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New Review! - Rule by Ellen Goodlett

 

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Teen Advisory Board Member Ava Reviews Rule

Rule by Ellen Goodlett

Rule by Ellen Goodlett

Three girls with three deadly secrets. Only one can wear the crown.

The king is dying, his heir has just been murdered, and rebellion brews in the east. But the kingdom of Kolonya and the outer Reaches has one last option before it descends into leaderless chaos.

Or rather, three unexpected options.

Zofi has spent her entire life trekking through the outer Reaches with her band of Travelers. She would do anything to protect the band, her family. But no one can ever find out how far she's already gone.

Akeylah was raised in the Eastern Reach, surrounded by whispers of rebellion and abused by her father. Desperate to escape, she makes a decision that threatens the whole kingdom.

Ren grew up in Kolonya, serving as a lady's maid and scheming her way out of the servants' chambers. But one such plot could get her hung for treason if anyone ever discovers what she's done.

When the king summons the girls, they arrive expecting arrest or even execution. Instead they learn the truth: they are his illegitimate daughters, and one must become his new heir. But someone in Kolonya knows their secrets, and that someone will stop at nothing to keep the sisters from their destiny... to rule.

 

Goodlett creatively builds RULEs world with meticulous attention to detail, making it intriguing to read about! Each part of the kingdom is unique to its own culture, but are all woven together seamlessly. Also, I love the spin on the classic “blood magic” trope. Zofi, Akeylah, and Ren are what make the book interesting, with their opposite personalities and backstories. Right off the bat, they don’t trust each other because the king keeps pitting them against each other, but seeing their relationships progress is fascinating to read. And shout out to the shippable f/f romance!

 

RULE is highly recommended for fans of THREE DARK CROWNS and GRACELING.

Not Your Mother's Book Club Turns a Page!

After 15 years, Books Inc. is turning the page on Not Your Mother’s Book Club and bringing it into young adulthood with a new name and new look: YA @ Books Inc: A YA Author Event Series.  Our updated name reflects our desire to grow with the industry but continue our promise to connect our readers and community to amazing Young Adult authors. 

YA @ Books Inc. will be run with the same enthusiasm and professionalism as NYMBC and we will continue to support the love of literacy throughout the Bay Area. Following every YA @ Books Inc. event we will maintain our commitment to donate 10% of all event sales to local schools, via author visits, book donations, and various other special literary causes.

All events from June 1st and on will reflect our new brand, as will our social media accounts and website. Thank you for your continued support and we look forward keeping our great partnerships growing.

Books to Read Based on Your Favorite Game of Thrones Characters!

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- Written by Evgenia


 

The shocking conclusion to eight seasons of Game of Thrones has finally been released, and it has shocked many viewers. If you or anyone you know is experiencing withdrawal symptoms, here are some books that remind us of your favorite characters. Be warned, this contains some spoilers for the series.

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1. Dragons are just one of the things that SERAPHINA and Daenerys Targaryen have in common

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Even people who haven’t watched the show know this: Daenerys is the mother of dragons and also a complete badass. The protagonist in the YA book we chose is equally fascinating, however she happens to actually be part dragon, herself.

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

By Rachel Hartman

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2. Jon Snow reminds us a bit of the hero in RED RISING

 Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Both Jon and Darrow came from low, humble beginnings, and then became the heroes that we now know and love. They both gained power and became leaders despite their upbringing.

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity's overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society's ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies... even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

By Pierce Brown

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3. Arya Stark reminds us of one of our favorite cross-dressing pickpockets, Lila Bard from A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Both Arya and Lila Bard share a thirst for adventure and a disregard of typical gender roles. Those are just some of the reasons why we adore them so much!

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black. Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they'll never see. It's a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they'll first need to stay alive.

By V.E. Schwab

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4. Complicated marriages, royalty, court intrigue… Sansa Stark would fit right into FATAL THRONE

Fata Throne by M.T. Anderson, et al

Sansa has definitely had her fair share of struggles, just like all of the women in Fatal Throne.

If you were one of King Henry VIII's six wives, who would you be? Would you be Anne Boleyn, who literally lost her head? Would you be the subject of rumor and scandal like Catherine Howard? Or would you get away and survive like Anna of Cleves?

Meet them and Henry's other queens - each bound for divorce or death - in this epic and thrilling novel that reads like fantasy but really happened. Watch spellbound as each of these women attempts to survive their unpredictable king as he grows more and more obsessed with producing a male heir. And discover how the power-hungry court fanned the flames of Henry's passions...and his most horrible impulses.

Whether you're a huge fan of all things Tudor or new to this jaw-dropping saga, you won't be able to get the unique voices of Henry and his wives - all brought to life by seven award-winning and best-selling authors - out of your head. This is an intimate look at the royals during one of the most treacherous times in history. Who will you root for, and who will you love to hate?

By M. T. Anderson, Candace Fleming, Stephanie Hemphill, Lisa Ann Sandell, Jennifer Donnelly, Linda Sue Park, and Deborah Hopkinson

 

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5. Fighting skills and ferocity are what make Hazel, from THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST, and Ser Brienne of Tarth kindred spirits

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

For us, there’s nothing we love more than a strong woman with a sharp sword, and both Hazel and Brienne fit those requirements and more.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once. At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

By Holly Black

 

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6. Tyrion Lannister would be a perfect addition to the strong, resourceful, and often ruthless crew in SIX OF CROWS

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Both Tyrion and Kaz Brekker, are intelligent, witty, and powerfully, both proving anyone who underestimates them to be completely wrong.

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

Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

By Leigh Bardugo

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7. It’s not very clear whether Jaime Lannister is the hero or the villain, like the characters in VICIOUS

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Jaime Lannister has done lots of questionable things, but also you could argue that he has done some good as well. If you want to read about some other characters in a confusing moral grey area, then luckily for you, Vicious has plenty of them.

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

By V.E. Schwab

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8.The magic and darkness in WICKED SAINTS remind us of Bran Stark

Wicked Saints by Emily A Duncan

Bran Stark can be a little bit creepy, but his character arc is undeniably interesting. Wicked Saints blends in perfectly with that theme.

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy...

By Emily A. Duncan

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New Review! -Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

 

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Teen Advisory Board Member Alannah Reviews Sorcery of Thorns

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson-Photo Taken By Alannah

(Photo Credit: Alannah)

by Margaret Rogerson

The Great Library of Summershall has been home to Elisabeth Scrivener for as long as she can remember. Left at its doorstep as a small child, she has grown up with its winding rows of shelves and mysterious grimoires - rare books of magic with a dangerous tendency to come alive - raised with the knowledge that if she is competent enough, she may one day attain the coveted status of a warden. Everything she knows she’s been taught by the Library’s keepers - including the essential, fundamental knowledge that all sorcery and magic are evil, no matter what kind, and that any association with either will lose Elisabeth the possibility of ever becoming a warden.

Elisabeth has never questioned this fact - that is, until she meets the mysterious Nathaniel Thorn. At first, he seems to be every bit the wicked sorcerer that the librarians warned of, allegedly performing unspeakable rituals with demons in exchange for magical power. Shocked, Elisabeth forces herself to forget their interaction entirely, assuming it to be the only time the two will ever meet.

How very wrong she is.

When a dangerous incident with one of the grimoires at the Great Library is blamed on Elisabeth, she’s sent off to the capital to be tried by some of the kingdom’s greatest sorcerers, escorted by none other than Nathaniel Thorn. But the world outside of the Great Library is entirely foreign to Elisabeth, with perhaps the greatest shock being that magic isn’t condemned by all as wicked - in fact, it is revered and valued by most. And as Elisabeth gets to know Nathaniel better, she begins to see that he is more than the corrupt sorcerer she imagined him to be….in fact, she connects with him on a level that she would have before considered impossible.

But matters are much more complex than either of them could ever have fathomed, and as Nathaniel and Elisabeth are drawn into a scheme for power that could throw the realms of magic and humanity into chaos, she will have to question everything she’s ever been sure of about magic - and herself - in order to save the world that she loves from destruction.

With an expert pen, Margaret Rogerson deftly crafts a universe of magic and mystery that will leave readers spellbound. Her writing is irresistible, sprinkled with plot twists and subtle wit that will keep readers turning page after page until the very end. The magical Victorian world in which Elisabeth lives is rich and convincing, filled with just the right amount mystery and wonder to keep the characters - and readers - guessing as to what will happen next, and the novel’s romance is exquisite and sweet. But to me, this intoxicating mix wasn’t the crowning glory of the book - that came in the form of Elisabeth Scrivener, the courageous, passionate, determined, book-loving heroine who’s willing to go to any lengths to help those for whom she cares. Her struggles are very real and relatable to almost anyone, and readers will be sad to leave her come the last page of the novel - I certainly was. On the whole, A Sorcery of Thorns is perfect for fans of high fantasy, mystery, romance, and, of course, unforgettable, book-loving heroines.


