Cello prodigy Jenny has one goal: to get into a prestigious music conservatory. When she meets mysterious, handsome Jaewoo in her uncle’s Los Angeles karaoke bar, it’s clear he’s the kind of boy who would uproot her careful plans. But in a moment of spontaneity, she allows him to pull her out of her comfort zone for one unforgettable night of adventure…before he disappears without a word.
Three months later, when Jenny and her mother arrive in South Korea to take care of her ailing grandmother, she’s shocked to discover that Jaewoo is a student at the same elite arts academy where she’s enrolled for the semester. And he’s not just any student. He’s a member of one of the biggest K-pop bands in the world—and he’s strictly forbidden from dating.
When a relationship means throwing Jenny’s life off the path she’s spent years mapping out, she’ll have to decide once and for all just how much she’s willing to risk for love.
You can purchaseXOXO at the following Retailers:
Praise for XOXO
“A dreamy dose of K-pop idols and secret romances.” —Maurene Goo, author of Somewhere Only We Know
“With fun K-drama vibes, XOXO delivers a lot of heart and warmth in its protagonist who stays true to herself to the very end.” —Lyla Lee, author of I’ll Be the One
“When it was over, I immediately wanted to read it for the first time again.” —Kasie West, author of The Fill-In Boyfriend
“Simply put, this book made me happy. I guess you could say . . . I’m just a big fan.” —Emery Lord, author of The Map from Here to There
“A handwritten letter to falling in love and opening yourself up to the world. A delicious treat!” —Aminah Mae Safi, author of Tell Me How You Really Feel
“A feel-good, page-turning, swoony read!” —Gloria Chao, author of American Panda and Rent a Boyfriend
“A sparkling story of self-discovery—I was utterly charmed.” —Sarah Kuhn, author of I Love You So Mochi
“An utterly delightful love song dedicated to the intersection between dreams and romance.” —Julian Winters, award-winning author of Running with Lions
“Immensely fun, funny, and romantic.” —Emma Mills, author of Lucky Caller and First & Then
“K-pop helps a cellist develop musically and emotionally in this novel filled with humor and theatrics. Themes of responsibility, regret, and reconciliation weave through the intergenerational dynamics in Jenny’s family, adding dimension and depth.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Oh’s narrative reaches an enjoyable clip that is both accessible to readers unfamiliar with K-pop and pleasing for fans of K-dramas as well as anyone who enjoys a breezy contemporary romance.” —Publishers Weekly
XOXO, Gossip Girl. Ok, now that that’s out of the way (I’m sorry, I HAD to), back to the review. This was a book that I picked up, took on look at, read the synopsis, and said yeah, this is a me book. I mean my kpop addled brain was just in bliss. And the romance was just perfect.
And while I came for the plot I stayed for the characters. I just really fell in love with our leads and couldn’t help but root for them. Plus all of the other characters were well developed and draw you in to fall in love with them as well. But even though I did fall for the characters the plot I was oh so interested in did not fail to meet my cheesy kdrama-y expectations. It was a story with a lot of fun, some heartbreak, and alllll the drama.
So yeah, this book was a complete win for me. I knew I would love it but it also didn’t disappoint me when I started reading (you all know how that sad tale goes). And it’s also up there as one of my favorite reads this year!
About the Author
Photo Content from Axie Oh
Axie Oh is a first generation Korean American, born in NYC and raised in New Jersey. She studied Korean history and creative writing as an undergrad at the University of California – San Diego and holds an MFA from Lesley University in Writing for Young People. Her passions include K-pop, anime, stationery supplies, and milk tea. She currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada with her puppy, Toro.
ASIN : B08GJQX4R9 Publisher : Tor Books (July 13, 2021) Publication date : July 13, 2021 Language : English</span
The Freedom Race, Lucinda Roy’s explosive first foray into speculative fiction, is a poignant blend of subjugation, resistance, and hope.
In the aftermath of a cataclysmic civil war known as the Sequel, ideological divisions among the states have hardened. In the Homestead Territories, an alliance of plantation-inspired holdings, Black labor is imported from the Cradle, and Biracial “Muleseeds” are bred.
