Brendan Kiely, Christina June, Rachel Hawkins, & More Are In The City This Week (YA Book Events 4/30-5/6)

April is coming to a close but May is here! There are only three events going on this week, but both are worth checking out. Also, 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, May 1

Launch Event for Tradition by Brendan Kiely in conversation with Jenny Han at Books of Wonder (6-8 p.m.)

Join NYT bestselling author Brendan Kiely for the launch of his timely and thought provoking new novel, Tradition. He’ll be in conversation with NYT bestselling author Jenny Han (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before). Free event.

Launch Event for Royals by Rachel Hawkins at Henri Bendel (6 p.m.)

Join Rachel Hawkins as she celebrates the release of her new novel, Royals. There will be sips, sweets, and shopping. Free event.

Wednesday, May 2

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

Join authors David Levithan (Sam & Isla’s Last Hurrah), Carolyn Mackler (The Universe is Expanding and So Am I), Lygia Day Peñaflor (All of This is True), and more for a fun panel discussion. Free event.

Sunday, May 6

Launch Event for Everywhere You Want to Be by Christina June at Books of Wonder Uptown (3-5 p.m.)

Join Christina June and fellow author Katherine Locke (The Girl With The Red Balloon) for the launch of June’s Everywhere You Want to Be. Free event.

Book Review: The Wrath & the Dawn

IMG_4625.JPG

Synopsis:

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

I’ve had The Wrath and the Dawn duology on my to-be-read list for at least a year now, so when my friend asked if I wanted to do a buddy read of it I decided to go for it and I’m glad I did.

The story, which is loosely based on A Thousand and One Nights, started a bit slow for me. Told in the third person point of view, we follow Shazi as she embarks on her path of revenge to kill the Caliph, Khalid, who killed her best friend, Shiva, and all his other wives.

Of course, things are much more complicated than Shazi realized and somehow she ends up finding herself falling for Khalid. Honestly, I can’t blame her, because I started to fall for him too. While Shazi’s dealing with her confusing feelings for Khalid, her first love Tariq and her father, Jahandar, are determined to save her. However, their means of trying to save Shazi may cause more problems than they resolve. Also, Shazi may not want to be saved.

I really liked almost all the characters in this. I really liked Shazi and Khalid, especially their romance. It was surprisingly super cute for a story about a guy who kills all his wives. I also really liked Shazi’s handmaiden, Despina, and Khalid’s cousin, Jalal. They brought some necessary humor to the story.

The only characters that irritated me were Tariq and Jahandar. Tariq, because he gave me serious Tamlin (from A Court of Thorns and Roses) vibes, and Jahandar, because while he definitely had good intentions he was totally going about it the wrong way. Besides them, though, I really enjoyed all the characters, and find the villains to be interesting.

I only had a few real issues with this novel, besides the slow beginning. First, we barely saw Shazi’s sister, Irsa. I know nothing about her and I felt like I’d like her if she was in the story more. I also kind of shipped her with Shazi’s friend, Rahim, for no reason, honestly. I just kind of hope that happens.

Second, I was a little uncomfortable with Shazi and Khalid having sex in the beginning. On the one hand, I get that they have to consummate the marriage but it just felt wrong to me, especially because obviously neither of them were really into it. However, I was able to move past it and truly enjoyed this novel and the romance that inevitable blossomed between Shazi and Khalid.

Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot and I can’t wait to read the sequel and see what happens next for Shazi and Khalid. If you’ve read The Wrath and the Dawn, let me know your thoughts about it below.

Borrow or Buy: Buy!

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

“For nothing, not the sun, not the rain, not even the brightest star in the darkest sky, could begin to compare to the wonder of you.”

Other Reviews
Fanatic Reviews
Cuddlebuggery
Dear Author

Book Review: The Distance Between Us

distance between us review.jpg

Synopsis:

Money can’t buy a good first impression.

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers learned early that the rich are not to be trusted. And after years of studying them from behind the cash register of her mom’s porcelain-doll shop, she has seen nothing to prove otherwise. Enter Xander Spence—he’s tall, handsome, and oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and the fact that he seems to be one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But just when Xander’s loyalty and attentiveness are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. With so many obstacles standing in their way, can she close the distance between them?

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

I can’t believe I forgot to review this book. I read it a while back and I really liked, even though it wasn’t my all time favorite Kasie West novel. Let’s dive in.

First, if you’re making your way through Kasie West’s books like I’ve been doing recently I recommend reading The Distance Between Us before On the Fence because they take place in the same town so there’s some overlapping characters and The Distance Between Us was released first. Truthfully though it doesn’t really matter, which order you read them in since nothing’s given away but I would’ve preferred if I’d read them in order.

