe? It’s kind of giving me Thor/Norse vibes. What exactly is this book about? 5/10

Premise: Hmmm…I can’t tell if this is going to be like a resurrection book or zombies or something else…dark magic maybe? I’m a little more interested than I was before. 6/10

Excerpt: I’m just not sure about this one. Again, I’m not sure that the time it takes to setup this new world is worth my investment. The main character seems okay though. 6/10

TBR?: Maybe, we’ll see what other people say about it.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve heard anything about these books!

Buzz Books 2018 | Young Adult Spring/Summer (part 1/2)

NetGalley puts out this great compilation every season of some of the hot new Young Adult books that will be coming out. Here are my thoughts on the first 6 books featured and be on the lookout for my thoughts on the next 6. As always, covers link to Goodreads.

Fawkes by Nadine Brandes (7/10)

FawkesCover: I’m not super jazzed about this cover. It looks like it’s going to be a bad fairy tale retelling. Other than that, I have no indication of what this book might be about. What genre is it even? Fantasy? Historical Fiction? It could be horror for all I know. 3/10

Premise: This is literally the summary, “Nadine Brandes thrusts readers back to the time of anarchy and Guy Fawkes, with fantastical twists and unlikely love in Fawkes.” That still gives me almost nothing. I’ve heard of Guy Fawkes, but I have no idea who he is or what he did. I guess this is historical fantasy? Maybe? 3/10

Excerpt: I can already tell that the magic used in this world is too complicated. There are masks and colors that respond to types of voices…on top of that, I think the author’s trying a little too hard to be poetic in the descriptions. I also found the main character to be annoying and whiney after just the first few pages. 4/10

TBR?: No. This one just isn’t for me.

The Boy from Tomorrow by Camille DeAngelis (5/8)

The Boy from TomorrowCover: Just from the cover I think I can tell that this one is more middle grade than YA. It looks like it might be about a kid who time travels to the past? If I was in the target age range I think this cover would definitely appeal to me. 7/10

Premise: This sounds a lot like the movie Frequency. Again, if I was younger, I think I would really dig it. 6/10

Excerpt: It’s kind of interesting…even though this is clearly a middle grade book, I think the author has written in a very mature tone. The characters act like they’re 12, but think as if they’re older. I also like the aspect of having some interesting historical facts included since one of the characters lives in the past. 7/10

TBR?: Maybe. I wouldn’t usually add a middle grade to my TBR, but since this one reads a little older, I might.

Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne (5/1)

Brightly BurningCover: This cover does not appeal to me at all. Something about the text…the font that was chosen and the image…the colors… It just doesn’t look interesting to me. Probably some new space book where a girl from Earth falls in love with some guy from space. 2/10

Premise: Okay, well I was right about it being a space book. For some reason this seems like it might be a retelling of an old classic? But I think it’s probably one I haven’t read because the names and overall premise don’t sound very familiar to me. I’m just going to say, though, that having a 19-year-old boy be “notorious throughout the fleet for being a moody recluse and a drunk” seems a bit of a stretch. I mean, how long could he really have had that reputation for? Already I can tell that I’m going to want the characters to be older. 5/10

Excerpt: Not really a smooth beginning. It’s hard to join a story already in progress, but I feel like right off the bat there was a conversation between two characters that didn’t feel genuine and only served to catch the reader up to speed. It just didn’t feel as organic as it should have. Props to the author for including a diverse character right away, though. 5/10

TBR?: Nah.

Unbreakable by Sara Ella (5/1)

UnbreakableCover: Man, what is with these covers? None of them are speaking to me. This looks like a fairy book that I would have read 10 years ago. I don’t like the font and the imagery gives me no clues as to what this book might be about. 2/10

Premise: I guess this is the third book in a trilogy that I have never heard of before. Other than that, no clues from the summary. 3/10

Excerpt: The writing doesn’t seem too bad, but I just did a quick skim since I haven’t read the first two books. 5/10

TBR?: No and not just because I haven’t read the first two books. I read the synopsis for the first book and just wasn’t interested in that one either.

Legendary by Stephanie Garber (5/29)

LegendaryCover: Yes. HECK YES. I loved the cover of Caraval so much and this one is just as intriguing and magical. I love the colors and the text and how it looks both simple and complicated at the same time. 8/10

Premise: For the most part, I really liked Caraval, but I did have some issues with it. I hope that this book is able to build on the first instead of repeating elements. I like the idea of Elantine’s Day, but if it’s too much like Caraval then I’ll be disappointed. 7/10

Excerpt: Some of my issues from the last book stemmed from Scarlett as a character/narrator. So maybe with Tella as the new main character and narrator some of those issues will go away? I’m as intrigued as Tella by the deck of cards and I really liked the way her mom talked about fortune telling. 8/10

TBR?: YES. Actually, it already was. But if it hadn’t been, it definitely would be now!