Raised in captivity on Planting 437, kitchen-seed Jellybean “Ji-ji” Lottermule knows there is only one way to escape. She must enter the annual Freedom Race as a runner.
Ji-ji and her friends must exhume a survival story rooted in the collective memory of a kidnapped people and conjure the voices of the dead to light their way home.
You can purchaseThe Freedom Race at the following Retailers:
Praise for The Freedom Race
“Every now and then a work comes along that makes you wonder whether you are reading or dreaming. And you’re not sure it matters which.” ―Nikki Giovanni
“You ever have the feeling that if you don’t read something, you may be missing out on something momentous happening? . . . I got that vibe from the first page of The Freedom Race. It has a prescience about it in the tradition of Octavia Butler. . . . If ‘resilience’ was a book, it would be The Freedom Race.” ―Maurice Broaddus, author of Buffalo Soldier
“Roy (The Hotel Alleluia) turns to speculative fiction for the first time with this lyrical, Afrofuturist hero’s quest set in the not-too-distant future. …[Ji-Ji’s] harrowing but profoundly spiritual quest for sovereignty against all odds impresses. Readers … will appreciate both the tenacious heroine and Roy’s intricate prose stylings.” ―Publishers Weekly
“The future Lucinda Roy calls up in The Freedom Race is a fierce, unsettling riff on our past and present. Instead of watching democracy evaporate and justice fail, Ms. Roy challenges us all to get over ourselves and join the race for freedom.” ―Andrea Hairston, author of Will Do Magic for Small Change
“American magic-realism meets the outcome of the Second U.S. Civil War in a well-told, but brutally jolting, strangely prescient, and soul-haunting narrative.” ―L. E. Modesitt, Jr., bestselling author of the Saga of Recluce series
This is the kind of book that I have missed as of late. For a long time we had a surplus of dystopian books and then they just seemed to one day vanish. And this speculative fiction book fit what I missed about those books and put a modern twist on the genre. It also has just that right amount of horror added in at the thought of how easily something like this could actually occur.
This book is a tough read because it shows us the things we don’t want to imagine. Also given *waves at everything* going on in the world it’s also pushing a bit on the more realistic side of the genre. Which is something I don’t think anyone wants to see. And the thought and detail put into this book and story make it all the more palpable. So yeah, this one had me from the first line and I just couldn’t look away.
I definitely think that this is not only an important read, but something that we could all take a little something away from. But even that aside it’s a really amazing story and one that you will just want to read more and more about.
About the Author
Photo Credit: Larry Jackson
Novelist and poet Lucinda Roy’s latest book deal is with Tor/Macmillan for her futuristic slave narrative series The Freedom Race. Her previous novels are Lady Moses, a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection, and The Hotel Alleluia. Her poetry books are entitled Wailing the Dead to Sleep, The Humming Birds, and Fabric: Poems. She also authored the memoir No Right to Remain Silent: What We’ve Learned from the Tragedy at Virginia Tech. Among her awards are the Eighth Mountain Prize for Poetry, the 2017 Zenobia Hikes Woman of Color in the Academy Award, and the Baxter Hathaway Prize for her long slave narrative poem “Needlework.” An Alumni Distinguished Professor in Creative Writing at Virginia Tech, she has been a guest on numerous TV and radio shows, including The CBS Evening News, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS’s Sunday Morning, Oprah, and NPR. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, USA Today, the Chronicle of Higher Education, North American Review, American Poetry Review, and many other publications. She delivers keynotes and presentations around the country on creative writing, diversity, campus safety, and higher education. Currently, she is working on her speculative novel series, a book of ekphrastic poems, and a series of oil paintings depicting the Middle Passage.
Publisher : Tor Teen (June 1, 2021) Language : English Hardcover : 272 pages ISBN-10 : 1250316030 ISBN-13 : 978-1250316035
The Hate U Give meets Shadowshaper in Bethany C. Morrow’s A Chorus Rises, a brilliant contemporary fantasy set in the world of A Song Below Water.
Teen influencer Naema Bradshaw has it all: she’s famous, privileged, has “the good hair”— and she’s an Eloko, a person who’s gifted with a song that woos anyone who hears it. Everyone loves her — well, until she’s cast as the awful person who exposed Tavia’s secret siren powers.
