Review: Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

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Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman
Series:
 n/a
Genre: YA Contemporary, LGBT
Publication: September 11th 2018 by Simon Pulse
Format: ARC

Rumi Seto spends a lot of time worrying she doesn’t have the answers to everything. What to eat, where to go, whom to love. But there is one thing she is absolutely sure of—she wants to spend the rest of her life writing music with her younger sister, Lea.

Then Lea dies in a car accident, and her mother sends her away to live with her aunt in Hawaii while she deals with her own grief. Now thousands of miles from home, Rumi struggles to navigate the loss of her sister, being abandoned by her mother, and the absence of music in her life. With the help of the “boys next door”—a teenage surfer named Kai, who smiles too much and doesn’t take anything seriously, and an eighty-year-old named George Watanabe, who succumbed to his own grief years ago—Rumi attempts to find her way back to her music, to write the song she and Lea never had the chance to finish.

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Review: Pride by Ibi Zoboi

Pride by Ibi Zoboi
Genre: YA Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Retelling
Publication: September 18th 2018 by Balzer + Bray
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 304 pages
Format: ARC from Publisher
Rating: ★★★★.5

Amazon || Book Depository

Zuri Benitez has pride. Brooklyn pride, family pride, and pride in her Afro-Latino roots. But pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood from becoming unrecognizable.

When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons, even as her older sister, Janae, starts to fall for the charming Ainsley. She especially can’t stand the judgmental and arrogant Darius. Yet as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial dislike shifts into an unexpected understanding.

But with four wild sisters pulling her in different directions, cute boy Warren vying for her attention, and college applications hovering on the horizon, Zuri fights to find her place in Bushwick’s changing landscape, or lose it all.

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Review: Check, Please!: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu

Check, Please!: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu
Genre: Graphic Novels, YA Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, Sports Fiction, Coming of Age
Publication: September 18th 2018 by First Second Books
Series: Check, Please #1.
Length: 288 pages
Format: eARC from First Second Books
Rating: ★★★★★

Amazon || Book Depository

Helloooo, Internet Land. Bitty here!

Y’all… I might not be ready for this. I may be a former junior figure skating champion, vlogger extraordinaire, and very talented amateur pâtissier, but being a freshman on the Samwell University hockey team is a whole new challenge. It’s nothing like co-ed club hockey back in Georgia! First of all? There’s checking. And then, there is Jack—our very attractive but moody captain.

A collection of the first half of the megapopular webcomic series of the same name, Check, Please!: #Hockey is the first book of a hilarious and stirring two-volume coming-of-age story about hockey, bros, and trying to find yourself during the best four years of your life.

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Review: The Deepest Roots by Miranda Asebedo

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The Deepest Roots by Miranda Asebedo
Series:
 n/a
Genre: YA Contemporary, Magic
Publication: September 18th 2018 by HarperTeen
Format: ARC (thank you, Harper!)

Contemporary with the slightest twist of magic, this stunning debut YA novel is a fresh and heartwarming story about the power of friendship.

Cottonwood Hollow, Kansas, is a strange place. For the past century, every girl has been born with a special talent, like the ability to Fix any object, Heal any wound, or Find what is missing.

Best friends Rome, Lux, and Mercy all have similar talents, but to them, their abilities often feel like a curse. Rome may be able to Fix anything she touches, but that won’t help her mom pay rent or make it any easier to confide in Lux and Mercy about what’s going on at home. And Rome isn’t the only one. Lux has been hiding bigger, more dangerous secrets.

As Rome struggles to keep her friendships close, she discovers the truth about life in Cottonwood Hollow—that friends are stronger than curses, that trust is worth the risk, and sometimes, what you’ve been looking for has been under your feet the whole time.

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Review: And the Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness

And the Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication: September 4th 2018 by Walker Books
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 160 pages
Format: ARC from publisher
Rating: ★★★★

Amazon || Walker Books

With harpoons strapped to their backs, the proud whales of Bathsheba’s pod live for the hunt, fighting in the ongoing war against the world of men. When they attack a ship bobbing on the surface of the Abyss, they expect to find easy prey. Instead, they find the trail of a myth, a monster, perhaps the devil himself…

As their relentless Captain leads the chase, they embark on a final, vengeful hunt, one that will forever change the worlds of both whales and men.

