Diane Guerrero & More In the City This Week (YA Book Events NYC 7/16-7/22)

Happy Monday book nerds! There are a great number of events happening this week. Check out the full schedule below and make sure to follow YA Book Events NYC on Twitter to keep up to date with all the bookish events happening around the city.

Monday, July 16

Launch Event for Letting Go of Gravity by Meg Leder at Books of Wonder (6:30-8 p.m.)

Join Meg Leder as she shares her new novel, Letting Go of Gravity. Free event.

Tuesday, July 17

Launch Event for Campfire by Shawn Sarles at Books of Wonder (6-8 p.m.)

Celebrate the launch of Campfire by Shawn Sarles with a special in-conversation event with Barry Lyga (I Hunt Killers). Free event.

My Family Divided by Diana Guerrero at The Strand (7-8 p.m.)

Join Orange Is the New Black star Diane Guerrero as she shares her biographical book, My Family Divided. She’ll be in conversation with Bustle Books senior editor Cristina Arreola. Free event.

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ARC Book Review: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating

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Synopsis:

Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.

Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.

Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them…right?

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

*I received a free digital advanced reader’s copy of this book from Gallery Books via NetGalley. This did not influence my review of this book in anyway. This is an honest review of the novel as I saw it. This novel will be released on September 4, 2018.*

On Monday I saw Christina Lauren post about this book on Instagram and asked if there were ARCs. That same day I requested it on Netgally, got the eARC, and then proceeded to stay up until 6 a.m. reading it. Yeah, it was that good. And I have a problem, but that’s neither here nor there.

Anyway, this novel is told in the dual POVs of Josh and Hazel, and I love them both but I might love Hazel just a tiny bit more. She was hilarious. I literally laugh out loud at so many points because of the things she did and said. I also shook my head a few times and said, “Oh Hazel,” but with the same kind of fondness Josh had for her. Hazel’s just the best.

Then we have Josh and my God he definitely tops the book boyfriend list. As Hazel likes to say he’s “the blueprint for Perfect.” First of all, I love that he’s Korean and that his culture was explored in this book. We got to see his Umma (mom) who was constantly cooking food for Josh and his sister, Emily, and then of course also Hazel, who’s also Emily’s best friend. (Side note: All the food descriptions made me hungry and want Korean BBQ) Christina Lauren did a good job exploring Josh’s culture and traditions and I loved getting to see that in this book.

Now, Josh and Hazel together. They were so cute and funny, and I loved that they spent the majority of this book setting each other up on pretty awful double blind dates. The number of times I wanted to jump into the book and yell at them, “Why are you wasting your time? The love of your life is right there!” was a lot. That said, I love a good slow burn and this book totally gave me that and while I always expect a happy ending from Christina Lauren this book still managed to surprise me.

Thus, I must highly recommend this book and I’m truly mad you have to wait until September to read it because ALL I WANT TO DO IS TALK ABOUT IT. Alas, that’s just how this goes. But preorder it so you can get it immediately and we can gush about Josh and Hazel as soon as the book comes out. K, thanks!

Borrow or Buy: BUY!

Stars:

5 stars

Other Reviews

A Quaintrelle in the City

ARC Book Review: The Brink of Darkness

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Synopsis:

In this sequel to the cinematic, romantic fantasy The Edge of Everything, star-crossed X and Zoe must overcome the boundaries of their two worlds in order to find their way back to each other.

Things have changed for seventeen-year-old Zoe ever since the otherworldly events that brought her together with the mysterious bounty hunter she calls X. In order to save Zoe and her family, X has done the unthinkable–he’s given up his freedom and returned to captivity in the Lowlands.

X is determined to break the lords’ hold on him once and for all, but being stripped of his power pushes him toward a darkness he’s never experienced and a past he’s never known. The secrets that surface could be the key to reuniting X and Zoe . . . or they could mean the destruction of everything they have been fighting for.

Gripping and full of heart, this epic continuation of Jeff Giles’ series will bring readers right to the edge of everything.

