Thursday, January 19, 2017

Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley

Title: Our Own Private Universe
Author: Robin Talley 
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication date: January 31, 2017
Pages: 304
Source/format: e-ARC from publisher

Rating: ☆☆☆

Synopsis (from goodreads.com):

Fifteen-year-old Aki Hunter knows she’s bisexual, but up until now she's only dated guys—and her best friend, Lori, is the only person she’s out to. When she and Lori set off on a four-week youth-group mission trip in a small Mexican town, it never crosses Aki's mind that there might be anyone in the group she’d be interested in dating. But that all goes out the window when Aki meets Christa.

M Y  T H O U G H T S 

Akina (Aki) Hunter and Lori Smith have been best friends forever. Aki and Lori decide visit Mexico with their youth group traveling all the way from their home in Maryland. In a town outside of Tijuana, Aki and Lori help out with a volunteer project for a month with their church, the Holy Life in Silver Spring. In Mexico, there is a conference and a chance for the youth group to meet others from other Holy Life youth groups. Aki doesn't know what to expect when she spends a month in Mexico.

Aki and Christa Lawrence warm up to each other fairly early in the novel and a relationship develops. I like how Robin Talley lets the readers know Aki's thoughts and emotions throughout her journey of exploration of who she is. Aki's older brother Drew and father are on the trip as well. Not only is her friend Lori involved with her life but her family is as well. Her father is a youth minister and is leading the group. Both her father and her brother are very understanding and supportive of Aki. Drew also harbors a secret that he doesn't want his parents to find out about as well. Actually it seems like everyone in this novel has a secret that they don't want others to know about.

Aki's voice is realistic. Many teens will definitely be able to contact to her authenticity. Her trysts with Christa show how love is unpredictable. Talley describes first loves perfectly. That jealousy that one has when the other talks to their ex or even the butterflies one gets when they think about the person they like are feelings that anyone can relate to. It gives teens an idea that what they are feeling is normal. It's okay to whether to feel worried about someone liking you back or even feeling jealous. I was hoping Aki would be more honest since she didn't open up as much to others as I hoped her to. While others opened up to her, she couldn't trust anyone. This caused many friendship and relationship issues throughout the book.

Our Own Private Universe delves into race, interracial relationships and gender/sexuality. Talley writes a novel for people to feel find themselves and to learn about others. I applaud Talley for including safe sex within the novel. Some books don't go into detail about safe sex if sex is ever mentioned in a book. With Our Own Private Universe, Talley researched everything so carefully in order to provide accurate information. This is very important for teens who read this book.

Monday, January 16, 2017

2017 Bookish Resolutions

January is finally here and I still can't believe it's 2017! Boy did 2016 fly by fast! Although 2016 was chock full of amazing events and I met so many people, there were a lot of bumps in the road for my personal life. I am ready to see what 2017 brings me this year! This year I want to take my time to fully enjoy everything from reading to attending events. I have already set some resolutions for myself for this year.

Not setting a book challenge for myself. 

In the past years, I have committed to book challenges and I feel like it adds pressure for me to finish books by a certain time. Instead of pushing myself to read certain books or to read a certain quantity of books, I want to slow it down and take my time. I want to indulge in what I want to read at the moment and not have to follow a set reading schedule. I want to immerse myself into different worlds where I can get lost into. I want to learn more about others and be there when they need someone the most. And I want to fall in love with books that I can add to my favorites list. Although you see a challenge set for Goodreads to 50 books, I only set a challenge so I can keep track of my books for 2017. Fifty books for me is not a challenge.

Blog when I want to blog and to blog what I want to blog about.

The blog is mainly a book blog but there will be some features where I combine my love for books with something else. Pages to Tea is a feature that showcases book and tea pairings. Typography Talk is a feature discussing cover art design.

I do talk about Harry Potter quite often and that will continue.  With events such as MISTI-Con coming up, there will be a lot of Harry Potter posts listed on the blog. I still have yet to post about individual panels I attended at Leviosa Con, so I hope to have some of those up this year as well. Of course there is ongoing Fantastic Beasts news and movies, so there will be a lot of content about that on this blog as well.