Chemistry Lessons by Meredith Goldstein (6/19)

Chemistry LessonsCover: Okay, this looks like it has the potential to be a really cute and fluffy contemporary romance and I am HERE for it. I like the font choice, I like the periodic table in the background, I like that the droplets are little heart shapes…I’d definitely pick it up off the shelf and read the back. 7/10

Premise: Oh man, this premise seems a little risky. It could go well, or it could be extremely over the top and annoying. All I want is a smart girl main character who ISN’T a spazz. Up to this point, that has been too much to ask for apparently, but we’ll see with this book. 6/10

Excerpt: Just from the excerpt I think that I’ll like Maya as a character pretty good. It seems like she’s surrounded by a quirky cast of diverse secondary characters as well. I also like that the book really feels like it’s set in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 7/10

TBR?: Yeah, I’ll give this one a shot.

Let me know in the comments what you’ve heard about these books!

Buzz Books 2017|Young Adult Fall/Winter

Buzz Books 2017 Fall/Winter

NetGalley puts out this great compilation every season of some of the hot new Young Adult books that will be coming out. Here are my thoughts on the 13 books featured (I feel like every time we get to preview fewer books, but whatever). Covers link to Goodreads.

Solo by Kwame Alexander with Mary Rand Hess (7/25)

SoloCover: I could go either way on this. There are some elements that I like, but others that seem a little…cheap maybe? It’s nothing special is what I’m trying to say I guess. 5/10

Premise: Okay, so I’m remembering now that Kwame Alexander is the one who wrote The Crossover which I have heard is really good. I’m sure this one is amazing too, but poetic verse isn’t really my thing. The story itself seems like it’s going to be super heavy which is also something that I’m not naturally drawn towards. (I like happy and fluffy, okay? Sue me.) 3/10

Excerpt: There’s something kind of mesmerizing about the way the poems are written. The rhythm feels kind of disjointed and it doesn’t always make sense or fall the way you think it might. At the same time, I’m having a hard time understanding everything. I always feel like I’d be able to understand better if the story was just written in paragraphs. And I also wonder how authors decide where to break up the lines of the poem. It just isn’t something that I really understand intuitively. 4/10

TBR?: No, but mostly just because it’s written in verse.

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust (9/5)

Girls Made of Snow and GlassCover: The cover is really simply beautiful. At the same time it looks a little mature for YA. Like, it looks like it’s an adult book, not Young Adult. I still like it though. 8/10

Premise: I love fairy tale retellings, so I’m really hoping I’d like this one. The summary itself is a little ambiguous so I’m not exactly sure what to expect though. And again, even though this book is about two young women the summary reads like an adult novel to me. I feel like this book could either be great, or something that I dislike completely. 6/10

Excerpt: But actually? This excerpt hooked me with the first few lines. “Lynet first saw her in the courtyard. Well, the girl was in the courtyard. Lynet was in a tree.” For some reason, that just feels like really fresh narration to me. It makes me excited to keep reading. I notice that the chapter is labeled as “Lynet” so that makes me think this is probably a multiple POV book. That could be good, or it could be bad. We’ll see I guess. 8/10

TBR?: Yes. I’m cheating a little because I actually already have an ARC of this one on my Kindle.

The House at 758 by Kathryn Berla (10/17)

The House at 758Cover: This cover is pretty intriguing to me. I like the fonts. I like the images. I like that it looks like such a clean and simple design, but it’s also kind of complex at the same time. I feel like the title itself holds all kinds of possibilities. This book could literally be about anything and be in any genre. 7/10

Premise: This book sounds like it could be pretty good. I still have no idea what’s going down in the house at 758, but it sounds like we’ll probably get to see a pretty great relationship develop between our main character and her grandfather. I’m into it. 7/10

Excerpt: I’m not sure about this one…there are some parts that I really liked, but the narration is kind of an internal monologue/stream of consciousness. Maybe once the book gets going we’d get more of a plot. In the end, I just want a little bit more than this book is giving me. 6/10

TBR?: Maybe. I’ll see what other people say about it.

Your One & Only by Adrianne Finlay (2/6/18)

Your One and OnlyCover: Yeah, I like this cover quite a bit. The design is really cool to me. I don’t love the colors or the font choice, but other than that, I like what the cover’s trying to do here. 8/10

Premise: Meh. This book doesn’t sound super original. I feel like I’d be super into this book like ten years ago, but today it doesn’t get me very excited. Already I feel like the summary is exposing some plot holes that I wouldn’t be able to get past. 5/10

Excerpt: I don’t know. The excerpt wasn’t so bad, but I still don’t feel any sparks of outstanding originality like I would want from a book in this genre. I don’t really understand how the Althea’s can feel each other’s emotions even if they’re clones? I just get the feeling that most of this book wouldn’t really make sense to me. 6/10

TBR?: Probably not.