Sorcery of Thorns hits shelves June 4th! 

 

 

New Review! - Dark Descent by Kiersten White

 

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Teen Advisory Board Member Ava Reviews Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

“Elizabeth Lavenza hasn't had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her "caregiver," and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything--except a friend.

Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable--and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable.

But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth's survival depends on managing Victor's dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.”

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein is a inventive take on the original Frankenstein book (which I have yet to read, though of course, I know the basic plot points!). White’s prose is witty and concise, but still poetic, a combination she balances with precision. I swear upon my life that this is one of my favorite books ever, simply because I love Elizabeth, my Slytherin queen. She is the most manipulative character I have ever read about, which makes me love her even more! You can trust Elizabeth to not make stupid decisions but to instead calculate and prepare for every possibility, a distinguishing factor from many, many other characters in YA.

I highly recommend The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein for fans of dark, twisted retellings.

 

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein is available in stores now! 

Killing Eve characters would die for these murderously good YA reads!

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- Written by By Ava and Evgenia


 

Even though season two of Killing Eve has concluded, our obsession continues. Here are some young adult books to die for (do you see what we did there?) that the Killing Eve characters would adore.

 

1. Eve Polastri would love to unravel the mystery of TRULY DEVIOUS

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. "A place" he said, "where learning is a game." Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym, Truly Devious. It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history. True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening.

Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder.

For both Eve and Stevie, their obsession with crime can get a little bit… dangerous...

By Maureen Johnson

 

2. Villanelle would be rivals with Elizabeth from THE DARK DESCENT OF ELIZABETH FRANKENSTEIN

 The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

Elizabeth Lavenza hasn't had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her "caregiver," and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything--except a friend.

Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable--and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable.

But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth's survival depends on managing Victor's dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.

Maybe Elizabeth’s tricky manipulation would make Villanelle finally feel something, if not awe.

By Kiersten White

 

3. I’ll bet $20 Carolyn Martens used to be one of the assassin nuns from GRAVE MERCY

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

Carolyn Martens meets every one of the requirements for joining the convent: she’s intelligent, she can hold her own in a fight, and, despite her grandmotherly demeanor, she can very well destroy the lives of others, thank you very much.

By Robin LaFevers

 

4. Konstantin Vasiliev loves the court game of RULE

Rule by Ellen Goodlett

Three girls with three deadly secrets. Only one can wear the crown.

The king is dying, his heir has just been murdered, and rebellion brews in the east. But the kingdom of Kolonya and the outer Reaches has one last option before it descends into leaderless chaos.

Or rather, three unexpected options.

Zofi has spent her entire life trekking through the outer Reaches with her band of Travelers. She would do anything to protect the band, her family. But no one can ever find out how far she's already gone.

Akeylah was raised in the Eastern Reach, surrounded by whispers of rebellion and abused by her father. Desperate to escape, she makes a decision that threatens the whole kingdom.

Ren grew up in Kolonya, serving as a lady's maid and scheming her way out of the servants' chambers. But one such plot could get her hung for treason if anyone ever discovers what she's done.

When the king summons the girls, they arrive expecting arrest or even execution. Instead they learn the truth: they are his illegitimate daughters, and one must become his new heir. But someone in Kolonya knows their secrets, and that someone will stop at nothing to keep the sisters from their destiny... to rule.

Whose side is Konstantin on? That’s the whole premise of RULE, except with three teenage girls instead of a weathered man with a thick Russian accent.

By Ellen Goodlett

 

5. Kenny’s hacking skills are enough to rival Emika from WARCROSS

Warcross by Marie Lu

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation. Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job.

With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

Kenny and Emika both have brilliant hacking skills, although they definitely put them to very different uses (as far as we know, Emika never used her abilities to hack into Russian prison databases).