I have been dabbling about whether to include a feature tying in recipes with books since I already included a couple Harry Potter ones within the past couple of years. It would be nice to make food and drinks that are mentioned in the books and to share the recipes with my readers. How awesome would it be to make Levi's Pumpkin Mocha Breve from Fangirl or Vika's favorite Blini with strawberry jam from The Crown's Game?

Depending on my creativity this year, I might start up a feature with bookish inspired nail art. I've always loved painting my nails since its so therapeutic but it would be so much fun to paint nails to match book covers. My first post featuring nail art will be on February 15th as part of The Crown's Fate promo tour.

Read more and promote indie/underrepresented books

With the book hype monster running around, some of the smaller titles need to love too! I want to read more titles that catch my interest that aren't hyped up as much. Not only will the book and author get more representation, I will be able to share with my readers titles of books they might not have come across.

Reading more non-YA books

Although I mainly read YA books, I want to start reading more MG and adult books. I want to read more picture books as well as graphic novels and manga. It's always to be more of a well rounded reader instead of gravitating to only one type of genre or type of book. You never know, maybe I will find a new love for something that isn't YA.


What are your bookish resolutions for the new year?

Friday, January 13, 2017

How to Read All Requested e-ARCS

Do you ever request an e-ARC on Netgalley or Edelweiss? Are you excited to read the upcoming title because you love the author or because you fell in love with the synopsis? Would you drop what you are doing to read the e-ARC right away? But do you always read all of your e-ARCs that you've requested from publishers?

I started requesting on Netgalley sometime in 2014 and on Edelweiss mid 2015. However, I am the type of person who wants to score high on things so my Netgalley percentage is currently 90% with only a couple of books that I still need to review. With Edelweiss there is no percentage gauge but I always like to read my e-ARCs. Currently on Edelweiss, I have one that I am approved for that I still need to read but the pub date is April 2017.

The good thing about e-ARCs is that they make sure that I am accountable when I request titles. If I request a title, I will have to read the book in a timely manner and I will need to leave a review. This method has helped me figure out what titles I want to read now compared to what titles I can read later. It also helps me not over request or to be greedy. It's a privilege to be approved for a title and I don't want to overstep that privilege by requesting and not reviewing the title. Why request titles if you don't plan to read them at all? By requesting a title, there is an agreement to promote and to review the book. By not reading a title you are approved, you are taking that opportunity from someone else who is dying to read the title and who wants to promote and review it.

How to read e-ARCS in a timely manner?

First thing is not to over request titles. How many books can you read in a month? What is the pub date of the e-ARC you plan to request? Can you read the e-ARC before the pub date? What other books do you already have on deck for your reading queue at the moment? These are some of the questions you need to answer before you decide whether to request on Netgalley and Edelweiss.

Second thing is to read the e-ARCs you've already requested before requesting more. Don't force yourself to read a title but you don't want to rush read at the last minute. You want to be able to give yourself adequate time to read the book and to write a good review. 

How to build up your percentage ratio on Netgalley?

Try to read all the titles you've requested on Netgalley. I know this might be difficult if you request a lot of titles but try to keep up with your current requests and limit yourself when requesting titles in the future. By keeping your e-ARC reading queue small, it will be easier to read all the titles you have on your dashboard.

Also, did you know that even if a title is archived, you can still leave a review for the book? Definitely take advantage of this. Read a finished copy and submit that review! Your percentage ratio should go up if you submit reviews for all the archived titles you've requested. I would not suggest letting your requested e-ARCs archive before you review but if you are starting to increase your ratio, definitely look into this. After you reviewed all the archived titles, make sure to read future e-ARCs in a timely manner.

To request or not to request?

