Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff, Sarah Smetana, & More Are In Town This Week (YA Book Events 3/12-3/18)

There are SO many incredible events happening this week. From the release of Obsidio to the start of the NYC Teen Author Festival, there are plenty opportunities to meet your favorite authors this week. Check out the full list of events 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, March 12

Meet Brendan Reichs in Conversation with Danielle Paige at Books of Wonder (6-8 p.m.)

Celebrate the release of Genesis with author Brendan Reichs who will be in conversation with Danielle Paige (Dorothy Must Die). Free event.

Tuesday, March 13

Launch Event for Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff at Books of Wonder (6-8 p.m.)

Celebrate the release of the final book in the Illuminae trilogy with co-authors Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Free event.

Wednesday, March 14

NYC Launch of Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton at Books of Wonder Uptown (6-8 p.m.)

Celebrate the launch of Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton. Hamilton will be joined by Heidi Heilig (The Ship Beyond Time), Dhonielle Clayton (The Belles), and Zoraida Cordova (Labyrinth Lost). Free event.

Meet Sarah Nicole Smetana at Books Are Magic (7:30-8:30 p.m.)

Celebrate the launch of Sarah Nicole Smetana’s debut novel, The Midnights. Smetana will be in conversation with Amy Kurzweil (Flying Couch). Free event.

Sunday, March 18

Launch Event for What the Night Sings by Vesper Stamper at Books of Wonder Uptown (3-5 p.m.)

Meet author/illustrator for her new book, What the Night Sings. Free event.

NYC Teen Author Festival Kickoff at The Strand (7-8 p.m.)

This year’s NYC Teen Author Festival kicks off with a panel of amazing YA authors, including Arvin Ahmadi (Down and Across), Sara Holland (Everless), Ashley Woodfolk (The Beauty That Remains), and more! The panel will be moderated by David Levithan (Every Day). Free event; RSVP here.

 

ARC Book Review: All the Crooked Saints

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Synopsis:

Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars.

At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.

They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect.

Maggie Stiefvater has been called “a master storyteller” by USA Today and “wildly imaginative” by Entertainment Weekly. Now, with All the Crooked Saints, she gives us the extraordinary story of an extraordinary family, a masterful tale of love, fear, darkness, and redemption.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Book Depository

Review

*I won a free advanced reader’s copy of this book at Brooklyn Book Festival. 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 is released today.*

If you’ve been following me for a while you know that although I really enjoyed The Raven Cycle series, I wasn’t all that enthralled with the plot, because it didn’t make any sense to me. Thus, I wasn’t sure how to feel about this new book by Maggie Stiefvater. It didn’t help that the book quickly came under fire for it’s representation of Mexican Americans after it was first announced. Despite all these things, I ended up really enjoying this novel.

The story is told in the third person, with the same kind of magical realism voice that I loved in the The Raven Cycle books, and looks at a Mexican American family, the Sorias, living in Bicho Raro, Colarado in the 1960s. The Sorias have been done throughout generations to be saints that can give people miracles, which help them overcome the darkness inside of them. Although this novel is definitely about the Sorias as a whole and the pilgrims that travel to get their miracles, it’s really about the three young Soria cousins: Beatriz, Daniel, and Joaquin.

Daniel is the current Saint of Bicho Raro and it’s his job to give the pilgrims their miracles, but because this is a Stiefvater book the miracle isn’t something simple. Instead there’s two parts to the miracle. First, Daniel brings out the darkness in the pilgrim, which can manifest into pretty much anything, and then it’s the pilgrim’s job to figure out how to get rid of their darkness. Until they do that, the pilgrims don’t leave Bicho Raro and the Sorias don’t kick them out because they believe a pilgrim might find success later and return the favor. Also, the Sorias don’t engage with the pilgrims because they believe they can “catch” a pilgrim’s darkness.

I really enjoyed all the characters in this story. I liked how they each handled miracles and how it affected their perspective on the world around them. Additionally, I was actually interested in all of their histories. This story gave me The Sun is Also a Star vibes, because it gives the background for almost every character. It was also interesting seeing this divide between the Sorias and the pilgrims, since they all lived in the same place, but at times it felt like they were in two very different worlds. I also enjoyed the little bits of romance in this story as well. They were subtle and cute and I would’ve loved more, but the amount given was sufficent.

Lastly, in terms of the representation of Mexican Americans, since I’m not Mexican I can’t speak for how a Mexican person will feel about it. I thought it was well done, though I’m confused as to why Stiefvater named the town Bicho Raro when that means weirdo in Spanish. Perhaps because this story is a bit weird? Who knows? Besides that though, I thought the characters were well thought out and not stereotypical. Therefore, I highly recommend picking up this book today and giving it a read.

Borrow or Buy: Buy!

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

“Always take blame for your own actions but never take blame for someone else’s.”

Other Reviews
Paper Fury
Bang Bang Book Blog
Pure Imagination

Bookish Sweet 16: My 2017 TBR

I checked my shelves and I own 92 books that I haven’t read yet. 92! How sway? With that in mind I have chosen 16 books from my own shelves that I absolutely have to read next year. I’m hoping to read more than just the ones on this list but I figured this would be a good start.


1. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

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I loved The Darkest Minds trilogy by Alexandra Bracken but I’ve been hesitant to read Passenger since I’ve read mixed reviews. I’m hoping I enjoy it so I can read the sequel, which comes out in January.

2-3. The Wrath & the Dawn Duology by Reneé Ahdieh

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My friend told me I need to read this duology so when I saw both books on BookOutlet I quickly purchased them during the site’s Black Friday sale. Then I proceeded not to read them. Oops!

4. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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My original plan was to read An Ember in the Ashes so I could read the sequel, which came out this year. Well the sequel has come out and I still haven’t read either of these books. At least now I can read them back to back.

5. Mosquitoland by David Arnold

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I fell in love with David Arnold’s writing style when I read Kids of Appetite so I wanted to read his debut novel. Of course once I actually had the novel I somehow forgot to read it.

6. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

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Honestly, the title of this novel is what really sold me. Rarely do I just pick up a book in the bookstore and buy it without having compared prices online but I did for Simon.

7. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

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I’ve had an ARC copy Big Little Lies since I interned at People magazine back in 2014. Now that it’s going to be an HBO mini-series I figured it was finally time I gave it a read.

8. Just One Day by Gayle Foreman

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I really want to read more contemporary romances in 2017 and Gayle Foreman is the perfect person to start off with. I loved If I Stay and Where She Went and I feel confident I’ll enjoy Just One Day as well.

9. The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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It’s possible I bought this book just for the cover. Just look at it! Isn’t it gorgeous? Yes, I know, I have a problem. Honestly though, I loved the Lux series so I feel confident I will like this book as well. I just have to read it.

10-11. Second Chance Summer and Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

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Morgan Matson is an author I just discovered this year. So far I’ve read two of her books and now I own two more. I’m hoping to read them both next year.

12-16. 2017 ARCs

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This year was the first year I really started getting a lot of ARCs and while I was good in the beginning I started just letting them fall by the wayside. Next year I plan to read all my ARCs before they’re pubbed so I can post more ARC reviews. Not pictured: As Red as Blood by Salla Simukka.

Do you have a big TBR pile? What books do you plan on tackling next year? Let me know in the comments below!