By Marie Lu

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New Review! - There's Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon

 

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Teen Advisory Board Member Evgenia Reviews There's Something About Sweetie

There's Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon

by Sandhya Menon

Ashish Patel is grappling with his emotions after a messy breakup. He can’t stop thinking about her and even his performance as his school’s star basketball player is suffering. When he finally agrees to letting his parents choose a girl for him, he isn’t expecting the girl’s parents to forbid her from dating him, the son of wealthy parents and the basketball star at his high school. Sweetie Nair is ready to start a project, where she challenges herself to be confident and push back against all of the people who think that she is less just because she is fat. However, this may be harder than she thought considering that even her mother doesn’t want her to date Ashish Patel until she loses weight and becomes “good enough for him.” Ashish and Sweetie begin to date in secret, however some complications pose threats to their burgeoning love.

This book shows the complications of well-meaning parents, first love, and forgiveness through the lens of a young Indian girl struggling with accepting her body. Sweetie gains confidence and learns over the course of the book. Amusing banter is peppered throughout the pages, and the minor characters really do shine as distinct people in it. The supporting characters have lives and personalities and complement the main plot, adding more depth. Not only are there romantic relationships, but there are realistic, relatable platonic relationships that develop.

There’s Something About Sweetie would be the perfect book for someone struggling with self confidence. Sweetie proves that just because someone looks a certain way, they can do whatever they want and be confident. A lighthearted, romantic book with some vital messages at the center, about acceptance, self-worth, and family, that would be great for teens struggling with finding confidence.

 

There's Something About Sweetie is in stores now! 

New Review! - The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

 

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Teen Advisory Board Member Evgenia Reviews The Gilded Wolves

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

In Paris of the late 1880s, the city is full of power, wealth, and magic. At the forefront of everything is the Order of Babel, an elite group that holds control over many magical artifacts. Severin is a young hotel owner whose claim to the bloodline of House Vanth, one of the four houses belonging to the order, was denied years ago. When a nobleman offers him a chance to take back his title and in return, find an ancient artifact, Severin accepts and enlists the help of his mismatched group of friends. Among them is Layla, a performer with a painful past, Tristan, Severin’s closest childhood friend, Enrique, a knowledgeable historian, and Zofia, a gifted engineer.

This novel is richly descriptive, dropping the reader into the center of “la belle epoque” (the beautiful era) Paris, a city full of nightclubs, exhibitions, and lavish parties. The writing creates beautiful imagery and builds a world of intrigue and surprises. Additionally, Chokshi does not shy away from the dark side of the city, expressing the horrors of human zoos and sideshow attractions. The unpleasant aspects are put on display, revealing that the golden age may not have been as beautiful as it may have seemed.

The characters were easily one of the best aspects of The Gilded Wolves. They had complex relationships with each other and they all had their own defined traits and well-developed pasts. Layla especially had a compelling past that was revealed over the course of the book. Her relationship with Severin was intriguing and intensified as the novel continued.

This book is perfect for readers who love a little bit of magic, mystery, and wonder. Expect plenty of excitement and unexpected twists and turns in this fascinating, compelling book.

 

Gilded Wolves is in stores now! 

The Crazy Rich Asians are crazy for these YA books

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- Written by By Ava and Amanda


 

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we’ve compiled a list of which YA books the Crazy Rich Asian characters are crazy for.

 

1. Rachel Chu is crazy for OUTRUN THE MOON

Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee

San Francisco, 1906: Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty in Chinatown, and an education at St. Clare’s School for Girls is her best hope. Although St. Clare’s is off-limits to all but the wealthiest white girls, Mercy gains admittance through a mix of cunning and a little bribery, only to discover that getting in was the easiest part. Not to be undone by a bunch of spoiled heiresses, Mercy stands strong—until disaster strikes.

On April 18, a historic earthquake rocks San Francisco, destroying Mercy’s home and school. With martial law in effect, she is forced to wait with her classmates for their families in a temporary park encampment. Though fires might rage, and the city may be in shambles, Mercy can’t sit by while they wait for the army to bring help—she still has the “bossy” cheeks that mark her as someone who gets things done. But what can one teenage girl do to heal so many suffering in her broken city?

By Stacey Lee

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2. Nick Young is crazy for YOU'D BE MINE

 You'd Be Mine by Erin Hann

Annie Mathers is America’s sweetheart and heir to a country music legacy full of all the things her Gran warned her about. Superstar Clay Coolidge is most definitely going to end up one of those things.

