Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor & More In The City This Week (YA Book Events NYC 9/3-9)

Hey readers! Long time, no see. This week is packed with amazing bookish events so check out the full schedule below and plan accordingly. Don’t forget to follow YA Book Events NYC on Twitter to stay up to date with all the bookish events happening around the city.

Tuesday, September 4

Meet Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor at Books of Wonder (5-7 p.m.)

Join U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor as she celebrates the release of her three new children’s books: The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor, Turning Pages: My Life Story, and Pasando páginas: La historia de mi vida. This is a ticketed book signing; tickets are $17.99 and you will get a book of your choice signed by Sotomayor. You can purchase your ticket through the link.

Launching Nova Ren Suma’s A Room Away From the Wolves at McNally Jackson (7 p.m.)

Celebrate the release of Nova Ren Suma’s new novel, A Room Away From the Wolves. She will be in conversation with Melissa Albert (The Hazel Wood). Free event.

Wednesday, September 5

Launching Sadie by Courtney Summers at McNally Jackson (7 p.m.)

Celebrate the release of Courtney Summers’ new thriller, Sadie. Free event.

Thursday, September 6

WORD Presents Courtney Summers for Sadie with Cristina Arreola, Kara Thomas, & Tiffany D. Jackson at WORD Brooklyn (7:30 p.m.)

Join authors Courtney Summers, Tiffany D. Jackson (Monday’s Not Coming), and Kara Thomas (The Cheerleaders) to celebrate the release of Summer’s new book, Sadie. The conversation will be moderated by Cristina Arreola. You will need to purchase either a book or $5 voucher to attend the event.

Friday, September 7

Meet Jessica Spotswood, Robin Talley, and Shveta Thakrar at Books of Wonder Uptown (6-8 p.m.)

Join editor/author Jessica Spotswood and authors Robin Talley and Shveta Thakrar as they introduce their new short story anthology, Toil & Trouble. Free event.

Saturday, September 8

NYC Launch Event for Mirage with Somaiya Daud at Books of Wonder Uptown (3-5 p.m.)

Celebrate the launch of Mirage by Somaiya Daud. Daud will be in conversation with Tochi Onyebuchi (Beasts Against the Night). Free event.

Sunday, September 9

Book Launch for The Darkness in Lee’s Closet and the Others Waiting There by Roy Schwartz at Books of Wonder Uptown (3-5 p.m.)

Celebrate the launch of Roy Schwartz’s new book, The Darkness in Lee’s Closet and the Others Waiting There. Free event.

My Definitive Ranking Of Kasie West’s Romance Novels

I am a big fan of Kasie West and while I still haven’t read the Pivot Point duology I have read all of her romance novels. With that in mind I decided to rank them all from my least favorite to my absolute favorite. As always this is simply my opinion so feel free to disagree with me in the comments. Beware, I will be giving away spoilers in this post so if you haven’t read one of these books yet, feel free to skip my little blurb about it. Without further ado, here is my definitive ranking of Kasie West’s romance novels!

Love, Life and the List

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I was so incredibly disappointed by this book. The friendship turned relationship between Abby and Cooper just did not sit with right from me. This wasn’t one of those unrequited love situations. Abby told Cooper how she felt about him and he just brushed it off. I was so happy when Abby finally told Cooper off and I was hoping she would end up with Elliot. Unfortunately, Abby was much more forgiving than I.

The Fill-In Boyfriend

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Typically I’m all for the fake boyfriend trope (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, anyone?), but this one did not work for me. Gia and her fake boyfriend were cute, but it was her friends who actually ruined this book for me. I just found them infuriating and I honestly didn’t understand why Gia was going to great lengths to impress them in the first place. But the romance itself was fine so this was just a meh read for me.

Lucky in Love

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This book came out around a strange time where they were a lot of YA novels about teens winning the lottery, however this one particularly caught by attention because it was by Kasie West, but also because it was the first book by her that had a POC main character. The novel was about Maddie who won the lottery and her life was turned totally upside, in both a fun and also mind boggling way. Her one place of calm was working at the zoo with Seth, a cute Vietnamese American who didn’t know she was a millionaire. Or, at least, Maddie thought he didn’t know. Anyway, romance ensued it was incredibly cute.