Now, she’s being dragged by the media. No one understands her side: not her boyfriend, not her friends, nor her Eloko community. But Naema knows the truth and is determined to build herself back up — no matter what.
When a new, flourishing segment of Naema’s online supporters start targeting black girls, however, Naema must discover the true purpose of her magical voice.
You can purchaseA Chorus Rises at the following Retailers:
Praise for A Chorus Rises
“Morrow expertly and smartly explores race, bigotry, oppression, and injustice against a backdrop of ordinary life with a dose of the supernatural added to the mix. A Song Below Water is a must-read for lovers of fantasy and contemporary stories alike. ” ―Booklist, starred review
“Morrow has deftly woven a contemporary tale with mythical elements to take on the invisibility and marginalization of Black women, touching on issues such as misogynoir, body image, social justice, and generational trauma. Empowering and innovative. Morrow elevates mermaids and sirens to legitimate and compelling vanguards for social change.” ―School Library Journal
“A watery and melodic crossroads of the real and the mythic, A Song Below Water lures readers with its seductive and beautifully black siren song. An enthralling tale of black girl magic and searing social commentary ready to rattle the bones.” ―Dhonielle Clayton, New York Timesbestselling author of The Belles series
“I love this book so, so much! Bethany C. Morrow delivers a blistering modern classic with this gorgeous tale of friendship and power. A Song Below Water somehow manages to be intensely happy and sad at the same time and all in the balance of great, riveting storytelling. The best YA novel I’ve read all year.” ―Daniel José Older, New York Times bestselling author of Shadowshaper
“Morrow masterfully blends the real lives of Black girls in contemporary Portland with a mythic world of sirens, gargoyles and other supernatural creatures to create a compelling coming-of-age story in which two sisters, bound by love and fate, find their voices and their power.” ―Rebecca Roanhorse, Hugo, Nebula and John W. Campbell Award Winner, author of Trail of Lightning and Star Wars: Resistance Reborn
“Empowering and full of surprises, A Song Below Water reminds us how important it is to use our voices, even when we’re afraid. Morrow has created a world that’s both familiar and brimming with fantastical creatures, and the result is timely, necessary, and utterly captivating.” ―Akemi Dawn Bowman, award-winning author of Starfish
“A rich, intricate dive into mythology, misogynoir, and the way the world makes black girls out to be monsters. Like the siren’s song, A Song Below Water is irresistibly compelling.” ―Heidi Heilig, award-winning author of The Girl from Everywhere
“The world is lush and intense, the voice intoxicating, and the message eternal. Morrow will have you under her spell from page one.” ―L.L. McKinney, author of the Nightmare-Verse series
“A compelling tale packed with endlessly inventive magical concepts, blazingly current social commentary, and heroines you’ll fall hopelessly in love with. I’m obsessed.” ―Sarah Kuhn, author of Heroine Complex series
“A Song Below Water is a lush, colorful, and deeply moving masterpiece about mythology, the sometimes masked evils of racism, and all the ways the world hurts black girls. An irresistible and perfectly bewitching read that I couldn’t put down!” ―Jay Coles, composer and author of Tyler Johnson Was Here
“A Song Below Water is a captivating tale about the magic of sisterhood and the importance of being seen for who you truly are.” ―Parker Peevyhouse, author of The Echo Room
“An exciting new contemporary fantasy. In this parallel world, black female empowerment is standing up for yourself and others while simultaneously navigating love, physical and emotional violence, and the responsibility of immense supernatural power.” ―Kirkus Reviews
I was SO HAPPY to see this book! I read A Song Below Water last year and instantly fell in love with the unique world, so I am so happy to be revisiting this author and story. I also love love love the switch in perspective for this book! You know I’m a sucker for a good morally grey character.
I think what I like most about these books is that they’re so well blended. We’ve got an amazing story, a unique world, and some current issues addressed that we see in todays world. Plus the characters are written so well for the intended audience. We see teenagers acting like teenagers instead of the almost “too” mature ones you sometimes see in YA.
These books just hit that right spot that makes me happy while reading and I, as last year, look forward to seeing what Morrow puts out next! There’s a lot to love in this story and I actually might have liked it a little more than the first!
