Monday, February 3, 2020


2019 was... a year. And 2020 is... another one.

Rather than go off on all the things -- good and bad and crazy -- that have happened or are happening or may happen soon, let's stay focused on our happy place: books.

Here are the ones that we loved in 2019, and the ones we're hoping to love in 2020!

STEPHANIE

2019





2020


And I'm looking forward to finishing Keeper of the Lost Cities!

INGRID

2019

  



2020



SARAH

2019

  


2020



KRISTAN

2019




2020

 

 


What about you? We would love to know your favorite reads in 2019, and what you're looking forward to (that we should probably add to our TBR list) in 2020!

Friday, May 10, 2019


Happy May! We hope your spring is full of warm sunny days and lots of good stories. Here is a look at the books we’ve been reading over the past month:

Stephanie

I didn't have much time for reading this month, because I've been determined to finish my current writing project by the end of April. But I did manage to finish Exile by Shannon Messenger, the second book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, and I loved it so much. I'm really enjoying all the mind powers in this world.



Kristan

April was a slow reading month for me too. I did finish SO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT RACE by Ijeoma Oluo, though. It was an extremely worthwhile read, and equipped me with valuable tools and language to help dismantle systemic racism, both in myself and in others. Then I read the digital novella OPAL by Maggie Stiefvater. In her usual one-of-a-kind style, Stiefvater gives us a brief but enjoyable glimpse into the summer after the events of The Raven Boys series, focused primarily on Ronan and Adam (and Ronan's dreamthing Opal, obviously).



Sarah

Spring Break gave me a good two weeks to laze about with books. I finished the brilliant COURTING DARKNESS by Robin Lafevers and THE PRIORY OF THE ORANGE TREE by Samantha Shannon, which easily took up most of my spare hours and has tucked itself into my top reads shelf. Definitely need to re-visit and re-read this one because it's just fantastic. I read LAMENT by Maggie Stiefvater and am now reading BALLAD and it feels a bit like time travel to the beginning of the YA renaissance. Remember when asked what made a book YA and people in the know would reply: voice. This early series is bursting at the seams with voice and that's why I love it.



Ingrid

Since our last check-in back in February, I've read the following: STARFISH by Akemi Dawn Bowman, THE UNTETHERED SOUL: THE JOURNEY BEYOND YOURSELF by Michael A Singer, UNBECOMING by Jenny Downham, TRUE WEST by Sam Shepard, NOTHING LEFT TO BURN by Heather Ezell, and LONG WAY DOWN by Jason Reynolds. What a rich, diverse set of stories to consume in a matter of weeks! I ventured outside my contemporary ya comfort zone to devour a novel in verse, a play, and a spiritual exploration of Enlightenment. I was swept away by the strong female relationships in UNBECOMING, disheartened and then rejuvenated by the emotional journeys of the MCs in STARFISH and NOTHING LEFT TO BURN, and devastated by the hard truths in LONG WAY DOWN. My literary well is full!



Monday, March 4, 2019


Spring is fast-approaching, and we're almost out of the dark. Remember, the best way to stay warm is by being active, so keep turning those pages! Here are the books that kept us warm this past month:

Kristan

Wow, I've read a lot since our last check-in!

In YA, there was MARCELO IN THE REAL WORLD by Francisco X. Stork, THE LAST BEST STORY by Maggie Lehrman, and THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas. Of the three, my favorite was actually The Last Best Story, because I was totally a newspaper nerd in high school, and because I think the novel does a lot of difficult things well. (Including wit, tension, alternating perspectives, and remaking/updating an old story.) But Marcelo and T.H.U.G. were both very good too; I completely understand why they are so lauded. (In particular, I loved the voices and characters from Garden Heights.)

In non-YA, I read HERE AND NOW AND THEN by Mike Chen, a sci-fi novel that's really a father-daughter story at heart, as well as EXIT WEST by Mohsin Hamid, which follows a couple as they are forced to migrate around the world. I enjoyed both, so yeah, it's been a great month of reading!



Stephanie

This month I started the Keeper of the Lost Cities series by Shannon Messenger, read The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert, and finished off A Winter's Promise by Christelle Dabos. Of the three, The Hazel Wood was the one that stood out the most to me. It was dark and twisty, and I loved the fairytales within this story. After I finished it, I was poking around on YouTube and found this video of Melissa in conversation with Holly Black, which makes me think their books might be similar in style/tone? So I finally went out and bought a copy of The Cruel Prince for next month.



Sarah

This month I lived and breathed WINTER OF THE WITCH and there were some absolutely perfect moments that I can’t stop thinking about. I haven’t been this enamoured with a witchy character since CHIME.



Ingrid

In February, I thundered through the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, finishing up SCARLET, racing through CRESS, and wading knee-deep into WINTER. I also sneaked in a classic — REBECCA by Daphne du Maurier — and was swept away by the voice, story, and gorgeous setting. Finally, I stumbled across WILD BIRD by Wendelin Van Draanen while browsing online, ordered the book, and read it in two sittings. It's the story of 14yo wild-child Wren, who is sent to a wilderness therapy program for troubled teens in the Utah desert. It's exactly my kind of book — high on emotion and introspection, doesn't shy away from tough issues, and always maintains a slice of hope.



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Stephanie, Ingrid, Sarah & Kristan — we read, write, discuss and celebrate Young Adult lit.


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on the shelf

The Bitter Kingdom
Wild Awake
The Raven Boys
Mind Games
Eleanor and Park
The Shattered Mountain
The Shadow Cats
Transparent
Froi of the Exiles
Days of Blood & Starlight
Every Day
Jellicoe Road
Finnikin of the Rock
Guitar Notes
The Dead-Tossed Waves
The Crown of Embers
New House 5: How A Dorm Becomes A Home
Bitterblue
The Fault in Our Stars
Pretties


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