The Distance Between Us

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I really liked this novel. It gave me hard core Gilmore Girls vibes with the single mom and daughter and the rich grandparents. I also really enjoyed the romance between the main character, Caymen, and Xander. Caymen was really funny and sarcastic and I loved how Xander played off that. Overall, this was a really cute read and definitely one of my favorite Kasie West books.

By Your Side

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The main character, Autumn, got trapped in the library with bad boy, Dax, and that premise alone was enough to make me swoon. This was a dream come true for me, honestly. But I also loved this book because of the way West expertly handled Autumn’s anxiety as well as Dax’s life in a group home. Everything about this novel made me feel all the things and if I remember correctly I read through this book in a day. I just couldn’t put it down.

P.S. I Like You

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This book has it all. Love letters? Check. Hate to love story? Check. Some room at the end of the story to see how the romance places out? Also check. Honestly, it was really hard for me to put this book third because I loved the main character, Lily, and her love interest. Just thinking about this book has made me want to reread. It was so good! I’d say my top three are all tied. This was so hard!

Listen to Your Heart

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I absolutely loved this book. First of all, it was the first YA novel I’d read that included a podcast in such a cute way. I loved how the podcast aspect really tied into the plot of this book. Second, Kate was such a great character. She was complicated but not annoying and I loved how she came out of her shell over the course of the novel. Third, the love interest, Diego, was a POC which I’m always here for, but also he was just so swoon worthy. I was Team Diego pretty early on. Lastly, even though both Kate and Alana ended up liking the same guy I loved how they handled it and were totally respectful of each other feelings. Hoes over bros, amirite?

On the Fence

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In my review of this book I actually said that I liked P.S. I Like You more than this novel, so hindsight is an interesting thing. On the Fence is my all-time favorite Kasie West book (for now) for a lot of reasons. First, the main character, Charlie, was literally running from the pain her mom’s death caused her. She often ran to try to tire herself out so she wouldn’t have nightmares about her mother’s death keeping her up at night. I absolutely loved how West handled this whole storyline with Charlie’s mom and the PTSD Charlie suffered from her death. And then there was of course the romance. This was a best friend to lover story and Braden was literally the boy next door. Charlie and Braden’s conversations at the fence were so touching and I loved how their relationship unfolded. It was so incredibly cute, and it was amazing seeing Charlie step out of her comfort zone during the book as well. Highly recommend picking this book up if you haven’t yet.

So, how did I do? Did I get it all wrong or perfectly right? Let me know in the comments below!

Jenny Han & More In The City This Week (YA Book Events NYC 8/13-19)

Happy Monday book nerds! There are only a few events happening this week but they’re all great. 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 events happening around the city.

Monday, August 13

Lana Condor at BUILD Series (3 p.m.)

Join actress Lana Condor as she discusses her role as Lara Jean Covey in the film adaptation of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. This is a free event but you will need to reserve your ticket.

Tuesday, August 14

BUILD Brunch with Jenny Han at BUILD Studio (11 a.m.)

Attend a live taping of BUILD Brunch with guest Jenny Han (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before). This is a free event but you will need to reserve your ticket beforehand.

Thursday, August 16

Launch Party for Mystery in the Mansion by Lauren Magaziner at Books of Wonder (6-8 p.m.)

Celebrate the launch of the first novel in a new mystery series by Lauren Magaziner, Mystery in the Mansion. Free event.

Saturday, August 18

Great Middle Grade Reads Event at Books of Wonder (1-3 p.m.)

Join authors Stacy DeKeyser, Corey Ann Haydu, and Kristin Mahoney as they share their latest novels with readers. Free event.

Binged It: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Trilogy

The first year I went to BookCon in 2016 I met Jenny Han for the first time and she personally signed a copy of To All the Boys I’ve Before for me, which I bought onsite. And then I went home, put the book on my book case, and never read it. Well now that the film has been adapted into a Netflix movie, I decided maybe it was time I finally gave the book a read. In addition, over the years I’ve also acquired the entire trilogy so I figured why not just binge the whole trilogy. And binge it I did.

According to my handy planner, I went through this entire trilogy from July 27 to 31. In sum, I binged it in a weekend. What can I say, I was pretty hooked on Lara Jean’s story from the start, and I just couldn’t put these books down, not even for sleep. I crashed after I finished the last one, in case you were wondering.