About the Author
Photo Content from Bethany C. Morrow
Bethany C Morrow is an Indie Bestselling author who writes for adult and young adult audiences, in genres ranging from speculative literary to contemporary fantasy to historical. She is author of the novels MEM and A SONG BELOW WATER, which is an Audie, Ignyte and Locus finalist. She is editor/contributor to the young adult anthology TAKE THE MIC, the 2020 ILA Social Justice in Literature award winner. Her work has been chosen as Indies Introduce and Indie Next picks, and featured in The LA Times, Forbes, Bustle, Buzzfeed, and more. She is included on USA TODAY‘s list of 100 Black novelists and fiction writers you should read.
Publisher : 47North (June 1, 2021) Language : English Hardcover : 352 pages ISBN-10 : 1542027810 ISBN-13 : 978-1542027816
Evil lives in a traveling carnival roaming the Depression-era South. But the carnival’s newest act, a peculiar young woman with latent magical powers, may hold the key to defeating it. Her time has come.
Abandoned by her family, alone on the wrong side of the color line with little to call her own, Eliza Meeks is coming to terms with what she does have. It’s a gift for communicating with animals. To some, she’s a magical tender. To others, a she-devil. To a talent prospector, she’s a crowd-drawing oddity. And the Bacchanal Carnival is Eliza’s ticket out of the swamp trap of Baton Rouge.
Among fortune-tellers, carnies, barkers, and folks even stranger than herself, Eliza finds a new home. But the Bacchanal is no ordinary carnival. An ancient demon has a home there too. She hides behind an iridescent disguise. She feeds on innocent souls. And she’s met her match in Eliza, who’s only beginning to understand the purpose of her own burgeoning powers.
Only then can Eliza save her friends, find her family, and fight the sway of a primordial demon preying upon the human world. Rolling across a consuming dust bowl landscape, Eliza may have found her destiny.
You can purchaseBacchanal at the following Retailers:
Praise for Bacchanal
“Henry skillfully layers historical realism with fantastic elements to explore the way times of desperation test the ethics of oppressed communities. Henry is a writer to watch.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Henry’s debut draws on a rich history of folklore from various African traditions, as well as African history and Black American history, and almost the entire main cast is Black. The carnival setting works perfectly for bringing together various strange and magical people who aren’t at home anywhere else…Come one, come all, this magical carnival has all the delightful dangers a reader could wish for.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“[Bacchanal is] gorgeous while somehow never losing sight of the need to unsettle. It captures a sense of wonder and reminds you that too much curiosity can lead to danger. And most importantly, it’s Black and never lets you forget it. If you want endearing characters, a charming setting, and characters that refuse to bend to the world’s injustices then Bacchanal is the book for you.” ―FIYAH Magazine
“With a powerful voice that grips you from its very first pages, Bacchanal casts a spell on readers…Eliza is a wonderful character…Not a traditional superhero, Eliza’s special power is a highlight of this work, and readers will root for the young conjurer and for Henry as she explores the limits of her gifts.” ―Sheree Renée Thomas, Editor of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, award-winning author of Nine Bar Blues, and featured in Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda
“Writer Veronica Henry pulls on a mix of African folklore, Black histories, and carnival culture to weave a story of mesmerizing, bizarre, and dangerous magic. With a heroine of unique powers and a cast as colorful as any sideshow, this story offers up its share of delights, adventure, and frights! Welcome to Bacchanal. Enjoy the sights. Hope you make it out alive!” ―P. Djèlí Clark, author of Ring Shout, The Haunting of Tram Car 015, and The Black God’s Drums
“Readers won’t want their travels with the seductive and dangerous Bacchanal Carnival to end. Veronica Henry’s debut impeccably conjures the 1930s and marks the bold entrance of a vital new voice in modern fantasy.” ―Gwenda Bond, New York Times bestselling author of Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds
“If you took The Night Circus and viewed it through the gaze of a young Black woman in the Great Depression, you might get Veronica Henry’s Bacchanal. Demons, lies, and secrets.” ―Mary Robinette Kowal, Hugo award-winning author of The Calculating Stars
I have to admit, me and stories about carnivals have a love hate relationship. I think it’s mostly because I have such a fondness for the setting that I wind up being overly critical. And books about carnivals are, by nature, twisted and sometimes I think that stories just twist a different way than I do. BUT, I actually really enjoyed this one (YASSSS) and found myself falling into the meandering story.