Everless by Sara Holland (1/2/18)

Cover: I couldn’t find a cover for this one, but here’s the link to Goodreads. 0/10

Premise: This is another one that I feel like I would’ve been super into a few years ago, but now I just read the premise and feel like there are probably a lot of plot holes. It still has potential, but I’m not holding my breath. 4/10

Excerpt: Well, well, well. It looks like we have another special snowflake main character who has a strange ability that she’s never told anyone about but will undoubtedly be helpful later in the book. The writing itself is good, but the premise feels tired to me. 3/10

TBR?: No

All Rights Reserved by Gregory Scott Katsoulis (8/29)

All Rights ReservedCover: Hmmm…there’s something about the cover that really catches my eye, but then at the same time there’s something I don’t like about it as well. I like that it’s a balance of simple and chaotic, but I don’t like that the background looks so…is illustrated the right word? While the girl looks so real. I wish it had been like a sketch of a girl or something instead. Also, I don’t LOVE the color. 7/10

Premise: The premise doesn’t sound that interesting to me, to be honest. Why does one girl’s actions have such an effect on the society? It’s just not intriguing enough for me to want to pick it up. 2/10

Excerpt: I don’t know…I can understand the social commentary that is being made through this book, but the entire world just seems problematic to me. How can people realistically be charged for every single word they say? It just doesn’t make any sense. 3/10

TBR?: No

The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis (10/17)

The SidekicksCover: I like the idea of the cover, but I’m not a huge fan of the font used for the title, etc. and I feel like that’s a pretty big part of the cover as a whole. So…not super loving it but it’s okay. 5/10

Premise: Yeah, I feel like this book has the potential to be a really touching and deep read. That being said, it’s not necessarily something that I find myself super drawn to. 4/10

Excerpt: The excerpt reads pretty much how I thought it would and that doesn’t make me want to read it any more or any less. 4/10

TBR?: No

The Gatekeepers by Jen Lancaster (10/10)

The GatekeepersCover: I think I’m finding that I’m more drawn to covers that are illustrated versus actual photos, but I do like the colors. I’d take a look at the summary after spotting this cover. 6/10

Premise: Wow, so I think this book is likely going to cover some pretty heavy stuff. I feel like that could go really well or really poorly. 5/10

Excerpt: The characters seem interesting and complex. If the author really ends up exploring them, it could be interesting. I like the text exchanges that are added in as well. I’d probably keep reading. 6/10

TBR?: Maybe. I’ll see how other people like it first.

Warcross by Marie Lu (9/12)

WarcrossCover: Well, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t more intrigued by the tagline at the bottom than I was by the cover. I don’t know what it is, but nothing really jumps out at me about the cover. I’m not super in love with it. 4/10

Premise: I’m definitely intrigued by the premise, but I’m also wary. I feel like a lot of books are trying to find the success that Ready Player One did with this virtual reality/alternate reality/video game setting and so far none of them have come close. So yeah, I’m interested, but I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if I was disappointed. 8/10

Excerpt: I’m still intrigued and only slightly confused (which is saying something when it comes to sci-fi). I’ll definitely be giving this book a try. 7/10

TBR?: Yes (to be honest, it already was).

All Things New by Lauren Miller (8/1)

All Things NewCover: I like the colors, but not much else. The cover doesn’t give any indication of what the book might be about. It looks like a contemporary book? Possibly set in the mountains? I don’t know why I think that, but that’s how abstract this cover is. 3/10

Premise: To be honest, this premise seems super weird to me. It’s kind of a contemporary book, but kind of not. The main character ends up getting a weird power where she can see everybody else’s injuries, illnesses, and hurts? It just seems too weird. Too much of a stretch for me. The writing would have to be very compelling for me to be interested. 3/10

Excerpt: Well…the writing’s not super compelling and the main character isn’t very likable. I know she has some things that she’s dealing with, obviously, but I still didn’t feel very sympathetic to her. Something about the thoughts that she was having about those around her didn’t really endear her to me. 3/10

TBR?: No

Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp (1/23/18)

Before I Let GoCover: I don’t think this is the intent, but the cover looks super creepy. Like this is a horror book creepy. At the very least, it looks like it could be a psychological thriller. I kind of like the cover, but I’m not usually drawn to the genre that I feel it represents so I may not have picked it up if I saw it on a shelf. 7/10

Premise: Okay, so it does sound like this book is some kind of thriller. Maybe it could be good then? Like I said earlier, I don’t read a ton of thrillers usually. 5/10

Excerpt: The way that the author is choosing to tell the story is interesting to me with phone calls and letters  and flashbacks. With that being said, after finishing the excerpt, I don’t really have much of a desire to continue on with the story. 4/10

TBR?: Probably not.

Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi (10/31)

Beasts Made of NightCover: The cover is definitely interesting to look at and I’m intrigued by what I see. At the same time, I feel like I’ve seen a similar cover somewhere else. It doesn’t feel totally original to me. 7/10

Premise: I don’t feel like I understand the concept of this book all the way though I am slightly intrigued. At the same time, this book is all about sins and guilt and that makes it seem like this book could be REALLY dark which isn’t something I’m necessarily interested in. Basically, I’m torn. 5/10

Excerpt: The writing is great. I’m still not totally sure about the world that the author’s created and I could see that becoming an issue later in the book, but for now I’m pretty intrigued and would definitely keep reading. 8/10

TBR?: Yes

Love Songs and Other Lies by Jessica Pennington (1/30/18)

Love Songs and Other LiesCover: Something about the cover makes it look like this is a collection of short stories or essays. That’s probably what I’d think if I just saw it sitting on a shelf. Other than that, I like the cover fine. I don’t like the color of the Polaroids with the blue background very much, but it’s okay. 5/10

Premise: Honestly, this book sounds like it’s right up my alley. I like books about reality shows. I also like celebrity romances. This seems like a pretty good mash-up of the two. 8/10

Excerpt: I liked the excerpt. The writing wasn’t anything super special, but it kept my attention. I like that we’re switching between both narrators and time periods (then and now). I think that’ll be a great way to add depth and backstory to the book which I think will end up being really necessary. 7/10

TBR?: Yes

Let me know in the comments what you’ve heard about these books!

Buzz Books 2017 | Young Adult Spring/Summer (Part 2)

Buzz Books 2017 Spring/Summer

NetGalley puts out this great compilation every season of some of the hot new Young Adult books that will be coming out. Here are my thoughts on the last 8 books featured (click here for my thoughts on the first 10). Again, covers link to Goodreads.

How to Be a Supervillain by Michael Fry (5/2)

How to be a supervillainCover: This definitely looks like it’s going to be a middle grade book and it’s kind of reminds me of Captain Underpants. For what it is, I think the cover is pretty good, but I’m not super into it (sorry, this is literally the only picture of the cover that I could find on Google). 5/10

Premise: This actually sounds pretty good! I think it’s definitely a book that I would have greatly enjoyed in elementary school. 8/10

Excerpt: I love that it’s a mix of text and comic panels. That makes it very readable and I think that a lot of kids will enjoy this series. It’s fun to have a main character who is trying to be bad, but just can’t do it. 9/10

TBR?: No, but I’d definitely recommend it to my young cousins

The End of Our Story by Meg Haston(4/4)

The End of Our StoryCover: I really like this cover! It’s really pretty and eyecatching. I think the font used for the title is perfect and I love the spacing of it too. I like the subtlety of the blurred people (are they walking away or towards each other???) It seems like it might be similar to Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between. 10/10

Premise: First, they have weird names. I’m assuming they’re both short for something, but I feel like book characters often have names that normal people don’t. From the cover I thought this might be a sweet contemporary romance, but it seems like there’s going to be a lot more involved. I think that could either give the book more depth, or make it seem like the author is trying too hard. We’ll have to see I guess. 7/10

Excerpt: I just read the first chapter, but I really liked it. I can already tell that I’m going to like Bridge and Wil and probably Leigh (Bridge’s friend). The writing is really good so far, so I’m excited about that as well. 9/10

TBR?: Yes

Laugh Out Loud by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein (7/24)

Laugh Out LoudCover: This one doesn’t have a cover yet, so no rating.

Premise: This book sounds like it’s going to be cheesy with a lot of self-promotion by James Patterson. I’m not the biggest fan of it right now. 4/10

Excerpt: Okay, so there are actually a lot of references to a lot of different books by different authors in this book. I like that because it’s promoting other books that kids might want to look up after reading this one. That being said, I still hold by my cheesy comment, though it might be okay for regular middle grade readers. 6/10

TBR?: No

Aftercare Instructions by Bonnie Pipkin (6/27)

Aftercare InstructionsCover: This cover doesn’t scream YA to me. It’s interesting enough and I like the colors, but it almost seems like an old-fashioned camping guide (which might be the point). It’s something that would catch my eye though. 7/10

Premise: I’m not really sure what it means by “Through the lens of an ongoing four act play within the novel…”. Does that mean the book is laid out like a four act play? Or excerpts from the play will be throughout the book (similar to Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell)? I’m just not really sure. I also get the impression that the main character is going to be super tough and possibly not very likable. 5/10

Excerpt: The writing seems super tight and I actually really like the play scenes. It’s an interesting way to do flashbacks so that the reader can get the backstory. At the same time, it makes it so that Genesis is a little detached from her past which I’m sure is how she feels. I also think one of the topics of this book (abortion) is definitely timely. With the election and everything else Pro-Choice vs Pro-Life is something that everyone seems to be really aware of. This might give some insight into that debate though maybe just from the Pro-Choice side. 7/10

TBR?: No, I don’t think this one is for me, but I think a lot of people will really like this one

Geekerella by Ashley Poston (4/4)

GeekerellaCover: So…it looks like it’s going to be a retelling of Cinderella. The cover’s not great, but it does give off the impression that this is going to be a really sweet contemporary romance without too much depth. There’s something about the colors, though, that I don’t really like. I think the cover would look better if the sky was blue instead of purple. 5/10

Premise: I’ll be honest, I’ve never met a girl-next-door type meets teen heartthrob and they fall in love story that I HAVEN’T liked. This one seems to be right up that alley. It’s not a terribly original storyline, but I just can’t make myself care. As long as the writing is okay, I think I’ll probably like this one. 8/10