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Review: Ignite the Stars by Maura Milan

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Ignite the Stars by Maura Milan
Series:
 n/a
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Publication: September 4th 2018 by Albert Whitman & Company
Format: ARC

Everyone in the universe knows his name. Everyone in the universe fears him. But no one realizes that notorious outlaw Ia Cocha is a seventeen-year-old girl.

A criminal mastermind and unrivaled pilot, Ia has spent her life terrorizing the Olympus Commonwealth, the imperialist nation that destroyed her home. When the Commonwealth captures her and her true identity is exposed, they see Ia’s age and talent as an opportunity: by forcing her to serve them, they will prove that no one is beyond their control.

Soon, Ia is trapped at the Commonwealth’s military academy, desperately plotting her escape. But new acquaintances—including Brinn, a seemingly average student with a closely-held secret, and their charming Flight Master, Knives—cause Ia to question her own alliances. Can she find a way to escape the Commonwealth’s clutches before these bonds deepen?

In this exhilarating edge-of-your-seat sci-fi adventure—perfect for fans of The Lunar Chronicles—debut author Maura Milan introduces our world to a thrilling new heroine.

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Review: Surviving Adam Meade by Shannon Klare

Surviving Adam Meade by Shannon Klare
Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction, Sports Contemporary
Publication: August 14th 2018 by Swoon Reads
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 256pages
Format: ARC from publisher
Rating: ★★★★

Amazon || Book Depository

Seventeen-year-old Claire Collins has a plan: get into college and leave North Carolina behind. What she doesn’t have is an idea for how to get rid of the local football star and womanizer extraordinaire — Adam Meade, who she can’t even avoid (despite many efforts), because Claire’s dad is the high school football coach.

Seventeen-year-old Adam Meade never fails. He always gets what he wants… until he meets Claire, the new girl who leaves him unnerved, pissed off, and confused. But there’s something about her that he just can’t resist…

With the bite of lemon meringue pie and the sugar of sweet tea, Surviving Adam Meade is a sexy and compelling young adult novel about two strong-willed people who think they know what they want but have no idea what they need.

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Review: Mirage by Somaiya Daud

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Mirage by Somaiya Daud
Series:
 Mirage #1
Genre: YA Fantasy, Science Fiction
Publication: August 28th 2018 by Flatiron Books
Format: ARC (thank you, Flatiron!)

In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon.

But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.

As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty—and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.

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Review: Wild Blue Wonder by Carlie Sorosiak

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Wild Blue Wonder by Carlie Sorosiak
Series:
 n/a
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication: June 26th 2018 by HarperTeen
Format: ARC (thank you, Harper!)

There are two monsters in this story. One of them is me.

Ask anyone in Winship, Maine, and they’ll tell you the summer camp Quinn’s family owns is a magical place. Paper wishes hang from the ceiling. Blueberries grow in the dead of winter. According to local legend, a sea monster even lurks off the coast. Mostly, there’s just a feeling that something extraordinary could happen there.

Like Quinn falling in love with her best friend, Dylan.

After the accident, the magic drained from Quinn’s life. Now Dylan is gone, the camp is a lonely place, and Quinn knows it’s her fault.

But the new boy in town, Alexander, doesn’t see her as the monster she believes herself to be. As Quinn lets herself open up again, she begins to understand the truth about love, loss, and monsters—real and imagined.

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Review: Fresh Ink edited by Lamar Giles

Fresh Ink edited by Lamar Giles
Genre: YA Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, LGBTQIA+, #ownvoices, Short Stories
Publication: August 14th 2018 by Crown Books for Young Readers
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 208 pages
Format: ARC from publisher
Rating: ★★★.5

Amazon || Book Depository

In partnership with We Need Diverse Books, thirteen of the most recognizable, diverse authors come together in this remarkable YA anthology featuring ten short stories, a graphic short story, and a one-act play from Walter Dean Myers never before in-print.

Careful–you are holding fresh ink. And not hot-off-the-press, still-drying-in-your-hands ink. Instead, you are holding twelve stories with endings that are still being written–whose next chapters are up to you.

Because these stories are meant to be read. And shared.

Thirteen of the most accomplished YA authors deliver a label-defying anthology that includes ten short stories, a graphic novel, and a one-act play. This collection will inspire you to break conventions, bend the rules, and color outside the lines. All you need is fresh ink.

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