Purchase:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

*I received a free digital advanced reader’s copy of this book from Bloomsbury YA. This did not influence my review of this book in anyway. This is an honest review of the novel as I saw it. This novel was released on July 10, 2018.*

I didn’t love The Edge of Everything, but I enjoyed it enough to want to read the sequel and find out how Zoe and X’s story would end. Unfortunately, I felt about the same about The Brink of Darkness as I did about The Edge of Everything, which is to say I thought it was so-so.

This sequel picks up a little after where the first book ended. Zoe and X have been separated because X had to return to the Lowlands and be punished for breaking the rules to be with Zoe. However, because of his time with Zoe and her family, X was more determined than ever to find his mother and find a way out of the Lowlands. Thus, began an epic adventure of self-discovery for X.

Meanwhile, Zoe was coming to terms with the fact that the love of her (teenage) life was living in literal hell, and there was pretty much nothing she could do about it. That was until Zoe was given a task to help X, one he couldn’t complete himself while in the Lowlands. Thus, both X and Zoe began to learn more about X and how he came to be born in hell.

As with the first book, I really loved the humor in this story. All the characters had their own quirks, which really added to the story. I loved seeing Dallas and Val learn more about what Zoe went through in The Edge of Everything. It was also nice that though Zoe and X still had trials to face in this novel, to me the stakes were actually lower in The Brink of Darkness. In The Edge of Everything, I felt so bad for Zoe and her family, whereas here, I was so happy to see them living a relatively normal life in Montana.

I think the biggest issue for me was I did get bored at times with this story. There were definitely times I started skim, and just wanted the story to just get to the point. I wanted to see action or romance or something exciting, and there was just a lot of walking around the Lowlands or backstories I personally didn’t need.  Thus, this was just an okay read for me. I wish I enjoyed it more, but I didn’t.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow

Stars:

2 stars

Other Reviews
Perspective of a Writer
Novel Novice

Jeff Giles, Adam Gidwitz, & More In The City This Week (YA Book Events NYC 7/9-15)

Welcome back book nerds! Now that the Fourth of July is over, it’s time to get back to regularly scheduled bookish events, and this week there are plenty of good ones. Check out the full schedule below and make sure to follow YA Book Events NYC on Twitter to get updates on all the bookish events happening around the city.

Monday, July 9

Launching Jeff Giles’ The Brink of Darkness at McNally Jackson Books (7 p.m.)

Join Jeff Giles as he celebrates the release of his latest novel, The Brink of Darkness. Free event.

Saturday, July 14

Launch Event for The Basque Dragon with Adam Gidwitz at Books of Wonder (1-3 p.m.)

Join Adam Gidwitz as he shares the second installment in the Unicorn Society series, The Basque Dragon. Free event.

Sunday, July 15

Amy Ephron in Conversation With Her Editor, Jill Santopolo at Books of Wonder Uptown (2-4 p.m.)

Join author Amy Ephron as she shares her latest novel, Carnival Magic. She’ll be joined by her editor and fellow author, Jill Santopolo (The Light We Lost). Free event.

Launch Party for Mightier Than the Sword by Drew Callander and Alana Harrison at Books of Wonder (3-5 p.m.)

Join authors Drew Callander and Alana Harrison as they share their new illustrated middle-grade novel, Mightier Than the Sword. Free event.

ARC Book Review: One Small Thing

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Synopsis

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author duo of The Royals and When It’s Real comes a sensational new novel about a girl falling for the one boy she should never have met…

Beth’s life hasn’t been the same since her sister died. Her parents try to lock her down, believing they can keep her safe by monitoring her every move. When Beth sneaks out to a party one night and meets the new guy in town, Chase, she’s thrilled to make a secret friend. It seems like a small thing, just for her.

Only Beth doesn’t know how big her secret really is…

Fresh out of juvie and determined to start his life over, Chase has demons to face and much to atone for, including his part in the night Beth’s sister died. Beth, who has more reason than anyone to despise him, is willing to give him a second chance. A forbidden romance is the last thing either of them planned for senior year, but the more time they spend together, the deeper their feelings get.

