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Teen Advisory Board Member Evgenia Reviews There's Something About Sweetie
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.
Teen Advisory Board Member Evgenia Reviews The Gilded Wolves
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!
- 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
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
2. Nick Young is crazy for YOU'D BE MINE
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
3. Eleanor Young is crazy for IF I'M BEING HONEST
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
4. Oliver T’sien is crazy for EARTH TO CHARLIE
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
6. Peik Lin Goh loves THIS TIME WILL BE DIFFERENT
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
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
What better way to pass the summer days than with great books?! Pick up a Beach Blanket Book Bingo card for your grade level at your local Books Inc. and join the fun!
Simply fill 5 spaces in a row (horizontally, diagonally, or vertically) with the title of the books you’ve read, visit your local Books Inc. to get your bingo card spaces stamped, and earn a $5 Books Inc. Gift Card.
Or . . . Are you feeling ambitious? Go for a blackout and get EVERY square on your bingo card stamped to earn a $10 Books Inc. Gift Card + a swag bag filled with Advanced Reader Copies of books that haven’t hit the shelves yet!
More ways to earn a stamp: If any of the suggested titles on the front of this book bingo card are a part of a series, ANY of the titles from the series also count for a spot on your bingo card!
Beach Blanket Book Bingo runs May 15 to July 31 and is for grades K through 8. Stop by your local Books Inc. to pick up your Beach Blanket Book Bingo Card. Or Download your grade level here!
Shannon and Dean Hale, beloved authors of Princess in Black, Real Friends, Princess Academy, Spirit Animals, and many many more, announced on Romper that they've been working on a graphic novel series for a new imprint of DC comics: DC Zoom, featuring the adventures of 11 year-old Diana, before she becomes Wonder Woman! Take a look at this beautiful cover!
The art is done by the magnificent Victoria Ying, who's most known for her work on the Unicorn Magic series.
Read the Romper article for an interview with Shannon and for a look inside the book.
Diana Princess of the Amazons hits shelves January 7th. Preorder your copy today!
Teen Advisory Board Member Ava Reviews Wild Beauty
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!
Children’s Book Week is the annual celebration of books for young people and the joy of reading.
Established in 1919, Children’s Book Week is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country. Every year, events are held nationwide at schools, libraries, bookstores, homes — wherever young readers and books connect!
Books Inc. is proud to celebrate Children's Book Week with local and visiting authors! See our schedule below:
Tuesday, April 30th
Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Children's Book Week with the hilarious and talented New York Times-bestselling author & illustrator Judd Winick sharing his latest action-packed book, HiLo Book 5: Then Everything Went Wrong. (Ages 7+)
Books Inc. Palo Alto at 6:30PM
Wednesday, May 1st
Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Children's Book Week with acclaimed and award-winning graphic novelist Gareth Hinds sharing his masterful new adaptation, The Iliad.
Books Inc. Mountain View at 7 PM
Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Children's Book Week with a Storytime featuring not just one, but two critically-acclaimed special guests! Illustrator K-Fai Steele reads from her hilarious & delectable new book, Noodlephant; and Andrea Tsurumi shares her playful under-the-sea romp, Crab Cake: Turning the Tide Together. (Ages 4+)
Books Inc. Mountain View at 6 PM
Saturday, May 4th
Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Children's Book Week with critically-acclaimed author & illustrator Christie Matheson sharing her engaging and educational new book, Bird Watch. There are treasures hiding in the trees! Can you find them? From the author of the acclaimed and bestselling Tap the Magic Tree, this stunning picture book merges basic math concepts with elements of a treasure hunt. (Ages 4+)
Books Inc. Laurel Village at 11AM
elebrate the 100th Anniversary of Children's Book Week with Mariam Gates, director and founder of KidPower Yoga, for a storytime reading of her fantastic & fun new book, Breathe with Me: Using Breath to Feel Strong, Calm, and Happy. In additon to a read-aloud, Mariam will be leading a fun Yoga session! (Ages 4+)
Books Inc. Campbell at 11AM