Excerpt: Just from a quick skim of the first few pages, I still think I’ll like it fine, but it seems like it might be holding to the original Cinderella story a little too closely. I like when a subtle detail from the original fairy tale will pop out and surprise me. I don’t think the writing is anything super stellar, but it’s not awful. 6/10

TBR?: Yeah, probably

Rebels Like Us by Liz Reinhardt (2/28)

Rebels Like UsCover: The cover is nice enough, but at the same time, I’m just not loving it for some reason. It just looks so…Seventeen magazine and that’s not very appealing to me (since I’m MUCH older than 17–I actually didn’t realize how much older until just now). 5/10

Premise: Hmmm…it looks like this book actually has a serious theme which isn’t what I was getting from the cover. At all. It could be worth a read if it’s done right. Or, the main character could be super annoying and the author just wrote about this topic because it seemed like a good idea but she actually doesn’t have any first-hand experiences. It could go either way. 6/10

Excerpt: I just read the first couple pages and I’m already not very impressed. I mean…maybe I went into it prepared to feel unimpressed, but I don’t think that’s the only reason. The author is trying to use descriptive language, but it just feels like she’s trying too hard. She’s trying too hard to be hip and edgy and descriptive with just the right amount of sarcasm. It’s exhausting to read. 4/10

TBR?: No

Definitions of Indefinable Things by Whitney Taylor (4/4)

Definitions of Indefinable ThingsCover: It’s nice! It looks like it’s going to be a cute contemporary romance. Just from the cover it seems like we might be getting some quirky/cool characters based on the way they’re dressed. 7/10

Premise: The summary was super vague. It says it’s a cross between All the Bright Places and Juno. As I have not read All the Bright places nor seen Juno, I have no idea what to expect from this book. It mentions three characters, but there are only two on the cover. 4/10

Excerpt: Reggie and Snake seem to have a pretty good dynamic between them. That being said, I’m getting a little tired of Christians and Christianity getting a bad wrap in YA books. I understand that not everyone believes in it or any religion for that matter, but I feel like it’s NEVER portrayed in a positive light. It’s always the dorky kid at school or a character’s overprotective/involved parents. Just for once I’d like to read about a character (even a secondary one) who was Christian and normal. With that rant out of the way, there was another thing that I really didn’t like about this excerpt. I felt like Reggie’s mom genuinely cares about her and Reggie has a super bad attitude. Maybe this is a sign that I’m getting older, but if the whole book is like that then I wouldn’t be able to handle it. 2/10

TBR?: No

Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr (4/4)

Gem & DixieCover: It’s definitely interesting, I’ll give it that. I’m just not really sure what I’m supposed to get from it. I assume the two girls are Gem & Dixie though so…that’s a start. I’ve definitely seen this author’s name around, but I don’t think I’ve read anything by her. 6/10

Premise: There aren’t too many books out there that focus on a sister relationship (though there are some). That by itself is intriguing to me. Other than that, the rest of it sounds okay. 6/10

Excerpt: Oh man, already my heart is BREAKING for Gem and Dixie. Just from the first few pages I feel like the author does a really good job of helping the reader to know who Gem is and to start feeling things for her. Amazing. 7/10

TBR?: Yes

Let me know in the comments what you’ve heard about these books!

Buzz Books 2017 | Young Adult Spring/Summer (Part 1)

Buzz Books 2017 Spring/Summer

NetGalley puts out this great compilation every season of some of the hot new Young Adult books that will be coming out. Here are my thoughts on the first 10 books featured (covers link to Goodreads).

Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh (5/16)

Flame in the MistCover: Just looking at the cover, I thought this book was part of the author’s other series. I don’t think it is though. The cover is a little confusing to me. There’s a phoenix and some throwing stars…I just don’t really know what to expect from this book. Is it going to be set in the middle east like her other series? Is it going to be something more current? I just have no idea what this book is going to be about from the cover even though it looks nice-ish. 5/10

Premise: I’m all for Asians being represented in YA literature, so that’s a good start. Thus far, I haven’t been a HUGE fan of the trope of girls pretending to be boys, but we’ll have to see how this one plays out. It sounds like it could be a kind of retelling of Mulan in a way? But maybe I’m just trying to make that connection because Ahdieh’s first series was based off of a folk tale/fairy tale. 7/10

Excerpt: Well…that was quite a gory beginning. I think it’s pretty obvious by now that Ahdieh is a great writer and you can see that in just this short excerpt. I’m already interested in the characters and I love the cultural elements that have been woven in. 9/10

TBR?: Yes

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr (5/16)The One Memory of Flora Banks

Cover: Another cover that gives me no indication of what this book is about. Just from the design it looks like it might be thriller-esque? I mean, it’s pleasing enough to look at, but I’m just not sure what I’m supposed to get from it. 5/10

Premise: First of all, I hate books where girls kiss their best friend’s boyfriends. Secondly, this book is giving me serious Everything, Everything vibes. Girl with uncommon illness meets a boy who makes her want to be brave and take chances. Leaves home when (obviously) inadvisable. I liked Everything, Everything, but this book kind of sounds like it’s everything I didn’t like about it in a new book. 3/10

