Kerri Maniscalco, Alex London, & More In The City This Week (YA Book Events NYC 9/17-9/23)

Monday blues got you down? Well hopefully this list of events will get you excited. This week there are a number of great events happening so mark your calendar and as always 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, September 17

Launch Party for Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco at Books of Wonder (6-8 p.m.)

Join Kerri Maniscalco as she celebrates the launch of her new book, Escaping From Houdini. She will be in conversation with Laura Sebastian (Ash Princess). Free event.

Tuesday, September 18

Ibi Zoboi Presents Pride at Greenlight Bookstore (7:30 p.m.)

From National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi comes Pride, a gorgeous retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Zoboi will discuss her new novel with Elizabeth Acevedo (The Poet X), followed by a reception to celebrate the book’s launch.

Thursday, September 20

Launch Event for Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens at Books of Wonder (6-8 p.m.)

Join authors Dhonielle Clayton, Heidi Heilig, Kody Keplinger, and Karuna Riazi as they present their new anthology, Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens. They’ll be in conversation with editor Grace Kendall. Free event.

Friday, September 21

Secrets of Publishing Panel at Barnes & Noble Union Square (6 p.m.)

New School professor Susan Shapiro (The Byline Bible) and author/activist Renée Watson (Piecing Me Together) invite you to a conversation where panelists will discuss the secrets of publishing and will celebrate their new books.

Sunday, September 23

Launch Party for The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden by Karina Yan Glasser at Books of Wonder (1-3 p.m.)

Celebrate the launch of Karina Yan Glasser’s second Vanderbeekers book with the author. Free event.

Great Middle Grade Reads Event at Books of Wonder Uptown (3-5 p.m.)

Authors Katherine Marsh (Nowhere Boy), Alyssa Hollingsworth (The Eleventh Trade), and Andrea Davis Pickney (The Red Pencil) will share their poignant and timely middle grade stories of immigration and refugees. Free event.

Launch Party for Black Wings Beating by Alex London at Books of Wonder (4-6 p.m.)

Celebrate the launch of Alex London’s new novel, Black Wings Beating, with the author. London will be in conversation with NY Times best-selling author Adam Silvera (They Both Die at the End). Free event.

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ARC Book Review: What If It’s Us

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Synopsis:

Critically acclaimed and bestselling authors Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera combine their talents in this smart, funny, heartfelt collaboration about two very different boys who can’t decide if the universe is pushing them together—or pulling them apart.

ARTHUR is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

BEN thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them . . . ?

Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.

Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t nail a first date even after three do-overs?

What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?

What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

But what if it is?

What if it’s us?

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

*I received a free advanced reader’s copy of this book from Books for Trade. This is an honest review of the novel as I saw it. This novel will be released on October 9, 2018.*

I love Becky Albertalli’s books and I love Adam Silvera’s books so when I heard they were writing a book together I knew I had to have it. Thankfully, I was lucky enough to find a kind soul on Twitter who was willing to trade their ARC with me for my ARC of Save the Date, which is also an incredible read. Thus, I finally got What If It’s Us in my hands and I’m so glad I got to read it early because it was just as good as I thought it would be.

The story is told in the alternating POVs of Arthur, a Jewish boy from Georgia who’s spending his summer in New York City as an intern at his mom’s law firm, and Ben, a Puerto Rican New York City native who’s stuck in summer school with his ex, Hudson. Arthur and Ben coincidentally cross paths when Ben attempts to mail a box of Hudson’s stuff at the post office. Unfortunately, their love story isn’t an easy one and begins with Ben leaving the post office before Arthur could get his phone number.

Even though I wouldn’t call this a high stakes novel since it’s a contemporary romance, I will say I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure out how in the world these two guys would ever cross paths again in this huge city. Once they did, I then wondered how they’d ever make their relationship work. Over the course of the novel, there were a lot of questions about fate and whether or not the universe was trying to bring Ben and Arthur together or pull them apart, which I loved.