So, how do you decide whether to request an e-ARC? I know it's hard to retrain from clicking request on Netgalley and on Edelweiss. It's so easy to have trigger fingers but in reality you want to be careful what you request and how often you request. Only request a title that you know you are interested in now until the pub date. If you have a hard time reading books on a whim because you are a definite mood reader, maybe not requesting is a good thing. If you are questioning yourself whether or not to request the title, don't request it. Only request the title if you are 100% that you will read the book and will review it.


Do you read all requested e-ARCs? Do you have trouble maintaining a high reading percentage ratio? Leave your comments below.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Title: Caraval
Author: Stephanie Garber
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication date: January 31, 2017
Pages: 401
Source/format: ARC from publisher through Goodreads Giveaway

Rating: ☆☆☆

Synopsis (from goodreads.com):

Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

M Y  T H O U G H T S

"Brillant gold-blue sparks--the color of childhood dreams." 

Scarlett Dragna has been writing to Caraval Master Legend for many years asking him to bring his Caraval performers to the Isle of Trisda. One day he actually writes back! Ever since Scarlett was a little girl, she was lured into the wonders of Caraval thanks to the countless stories her grandmother told her as a child. She adored every story! Should Scarlett pursue her arranged marriage or travel to see the annual Caraval performance? After all, isn't Caraval something not to miss?

Stephanie Garber takes her readers on an exhilarating ride full of magic! Caraval is simply captivating! Garber draws in her readers with letters from Scarlett to the Caraval Master Legend which adds a nice touch in pacing and introduction. Her descriptions her vivid and lush. She paints a whole new world with brilliant shades of cerulean blues, shimmering golds and seductive reds. Caraval's color palette is exploding with extraordinariness.

The sisterly bonding between Scarlett and Donatella (Tella) is strong and both will do anything to help each other out. They would even protect one another from their ruthless and abusive father. Their bond is unbreakable! They are dedicated through and through and loyal to each other. Their personas actually remind of of Tina and Queenie Goldstein from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Screenplay. Scarlett and Tina like to play by the rules. They are a bit more rigid and not as forgiving. Tella and Queenie are more flirtatious, bold and adventurous.

Caraval infuses reality with magic and fantasy. In this world, there is a hint of old fashion living arrangements due to the use of oil lamps, very elaborate clothing with bustles and traveling by boat for transportation. The magic mixed with the old world gives off a mysterious and alluring vibe. Garber bewitches the reader's mind.

Julian, Dante, Aiko, Jovan and Legend definitely add character to the novel. Caraval is like revised game of Clue and The Hunger Games with magic. Who is who and who can you trust? What is real and what is not real? Garber's twisty dreams and illusions are guaranteed to keep you guessing who is on Scarlett's side until the very end. After all, it's only a game right?

Caraval is Garber's debut novel and it sure doesn't disappoint and I hope you have a chance to join Scarlett on her enchanting journey! This sensational novel will sweep you off your feet. Caraval is a must read, especially if you're a fan of The Night Circus, The Crown's Game and The Hunger Games. I would love to see Caraval translated for the big screen. It will be beyond spectacular!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Top 2016 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn't Get To


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's Top Ten Tuesday asks bloggers to blog about their top ten 2016 releases that they meant to read but didn't get to. There are so many books I want to read but so little time. The following titles are in no particular order.


1. The Midnight Star by Marie Lu is the last installment to The Young Elites trilogy. I should make time to read this novel this year since I own it and I love the first two books in the series. Adelina is one of my favorite anti-heroes!


2. Witch's Pyre by Josephine Angelini is the third installment in the Worldwalker series. If you like anything paranormal, Salem related and/or interested in parallel universes, give this series a try.


3. The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill is a middle grade novel about a girl who was fed moonlight accidentally as a child and gains extraordinary powers. This novel definitely seems like a wonderful modern fairy tale.


4. Tangled Thoughts by Cara Bertrand is the third installment in the Sententia series. Lainey is leaving Northbrook Academy to embark on her college education but she can not escape the Sententia. If you like books with boarding schools and paranormal powers, check out this series!