This book is written incredibly descriptively, and sometimes that means it got away a little bit from the plot. But honestly, I love that kind of writing so it was right up my alley (gimme some world building and all the *atmosphere*). Plus the story was creepy and historical and just made a typical carnival based story that much more interesting. There was that added layer of depth that added to the twisted nature of the story.
I really enjoyed this one, and I’m really glad I did. I feel like I have been slugging through carnival based stories lately and this one was such a nice pick me up. It was just the right blend of atmospheric descriptions and plot to keep me wanting to find out more.
About the Author
Photo Content from Veronica G. Henry
Veronica G. Henry was born in Brooklyn, New York, and has been a bit of a rolling stone ever since. Her work has appeared in various online publications. She is a graduate of the Viable Paradise Workshop and a member of SFWA.
Veronica is proud to be of Sierra Leonean ancestry and counts her trip home as the most important of her life. She now writes from North Carolina, where she eschews rollerballs for fountain pens and fine paper. Other untreated addictions include chocolate and cupcakes.
Veronica’s debut novel, Bacchanal, will be published in the Spring of 2021.
ASIN : B08HKWFV9M Publisher : Tor Teen (April 27, 2021) Publication date : April 27, 2021 Language : English
It takes an AI to catch an AI in Chaos on CatNet, the follow-up to Naomi Kritzer’s award-winning near future YA thriller.
When a mysterious entity starts hacking into social networks and chat rooms to instigate paranoia and violence in the real world, it’s up to Steph and her new friend, Nell, to find a way to stop it—with the help of their benevolent AI friend, CheshireCat.
You can purchaseChaos on CatNet at the following Retailers:
Praise for Chaos on Catnet
“The characters offer positive, realistic LGBTQIA+ representation―especially nonbinary identities and characters still exploring their identities. Refreshingly, the characters also feel like generally-woke-but-still-imperfect humans. Wickedly funny and thrilling in turns; perfect for readers coming-of-age online.” ―Kirkus, starred review
“Kritzer’s take on a benevolent AI is both whimsical and poignant. An entertaining, heart-filled exploration of today’s online existence and privacy concerns.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Smart, sly, scary, and irrepressibly good fun, this novel has everything I’ve ever wanted from a story: it is a cerebral, funny, tender, big-idea delight. I can’t wait for you to read it.”―Kelly Barnhill, Newbery Award-winning author of The Girl Who Drank the Moon
“An absolutely charming and incredibly gripping, superbly plotted YA thriller.” ―Cory Doctorow, New York Timesbestselling author of Little Brother
“Kritzer’s flawless collection taps deep wells of emotion and wonder…. Her work is indisputably speculative, but it’s a perfect entry point to the genre for readers who prefer fantastical and futuristic elements to stay more in the background, with human (and robotic) feelings always at the fore. This splendid treat is not to be missed.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review, on Cat Pictures Please and Other Stories
I was honestly surprised at how excited I was to read this one! Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I wasn’t thrilled to see this book it’s just that I’m so shocked at just how much I enjoy this series when it’s something that is typically out of my reading comfort zone. But there’s something about these books that are just so good and alluring!
This book is just as good as the first and I loved being able to follow up with all of the characters (plus some new additions). The story really takes off right from the start and off we go on another adventure. But what I think I like most about this series is the sense of realness to it. Like, clearly, the subject matter isn’t QUITE something you see every day, but in the same sense… we’re not far off are we? But anyways, what I really meant is that the characters are so relatable. They’re living breathing humans that have their quirks and their individuality instead of the overly… everything… we sometimes see in books. And I think that that’s why I find this series so fresh.
This was definitely a wonderful follow up book and I really look forward to seeing what Kritzer comes up with next! I mean anyone who can get me out of my reading comfort zone AND make me fall in love with it on top of it is someone to watch!
