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Monthly Bookseller Feature: In June, Robin Loves....

A Place to Belong by Cynthia Kadohata

A Place to Belong by Cynthia Kadohata succeeds on so many levels, it’s astonishing! I love historical fiction, because I learn so much while I absorb myself in the story. A Place to Belong covers the time after WWII is over, and Japanese-Americans are leaving the prison camps. Hanako, a 12-year-old girl, crosses the ocean with her family to Japan to live with her father’s family in a tenant farm just outside Hiroshima. The horrific sight of the destroyed city is vividly depicted (disturbingly enough that the ages 10 and up is well-warranted) and Hanako’s struggle to stay present in gratitude rings true.

But it is this book’s emotional core that resonated so strongly with me. Her grandparents provide Hanako with a bounty of unconditional love and care for her future that I just wanted to wrap myself in. Selfless, proud (and quite touchingly funny!), her grandparents make this novel truly one to remember for years. To see Hanako grow in her own selfless love for her brother is beautiful and sweet, and a testament to her family’s strength.


About Robin: Robin Stern has always worked around books, from her teenage job at Waldenbooks, to academic and public libraries (she is trained as a children’s librarian), to Books Inc! She loves connecting people with books. She runs the Wit and Whimsy Book Club for children 8-12 at the Campbell Books Inc. and has an all-ages storytime on Sundays at 11:00 AM.

 

Bookseller Robin

 

A Place to Belong Cover Image
By Cynthia Kadohata, Julia Kuo (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481446648
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books - May 14th, 2019

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.

Happy Pride Month!

Throughout the month of June, Books Inc. will be celebrating Pride Month with displays (and events) in our stores featuring titles for all ages. Below are some of our stores current displays. Stop by your local Books Inc. and see what they have showcased because they're always changing and ask a bookseller about some of their favorites. We'll be updating this blog, and the post over on the kids blog, throughout the month wtih recommendations and reviews.  

**Most of these displays feature an array of age ranges, not all appropriate for young readers, so a list of Children's specific books will be at the end of this post.**

Books Inc. Palo Alto 

Books Inc. Palo Alto's Pride Display

On this display from Left to Right from the Top, Row 1: Love Is Love by Michael Genhart 

Row 2: Art of Feminism by Helena Reckitt, Art and Queer Culture by Catherine Lord and Richard Meyer, The Stonewall Riots by Gayle E. Pitman, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson, Queer Heroes: Meet 52 LGBTQ Heroes from Past and Present! by Arabelle Sicardi, UNICORN SOCKS.

Row 3: (a bit hidden) Read with Pride Scholastic sign, MORE unicorn merchandise, Don't Call Us Dead by Danez Smith, Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart by Alice Walker, Rainbow merchandise, Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story by Jacob Tobia, Boy Erased by Garrard Conley, Unbound: Transgender Men and the Remaking of Identity by Arlene Stein, Kiss Number 8 by Ellen T. Crenshaw

Row 4: Maiden & Princess by Daniel Haack and Isabel Galupo, unicorn mug and rainbow socks, Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution by Rob Sanders, Red Bunny & Yellow Bunny by Claire Garralon, The Family Book by Todd Parr, The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan, The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzie Lee, The Autobiography of a Transgender Scientist by Ben Barres

Row 5: Lot: Stories by Bryan Washington, Except When they Don't by Laura Gehl, Damron Men's Travel Guide 52nd Edition by Gina Gatta, A Hiss Before Dying: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery by Rita Mae Brown, Out Magazine, The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins, Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli, The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee , Less by Andrew Sean Greer

Row 6:Do One Fun Thing Everyday journal, Pedro and Me: Friendship, Loss, and What I Learned by Judd Winick, My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Nagata Kabi, Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, Are You My Mother? : A Comic Drama by Alison Bechdel, GRL PWR Journal, Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love, True Colors by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, The Moon Within by Aida Salazar

 

Books Inc. Berkeley 

Books Inc. Berkeley Pride Display

Starting with the display on the left, from the top-left corner:

My to Moms and Me by Michael Joosten and Izak, Queer: A Graphic History by Meg-John Barker, Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, We Are Everywhere: Protest, Power, and Pride in the History of Queer Liberation by Matthew Riemer and Leighton Brown, Autonomous: A Novelby Annalee Newitz, a Note Pad, On the Move: A Life by Oliver Sacks , Our Rainbow by Little Bee Books,  Yay! You're Gay! Now What What?: A Boy's Guide to Life by Riyadh Khalaf, Amateur: A Reckoning with Gender, Identity, and Masculinity by Thomas Page McBee,Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity by C. Riley Snorton, This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson, When Brooklyn was Queer: A History by Hugh Ryan, Who Are You?: A Kids Guide to Gender Identity by Brook Pessin-Whedbee, A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities by Maddy G. and J.R. Zuckberg

Display on right, from top-left corner:

RAINBOWS, Maiden & Princess by Daniel Haack and Isabel Galupo, In the Darkroom by Susa Faludi, PRIDE: Fifty Years of Parades and Protests from the Photo Archives of the New York Times by The New York Times, Socks, Mommy, Mama, and Me by Leslea Newman,The Book of Pride by Mason Funk, Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O'Connell, Rainbow Bike Lights, Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens by Tanya Boteju, The Life and Death of Latisha King: A Critical Phenomenology of Transphobia by Gayel Salamon, Do One Fun Thing Everyday journal, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz, Logical Family: A Memoir by Armistead Maupin 

Berkeley Favorite

Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

Review: "This book is a joyous performanc of self-love. All Julian can think about is being a mermaid, but he is worried about what his Abuela will think. Illustrated with bold flora and fauna and bright colors, this book is beautiful all around."- Sam 

 

Opera Plaza

Opera Plaza Pride Display

Starting from top left: The Music of What Happens by Bill Koinsberg, Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution by Rob Sanders,Brave Face: A Memoir by Shaun David Hutchinson, They Both Die in the End by Adam Silvera, Our Rainbow by Little Bee Books,  Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders, Hold My Hand by Michael Barakiva, Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro, Maiden & Princess by Daniel Haack and Isabel Galupo, Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan, The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danford, Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love, Carry On by Rainbow Rowell,Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin, The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich, Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan, Peacful Fights for Equal Rightsby Rob Sanders, What If It's Us? By Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera 

 

Mountain View

Mountain View Pride Display

Starting from the top left:

Row 1: Jacobs Room to Choose by Sarah Hoffman, Jack (Not Jackie) by Erica Silverman, Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

Row 2: What If It's Us? By Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera, Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan, Her Royal Highness by Rachael Hawkins, The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee , The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzie Lee,Runaways by Christopher Golden, Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, The Music of What Happens by Bill Koinsberg,The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan, The Meaning of Birds by Jaye Robin Brown, These Witches Don't Burn by Isabel Sterling, The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashely Poston, Kiss Number 8 by Ellen T. Crenshaw, Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan, They Both Die in the End by Adam Silvera, History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera, Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan, Huntress by Malinda Lo

Row 3: Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart, The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang, The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag, The Moon Within by Aida Salazar, None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio, Yay! You're Gay! Now What What?: A Boy's Guide to Life by Riyadh Khalaf, Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens by Tanya Boteju, Brave Face: A Memoir by Shaun David Hutchinson, This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson, The Stonewall Riots by Gayle E. Pitman

Row 4: Love Is Love by Michael Genhart , Vanilla by Billy Merrell, George by Alex Gino, Meet Cute by Jennifer L. Armentrout, et al., We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia, The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danford, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agendaby Becky Albertalli, Felix Yz by Lisa Bunker, If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

Row 5: Queer Heroes: Meet 52 LGBTQ Heroes from Past and Present! by Arabelle Sicardi, Sewing the Rainbow: A Story About Gilbert Baker by Gayle E. Pitman, Who Was Frida Kahlo? by Sarah Fabiny, What Was Stonewall? by Nico Medina, Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution by Rob Sanders

Row 6: Our Rainbow by Little Bee Books, My Two Moms and Me by Michael Joosten, My Two Dads and Me by Michael Joosten , Frida Kahlo: My First Frida Kahlo (Little People, Big Dreams) by Isabel Sanchez Vegara,  A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Marlo Bundo, Jill Twiss, and EG Keller

Love Is Love Cover Image
By Michael Genhart, Ken Min (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781939775139
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: Little Pickle Press - May 2018

Queer Heroes: Meet 53 LGBTQ Heroes From Past and Present! Cover Image
$22.99
ISBN: 9781786034762
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: Wide Eyed Editions - September 17th, 2019

Maiden & Princess Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781499807769
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: little bee books - April 2nd, 2019

Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution Cover Image
By Rob Sanders, Jamey Christoph (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781524719524
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - April 23rd, 2019