If you’re unfamiliar with the series, it follows Lara Jean, who writes a letter every time she’s done with a crush. She pretty much pours her heart out, saying what she loved about the guy, and then puts it in an envelope and even addresses it, but never sends it. Honestly, this was my one major issue with this whole concept. If Lara Jean never planned on sending the letters, why even write their address? But I get that it was for the plot, since the person who ends up sending them out, most likely wouldn’t have put in the effort to track down all these guys’ addresses.

Moving right along, Lara Jean’s letters do get sent out, which is a shock to her, especially when one of her crushes, now popular guy Peter K, confronts her about it. At the same time, Lara Jean’s most recent crush, Josh Sanderson, also got his letter. Only problem is Josh, until very recently, was dating Lara Jean’s older sister, Margot. Awkward. In order to cover up the fact that she has serious feelings for Josh, Lara Jean kisses Peter in a most dramatic fashion, and they begin a fake relationship to trick Josh and Peter’s ex/Lara Jean’s ex-best friend, Genevieve, into believing they’ve moved on.

I love a good fake relationship story and that’s exactly what book one gave me. Book two gave me a great love triangle where I would’ve been happy if Lara Jean ended up with either guy (though I thoroughly approve of her final choice). And then finally, the last book just gave me all the feels because it was all about graduating from high school and not being sure about how your relationships in high school would transcend to your new life in college. While I graduated high school almost a decade ago (wait what?), those feelings still felt very real to me.

Overall, I obviously loved all these books. They were romantic and heartwarming, and I love the relationships Lara Jean had with her sisters, Margot and Kitty. Plus, as I said, I just couldn’t put them down. I highly recommend reading this book before the movie comes out and then checking out the film, which drops on Netflix on August 17. I plan on baking cookies, just like Lara Jean would, for the occasion. I can’t wait!

Number of Books: 3

Borrow or Buy: Buy!

Overall Rating: 

5 stars

P.S. I made a BuzzFeed quiz for you to find out which Song girl (Lara Jean and her sisters) you are if you’re into that kind of thing.

P.P.S. Here’s the trailer if you haven’t watched it 100 times like I have.

Meet Ethan Aldridge, Maggie Lehrman, & George O’Connor This Week (YA Book Events 8/6-12)

Happy Monday everyone! There a few great events happening this week so 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 events happening around the city.

Tuesday, August 7

Launch Party for Estranged by Ethan Aldridge at Books of Wonder (6-8 p.m.)

Celebrate the publication of debut author/illustrator Ethan Aldridge’s graphic novel, Estranged. Aldridge will be joined by NY Times bestselling author George O’Connor. Free event.

Launching Maggie Lehrman’s The Last Best Story at McNally Jackson Prince St. (7 p.m.)

Join author Maggie Lehrman as she celebrates the release of her newest novel, The Last Best Story. Free event.

Saturday, August 11

Meet George O’Connor at Books of Wonder Uptown (3-5 p.m.)

Join NY Times bestselling author George O’Connor as he shares the newest book in his Olympians series, Hermes: Tales of the Trickster. Free event.

ARC Book Review: Sadie

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Synopsis:

A gripping novel about the depth of a sister’s love; poised to be the next book you won’t be able to stop talking about.

A missing girl on a journey of revenge and a Serial―like podcast following the clues she’s left behind.

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray―a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America―overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.

Courtney Summers has written the breakout book of her career. Sadie is propulsive and harrowing and will keep you riveted until the last page.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

*I received a free advanced reader’s copy of this book from Wednesday Books. 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 September 4, 2018.*

I don’t normally read thrillers. I think the last thriller I read was The Good Girl, maybe, and that was a long time ago. However, I kept seeing Sadie everywhere so when I saw a post on Instagram about requesting an ARC I figured why not? And then when I actually got it I was happily surprised.

Truthfully, I didn’t really know what this book was about going into it but I was hooked from the first page. This book is written in the style of the transcript from a podcast called The Girls and Sadie’s first person POV. In the podcast, we follow host West McCray as he first learns about Sadie’s disappearance and then his search into what led to her disappearance and what could’ve happened to her. In Sadie’s POV we’re following along with her as she’s on the hunt for her sister’s killer.