5. The Rule of Mirrors by Caragh O'Brien is the second book in The Vault of Dreamers series. This novel picks up right after The Vault of Dreamers left off. If you want to know more about Rosie Sinclair and dream mining, check out this wonderful dystopian series.


6. The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash is the perfect read for those who love comic cons and fandom cons. I am a big fangirl when it comes to things like Harry Potter, Sailor Moon, Bravest Warriors, etc so of course I want to read a book about people obsessing over fandoms.


The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry sounds like a fantastic time travel novel. I heard great things about this novel and I can't wait to dive into it.


8. The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon is a very important book that I want to read soon. Immigration has been a huge vital topic. Because I work with a lot of students that are first generation, I feel like this is a story many of them can relate to.


9. Vicarious by Paula Stokes sounds like an action-packed, adventurous sci-fi mystery novel about two Korean adoptees. One day Winter finds out her sister, Rose, is murdered and she won't rest until she finds Rose's killer. I feel like there is so much going on in this novel.



10. Even if the Sky Falls by Mia Garcia is a cute contemporary about Julie who wants change her life. She decides to travel to New Orleans with a youth group to rebuild houses. Little did she know that she would find romance there. This sounds like the perfect light read with just enough swoon.


11. Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz is also another contemporary immigration novel but this time about a teenage girl who aspires to go to college on a full scholarship. Yet, issues arise because she is in the United States as an illegal immigrant. Again, this is a very important read that will resonate with many people I know who work hard but lack certain resources to achieve their dreams.


12. Iron Cast by Destiny Soria is set in 1919 in Boston. Ada has a special gift and she uses it under the employ of nightclub owner who is a gangster. A job goes wrong and Ada is imprisoned. I am very intrigued because of the paranormal power Ada has but I love the time period and I love Boston!



What are some of the 2016 releases you meant to read but didn't get to?

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Film

Image from comingsoon.net
All I can say is that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is bloody brilliant! I ended up seeing the film on Friday, November 18th in New York City with my boyfriend. We figured the best time to go is when most people are in school and at work. Since we were on our anniversary vacation, I found it fitting to go see this wonderful movie in NYC since the film takes place in NYC.

Eddie Redmayne IS Newt Scamander. I cannot picture anyone else as Mr. Scamander. Newt is a unique person who loves creatures so much. He knows so much about creatures that he doesn't know how to socialize with humans that well. He is awkward, funny, loyal and doesn't want anyone or any creature to get hurt. He believes people don't understand that magical creatures are a delight!

Jacob is definitely my favorite muggle. Because Jacob and Newt don't really have many friends, they become the best of friends. Jacob is open-minded to magic. Although it baffles him at first, he grows accustomed to the random apparations or creatures. I am ecstatic about his love for baking and he refuses to give up his dream!

Queenie and Tina Goldstein are interesting characters. Although sisters, they are nothing a like at all. I would love to know more about their background and their family roots. I wonder if Anthony Goldstein is related to the Goldstein sisters.

The magical creatures are unique and extraordinary. Seeing a good variety of them on screen helped me visualize all the creatures that I read in the Harry Potter books. The Niffler definitely stole the show though. He is hilarious and would do anything for shiny stuff. My favorite magical creature is the Occamy although I adore the Niffler and Pickett the Bowtruckle. The Occamy is very breathtakingly goregeous and I don't want to spoil the film so definitely check out Fantastic Beasts for more magical creatures and the wizarding world in 1920s NYC.

The set is fabulous. I love the 1920s and I love seeing all the old automobiles, the architectural structures and even the fashion! I love flapper fashion! The film definitely captures the essence of living in the 1920s and what it means to be a wizard or witch during the time period. Fantastic Beasts is an amazing immersion of multiple genres. The film will satisfy viewers who love fantasy, action, adventure, paranormal and thriller. There are certain scenes that are definitely creepy but you will be in awe when you are see the spectacular scenes of MACUSA.