Red Bunny & Yellow Bunny Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781492680147
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky - March 2019

The Family Book Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780316070409
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - May 2010

Except When They Don't Cover Image
By Laura Gehl, Joshua Heinsz (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781499808049
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: little bee books - May 21st, 2019

Julián Is a Mermaid Cover Image
By Jessica Love, Jessica Love (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780763690458
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: Candlewick - April 23rd, 2018

True Colors Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781524787806
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Workshop - December 24th, 2018

Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag Cover Image
By Rob Sanders, Steven Salerno (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780399555312
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - April 10th, 2018

Peaceful Fights for Equal Rights Cover Image
By Rob Sanders, Jared Andrew Schorr (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534429437
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - September 18th, 2018

Scholastic Fall 2019 Preview!

Scholastic just released a series of mini videos on their website showcasing their Fall 2019 titles, including Dan Santat, Raina Telgemeir, Alan Gratz, many many more! 

These books range in ages. Enjoy scrolling through them and watching short videos starring the atuhors, creators, and editors that work so hard to make these books for us. Then keep an eye out for them on your local Books Inc.'s shelves this Fall. 

See New Books from Da Chen, Alan Gratz, Sharon Robinson, Maggie Stiefvater, and More on the Scholastic Online Preview

Start watching now!

 

 

 

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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YA books set in a galaxy far, far away

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- Written by By Ava and Amanda


 

May 31, 2019, is when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge finally opens! For the uninformed, SW:GE is a brand new land in Disneyland, featuring Star Wars themed rides, lightsaber building stations, and food stands that sell Luke Skywalker’s famous green and blue milk. Needless to say, don’t be surprised if you see a squad of Books Inc. teen advisory members posing with Darth Vader. (Hey, we’re not ashamed.) Here are six young adult books set in a galaxy far, far away.

1. AURORA RISING

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm

A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates

A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder

An alien warrior with anger management issues

A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They're not the heroes we deserve. They're just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.

By Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

 

2. BRIGHTLY BURNING

 Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne

Seventeen-year-old Stella Ainsley wants just one thing: to go somewhere—anywhere—else. Her home is a floundering spaceship that offers few prospects, having been orbiting an ice-encased Earth for two hundred years. When a private ship hires her as a governess, Stella jumps at the chance. The captain of the Rochester, nineteen-year-old Hugo Fairfax, is notorious throughout the fleet for being a moody recluse and a drunk. But with Stella he’s kind.

But the Rochester harbors secrets: Stella is certain someone is trying to kill Hugo, and the more she discovers, the more questions she has about his role in a conspiracy threatening the fleet.

By Alexa Donne

 

3. THESE BROKEN STARS

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive – alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth.

The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

By Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

 

4. DIABOLIC

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

Nemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic Senator's daughter, Sidonia. There's no one Nemesis wouldn't kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the galactic court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.

She must become her.

Now one of the galaxy's most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corruption and Nemesis has to hide her true abilities or risk everything. As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns that there is something stronger than her deadly force: the one thing she's been told she doesn't have - humanity. And, amidst all the danger, action and intrigue, her humanity might be the only thing that can save her, Sidonia and the entire Empire...

By S. J. Kincaid

 

 

5. ILLUMINAE

Illuminae: The Illuminae Files 01 by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

 

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

By Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

 

 

 

6. SKY WITHOUT STARS

Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell

A thief. An officer. A guardian.

Three strangers. One shared destiny . . .

When the Last Days came, the planet of Laterre promised hope. But five hundred years later, it’s now a place where an extravagant elite class reigns supreme; where the clouds hide the stars and the poor starve in the streets; where a rebel group, long thought dead, is resurfacing.

Whispers of revolution have begun—a revolution that hinges on three unlikely heroes…

Chatine is a street-savvy thief who will do anything to escape the brutal Regime, including spying on Marcellus, the grandson of the most powerful man on the planet.

Marcellus is an officer—and the son of a traitor. Groomed to command by his legendary grandfather, Marcellus begins to doubt the government he’s vowed to serve when he discovers a cryptic message that only one person, a girl named Alouette, can read.

Alouette is living in an underground refuge, where she guards and protects the last surviving library on the planet. But a shocking murder will bring Alouette to the surface for the first time in twelve years…and plunge Laterre into chaos.

All three have roles to play in a dangerous game of revolution—and together they will shape the future of a planet.

By Jessica Brody & Joanne Rendell

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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