Excerpt: I’m sure the book will get into it, but I’m having a hard time understanding how Flora’s memory works. Overall, I’m just a little confused by everything and I’m not all that sure that I like Flora as a character anyway. 5/10

TBR?: Probably not unless I hear really good things about it

Dream Me by Kathryn Berla (7/11)

Dream MeCover: I really don’t like this cover. It just looks cheap to me for some reason. If I saw this on a shelf I wouldn’t pick it up. But anyway…it looks like maybe the book is going to have something to do with photography or film or fame maybe? Hard to tell. 1/10

Premise: The summary mentions migraines which I don’t really understand how they fit in with her dreaming. I know that’s a little thing, but it stood out to me for some reason. I’m just not very enthused by the whole premise. Time/dream travelling seems a little much. Maybe pick one or the other? 3/10

Excerpt: Honestly, I just skimmed the excerpt. I didn’t particularly care for either of the main characters. Their introductions weren’t very strong, and I also feel like both of their voices precariously border being extremely whiny (also, who is named Babe???). 3/10

TBR?: No

Future Threat by Elizabeth Briggs (3/1)Future Threat

Cover: This cover is just okay for me. It doesn’t look particularly YA-ish, if that makes sense. I probably wouldn’t pick this up from off a shelf. 3/10

Premise: The summary makes the plot sound really confusing with multiple trips to a future that keeps changing. This is the second book in a series and I have read the first one. I liked it more than I thought I would, but I’m not particularly interested in reading more. 4/10

Excerpt: Wow, so there was a BIG data dump right at the beginning. It seems like it must be really hard to write second, third, etc. books in a series because you have to remind your readers about what happened and you’ve got to do it in a way that flows and makes sense. Especially with a series that is as complicated as this one, there’s a lot to remind readers of. I didn’t think it worked that well, but it could have been much worse I suppose. 5/10

TBR?: No

Piper Perish by Kayla Cagan (2/28)

Piper PerishCover: This cover is kind of intriguing. I like that it’s really colorful and it looks like it’s written in some kind of funky paint marker. It seems like the book is going to be about a girl (probably named Piper) who is artistic and spunky–maybe a little out of the box. 6/10

Premise: After reading the summary, I feel like this book could either be really deep or incredibly shallow. I don’t like that there is drama involving three different guys, but I do like that the main character will be dealing with doing what she wants versus doing what she feels she needs to because of familial duty. 6/10

Excerpt: Well…it’s interesting that the main character idolizes Andy Warhol–that’s different. Other than that, I didn’t like much. Maybe it’s just the situation, but the main character seems like the ultimate whiner/complainer if she’s not getting her way. I think the relationship she appears to have with her sister is pretty sad as well. I think it’s kind of supposed to be in diary format, but the only way I can tell that is from the different sections that start with the date and time. 3/10

TBR?: No

Roar by Cora Carmack (6/13)

RoarCover: I’m just not really a fan of this one either unfortunately. It doesn’t look contemporary and the colors are all a little too muted for my tastes. It looks like a typical fantasy novel cover. 2/10

Premise: The premise of this book sounds pretty good. There are some elements that I think have been overdone at this point, but it seems like an interesting twist on a familiar type of story. I’d be interested in reading it I think. 6/10

Excerpt: The writing is a little much and I don’t think the world is as well-developed as I would like, but I think I might be willing to give it a chance. 6/10

TBR?: Maybe, I’ll have to see what others say

This is Really Happening by Erin Chack (4/25)

This is Really HappeningCover: I actually really like this cover. I’d bet that some of the things on the cover have significance in some of the stories in the book. I like that there’s a lot to look at but that the layout itself is pretty simple. 8/10

Premise: This book sounds pretty interesting. Since taking a class on nonfiction last semester, I’ve become more interested in branching out and trying it. It sounds like the author has already lived a pretty full life and while I’m sure her stories will be interesting and impactful, I am left wondering, “Who is she? Why is she writing this book?” 6/10

Excerpt: Wow…that excerpt actually made me tear up. So I still don’t really know who this person is and why I should read her story, but after reading that excerpt, I think I will. Maybe there’s something about her just being another normal person that will make this book that much more powerful. 9/10

TBR?: Yes

Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau (6/6)

Dividing EdenCover: Oh. My. Gosh. That. Cover. This is what I’m talking about! I absolutely love it!!! It’s simple, but intriguing at the same time. I love the black and white color scheme and the paint dripping from above. Just amazing. 9/10

Premise: This sounds so promising! I’ve really liked that stuff that I’ve read from Charbonneau in the past so I’m sure I’ll like this one too. It does remind me a little bit of Three Dark Crowns but I’m not even mad about it. The only thing I’ll say is that even if they’re twins, one of them had to have been first, right? It’s not like they could be born simultaneously. So I don’t see why it would be so difficult to figure out who’s next in line for the crown. 9/10