But unfortunately for Clay, if he can’t convince Annie to join his summer tour, his music label is going to drop him. That’s what happens when your bad boy image turns into bad boy reality. Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen.

Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame Annie wants nothing to do with, it’s a high-profile relationship. She had a front row seat to her parents’ volatile marriage and isn’t interested in repeating history. If only she could convince her heart that Clay, with his painful past and head over heels inducing tenor, isn’t worth the risk.

By Lauren Shippen

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3. Eleanor Young is crazy for IF I'M BEING HONEST

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

High school senior Cameron Bright’s reputation can be summed up in one word: bitch. It’s no surprise she’s queen bee at her private L.A. high school—she’s beautiful, talented, and notorious for her cutting and brutal honesty. So when she puts her foot in her mouth in front of her crush, Andrew, she fears she may have lost him for good. In an attempt to win him over, Cameron resolves to “tame” herself, much like Katherine in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. First, she’ll have to make amends with those she’s wronged, which leads her to Brendan, the guy she labelled with an unfortunate nickname back in the sixth grade. At first, Brendan isn’t all that receptive to Cameron’s ploy. But slowly, he warms up to her when they connect over the computer game he’s developing. Now if only Andrew would notice… But the closer Cameron gets to Brendan, the more she sees he appreciates her personality—honesty and all—and wonders if she’s compromising who she is for the guy she doesn’t even want.

By Emily Wibberley

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4. Oliver T’sien is crazy for EARTH TO CHARLIE

Earth to Charlie by Justin Olson

A high school outcast spends his life hoping to be abducted by aliens in this funny, quirky novel about finding your footing in a world that sometimes feels like Mars.

Convinced his mother has been abducted by aliens, Charlie Dickens spends his nights with an eye out for UFOs, hoping to join her. After all, she said the aliens would come back for him. Charlie will admit that he doesn’t have many reasons to stick around; he doesn’t get along well with his father, he’s constantly bullied at school and at work, and the only friend he has is his 600-pound neighbor Geoffrey, and Geoffrey’s three-legged dog, Tickles.

Then Charlie meets popular, easy-going Seth, who shows him what real friendship is all about. For once, he finds himself looking around at the life he’s built, rather than looking up. But sooner than he expected, Charlie has to make a decision: should he stay or should he go?

By Justin Olson

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6. Peik Lin Goh loves THIS TIME WILL BE DIFFERENT

This Time Will Be Different by Misa Sugiura

Katsuyamas never quit—but seventeen-year-old CJ doesn’t even know where to start. She’s never lived up to her mom’s type A ambition, and she’s perfectly happy just helping her aunt, Hannah, at their family’s flower shop.

She doesn’t buy into Hannah’s romantic ideas about flowers and their hidden meanings, but when it comes to arranging the perfect bouquet, CJ discovers a knack she never knew she had. A skill she might even be proud of.

Then her mom decides to sell the shop—to the family who swindled CJ’s grandparents when thousands of Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps during WWII. Soon a rift threatens to splinter CJ’s family, friends, and their entire Northern California community; and for the first time, CJ has found something she wants to fight for.

By Misa Sugiura

 

7. Astrid Leong-Teo is crazy for GIRLS OF PAPER AND FIRE

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It's the highest honor they could hope for...and the most cruel.

But this year, there's a ninth girl. And instead of paper, she's made of fire.

In this lush fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it's Lei they're after--the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king's interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king's consort. But Lei isn't content to watch her fate consume her. Instead, she does the unthinkable--she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens the very foundation of Ikhara, and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide just how far she's willing to go for justice and revenge.

By Natasha Ngan

 

New Review! - Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

 

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Teen Advisory Board Member Ava Reviews Wild Beauty

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

“For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.

The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.”

With elegant, stylized prose, Wild Beauty is a rare magical realism read featuring diverse characters. McLemore is renowned for her ability to paint a scene so vividly that it almost feels tangible, and this book proves why. We expect no less from her! The cast is implied to be Latinx, a refreshing sip of water from your typical straight white cast. Also, the LGBT+ representation is worth raving about. The five sisters are bisexual, and the woman they love is revealed to be genderqueer.

Also, it is worth mentioning that this book does not shy away from talking about periods, as most do. McLemore definitely puts the “real” in “magical realism!”
Wild Beauty is perfect for lovers of lush, flowery prose and those longing for diversity (basically, everyone)!

Wild Beauty is in stores now! 

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