I also thoroughly enjoyed all the Hamilton and other musical references and I think any musical geek will love this book for that alone. Besides the great references though, this book was also really funny with a great cast of characters. I really loved both Ben and Arthur’s support systems, but Ben’s best friend, Dylan, was hands down my favorite. I also loved that this book took a hard look at Ben and Arthur’s differences. I loved the discussions of race/culture and what it means to be “smart.” I also really liked that the book combated this idea that homophobia doesn’t exist in places like New York City, because it does.

Overall, I will say this book really felt like a perfect combination of Albertalli and Silvera’s talents. While it gave me all the feels, it also made me think, and definitely tugged at my heart strings a few times. In sum, definitely preorder this book if you haven’t already. It’s a must read.

Borrow or Buy: Buy it!

Stars:

5 stars

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Dhonielle Clayton, Arvin Ahmadi, & So Many More Authors Are Here This Week (YA Book Events 2/5 – 2/11)

There are a lot of great events happening this week, including two chances to meet NYT bestselling author Adam Silvera before he moves to the West Coast. So get out there and meet some authors this week and don’t forget to follow YA Book Events NYC on Twitter.

Monday, Feb. 5

Meet Ismée Williams at Books of Wonder Uptown (6-8 p.m.)

Williams (Water in May) will be in conversation with the founders of Collin’s Kids in honor of Pediatric Heart Disease Awareness month. Free event.

Tuesday, Feb. 6

Meet Charlotte Jones Voiklis & Léna Roy at Books of Wonder (6-8 p.m.)

Join Voiklis and Roy as they discuss their book, Becoming Madeleine: A Biography of the Author of A Wrinkle in Time. Free event.

Launching Arvin Ahmadi’s Down and Across at McNally Jackson Books (7 p.m.)

Join Ahmadi and Adam Silvera (They Both Die at the End) as they discuss Ahmadi’s debut novel, Down and Across. Free event.

Wednesday, Feb. 7

Teen Author Panel at Jefferson Market Library (6-7:30 p.m.)

Join NYT bestselling author David Levithan as he’s joined with other YA authors discussing their latest books. Free event.

Saturday, Feb. 10

Meet Dhonielle Clayton at Books of Wonder Uptown (4-6 p.m.)

Join Clayton and Adam Silvera (They Both Die at the End) as they discuss her new novel, The Belles. Free event.

Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner, & So Many More Authors Are In Town This Week (YA Book Events 1/15-1/21)

There is so much happening this week! Make sure to plan accordingly because you won’t want to miss any of the incredible launch events happening in the upcoming days. Check out the full schedule of events 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, Jan. 15

NYC Launch Event for Unearthed by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner at Books of Wonder (6–8 p.m.)

Join Kaufman and Spooner as they share details about their new book, Unearthed, answer questions from the audience, and sign books. Free event.

Wednesday, Jan. 17

NYC Launch Event for Love, Hate, & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed at Books of Wonder (6–8 p.m.)

Debut author Ahmed will be in conversation with NY Times bestselling author Adam Silvera as they discuss her debut novel, Love, Hate, & Other Filters. Free event.

Thursday, Jan. 18

NYC Launch Event for Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely at Books of Wonder (6–8 p.m.)

Join Ely as she introduces her debut novel, answer questions from the audience, and signs copies of her book. Free event.

An Evening with Erika Sánchez at Solas Bar NYC (6-8 p.m.)

Meet Sánchez, the author of the National Book Award Finalist, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. Free event; cash bar.

Friday, Jan. 19

Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cumming at Artists & Fleas in SoHo (6:30–9 p.m.) 

Hosted by The Strand, join Alsberg and Cumming as they talk about their novel, Zenith, with Emma Giordano. Conversation begins at 8 p.m. but arrive early for a “space makeover.” Following the conversation there will be a book signing. Admission is $10; admission and a signed copy is $19.99.