Moving on, I loved Caymen and Xander. They were so cute together and made me swoon. I also liked that we got to see their relationship play out. A lot of romance novels wait to the end for the characters to get together and then there’s only like a chapter where they’re actually together but this book wasn’t like that. You actually get to see their romance play out, which was nice. I also really liked Caymen’s humor. She’s super sarcastic and witty and I loved how Xander played off that but could also see through it when she was using her humor to deflect.

My biggest issue with this novel was Caymen’s mom. I found her to be super irritating but thankfully she’s not around that often so it didn’t bother me too much. Other than that I really like this novel and want to buy it so I can read it again. Once I finally read By Your Side I plan on doing a full ranking of all of West’s romance novels and I’m pretty sure The Distance Between Us will be close to the top. Definitely give it a read if you haven’t already.

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

“Sometimes it’s the little things that bring that special someone back to us in some small way.”

Other Reviews

Pop! Goes the Reader

Read Breathe Relax

Cuddlebuggery

Book Review: Wayfarer

IMG_6271.JPG

Synopsis:

Etta Spencer didn’t know she was a traveler until the day she emerged both miles and years from her home. Now, robbed of the powerful object that was her only hope of saving her mother, Etta finds herself stranded once more, cut off from Nicholas-the eighteenth century privateer she loves-and her natural time.

When Etta inadvertently stumbles into the heart of the Thorns, the renegade travelers who stole the astrolabe from her, she vows to finish what she started and destroy the astrolabe once and for all. Instead, she’s blindsided by a bombshell revelation from their leader, Henry Hemlock: he is her father. Suddenly questioning everything she’s been fighting for, Etta must choose a path, one that could transform her future.

Still devastated by Etta’s disappearance, Nicholas has enlisted the unlikely help of Sophia Ironwood and a cheeky mercenary-for-hire to track both her and the missing astrolabe down. But as the tremors of change to the timeline grow stronger and the stakes for recovering the astrolabe mount, they discover an ancient power far more frightening than the rival travelers currently locked in a battle for control. . . a power that threatens to eradicate the timeline altogether.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository

Review

*Warning: There will be minimal spoilers about Passenger in this review. Read at your own risk.*

I had high hopes for Wayfarer but ultimately I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would. My biggest complaint about Passenger was the lack of action and excitement but at the start of Wayfarer I was excited and sucked in. Etta and Nicholas were separated because a shift in the timeline and although I loved their romance it was great to see them off doing their own things and having to fend for themselves. However, as the story went on my excitement fizzled out and I was just wishing for this book to get to the point already. I wasn’t sure what the point was but I just couldn’t find it in me to care about these characters or their mission. I just wasn’t hooked.

That being said, I did enjoy learning more about the history of the travelers and Etta’s parents. At the end of Passengers I didn’t like Etta’s mom Rose and although I still don’t love her I feel like I at least understand her a bit more (even though there’s still some loose ends I have questions about). Similarly, this novel introduced a couple of new characters that I really liked and I definitely enjoyed Sophia much more in this book than I did in Passenger.

Also, while I didn’t find the plot all that attention grabbing I did think the writing of Wayfarer was incredibly beautiful and I took down so many favorite lines because I liked so many. Alexandra Bracken is an incredible writer, I just don’t think this book was for me. All the long descriptions about the places and the explanations about time travel made me want to skim but obviously these were necessary parts of the book.

Therefore, in case of Wayfarer I think it’s more of “it’s not you, it’s me” situation. I just couldn’t get into it and I was glad when I was finally done.

Stars:

3 stars

Favorite Line:

“It is no shameful thing to be beaten when outnumbered, not when you were brave enough to try. Nor is a scar or injury something to despair over, for it is a mark that you were strong enough to survive.”

Other Reviews

Vilma’s Book Blog

A Midsummer Night’s Read

Reading with Jenna

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

img_5218

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

18798983

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

27774758.jpg

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

18718848.jpg

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

10015384._SY540_.jpg

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

Big_Little_Lies_Cover.jpg

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

Just-One-Day_510x765.jpg

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

IMG_4400.JPG

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

cvr9781416990680_9781416990680_hr.jpg

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

IMG_5481.JPG

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!

Book Review: Heir of Fire

HOF-NYT-Cover.jpg

Synopsis:

Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak-but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth . . . a truth about her heritage that could change her life-and her future-forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository

Review

*Warning: There will be spoilers about Crown of Midnight in this review. Read at your own risk.*

I was so excited to finally get to Heir of Fire because there were some characters I desperately needed to meet including Rowan, who I didn’t like as much as I thought I would. At least not at first. He has since grown on me and I love him now but I had to get used to him and how he interacted with Celaena. It was pretty harsh but I’m getting ahead of myself here.