I will be doing a more in depth analysis of the film at a later date. It will be a spoiler once since I will delve into how Fantastic Beasts connects to Harry Potter. So if you haven't seen Fantastic Beasts, this is your chance. Go and see it now before the Fantastic Beasts analysis post! Also, check out the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay as well. I highly suggest reading it after seeing the film.

I am intrigued about the plot lines for the next four films in the series. Yes, there will be four more.


What are you thoughts about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them? Do you have a favorite magical creature? What do you think of MACUS and the new cast of wizards and witches?

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Top Ten 2017 Debuts I'm Excited For


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's Top Ten Tuesday asks bloggers to blog about their top ten 2017 debuts that they are excited for. Even before the We Need Diverse Books movement, I have always loved to read diverse books. I don't seek to read diverse books for the sake of them being diverse. If the synopsis draws me in, I will read the book. It makes it easier to read more diverse books, however, due to the fact that there are more diverse books readily available now compared to 15 years ago when I was a teenager. The titles are in no particular order.


Title: Wintersong
Author: S. Jae-Jones
Publisher: Thomas Dunne
Publication date: February 7, 2017
Pages: 448

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world. 

Title: Caraval 
Author: Stephanie Garber
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication date: January 31, 2017
Pages: 416

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Whatever you've heard about Caraval, it doesn't compare to the reality. It's more than just a game or a performance. It's the closest you'll ever find to magic in this world . . .

Welcome, welcome to Caraval—Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

Title: The Wingsnatchers
Author: Sarah Jean Horwitz
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Publication date: April 25, 2017
Pages: 368

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

A stunning debut about a magician’s apprentice and a one-winged princess who must vanquish the mechanical monsters that stalk the streets and threaten the faerie kingdom.

Aspiring inventor and magician’s apprentice Felix Carmer III would rather be tinkering with his latest experiments than sawing girls in half on stage, but with Antoine the Amazifier’s show a tomato’s throw away from going under, Carmer is determined to win the cash prize in the biggest magic competition in Skemantis. When fate throws Carmer across the path of fiery, flightless faerie princess Grit (do not call her Grettifrida), they strike a deal. If Carmer will help Grit investigate a string of faerie disappearances, she’ll use her very real magic to give his mechanical illusions a much-needed boost against the competition. But Carmer and Grit soon discover they’re not the only duo trying to pair magic with machine – and the combination can be deadly.

In this story perfect for readers of the Lockwood & Co and Wildwood series, Sarah Jean Horwitz takes readers on a thrilling journey through a magical wooded fairyland and steampunk streets where terrifying automata cats lurk in the shadows and a mad scientist’s newest mechanical invention might be more menace than miracle.

Title: You and Me and the End of the World
Author: Amy McClellan
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: 2017
Pages: TBD
Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Debut author Amy McClellan's You and Me and the End of the World is a YA novel pitched as Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist meets Eleanor and Park . In the book, the fates and hearts of two teen outsiders collide when they meet cute in the dark at a party to end all parties.

Title: Blood Rose Rebellion  
Author: Rosalyn Eves
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication date: March 28, 2017
Pages: 416

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

The thrilling first book in a YA fantasy trilogy for fans of Red Queen. In a world where social prestige derives from a trifecta of blood, money, and magic, one girl has the ability to break the spell that holds the social order in place.

Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong. But her fate takes another course when, after inadvertently breaking her sister’s debutante spell—an important chance for a highborn young woman to show her prowess with magic—Anna finds herself exiled to her family’s once powerful but now crumbling native Hungary.

Her life might well be over.

In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. Not the people around her, from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome Romani Gábor. Not the society she’s known all her life, for discontent with the Luminate is sweeping the land. And not her lack of magic. Isolated from the only world she cares about, Anna still can’t seem to stop herself from breaking spells.

As rebellion spreads across the region, Anna’s unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romanies, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever.

Title: Speak of Me as I Am
Author: Sonia Belasco
Publisher: Philomel Books
Publication date: April 4, 2017
Pages: 272

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

A moving story of grief, honesty, and the healing power of art—the ties that bind us together, even when those we love are gone.