Like I said, I was hooked from the very beginning. Just like West I became more and more enthralled in Sadie’s story as he started talking to people from Sadie’s life and following her trail from her hometown to where her abandoned car was found and then beyond it. On the flip side, I liked hearing Sadie’s side of things and what Courtney Summers did really well was not show her hand too early. While it was pretty clear who Sadie was hunting, the history between Sadie, the man she was looking for, Keith, and her sister, Mattie, wasn’t immediately clear. Neither was why Sadie was so sure it was Keith who killed Mattie.

I couldn’t put the book down until I found out if Sadie got her revenge and where she ended up. I also loved how complicated all the relationships in this story were, from Sadie and Mattie’s relationship as sisters and Sadie and Mattie’s different relationships to their mother, Claire, as well as the relationship between Claire and her neighbor and Sadie and Mattie’s quasi caretaker, May Beth.

Summers did an excellent job looking at a really dark issue, tying Sadie and Mattie’s stories into the stories of so many other victims. The way details were revealed between the podcast and Sadie’s own POV was so well done, and while I predicted some things I was still perfectly surprised by others. I highly recommend this book if you’re looking for a dark thriller and have a love for true crime podcasts. I’ve never listened to Serial but now I want to. Definitely pick this book up when it comes out. It’s worth a read. Or two. Also, there’s an actual podcast to go along with this book so check that out too.

Highlight for TW: Sexual assault, pedophilia, violence

Borrow or Buy: Buy it!

Stars:

5 stars

Other Reviews
The Book Corps
Carina’s Books
Pace, Amore, Libri

Celebrate Harry Potter & J.K. Rowling’s Birthdays This Week (YA Book Events NYC 7/30-8/5)

It’s Harry Potter week! Well, kind of. This week Potterheads will celebrate Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling’s birthdays. But that’s not the only thing happening this week. Check out the full schedule below and make sure to follow YA Book Events NYC on Twitter to stay up to date with all the bookish events happening around the city.

Monday, July 30

Launch Event for The Darkest Legacy by Alexandra Bracken at Books of Wonder (6-8 p.m.)

Join NYT best-selling author Alexandra Bracken as she celebrates the release of the newest book in her Darkest Minds series, The Darkest Legacy. Free event.

Jennifer Gilmore: If Only w/ Adele Griffin at Books Are Magic (7:30-8:30 p.m.)

Acclaimed author Jennifer Gilmore will discuss her new novel, If Only, with Adele Griffin (Be True to Me). Free event.

Tuesday, July 31

Launch Event for The Life & Lies of Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore at Books of Wonder (6-8 p.m.)

Celebrate Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling’s birthday by joining Irvin Khaytman as he introduces his new book, The Life & Lies of Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. Free event.

Harry Potter 20th Anniversary Celebration at The Strand (6:30-10 p.m.)

To celebrate Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling’s birthdays, The Strand is hosting an incredible party that will include two trivia events, one for those 21 and under, and another for those 21+. Please note, the 21+ event is already sold out. Tickets for the 21 and under trivia event are available for $10.

Launching Kara Thomas’ The Cheerleaders at McNally Jackson (7 p.m.)

Join Kara Thomas as she celebrates the release of her latest thriller, The Cheerleaders. She’ll be in conversation with NYT best-selling author Karen M. McManus (One of Us Is Lying). Free event.

Wednesday, August 1

NYC Double Launch Event for Heart of Thorns and Sea Witch at Books of Wonder (6-8 p.m.)

Celebrate a wonderful double NYC launch event for two wonderful new teen books: Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton and Sea Witch by Sarah Henning. The event will be moderated by Zoraida Cordova (Bruja Born). Free event.

The Merciless Event at Barnes & Noble Upper West Side (7 p.m.)

Celebrate the release of the Barnes & Noble Exclusive Edition of The Merciless by Danielle Vega. Free event.

Saturday, August 4

Fantastic Middle Grade Reads at Books of Wonder (1-3 p.m.)

Join Tui Sutherland (The Lost Continent), Peter Lerangis (Max Tilt), Sayantani Dasgupta (The Serpent’s Secret), Katie Slivensky (The Seismic Seven), and Stacy McAnulty (The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl) as they share their latest novels. Free event.