Excerpt: It’s interesting to me that they live in a place called Eden. Is it literally the garden of Eden? Or just a place also named Eden? It seems like the twins will both be interesting characters and I’m very interested to see how the rest of the story goes. 10/10


The Legend of Skyco: Spirit Quest by Jennifer Frick-Ruppert (4/4)

the legend of skyco spirit questCover: The cover is nice, I guess, but nothing too eye-catching. I think from the design it seems pretty obvious that this is more of a middle grade book. 6/10

Premise: I love that it’s about a Native American boy and his tribe. I’d be very interested to learn more about Native American rituals and culture. That being said, I’ve never been a huge fan of things that are abstractly spiritual so if that’s a big part of this book, I’m not sure how I’ll like it. 5/10

Excerpt: Even though the first few pages are filled with quite a bit of action, I’m not really drawn in to the story. I don’t really feel like I need to know what happens next. The characters seem nice enough, but I haven’t connected with them. 4/10

TBR?: No

The Black Witch by Laurie Forest (5/2)

The Black WitchCover: This cover’s not bad. I like that there is a forest coming out of the feather. I will say that it kind of looks like a lot of other covers that I’ve seen though–not very original. 7/10

Premise: I’m seeing a new trend emerging here…instead of main characters being special snowflakes because they have powers that others around them don’t, it seems like now characters are facing the reverse. Everyone around them has powers when they don’t. That could be an interesting premise depending on how it’s executed. 5/10

Excerpt: The main character seems like she’s probably okay. Not particularly annoying or anything like that. Just from that excerpt, though, I’d say she might be a little boring. I’m not sure how much I really enjoy the world that’s been created either. 5/10

TBR?: Not right now, but maybe if everyone starts raving about it

Those are the first ten, I’ll be posting my initial thoughts on the second ten soon.

Buzz Books 2016: Young Adult Fall/Winter (Part 1)

Buzz Books 2016 Fall/Winter

NetGalley puts out this great compilation every season of some of the hot new Young Adult books that will be coming out. Here are my thoughts on the first 10 books featured (covers link to Goodreads).

Kids of Appetite by David Arnold (9/20)

Kids of AppetiteCover: I like it but at the same time I also don’t like it. It’s hard to explain. I get the idea that this book is going to be about a group of misfits. 5/10

Premise: I’ve heard really good things about Mosquitoland (though I have not read it myself) so that makes me optimistic about this book as it’s by the same author. I also like that it’s described as a “tragicomedy”. It just sounds kind of fun. The list included at the end of the summary intrigues me and I’d be interested in reading the book if only to see how all of those things tie together. 7/10

Excerpt: The writing itself seems solid and from what I can tell we have some pretty unique characters. I’m just not sure about the writing style. The narrative has these breaks that I feel are unnecessary and just leave me kind of confused. 5/10

TBR?: Maybe. I’ll have to see what other people are saying about it. Maybe I should read Mosquitoland first to see if I end up liking this author’s writing style or not.

Frostblood by Elly Blake (1/17/17)

FrostbloodCover: This cover is just okay for me. It looks kind of cool, but it also gives absolutely no indication of what this book might be about. 4/10

Premise: I’ll admit, I’m a fan of reality show-esque competitions in books. So the fact that there are these fights to the death appeals to me. However, I feel like this book is wholly unoriginal. It just feels like I’ve heard this story a million times at this point. It reminds me a lot of Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard and similarly, I feel like the duels aren’t going to make up as much of the book as I wish they would. 5/10

Excerpt: Yeah, nothing from the excerpt convinced me that this book is an original idea. It’s nothing that the author did wrong. I feel like if this book was published two years ago, I’d be all over it. I just feel like I’m tired of this storyline. That’s all. 5/10

TBR?: Probably not unless I hear that it’s AMAZING.

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake (9/20)

Three Dark CrownsCover: I am intrigued by this cover. It seems like it could maybe be a historical fiction book? That would be fun. If it’s not, it might fall into the same category as Frostblood for me. 7/10

Premise: Okay, wow. That is NOT what I was expecting. This books sounds like it’s going to take sibling rivalry to a whole new level. I definitely feel like this is an original idea and if the writing is good too, I’d be interested in reading this one. The only thing I’m afraid of is that I’ll become emotionally invested in more than one sister (I’m sure this will happen) and then it’ll be this lose-lose situation since someone has to die. 9/10

Excerpt: First, there are a lot of names to remember and that got confusing during the excerpt. Once I get the names down, though, I think this will be a very interesting read. The world building is interesting and I’ll be impressed if the author can establish this world without it being clunky or awkward. The writing itself dragged at times, but liked I said earlier, I think the plot sounds very intriguing. 8/10

TBR?: Yes

The Hawkweed Prophecy by Irena Brignull (6/16)

The Hawkweed ProphecyCover: I don’t love this cover. It has a nice folksy feel to it, but at the same time it’s just kind of weird. The moon and weird bird thing are too detailed and I don’t like that it’s all one color. Definitely doesn’t leap off the shelf. 3/10

