Editor: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Read: Jan 2nd-4th
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: January 2, 2018
In short: The premise is such that some of these stories felt too short, but some were super adorable. I guess that’s to be expected!
Goodreads: Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of “how they first met” from some of today’s most popular YA authors.
Readers will experience Nina LaCour’s beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard’s glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon’s imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno’s story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a thoughtful, speculate approach to pre-destined love, and Julie Murphy dreams up a fun twist on reality dating show contestants.
This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real.
Continue reading “Meet Cute, ed. Jennifer L. Armentrout”
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Strange the Dreamer (#1)
Read: July 1st-6th
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Release Date: March 28, 2017
Genre: high fantasy
In short: Under the pretty language there’s some insta-love, some confusing mythology, and setting that should’ve been fleshed out more. I had hope, but it was not to be.
Mild spoilers for Daughter of Smoke and Bone!
Goodreads: Strange the Dreamer is the story of:
the aftermath of a war between gods and men
a mysterious city stripped of its name
a mythic hero with blood on his hands
a young librarian with a singular dream
a girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiled
alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.
Welcome to Weep.
Continue reading “Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor”
I’m back! Very late, I know, but maybe reviewing twelve stories at once will make up for it?
Editor: Stephanie Perkins
Read: May 21st-24th
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: May 17th, 2016
In short: Some of these stories were absolutely wonderful, some less so, much like in Perkins’s previous anthology.
Goodreads: Maybe it’s the long, lazy days, or maybe it’s the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.
Continue reading “Summer Days and Summer Nights, ed. Stephanie Perkins”
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: The Naturals (#1)
Read: January 31st
Release Date: November 5th, 2013
Genre: YA mystery
In short: as tight and fascinating as Barnes’s plot itself is, the clichéd characters brought this book down for me.
Goodreads: Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.
What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides—especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own. Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.
Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.
Continue reading “The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes”
Author: Megan Whalen Turner
Series: The Queen’s Thief (#1)
Read: January 19th
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: 1996
In short: I’m a bit biased, since I’ve read nearly the whole series now, but The Thief introduces the reader to a fascinating world of politics, squabbling kingdoms, and mythology that any YA high fantasy fan needs to live in!
Goodreads: The king’s scholar, the magus, believes he knows the site of an ancient treasure. To attain it for his king, he needs a skillful thief, and he selects Gen from the king’s prison. The magus is interested only in the thief’s abilities.
What Gen is interested in is anyone’s guess. Their journey toward the treasure is both dangerous and difficult, lightened only imperceptibly by the tales they tell of the old gods and goddesses.
Continue reading “The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner”
Author: Sarah Fine
Series: The Impostor Queen (#1)
Read: January 16th-18th
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: January 5th, 2016
Genre: high fantasy
In short: a little slow here and there, but otherwise a well-written, captivating story!
Goodreads: Sixteen-year-old Elli was a small child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic. Since then, Elli has lived in the temple, surrounded by luxury and tutored by magical priests, as she prepares for the day when the Valtia perishes and the magic finds a new home in her. Elli is destined to be the most powerful Valtia to ever rule.
But when the queen dies defending the kingdom from invading warriors, the magic doesn’t enter Elli. It’s nowhere to be found.
Disgraced, Elli flees to the outlands, the home of banished criminals—some who would love to see the temple burn with all its priests inside. As she finds her footing in this new world, Elli uncovers devastating new information about the Kupari magic, those who wield it, and the prophecy that foretold her destiny. Torn between the love she has for her people and her growing loyalty to the banished, Elli struggles to understand the true role she was meant to play. But as war looms, she must align with the right side—before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.
Continue reading “The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine”
Author: Rachel Vincent
Series: The Stars Never Rise (#1)
Read: October 7th-8th
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: June 9th, 2015
Genre: dystopian, urban fantasy
In short: this was a really interesting concept and world, but poor execution. The plot drags along, and the build-up leaves you hanging.
Goodreads: Sixteen-year-old Nina Kane should be worrying about her immortal soul, but she’s too busy trying to actually survive. Her town’s population has been decimated by soul-consuming demons, and souls are in short supply. Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. The two of them are a family. They gave up on their deadbeat mom a long time ago.
When Nina discovers that Mellie is keeping a secret that threatens their very existence, she’ll do anything to protect her. Because in New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. And Mellie’s sin has put her in serious trouble.
To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. But what kind of exorcist wears a hoodie?
Wanted by the Church and hunted by dark forces, Nina knows she can’t survive on her own. She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her.
Continue reading “The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent”
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses (#1)
Read: May 8th-9th
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s
Release Date: May 5th, 2015
Genre: fantasy, retelling, NA
In short: I so wanted to love this, but I ended up feeling really…neutral towards it. I wanted to love the characters, the romance, the setting, the story…I wanted to get to the end and wish I had the next one. But I ended up not really caring.
Goodreads: When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.
As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it… or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.
Continue reading “A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas”
Author: Jennifer Latham
Read: July 25th-28th, 2015
Publisher: Little Brown
Release Date: May 19th, 2015
Genre: urban fantasy, YA, mystery
In short: the characters were intriguing, the setting was interesting, but the plot was far too messy for me to enjoy.
Goodreads: A voice-driven mystery perfect for fans of Veronica Mars.
Meet Scarlett, a smart, sarcastic, kick-butt, Muslim American heroine, ready to take on crime in her hometown of Las Almas. When a new case finds the private eye caught up in a centuries-old battle of evil genies and ancient curses, Scarlett discovers that her own family secrets may have more to do with the situation than she thinks — and that cracking the case could lead to solving her father’s murder.
Jennifer Latham delivers a compelling story and a character to remember in this one-of-a-kind debut novel.
Continue reading “Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham”
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn (#1)
Read: May 12th-14th
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: May 12th, 2015
Genre: high fantasy, retelling
In short: even months later, I’m so on the fence about this book. Was it good? In parts. But it was not so much a retelling that told the story differently than one that just…told us the same story over again.
Goodreads: One Life to One Dawn.
In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.
Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?
Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.
Continue reading “The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh”