Before I begin, I’d just like to say right off the bat that I recognize this may be a controversial post due to our highly unpopular opinion about this author and her novels. However, we think this is a really important discussion to have. It has been noticeable to some, especially our Tumblr followers, that we pointedly avoid any discussion or even mere mention of Cassandra Clare and her novels on this blog and its related social media. As a former fan of her works (I read all 6 TMI novels and all 3 TID novels, even some related short stories Clare wrote, so I don’t hold these opinions merely because I subscribe to some belief that I need to be controversial and inflammatory), upon further reflection as I grew up and became more immersed in the YA Lit community, I realized that there were a lot of issues with her books. Like, a lot.
Review by: Paige
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Synopsis: For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life.
The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down Warcross players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. To make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.
Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.
Review by: Paige
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Synopsis: Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her to join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond.
While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince’s roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown–and the intriguing Miles–might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself.
Hey everyone! It’s that time of the semester again, where things are officially crazy leading up to spring break and book blogging has fallen – sadly – off my to-do list. Right now, both Meg and I are in the process of pledging sororities which, while insanely fun, is also a huge time commitment. But, I’ve got two weeks coming up soon back home where I’m excited to get back to reading and blogging!
In other news (and really, what spurred this update) I wanted to let you all know that as a writer for my college’s Her Campus chapter, I’ve recently written an article on Call Me By Your Name and the hyper-criticism of LGBTQ+ media. Please go check it out, because it would mean the world to me, and with more views comes a greater chance of it getting picked up by Her Campus national! I’m incredibly proud of this article. Plus, CMBYN stan Twitter is all over it, so I think you should be too.
Thank you all for the constant love, and I’m so looking forward to getting back into things with some new ARC reviews and anticipated releases.
xx Paige and Meg
Review by: Paige
Rating: ★ ★ ★
Genre: Young Adult, Magical Realism, Fantasy
Synopsis: The Blackburn women are cursed. Ever since the extraordinary witch Rona Blackburn landed on Anathema Island centuries ago and was shunned by the eight “original” settlers, Blackburn witches have been doomed to carry out a brief whirlwind affair with a descendant of the Original Eight. The vengeful curse, however, had unintended side effects: it diluted the Blackburns’ supernatural powers. That’s perfectly all right with seventeen-year-old Nor Blackburn. All she wants is a quiet, unremarkable life—her powers are blissfully unexceptional, her love life pretty much nonexistent. Nor hopes the curse has played itself out through enough generations that she’ll finally be spared the drama. But when a mysterious book comes out promising to cast any spell for the right price, Nor senses a dark storm headed straight for Anathema—and straight for her.
In her second novel, Leslye Walton spins a dark, mesmerizing tale of a girl stumbling along the path toward self-acceptance and first love, even as the Price Guide’s malevolent author—Nor’s own mother—looms and threatens to strangle any hope for happiness.
Review by: Paige
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance, LGBT
Synopsis: Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.
But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.
Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.
…But Didn’t Get To
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish
I was so, so close to managing to squeeze this book into 2017 at the very end, but alas I didn’t get to it. However, the love for this novel is so deep, and from the 15 pages I did manage to read, I can see why. McLemore’s writing is so enchanting, her setting so engrossing and her characters enthralling. I can’t wait to unravel all this book has to offer, even if I am doing it a bit later than intended.
I’m a huge fan of thrillers, and this was on my radar for so long that I was actually recommending it to people before I had even read it myself. And the people who took my advice loved it so much that I knew I would have to get to it sooner rather than later. And with Thomas releasing one of my most anticipated stories this year, I’m eagerly looking forward to getting my hands on this.
I’m always a fan of ensemble casts, and when you have to suss out a traitor among those characters, I’m all in. Though I don’t believe I truly favor any one sub-genre of YA, I’m definitely more partial to thrillers, so why I keep pushing this off is beyond me. This seems right up my alley, so I know that this year I’ll finally find the time to conquer it.
I was a huge fan of The Raven Cycle for a lot of reasons, and I honestly think Maggie Stiefvater is one of the most incredible authors out there right now. She presents such compelling characters and plots, with just the right amount of humor and romance to offset the objectively dark storyline. Friends of mine have already read and adored this, and if it comes even close to reaching The Raven Cycle’s level of intense and enthralling prose, it will be a success.
It’s so disheartening that I never got around to this novel in 2017. It was one of the most highly praised (and well deserving, at that) titles, and marked a real change in how diverse stories are received by their audiences. Having not read it yet, I can’t even fathom how important and poignant it must be, as its impact is left entirely to experience. However, I know that once I get around to it, I’ll be just as moved as all the readers before me.
Though the reviews for this book have been incredibly mixed, and justifiably so considering the subject matter and dark tone, it’s been on my list and in the back of my mind for some time. If anything, the mixed response has only made me want to read it more, so I can see for myself just what dark and twisted secrets are kept within this family. Meg was a huge fan of Engel’s previous work The Book of Ivy, but I’ve yet to read anything by her, and this seems like the perfect one for me to begin with.
I’ve yet to read a Silvera novel, which seems insane at this point. His books are so adored, and I’m always looking for good LGBT+ novels, and I have a little too much of an affinity for tragedy and doomed romance, so I can’t believe I haven’t gotten to this yet. I’m so looking forward to it, and I hope it’s as spectacular as everyone else seems to believe.
I requested an ARC of this book a long time ago, but after being denied, I pushed it to the back of my mind and said I would save it for later. However, every time I see it pop up on my Goodreads shelves, all it takes it another peek at the summary to remind me how desperately I want to read this and how splendid it seems.
Some people hate strange books simply because they’re strange. I am not one of those people. If a book leaves me confused, questioning what I’ve read and experience, so much the better for it, because that means a story was compelling enough for it to linger in my mind for days after. Friends and fellow bloggers seem split on whether this was fantastic or terrible, and I can’t wait to make that judgment for myself this year.
I’ve heard incredible things about the captivating, gorgeous writing, incredible atmosphere, and well-rounded, slow-burn romance within this novel that I know I need to get to it sooner rather than later. Contemporary novels may not always be my first choice, but when they are as dense and glorious as this one is said to be, I’m utterly unable to put them down. I’m so looking forward to this that every time I read another review, it moves higher up my list.
What books did you all miss out on this year, and what are you looking forward to finally tackling in 2018? Let us know!
Review by: Paige
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Synopsis: Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.
And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.
Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.
In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.
Review by: Paige
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ (3.5)
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Synopsis: Five went in. Four came out.
No one knows what happened that morning at River Point. Five boys went hunting. Four came back. The boys won’t say who fired the shot that killed their friend; the evidence shows it could have been any one of them.
Kate Marino’s senior year internship at the district attorney’s office isn’t exactly glamorous—more like an excuse to leave school early that looks good on college applications. Then the DA hands her boss, Mr. Stone, the biggest case her small town of Belle Terre has ever seen. The River Point Boys are all anyone can talk about. Despite their damning toxicology reports the morning of the accident, the DA wants the boys’ case swept under the rug. He owes his political office to their powerful families.
Kate won’t let that happen. Digging up secrets without revealing her own is a dangerous line to walk; Kate has her own reasons for seeking justice for Grant. As she investigates with Stone, the aging prosecutor relying on Kate to see and hear what he cannot, she realizes that nothing about the case—or the boys—is what it seems. Grant wasn’t who she thought he was, and neither is Stone’s prime suspect. As Kate gets dangerously close to the truth, it becomes clear that the early morning accident might not have been an accident at all—and if Kate doesn’t uncover the true killer, more than one life could be on the line…including her own.
As we prepare to head into the new year, there are so, so many books whose worlds, stories, and characters’ lives we’re looking forward to delving into headfirst. Though we know we can’t list every anticipated release, we’ve compiled a list of fifteen new titles (no sequels in sight!) plus some very honorable mentions to carry you into 2018. And may it be a good one for the book community!