Premise: Well, it’s been a while since I’ve read a “switched at birth” storyline, but it’s still not very appealing to me. It sounds like it’s set in modern day maybe? I was hoping it was going to be more of a folk tale, but I don’t think that’s really the case. Overall, I’m not really very excited about this one. 2/10

Excerpt: Still not impressed by this one. The writing itself is okay, but the whole plot just feels kind of tired…I’m not sure how else to describe it. The prologue tries to set up the whole story, but it’s telling the reader about characters’ motivations instead of showing. 3/10

TBR?: No

The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron (9/13)

The ForgettingCover: The cover is pretty enough though the colors are a little weird and it doesn’t really look like anything special. Honestly, I almost feel like I’ve seen this cover design before. 4/10

Premise: This premise really reminds me of Matched for some reason. It just seems like it’s that kind of book. The premise doesn’t sound all that interesting to me and some of the details that it includes seems super random and arbitrary. I’m getting a little tired of the “girl saves civilization from evil group in power” storyline. There is obviously also going to be a romance in it and I can already tell that I’m going to find it shallow and forced. 2/10

Excerpt: The excerpt makes the book sound a little more interesting, but I’m still not convinced that it’s going to have many original ideas. There’s obviously a corrupt government in this cut-off civilization. Perhaps there are others beyond the city limits, perhaps not. We have a main character who has this inexplicable gift that makes her special and specifically suited to take down the government. We also have a love interest. This sounds like a lot of different books. 3/10

TBR?: No

The Reader by Traci Chee (9/13)

The ReaderCover: I’m encouraged that the main character appears to be Asian. I like that. The rest of the cover also has a nice Asian feel to it. The only thing I’m not a fan of is the title. Honestly, I think the title is kind of dumb and the font isn’t my favorite. I don’t feel like it matches the rest of the cover. 6/10

Premise: Well, it starts out by saying that this is perfect for fans of Inkheart and Shadow and Bone (both of which I loved). But then the rest of the premise has several elements that I just have a hard time believing. Obviously I know we’re going to be missing some information, but how does her aunt know how to hunt and survive in the wild and stuff? And then how is a book going to help her to find her aunt? 4/10

Excerpt: Meh. Again, not impressed. The main character seems impulsive and selfish. Just from the excerpt I don’t really feel invested in her life and don’t particularly care if she finds her aunt again or not. 4/10

TBR?: No

A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess (9/20)

A Shadow Bright and BurningCover: Yes, I like this cover. I like the fire, I like the colors, I like the subtle rose at the bottom, I like the dark background, and I feel like it fits the title. This is a good one. 8/10

Premise: I don’t know…again it doesn’t sound all that original. It sounds a little bit like the Throne of Glass series to me. I’m hopeful, but also I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up being disappointed. I really like the main character’s name though: Henrietta Howel. 6/10

Excerpt: This could be good. It seems like the world is pretty interesting and I like that the main character is intelligent. I’d definitely be interested in reading more. 7/10

TBR?: Yes

Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz (9/27)

Something in BetweenCover: The cover is nice enough though it gives me no indication of what the book is about. 6/10

Premise: Another diverse main character! I like that. It seems recently that I’ve seen a couple of books around that deal with immigration and illegal immigration to the United States. I think that’s an interesting topic and I hope to see more YA book get into that subject. As far as the rest of the premise goes, I’m not a huge fan of our main character getting into her rebellious stage…we’ll just have to see I guess. 6/10

Excerpt: I like that Tagalog words are inserted here and there. Other than that, though, I didn’t really care for the excerpt that much. The writing felt too informal to me and even from that brief sample it felt like the main character was younger than she was supposed to be. 5/10

TBR?: Probably not unless I hear some great stuff about it.

The Continent by Keira Drake (2017)

keira-drake-the-continent-mock-upCover: Well, there’s no cover for this one so…I can’t really rate that, now, can I?

Premise: This sounds like this could be interesting. It reminds me a little bit of A Brave New World. You know the part where they go on a tour? Anyway, this sounds different and like it could potentially be interesting. I think something that would really break this book though is if the main character is annoying. 7/10

Excerpt: The writing is definitely quality and I really like what I read. The book seems like it’s going to be exciting. The main character seemed like she’ll be fine–I didn’t get annoyed with her during the sample at least. I’m interested to know where this book goes. 8/10

TBR?: Yes

Caraval by Stephanie Garber (1/10/17)

CaravalCover: I like this cover a lot! For some reason it kind of reminds me of The Night Circus. The title font is fantastic and I like the colors used. The hint of red is especially nice. 9/10

Premise: This book sounds deliciously intriguing. I like that it’s a high-stakes game type of thing. It definitely sounds mysterious and now it’s starting to remind me of The League of Extraordinary Dancers (LXD for those of you who ever watched that…). 10/10

Excerpt: I think the excerpt definitely delivered. I like the contrast between the two sisters and I felt like the entire text is covering this mystery. I’m very excited to get my hands on this one. 10/10