About the Author
Photo Credit: Sean M. Murphy/SMM Photography
NAOMI KRITZER has been making friends online since her teens, when she had to use a modem to dial up at 2400 baud. She is a writer and blogger who has published a number of short stories and novels for adults, including the Eliana’s Song duology and the Dead Rivers Trilogy. Her 2015 short story “Cat Pictures Please” won the Hugo Award and Locus Award and was a finalist for the Nebula. Naomi lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, with her family and four cats. The number of cats is subject to change without notice.
As the site of a former military base, there have always been rumors that East Township High School was the site of experiments with space and time. For years, students have whispered in the hallways of a doorway created within the school, one that can access multiple timelines and realities, a place known as the Down World.
As the new kid in school and still reeling from the unexplained death of her brother Robbie, Marina O’Connell is only interested in one thing: leaving the past behind. But a chance encounter with handsome Brady Picelli changes everything. He will lead Marina to a startling discovery. The Down World is real and the past, present, and future are falling out of balance.
Brady is determined to help Marina discover what really happened to her brother. However, what is taken from one world, must be repaid by another. And Marina is about to discover that even a realm of infinite possibilities has rules that must be obeyed.
This book was right up my alley! You know, that very niche alley that everyone has. And I am glad to say that it didn’t disappoint! I was so invested in the story throughout and I just thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of this one. Plus it’s just so bizarre, which I of course love an appreciate.
This is just one of those books that you’re going to find difficult to put down. Now, I can’t get into it too much cause spoilers would be a no-no but this world is so complex. And as more and more unfolds you’re going to be lured even further into the book. Plus there is a dark undercurrent throughout the story that creates a… purpose?… to the plot.
Down World really blew me away and provided me with something that felt fresh. Which I really needed right now because I’ve been *mildly* slumping for what feels like forever lately.
About the Author
Rebecca Phelps is an actress, screenwriter, novelist, and mom based in Los Angeles. She is the co-creator of the website novel2screen.net, which analyzes film and television adapted from other material. Down World, the recipient of a Watty Award for Best Young Adult Fiction, is her first novel. To hear more about the Down World trilogy, follow Rebecca on Instagram @geminirosey, or on Twitter @DownWorldNovel. Happy reading!
Emil and Brighton Rey defied the odds. They beat the Blood Casters and escaped with their lives–or so they thought. When Brighton drank the Reaper’s Blood, he believed it would make him invincible, but instead the potion is killing him.
In Emil’s race to find an antidote that will not only save his brother but also rid him of his own unwanted phoenix powers, he will have to dig deep into the very past lives he’s trying to outrun. Though he needs the help of the Spell Walkers now more than ever, their ranks are fracturing, with Maribelle’s thirst for revenge sending her down a dangerous path.
Meanwhile, Ness is being abused by Senator Iron for political gain, his rare shifting ability making him a dangerous weapon. As much as Ness longs to send Emil a signal, he knows the best way to keep Emil safe from his corrupt father is to keep him at a distance.
The battle for peace is playing out like an intricate game of chess, and as the pieces on the board move into place, Emil starts to realize that he may have been competing against the wrong enemy all along.
Has this week both been THE LONGEST week and flown by at the same time or is that just me? I feel like I’m just losing all sense of time but I’m super glad I’m getting in this review today! Because I really love these books. And I may have been waiting for Infinity Reaper since last year. Just saying. And dare I say it… I may have loved this one even more than book one!
You know why I love these books so much? It’s simple, the world building is just divine. Plus I mean the story is amazing too but you know, priorities. And I just love that I got to know even more about this complex world in Infinity Reaper. But this picks right up following book two and we are taken on an adventure that is going to make you go through some emotions so buckle up!
Sorry this review may be a smidge shorter than normal, but my brain feels like it’s about to implode so I’m leaving it at this. Remember, I’m losing all sense of time. Plus allergies. So. Much. Pollen. But anyways, GET THIS BOOK AND READ IT ASAP!
About the Author
Adam Silvera is the New York Times bestselling author of More Happy Than Not, History Is All You Left Me, and They Both Die at the End. His next book What If It’s Us is co-written by Becky Albertalli (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda) and releases on October 9th, 2018. He writes full-time in New York City and is tall for no reason.
Book Title: Covet Author: Tracy Wolff Publisher: Entangled Teen Release Date: March 2, 2021 Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy
“I choose you.”
