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Review - None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

None of the Above by I. W. Gregorio
Publication Date: April 7th, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: Social issues, dating/sex, LGBTQI

A groundbreaking story about a teenage girl who discovers she's intersex . . . and what happens when her secret is revealed to the entire school. Incredibly compelling and sensitively told, None of the Above is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between.

What if everything you knew about yourself changed in an instant?

When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She's a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she's madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she's decided that she's ready to take things to the next level with him.

But Kristin's first time isn't the perfect moment she's planned, something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy "parts."

Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin's entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she come to terms with her new self?

I am so glad that there are more and more YA books coming out about the lesser known/less talked about marginalized orientations, gender identities and intersex conditions. None of the Above is about Kristin Lattimer: Homecoming Queen with a track scholarship to her dream school, the perfect boyfriend and best friends. She thinks she has it all until she finds out she's actually intersex. After a diagnosis of Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS), Krissy struggles to figure out her identity and how her life is (or hasn't) affected by her condition, and how it effects everyone else. None of the Above is a great introduction to the intersex world for people who have no idea what being intersex means. It opened up a lot of conversations between my friends and family about how much or how little biology informs gender identity and how we all see ourselves and others.
Ren from SFO T2

Current Obsession - Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Expected Publication Date: September 29th, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Page count: 480 pages

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price--and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction-if they don't kill each other first.

Yes, we're aware that Six of Crows doesn't come out until September, but hear us out.
This book is freakin amazing. Seriously. You loved Bardugo when she wrote Shadow ando Bone and you're going to love her more for this one.
Game of Thrones meets, Oceans 11 meets pirates, meets awesome female protagonists, meets great story. Yes, you need this. Just pre-order it now.

Highly Anticipating - The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker & Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan

The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker
Expected Publication Date: June 2nd, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 368 pages

The magic and suspense of "Graceling" meet the political intrigue and unrest of "Game of Thrones" in this riveting fantasy debut.
"Your greatest enemy isn't what you fight, but what you fear."
Elizabeth Grey is one of the king's best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she's accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake.
Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that's been laid upon him.
But Nicholas and his followers know nothing of Elizabeth's witch hunting past--if they find out, the stake will be the least of her worries. And as she's thrust into the magical world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and one all-too-handsome healer, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.
Virginia Boecker weaves a riveting tale of magic, betrayal, and sacrifice in this unforgettable fantasy debut.

Why we can't wait: First of all, the cover is AMAZING! It's simple, but very cool. Also, high fantasy with witch hunters? YES PLEASE!

Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan
Expected Publication Date: May 26th, 2015
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 384 pages

I'm the daughter of murdered parents.
I'm the friend of a dead girl.
I'm the lover of my enemy.
And I will have my revenge.
In the wake of the devastating destruction of the luxury yacht "Persephone," just three souls remain to tell its story--and two of them are lying. Only Frances Mace knows the terrifying truth, and she'll stop at nothing to avenge the murders of everyone she held dear. Even if it means taking down the boy she loves and possibly losing herself in the process.
Sharp and incisive, "Daughter of Deep Silence" by bestselling author Carrie Ryan is a deliciously smart revenge thriller that examines perceptions of identity, love, and the lengths to which one girl is willing to go when she thinks she has nothing to lose.

Why we can't wait: We're huge fans of Carrie Ryan and her morbid world-building so this is guaranteed to be another AWESOME read!

Review - All the Rage by Courtney Summers

All the Rage by Courtney Summers
Publication Date: April 14th, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Genre: Social issues, bullying

The sheriff's son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything--friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy's only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town. No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous. But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn't speak up. Nobody believed her the first time--and they certainly won't now--but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear.

With a shocking conclusion and writing that will absolutely knock you out, Courtney Summers' new novel "All the Rage" examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women in a culture that refuses to protect them.

Romy Grey is from the wrong side of the tracks. Kellan Turner is the town’s golden boy - the sheriff’s son. When Romy accuses Kellan of rape, she is branded a liar, ostracized from the community, and constantly bullied. Her only refuge is a diner outside of town where no one knows about her past. When her former best friend, with ties to Kellan, goes missing, Romy must decide whether or not she is ready to confront her demons and reveal everything. Summers takes on tough themes and writes a gritty, powerful and unflinching story about rape culture, class prejudice, and bullying. This is Summers at her best. The narrative and characters are just as compelling as the issues she writes about. On par with Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak.
Connie from Books Inc. Opera Plaza


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