Again, the lovely ladies who hosted the event, giveaway, and chats are wonderful. Kristen, Nicola, and Rachel rock, and lucky me, I get to work with Nicola some more as her co-blogger for Queen of the Bookshelves!
First things first, here is a complete list of all the books that were featured in these chats. And now onto the ten things I learned about the books and authors during the course of these chats.
(1) Nicole Castroman loves Poldark. If you want to buddy up to her, send her gifs of Aidan Turner and/or say the word "Poldark" and she will be there in less than a heartbeat. She has even said that the main character in her book, BLACKHEARTS, is a Poldark-esque character. And I mean, what is better than that?
(2) THIS IS HOW IT ENDS by Marieke Nijkamp is giving everyone feelings and book hangovers. Which makes me think you (and I) should probably check it out.
Finished This Is Where It Ends...... #tiwieuktour @lunaslibrary @mariekeyn pic.twitter.com/FvIV4gocLo— Michelle Toy (@ChelleyToy) July 31, 2015
Warning.... Don't read This Is Where It Ends on lunch whilst on the #tiwieuktour ... I am now an emotional wreck! 😢 @lunaslibrary @mariekeyn— Michelle Toy (@ChelleyToy) July 31, 2015
(3) Heidi Heilig is the nicest person and if you are feeling blue, she will cheer you up for sure. Her book THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE has already given me so many feelings that I have been dreaming about it.Just finished reading THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS and, basically, there is not enough room in this house for my tears. So well done, @mariekeyn.— Tara Sim (@EachStarAWorld) July 31, 2015
(4) I have never talked to someone funnier than Jeff Zentner (except maybe myself. I am hilarious). I can't wait to read more about his characters Dill, Travis, and especially Lydia in THE SERPENT KING.
(5) Kerry Kletter's THE FIRST TIME SHE DROWNED is the one to watch next year for me! It seems as if it is going to be the one that blows up and makes everyone feel things they didn't think possible.
(6) Roshani Chokshi has a Pinterest Board for THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN which will semi-hold me over while I not so patiently wait for this one to be released. Seriously this one seems so good. I can't even handle it.
(7) It seems like 2016 is going to be the year that really focuses on diversity with Jeff Garvin's SYMPTOMS OF BEING HUMAN, Emily Skrutskie's THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US, and Kristy Acevedo's CONSIDER being my top three to read.
(8) The books I will turn to when I'm in a political power-play mood will be ASSASSIN'S HEART by Sarah Ahiers, THE CROWN'S GAME by Evelyn Skye, and BURNING GLASS by Kathryn Purdie.
(9) In the land of contemporary, which I don't frequently visit, I will be picking up both FIRSTS by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, MY KIND OF CRAZY by Robin Reul, and SUFFER LOVE by Ashley Herring Blake.
(10) My favourite covers are Janet Taylor's INTO THE DIM and Ava Jae's BEYOND THE RED.
(11) And a bonus one is that I am going to miss these chats more than I thought possible!
My Pre-Order List!
AKA Why My Wallet is Feeling So Light Lately
The Love that Split the World by Emily Henry
Find Emily on Twitter: @EmilyHenryWrite
Release Date: January 26th 2016
Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.
Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start…until
she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.
That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.
Why I'm so taken with it: Look at that cover! It is absolutely GORGEOUS. Plus, the whole "you have three months to save him" quote has me hook, line, and sinker.
The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
Find Heidi on Twitter: @heidiheilig
Release Date: February 16th 2016
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Heidi Heilig’s debut teen fantasy sweeps from modern-day New York City to nineteenth-century Hawaii to places of myth and legend. Sixteen-year-old Nix has sailed across the globe and through centuries aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. But when he gambles with her very existence, it all may be about to end. The Girl from Everywhere, the first of two books, will dazzle readers of Sabaa Tahir, Rae Carson, and Rachel Hartman.
Nix’s life began in Honolulu in 1868. Since then she has traveled to mythic Scandinavia, a land from the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, modern-day New York City, and many more places both real and imagined. As long as he has a map, Nix’s father can sail his ship, The Temptation, to any place, any time. But now he’s uncovered the one map he’s always sought—1868 Honolulu, before Nix’s mother died in childbirth. Nix’s life—her entire existence—is at stake. No one knows what will happen if her father changes the past. It could erase Nix’s future, her dreams, her adventures . . . her connection with the charming Persian thief, Kash, who’s been part of their crew for two years. If Nix helps her father reunite with the love of his life, it will cost her her own.
Why I'm so taken with this: Time travel, pirates, awesome mythology... Need I say more?
The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrustkie
Find Emily on Twitter: @skrustkie
Release Date: February 8, 2016
For Cassandra Leung, bossing around sea monsters is just the family business. She’s been a Reckoner trainer-in-training ever since she could walk, raising the genetically-engineered beasts to defend ships as they cross the pirate-infested NeoPacific. But when the pirate queen Santa Elena swoops in on Cas’s first solo mission and snatches her from the bloodstained decks, Cas’s dream of being a full-time trainer seems dead in the water. There’s no time to mourn. Waiting for her on the pirate ship is an unhatched Reckoner pup. Santa Elena wants to take back the seas with a monster of her own, and she needs a proper trainer to do it. She orders Cas to raise the pup, make sure he imprints on her ship, and, when the time comes, teach him to fight for the pirates. If Cas fails, her blood will be the next to paint the sea. But Cas has fought pirates her entire life. And she’s not about to stop.
Why I'm so taken with this one: QUEER PIRATES. That is all.
Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman
Find Nicole on Twitter: @nicolecastroman
Release Date: February 9, 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything. This is their story.
Edward "Teach" Drummond, son of one of Bristol's richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There's just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.
Following her parents' deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to Curaçao—where her mother was born—when she's stuck in England?
From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.
Why I'm so taken with this one: Oh my. A Blackbeard history lesson = pirates, badassery, and swooning.
My Kind of Crazy by Robin Reul
Find Robin on Twitter: @Robinreul
Release Date: April 2016
Publisher: Sourcefire Books
Pitched as Freaks and Geeks meets The Spectacular Now. After his promposal goes up in flames (literally), down-on-his-luck Hank strikes up an unusual friendship with a budding pyromaniac, who is struggling with her own darkness and thinks he may be a kindred spirit.
Preorder: Chapters | Amazon
I also have word from the Publisher that I will be able to review this one when eARCs are available in October! So excited, thank you Sourcefire Books!
Suffer Love by Ashley Herring Blake
Find Ashley on Twitter: @ashleyhblake
Release Date: 2016
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Elizabeth Bewley at HMH has acquired world rights to Suffer Love by poet and debut novelist Ashley Herring Blake. The book, a modern-day take on Romeo and Juliet, tells of two teens brought together by attraction, only to be torn apart by their parents’ choices. It will pub in spring 2016; Rebecca Podos at Rees Literary brokered the deal.
Why I'm so taken with this one: I am a huge Shakespeare fan and I try to read/watch/devour as many retellings of his work as possible.
Firsts by Laurie E Flynn
Find Laurie on Twitter: @laurellizabeth
Release Date: January 5th 2016
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.
Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.
When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, FIRSTS is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.
Why I'm so taken with it: A girl who is comfortable in her sexuality and sexual experiences? Sign me up. I think it has the perfect premise and I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy
Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
Find Jeff on Twitter: @jeffgarvinbooks
Release Date: February 2nd 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
The first thing you’re going to want to know about me is: Am I a boy, or am I a girl?
Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. The thing is . . . Riley isn’t exactly out yet. And between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in uber-conservative Orange County, the pressure—media and otherwise—is building up in Riley’s so-called “normal” life.
On the advice of a therapist, Riley starts an anonymous blog to vent those pent-up feelings and tell the truth of what it’s REALLY like to be a gender-fluid teenager. But just as Riley’s starting to settle in at school—even developing feelings for a mysterious outcast—the blog goes viral, and an unnamed commenter discovers Riley’s real identity, threatening exposure. Riley must make a choice: walk away from what the blog has created—a lifeline, new friends, a cause to believe in—or stand up, come out, and risk everything.
Why I'm so taken with it: I don't even need to explain this in my opinion, this sounds like the best LBGTQ+ book I've ever read the summary for ever.
The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin
Find Emily on Twitter: @thatEmilyMartin
Release Date: January 26th 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse
In the tradition of Sarah Dessen, this powerful debut novel is a compelling portrait of a young girl coping with her mother's cancer as she figures out how to learn from - and fix - her past.
Few things come as naturally to Harper as epic mistakes. In the past year she was kicked off the swim team, earned a reputation as Carson High's easiest hook-up, and officially become the black sheep of her family. But her worst mistake was destroying her relationship with her best friend, Declan.
Now, after two semesters of silence, Declan is home from boarding school for the summer. Everything about him is different - he's taller, stronger...more handsome. Harper has changed, too, especially in the wake of her mom's cancer diagnosis.
While Declan wants nothing to do with Harper, he's still Declan, her Declan, and the only person she wants to talk to about what's really going on. But he's also the one person she's lost the right to seek comfort from.
As their mutual friends and shared histories draw them together again, Harper and Declan must decide which parts of their past are still salvageable, and which parts they'll have to let go of once and for all.
In this honest and affecting tale of friendship and first love, Emily Martin brings to vivid life the trials and struggles of high school and the ability to learn from past mistakes over the course of one steamy North Carolina summer.
Why I'm so taken with it: This sounds like the perfect beach read and if it is anything like a Sarah Dessen novel, I know it is going to be fantastic.