— Tracy Wolff
I may have reached my breaking point. As if trying to graduate from a school for supernaturals isn’t stressful enough, my relationship status has gone from complicated to a straight-up dumpster fire.
Oh, and the Bloodletter has decided to drop a bomb of epic proportions on us all…
Then again, when has anything at Katmere Academy not been intense?
And the hits just keep coming. Jaxon’s turned colder than an Alaskan winter. The Circle is splintered over my upcoming coronation. As if things couldn’t get worse, now there’s an arrest warrant for Hudson’s and my supposed crimes—which apparently means a lifetime prison sentence with a deadly unbreakable curse.
Choices will have to be made…and I fear not everyone will survive.
“Everything’s a secret, Grace, whether we know it or not.”
— Tracy Wolff
The Crave series is best enjoyed in order.
Reading Order: Book #1 Crave Book #2 Crush Book #3 Covet Book #4 Court
You know, when Crave first came out my middle school Twilight obsessed self squealed in anticipation. And I had still been squealing in anticipation for Covet as well. This series just never disappoints and I can legitimately blame it on many sleepless nights. Plus there’s just so many twists and turns that continue to make the series interesting instead of one of those series where you know what’s going to happen throughout the entire series just after the first book.
“There’s just him and me and everything remembered and forgotten that stretches between us.”
— Tracy Wolff
You know what I think sets this series apart from other YA series? It’s the fact that everything is just so well set up and then all your hopes and dreams are Crushed (heh heh, see what I did there? Yes, I know I need sleep). And it’s not even that you wind up hating the characters like in some other 180-degree ya/fantasy books (you know which ones), which makes this even more wild because it’s reflective of life in a way. And I guess what I’m trying to say is that I really appreciate that. Things change. People change. And our relationships change. Which is something you don’t often see portrayed after our character finds their *true one.* But yeah, this review got off the rails but I also don’t want to spoil anything. But just expect the same top tier storytelling, lots of Drama WITH a capital D, and So. Much. Happening.
“Because of who you really are.”
— Tracy Wolff
So you know how we’ve all been *im*patiently waiting for Covet? Well, I still want more. And I would still do some . . . unseemly . . . things to get my hand on Court. It’s just I kind of need to know what’s going to happen and how this will all turn out. But it’s ok. We don’t have THAT long to wait. Right? Yep. Just gotta keep telling myself that. And in the meantime I hope you all read this and join me in feeling this way.
About the Author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Tracy Wolff is a lover of vampires, dragons, and all things that go bump in the night. A onetime English professor, she now devotes all her time to writing dark and romantic stories with tortured heroes and kick-butt heroines. She has written all her sixty-plus novels from her home in Austin, Texas, which she shares with her family. tracywolffbooks.com.
Book 2 of Ink in the Blood Publication Date: February 9th, 2020 Publisher: HMH Books
Return to the world of inklings, tattoo magic, and evil deities as Celia uncovers the secrets of the ink in order to stop Diavala once and for all. This eagerly anticipated sequel to Ink in the Blood is perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Wicked Saints.
Celia Sand faced Diavala and won, using ink magic to destroy the corrupt religion of Profeta that tormented her for a decade. But winning came with a cost. Now Celia is plagued with guilt over her role in the death of her best friend. When she discovers that Diavala is still very much alive and threatening Griffin, the now-infamous plague doctor, Celia is desperate not to lose another person she loves to the deity’s wrath.
The key to destroying Diavala may lie with Halycon Ronnea, the only other person to have faced Diavala and survived. But Halcyon is dangerous and has secrets of his own, ones that involve the ink that Celia has come to hate. Forced to choose between the ink and Diavala, Celia will do whatever it takes to save Griffin—even if it means making a deal with the devil himself.
You know, I was extremely eager to read this series for the interesting magic system alone. Well, that and the covers. I loveeeee the covers. And I have to delightedly say that these books have no disappointed! I find that a lot of the time I’m swayed into books and get overly excited and then they just don’t live up to that excitement. So, in sense, I get even more excited when books actually do what I wanted them to! So on that note, psst, go read these.