Heir of Fire begins with Celaena now in Wendlyn where Chaol sent her thinking he was protecting her, which he kind of was but little did he know she’s also Aelin, the Queen of Terrasen, and kind of his enemy. Oops. Regardless, Chaol doesn’t really regret his decision but Celaena doesn’t exactly know what she’s doing. We find her in a pretty bad state when the novel begins, which is kind of understandable since she went through a lot of crap in Crown in Midnight. Enter Rowan and Maeve.

Maeve is kind of Celaena’s aunt (it’s complicated) and a goddess who wants to unleash Celaena’s power. Though Celaena would prefer not to she knows she has to do something if she’s ever going to fulfill her promise to Nehemia. So off Celaena goes to learn about her powers and how to shift into her Fae form from the formidable Fae prince, Rowan. As you may imagine their relationship doesn’t start on the best foot but just as Rowan grew on me they grow on each other.

Meanwhile, Chaol and Dorian are adjusting to life in the castle without Celaena, especially now that her cousin, Aedion, has arrived. Chaol is desperate to keep Celaena’s secret causing a rift between him and Dorian that only gets deeper when Chaol becomes interested in the rebel cause. Thankfully Dorian is able to make a new friend that helps keep him (and his magic) in check.

I really loved this novel and getting to see what was happening to Celaena, Chaol, and Dorian. I really fell in love with Dorian in this book. I liked him before but this book really made me feel for Dorian and everything he has to go through. It was great getting to meet new characters as well, especially the demi-Fae Celaena comes into contact with. There wasn’t too much romance in this novel, especially compared to the other books in this series, but there was enough to be satisfied if you’re looking for that type of thing. This book was more about action scenes, magic, and dark twists.

I’m pretty sure I actually cried by the end of this novel because it tore me apart, which is saying something because Crown of Midnight was pretty heartbreaking but I didn’t cry when I read it. I say this all to say read it at your own risk. But seriously, read this book. It’s fantastic.

I’m almost done with the Throne of Glass series so if you don’t like this series sorry but I’ve got three more reviews coming your way. And then I’m done I swear.

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

“She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one.”

Other Reviews

Katie’s Book Blog

Words We Heart

Beauty and the Bookshelf

"Everything, Everything" Book Review

Book Review: Everything, Everything

everything-everything.jpg

Synopsis:

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository

Review

I had to renew this book twice from the library before I finally got around to reading it. What can I say, YA contemporaries aren’t typically my thing. But after much persuasion from my friend and the fact that the due date was coming up again I figured why not give it a chance. I finished it in a day. Literally started it Sunday morning and finished it by Sunday night. Needless to say I loved it.

Maddy is my heart and soul. She was sweet, funny, and much more forgiving than I am. Seriously she is goals for me. I hope to be able to love people and forgive people the way she does. Although I loved Maddy I fell in love with Olly. He was cute, funny, wears all black, and is just the perfect person for Maddy. Their love story sucked me in hard but what really kept me on the edge of my seat was Maddy’s illness and how it affected her life. I can’t imagine not being able to leave my house, not being able to touch people, not having a “normal” life. What I could understand though was Maddy’s love for books and her little reviews cracked me up as did her definitions.

I loved the drawings in this book as well, which were done by Nicola’s husband, David, which I thought was super cool. Overall I think what I loved most about this book was really just the plot. The romance between Maddy and Olly was perfect but the story that Yoon weaved left me speechless. I was shocked, enraged, and saddened with the last 100 pages of this book. I didn’t know what to feel and had to let my friend know that I was emotional wreck. Truly I did not sign up for all these emotions but I loved every second of it. If I could shove this book into everyone’s hands I would because it’s absolutely marvelous. It also makes me happy that Maddy’s biracial and her nurse, Carla, is from Mexico (diverse characters!). Speaking of Carla she was amazing and I absolutely loved her. I typically don’t care for the “grown-ups” in YA novels but Carla was the best.

In summary, if you’re like me and have put off reading Everything, Everything please rectify this problem immediately and read it. Honestly it’s so great and it’s also a pretty quick read. This is definitely one I need on my shelves.

Stars:

5 stars

Favorite Line:

“In my head I’ve been in love before, but it doesn’t feel like it. Being in love with you is better than the first time. It feels like the first time and the last time and the only time all at once.”

Other Reviews

Fanatic Reviews

Disability in Kidlit

YA Love