Jason Reynolds, Lauren Oliver & More Are In Town This Week (YA Book Events 10/23-10/29)

There are a lot of great events happening throughout New York City this week so let’s dive right in. Also, remember to follow YA Book Events NYC on Twitter in order to stay up to date with all the bookish events happening in NYC.

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Monday, October 23

Jason Reynolds at BUILD Series NYC (4-4:30 p.m.)

National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestseller Jason Reynold’s will discuss his novel, Long Way Down. Free event; must register in advance.

Wednesday, October 25

Launch Event for Brooding YA Hero by Carrie Ann DiRisio at Books of Wonder (6-8 p.m.)

Meet Carrie Ann DiRisio, the mastermind behind the popular Brooding YA Hero Twitter account. Free event; light refreshments will be provided.

Lauren Oliver & Adam Silvera at The Strand (7-8 p.m.)

Join Lauren Oliver and Adam Silvera in the Strand’s Rare Book Room as they discuss their inspiration and new books. Free event; must purchase book for the signing.

Thursday, October 26

Meet Mother & Daughter Authors P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast at Books of Wonder (6-8 p.m.)

Join mother and daughter authors P.C. and Kristin Cast as they present their new books, Sun Warrior and Loved. Free event.

Friday, October 27

The Sidekicks at Barnes and Noble Tribeca (6 p.m.)

Enjoy a YA panel featuring Will Kostakis (The Sidekicks), Martin Wilson, and Lance Rubin. Free event.

Sunday, October 29

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

Readers can meet David Barclay Moore, Suzanne LaFleur, Kate Messner, and Jake Burt at this great middle grade panel. Free event.

Book Review: History Is All You Left Me

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Synopsis:

When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.

If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

I saw this book a lot on Instagram but the only reason I finally decided to give it a read was because I applied for a job at the publishing house that published this book. Anyway, I say this all to say while I may not have picked this one up on my own, I’m so glad I did because it was an incredible read.

The novel is told by Griffin but jumps between the present (Today), after his ex-boyfriend, Theo, died, and the past (History), which shows how Griffin’s relationship with Theo began and what led to their break-up. I really liked the shifting of perspective, especially because in the Today portions Griffin is talking to Theo in second person narration, which I found really interesting, whereas in History it was just your regular first person narration.

In the Today portions you really got to see how Griffin was such a mess of emotions. He was obviously sad, but also angry at Theo for dying, especially because Theo once made the impossible promise that he wouldn’t die. Additionally, the appearance of Jackson, Theo’s boyfriend at the time of his death, was so interesting as well. At first I didn’t know if I should like Jackson or not. I wanted to be on Griffin’s side and hate him on principal but that’s obviously not fair, especially because Jackson loved Theo too, which is something Griffin begrudgingly has to realize.

What I loved most about this novel was the level of mystery to it. In the Today portions, Griffin is kind of an unreliable narrator because he’s talking to Theo and there’s some things Griffin didn’t get to tell Theo before he died that he doesn’t know how to tell him now. I really liked that because this book was able to surprise me, especially in the last 100 pages. I loved the whole book but that back end literally made me put the book down and take a step back and just reevaluate everything I thought I knew. I honestly wanted to go back to the beginning right there and start rereading, but I wanted to know how it ended so I didn’t actually do that.

The point is, this book was really good. I loved the characters even though they were all far from perfect. I also liked seeing how Griffin dealt with his OCD compulsions (he likes thing in even numbers, he always has to be on someone’s left side, etc.) and how they related to his relationship with Theo. And I loved that Theo was this complicated character, even in death. It becomes clear Griffin’s love for Theo turned into Griffin putting Theo on this kind of pedestal, something Griffin has to learn for himself in the novel.

Honestly, if you haven’t read this book yet you definitely need to. It’s a great LGBTQ novel with some diversity that deals with grief in a way that’s heartbreaking but somehow also filled with laughs and swoonworthy moments. All in all, this is definitely at the top of my list for best books of 2017.

Borrow or Buy: Buy it, immediately!

Stars:

5 stars

Favorite Line:

“History remains with the people who will appreciate it most.”

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