Now Beth has a choice to make—follow the rules, or risk tearing everything apart…again.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

*I received a free digital advanced reader’s copy of this book from Harlequin Teen. This did not influence my review of this book in anyway. This is an honest review of the novel as I saw it. This novel was released on June 26, 2018.*

I loved Erin Watt’s When It’s Real so when I heard they were releasing another contemporary romance novel I knew I had to have it, and it did not let me down. Unlike When It’s RealOne Small Thing is told in only one POV that of Beth, who’s sister, Rachel, died three years ago. After Rachel died, Beth’s parents became overly protective of Beth in suffocating ways. They wouldn’t let her go out with her friends and her mom took her college applications out of the mail, refusing to let her go to school out of state. Additionally, they still acted as if Rachel was still alive. For example, Rachel’s room looked exactly the way it did when she died, Beth’s mom got mad at her for putting her stuff on “Rachel’s bench,” and Beth wasn’t allowed to get a pet because Rachel was allergic.

It was a lot and I was on Team Beth from the very beginning, and was throughout this novel, even when she developed feelings for Chase, the one boy everyone wanted her to stay away from. Every one in Beth’s town hated Chase, including Rachel’s former boyfriend, Jeff, who also recently returned to town. Despite everyone telling her to stay away, Beth just couldn’t and neither could Chase. The friendship they developed gave me all the feels and I was rooting for them throughout the story, wanting Beth to honestly give the finger to everyone who told her it was wrong.

However, as the novel went on the author did a good job of showing all sides of this situation, and I did end up feeling sympathy for Beth’s parents, though they still made a lot of mistakes. What I loved most about this novel, was how it surprised me. There were of course things I expected from the novel, but there was plenty that truly surprised me.

Watt did an excellent job of drawing me into this story and looking at grief, forgiveness, and guilt. The novel also looked at issues of class and abuse. In sum, though this book isn’t large it tackled a lot of topics in a way that never felt heavy handed, but instead pushed the story forward, so much so that I read it one sitting. So definitely pick this book up if you’re looking for a quick read that will tug on your heart strings, and also infuriate you a little because really I just wanted Beth to catch a break throughout the whole novel and punch a few people in the face. Just saying.

Honestly though, do yourself a favor and get this book today, because it’s now on shelves. You won’t regret it. Trust me!

TW: Sexual assault

Borrow or Buy: Seriously? Buy this book! Do it, now!

Favorite Line:

“Rachel’s gone. And I have to let my broken heart heal instead of pretending I’ve been fine.”

Stars:

5 stars

Other Reviews
Literary Dust
Nerd Problems
Slow Readers Blog

Lauren Spieller, Dahlia Adler, & More In The City This Week (YA Book Events NYC 6/25-7/1)

Happy Monday, book nerds! There isn’t too much going on this week but the two events that are happening look fantastic. Check out the full schedule below and make sure to follow YA Book Events NYC on Twitter to keep to date with all the bookish events happening around the city.

Tuesday, June 26

Launch Event for Your Destination is on the Left by Lauren Spieller at Books of Wonder (6-8 p.m.)

Meet Lauren Spieller for her debut novel, Your Destination is on the Left. Lauren will be in conversation with fellow author Dahlia Adler (Just Visiting). Free event.

Launching A Thousand Beginnings and Endings at McNally Jackson (7 p.m.)

Join six of the talented authors featured in A Thousand Beginnings and Endings, an anthology of Asian myth and legend retellings. Free event.

Meet Meredith Goldstein & Carolyn Cohagan This Week (YA Book Events NYC 6/18-24)

There are only two events happening this week but they’re both going to be great. Check out the schedule below and make sure to follow YA Book Events NYC on Twitter to keep to date on all the bookish events happening around the city.

Thursday, June 21

Launch Event for Meredith Goldstein at Books of Wonder (6-8 p.m.)

Meet Meredith Goldstein as she shares her new novel, Chemistry Lessons. Goldstein will be in conversation with her editor, Elizabeth Entenman. Free event.

Friday, June 22

Launch Event for Time Next by Carolyn Cohagan at Books of Wonder (6-8 p.m.)

Join Carolyn Cohagan as she shares her new novel, Time Next, the sequel to Time Zero. Free event.