Melanie and Damon are both living in the shadow of loss. For Melanie, it’s the loss of her larger-than-life mother, taken by cancer well before her time. For Damon, it is the loss of his best friend, Carlos, who chose to kill himself rather than reveal his secret.

Through a staged production of Othello, through the lens of Damon’s camera, and through the strokes of Melanie’s paintbrush, the two teens find that, rather than moving on from their losses, they can learn to live with their own corners of sadness, especially because they’re not doing so alone. And it is only by being honest with themselves that they can begin to find some small bit of peace.

This multi-cultural story shows readers that grief comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors—and that love and pain can bind people together even as they threaten to tear us apart.

Title: Dare Mighty Things
Author: Heather Kaczynski
Publisher: Harper Teen


Synopsis (from Goodreads):

HarperTeen has won, at auction, Dare Mighty Things, a duology by Heather Kaczynski, pitched as Contact meets The Selection. Instead of competing for a prince/kingdom, a brilliant Indian-American girl competes to win the last astronaut slot for an experimental mission into space. Publication is planned for 2017.

Title:  
Author: Louise Gornall
Publisher: Clarion Books
Publication date: January 3, 2017
Pages: 320

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Norah has agoraphobia and OCD. When groceries are left on the porch, she can’t step out to get them. Struggling to snag the bags with a stick, she meets Luke. He’s sweet and funny, and he just caught her fishing for groceries. Because of course he did.

Norah can’t leave the house, but can she let someone in? As their friendship grows deeper, Norah realizes Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can lie on the front lawn and look up at the stars. One who isn’t so screwed up.

Title: You're Welcome, Universe 
Author: Whitney Gardner
Publisher: Knopf
Publication date: March 7, 2017
Pages: 304

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

A vibrant, edgy, fresh new YA voice for fans of More Happy Than Not and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, packed with interior graffiti.

When Julia finds a slur about her best friend scrawled across the back of the Kingston School for the Deaf, she covers it up with a beautiful (albeit illegal) graffiti mural.

Her supposed best friend snitches, the principal expels her, and her two mothers set Julia up with a one-way ticket to a “mainstream” school in the suburbs, where she’s treated like an outcast as the only deaf student. The last thing she has left is her art, and not even Banksy himself could convince her to give that up.

Out in the ’burbs, Julia paints anywhere she can, eager to claim some turf of her own. But Julia soon learns that she might not be the only vandal in town. Someone is adding to her tags, making them better, showing off—and showing Julia up in the process. She expected her art might get painted over by cops. But she never imagined getting dragged into a full-blown graffiti war.

Told with wit and grit by debut author Whitney Gardner, who also provides gorgeous interior illustrations of Julia’s graffiti tags, You’re Welcome, Universe introduces audiences to a one-of-a-kind protagonist who is unabashedly herself no matter what life throws in her way.


Title: See What I Have Done
Author: Sarah Schmidt
Publisher: Tinder Press
Publication date: May 2, 2017
Pages: 320

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Haunting, gripping and gorgeously written, SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE by Sarah Schmidt is a re-imagining of the unsolved American true crime case of the Lizzie Borden murders, for fans of BURIAL RITES and MAKING A MURDERER.

'Eerie and compelling, Sarah Schmidt breathes such life into the terrible, twisted tale of Lizzie Borden and her family, she makes it impossible to look away' Paula Hawkins

When her father and step-mother are found brutally murdered on a summer morning in 1892, Lizzie Borden - thirty two years old and still living at home - immediately becomes a suspect. But after a notorious trial, she is found innocent, and no one is ever convicted of the crime.

Meanwhile, others in the claustrophobic Borden household have their own motives and their own stories to tell: Lizzie's unmarried older sister, a put-upon Irish housemaid, and a boy hired by Lizzie's uncle to take care of a problem.

This unforgettable debut makes you question the truth behind one of the great unsolved mysteries, as well as exploring power, violence and the harsh realities of being a woman in late nineteenth century America.


What debuts are you looking forward to for 2017?