While I really loved the second book in this duology I have to admit that it took me a smidge to get back into. I don’t know if it’s just because it’s been a while since I’ve been in this world or if it just had a slower start than the first book, but once I did get fully invested I fell just as much in love with it as I had while reading the first book. There was also so much more that this book was able to bring since we are already familiar with the world and magic system. And you know I love when books get a chance to expand on what we already know.
This series was honestly one of my biggest highlights recently. I think I’ve just been hitting so many slumps lately that when I find a book that really hits all of the marks I get that much more excited. But then again I also REALLY always love duologies. So I guess it just had that right combination to make me fall in love.
About the Author
Kim Smejkal writes dark fantasy for young adults and not-so-young adults, always with a touch of magic. Her debut novel, INK IN THE BLOOD, released from HMH in early 2020, and the sequel, CURSE OF THE DIVINE, will release on Feb. 9, 2021.
When she’s not writing, she’s homeschooling her kids, tutoring other people’s kids, and voraciously hoarding any precious alone time. Though she grew up on the Canadian prairies, she now lives with her family on beautiful, muse-satiating Vancouver Island. She is represented by Daniel Lazar of Writers House.
Cast into the underworld after an act of shattering betrayal, Mayana and Ahkin must overcome unimaginable odds if they are to return home and reclaim the throne of the Chicome. A river of blood and demons disguised as children are only two of the challenges standing in their way. Fortunately, they are not unequipped. Mayana’s royal blood controls the power of water, and Prince Ahkin wields the power of the sun itself. Ometeotl, the Mother goddess, provides them with other gifts—and an ominous warning that one of them may not survive. But can the goddess be trusted?
“At least as much at peace as was possible sleeping behind a pile of bones on the outskirts of the City of the Dead.”
— Lani Forbes
Back in the lands above, Mayana’s best friend, Yemania, has survived the empress selection ritual—but her next challenge may be more than she can bear. The new empress of the Chicome Empire demands she become High Healer. Yemania has no interest in serving in the palace; she wants to use her healing ability to help the common people. More than that, her heart is no longer her own. She has met an enchanting stranger—Ochix, one of the feared Miquitz people who are ancient enemies of the Chicome.
As Mayana and Ahkin move ever closer to confronting the lords of the dead, Yemania and Ochix must hide their forbidden romance or face the wrath of both their empires. Meanwhile, the new empress has made a dangerous alliance that might destroy everything they hold dear.
Four young people risk their lives to save the world from a looming apocalypse in this captivating sequel to The Seventh Sun. Based on ancient Mesoamerican legends and mythology, The Jade Bones is a compelling and romantic adventure that builds to a heart-stopping climax.
“Without another word, she turned and marched straight into the dark interior of the mountain without him.”
Have you ever had a book that surprisingly stuck with you? Like you read it, fell in love, but then continued to think about it when you didn’t think you would? Well that was what happened after I read The Seventh Sun last year. So, to say I’ve been waiting for this book for a while is a bit of an understatement. I just HAD to know what happened next in this world and I just wanted to dive right back into the rich magic and culture.
“Our blood. The blood of the gods.”
— Lani Forbes
And one thing that I am so happy for is that this book didn’t disappoint. So often we see second books fall into the sophmore slump, but The Jade Bones just expertly expanded on the first book while still holding what I fell in love with from the first. Plus we get some new characters, a boatload of character development, and (gasp) my favorite: epic world building. Things just start coming together in this book, you know?
“The empire needs you. It can survive without me.”
— Lani Forbes
Now, I sped read this book so make sure you have some time set aside for this one. I mean, I sped read it because I missed a tour stop (I hate life, my calendar decided to delete my day for this tour, why is February turning out like this?) BUT I also would have sped read it even if I wasn’t a failure and late. It was just that good and I continue to look forward to seeing what Forbes produces next.
About the Author
Lani Forbes is the daughter of a librarian and an ex-drug smuggling surfer (which explains her passionate love of the ocean and books). A former teacher turned trauma counselor, her passion is showing readers the transformative and encouraging power of story on the human experience. She helps others process anxiety, depression, and complex PTSD, both in her stories and in real life. A California native whose parents live in Mexico, Lani now resides in the Pacific Northwest where she stubbornly wears flip flops no matter how cold it gets. She is a proud nerd, Gryffindor, and member of Romance Writers of America and the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.