Thursday, June 30, 2016

Two years ago, a group of book bloggers got together with a simple, powerful mission:

Mindfully seek out diverse YA literature to read, discuss, and highlight.

We named ourselves the YA Diversity Book Club -- simple and straightforward -- and we've had such a great time finding new books to chat about each month.

To celebrate our 2-year anniversary, we would like to encourage others to read diversely too. So we're doing a 3-book giveaway, of forthcoming books from authors whose work we have featured and enjoyed in the past. We each chose one of the books personally. Here's mine -- the sequel to AN EMBER IN THE ASHES, which captivated me:

A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #2) A Torch Against the Night takes readers into the heart of the Empire as Laia and Elias fight their way north to liberate Laia’s brother from the horrors of Kauf Prison. Hunted by Empire soldiers, manipulated by the Commandant, and haunted by their pasts, Laia and Elias must outfox their enemies and confront the treacherousness of their own hearts.

In the city of Serra, Helene Aquilla finds herself bound to the will of the Empire’s twisted new leader, Marcus. When her loyalty is questioned, Helene finds herself taking on a mission to prove herself—a mission that might destroy her, instead.

To learn more about the other books in the giveaway, please visit The Reading Date and Teen Lit Rocks!

To enter the giveaway, see below:

Enter to win three YA Fall 2016 preorder books
Prizes provided by the YADBC
Giveaway open to US residents age 13 and up
Fill out the Rafflecopter to enter

Now the YADBC will be taking a summer hiatus, but you can always check out the past 2 years of YA Diversity Book Club posts on Tumblr!

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On a personal note: I will be taking a step back from YADBC, due to a big responsibility coming in a little package this November. I will forever and always read diversely, though! I hope you will too.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The first official day of summer is just right around the corner, and depending on where you live, the hot sun is already turning your shoulders red. There's something extra magical about reading during the summer. It's the time of library reading lists and having crushes at summer camp, of graduations and new beginnings, of vacations and hanging out on the beach with a good book. Here are a few stories that captured us and still remind us of a summer in our lives:


One of my favorite memories of reading during the summer was when I graduated from high school. As a graduation present, my aunt invited me to come stay with her in Arizona for a month. It was the first time I'd been away from home for more than a week. On the weekends, we camped, went to outdoor markets, and hiked in national parks. During the week, my aunt worked, and I had her condo to myself. I would spend the entire day reading and writing, and it was magnificent. The book that stood out to me most, that always takes me back to that summer when I think about it, was The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. It's about growing up and discovering yourself and traveling, and that's exactly what I was doing.


Between my junior and senior years of college, I spent a summer abroad in Madrid, Spain. There were a million magical things about those 8 weeks -- the classes, the beaches, the history, the buildings, the markets, the trains -- but one of my favorite things was actually just sitting in the gardens outside the Palacio Real and reading my homework assignments. Novels completely in Spanish. I had to keep a Spanish-English dictionary with me to look up unfamiliar words. I was being immersed in a culture, and a body of literature, that were foreign to me. I was, as Stephanie said, growing up and discovering myself and traveling.


Being the type to have summer camp crushes, let's talk (gothic) Romance. Confession: I didn't read JANE EYRE until two months shy of seventeen. Don't get me wrong, up to that point I'd read all of Austen, most of Dickens, every drop of Shakespeare (apart from the "histories.") British classics were my jam. But never had a Bronte brushed across the wild moors of my adolescent mind. And it was a blind accident that I plucked this one from a friend's shelf on my way to my brother's wedding.

The long and short of it is that my brother was getting married to my best friend (yeah that was a thing that happened.) It was an outdoor ceremony and they'd arranged everything themselves. The evening before, it was my job to keep watch over the stacks of chairs delivered by the rental company. We were in a public park so anyone could come along and steal some chairs or make chair art or knock the stacks over like chair-jenga. The chairs were in serious danger, okay?  I climbed to the top, took a Bronte with me, and was transported. to. misery. Sweet, haunted, repressed, mist-strewn misery. I was utterly ruined by this book. Of course, I only got to chapter thirteen before the stack of chairs had to come down. So I read one-handed while unfolding white wedding chairs in neat rows of ten (that's a lie, I can't remember how many chairs were in each row. I was distracted by delicious scandal and Yorkshire landscapes.) As it happens, I finished the book that night and took Jane and Rochester with me the next day as I brides-maided my way around the (gorgeous) wedding. And wondered if I'd ever be anybody's first wife.


The first book that pops into my mind is WILD AWAKE by Hilary T. Smith. I read it a few summers ago while on a camping trip (and blogged about it here.). Though the story has its share of tough issues, the lyrical writing and "wild child" storyline definitely stirred up those good-time summer feelings. Long bike rides, young love, music and mayhem... what's not to love?
Wednesday, June 1, 2016


Lately I've been catching up on books that I've been meaning to read for a long time (years in some cases). In May, I read Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, The Dream Thieves and Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater, Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo, Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. I think my favorite was Ruin and Rising. I've been working on that series for such a long time, I can't believe it's over.


For the past couple of months I've been reading outside my normal genre of contemporary YA. I've read a few memoirs (We Were Brothers, A List of Things That Didn't Kill Me, Tweaked), a light fantasy (The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness), and I'm almost finished listening to the audio version of The Graveyard Book, read by Neil Gaiman himself. My hands-down favorite is The Graveyard Book-- such a great escape into the world of the dead. Plus, Gaiman's voice--both figurative and literal--is riveting.

Wow, Ingrid is reading up a storm!! I'm kind of jealous, haha.

Unfortunately I don't have as many books to choose from, but even if I did, I think my answers would stay the same. My favorite recent read has been THE RAVEN KING by Maggie Stiefvater, the emotional conclusion to her Raven Boys series. It wasn't perfect, but I still loved the book and the series dearly and deeply.

I'm also slowly working my way through ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE by Anthony Doerr, which is just a really special novel told in very brief chapters that are almost like prose poem vignettes or something.


In May, I read MY SISTER LIVES ON THE MANTELPIECE, THE WINNER'S KISS, THE RAVEN KING!!!!!!!!!, FIVE FLAVOURS OF DUMB, A COURT OF MIST AND FURY, and re-read A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES straight after. I keep starting and stopping books like NOGGIN, CARRY ON, PASSENGER, NIGHTBIRD, COUNTING THYME so I'll give them another go next month because the writing is fantastic. I just haven't been in the mood for one reason or another. I am so hung up on romantic fantasy. Perfect example is my current re-read THE SIN-EATER'S DAUGHTER. Really clever story, decent world-building and characters you don't mind spending time with. Need the sequel!

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about us

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



on the shelf

The Bitter Kingdom
Wild Awake
The Raven Boys
Mind Games
Eleanor and Park
The Shattered Mountain
The Shadow Cats
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
The Fault in Our Stars

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