From the creator of Yes, I'm Hot In This, comes a YA graphic novel about discovering who you are and how to stand out. Filled with sarcasm and humor, Huda Fahmy’s Huda F Are You? (which comes out on November 23rd) is a great book to add to your holiday TBR!
Huda and her family just moved to Dearborn, Michigan, a small town with a big Muslim population. In her old town, Huda knew exactly who she was: She was the hijabi girl. But in Dearborn, everyone is the hijabi girl. Huda is lost in a sea of hijabis, and she can't rely on her hijab to define her anymore. She has to define herself. So she tries on a bunch of cliques, but she isn't a hijabi fashionista or a hijabi athlete or a hijabi gamer. She's not the one who knows everything about her religion or the one all the guys like. She's miscellaneous, which makes her feel like no one at all. Until she realizes that it'll take finding out who she isn't to figure out who she is.
This graphic novel was so cute! It immediately brought me back to high school and trying to find a way to stand out amongst people like me, but also not wanting to stand out too much. Additionally, the underlying theme of being Muslim and being persecuted because of your religion is very well done. Fahmy's artwork is also fantastic and paired with this story just makes this graphic novel a joy to read!
If you're looking for a fun and quick graphic read, then I highly recommend this one!
*I received an ARC from Penguin Teen in exchange for my honest opinion.
What happens when your whole world turns upside down? In Kate Sweeney’s debut YA novel, Catch the Light, one girl must grapple with a family tragedy and the ripple effect it has on her life, relationships, and future.
Nine months after the death of her father, Marigold is forced to pick up and move from sunny Los Angeles all the way across the country to rural upstate New York. According to her mom, living with her aunt in a big old house in the woods is the fresh start Marigold and her little sister need. But Mary aches for the things she’s leaving behind—her best friend, her older sister, her now-long-distance boyfriend, and the senior year that felt like her only chance at making things feel normal again. On top of everything, Mary has a troubling secret: she’s starting to forget her dad. The void he’s left in her memory is quickly getting filled with bonfires, house parties, and hours in the darkroom with Jesse, a fellow photographer and kindred spirit whom she can’t stop thinking about. As the beauty of Mary’s new world begins to sink in and her connection with Jesse grows stronger, she feels caught between her old life and her new one. Mary might just be losing her grip on the pieces of her life that she’s tried so hard to hold together. When the two finally come crashing together, Mary will have to decide what she really wants and come to terms with the ways that the loss of her dad has changed who she is. Even if she can’t hold on to her past forever, maybe she can choose what to keep.
If you’re a fan of Nina LaCour, then you HAVE to check this book out! Sweeney’s writing is so poetic in the way it explores Mary’s thoughts and feelings through this rough time in her life. The way grief is expressed through Mary, her sisters, and her mom after the death of her father showcases how people cope with their emotions and how you can feel guilt for trying to find happiness after a tragedy.
Poignant and bittersweet, this book is a must-read for those striving to find a deeper meaning in their world. This is a touching and speculative read for any YA lovers out there!
*I received an ARC from Penguin Teen in exchange for my honest review.
What would you do if someone could make all of your internet shame disappear? In Margot Mertz Takes It Down by Carrie McCrossen and Ian McWethy (Pub Day: November 9th), the titular character is know for cleaning up people’s dirty business, but in this YA novel, she tries to dismantle an entire revenge porn website while also struggling to figure out her own path in life.
For the right price, high school junior Margot Mertz will go to the ends of the internet to remove your nip-slip, dick pic, or embarrassing DM. At least that's what it says on her business card. Margot founded a now notorious company that helps students, teachers, even a local weatherman, discreetly clean up their digital shame. And since her parents lost her college fund, Margot is happy to work for anyone... if they can pay, she can clean. But when a fellow student hires her to take down some leaked nudes, Margot discovers a secret revenge porn site featuring Roosevelt High girls. And hell hath no fury like Margot when she sees girls’ butts shared without their consent. With the help of an unwitting ally, the popular and uncomfortably handsome Avery Green, Margot will gain access to the far flung cliques of Roosevelt High. Anything to find the mastermind (read: asshole) behind the site. But the more she digs, the deeper and darker the case becomes until Margot realizes that some jobs are so dirty, no one can come away clean. Even her. Gross.
This book was really engaging and I loved Margot as a narrator. She was snarky, blunt, sarcastic, and sooo funny! Not only that, but I liked the way the story progressed and how eager I was to turn the page to see who is behind the site and how Margot will help dismantle it.
I kind of appreciated the realistic arc of the plot and how Margot kind of grows as a character. She realizes the loner existence she claims to like is actually not conducive to her needs and wants and how sometimes it’s harder to put yourself out there and be nice than to stand out and keep everyone at arm's length.
If you want to read about a badass character who doesn’t take BS from anyone, but is also kind of quirky, then you will love Margot Mertz!
*I received an ARC from Penguin Teen in exchange for my honest review.
Bestselling author Lyssa Kay Adams returns to the world of the Bromance Book Club, this time featuring a marriage of convenience romance. Starring one of the fandom’s favorite characters, The Russian, Isn’t It Bromantic? showcases the best of Adams storytelling skills and further shows how brilliant this series is.
Elena Konnikova has lived her entire adult life in the shadows. As the daughter of a Russian journalist who mysteriously disappeared, she escaped danger the only way she knew how: She married her childhood friend, Vladimir, and moved to the United States, where he is a professional hockey player in Nashville. Vlad, aka the Russian, thought he could be content with his marriage of convenience. But it’s become too difficult to continue in a one-sided relationship. He joined the Bromance Book Club to learn how to make his wife love him, but all he’s learned is that he deserves more. He’s ready to create his own sweeping romance—both on and off the page. The bros are unwilling to let Vlad forgo true love—and this time they’re not operating solo. They join forces with Vlad’s neighbors, a group of meddling widows who call themselves the Loners. But just when things finally look promising, Elena’s past life intrudes and their happily ever after is cast into doubt.
Holy goodness gracious was this book effing amazing! Just when I thought this series couldn't get any better, it got better. Believe me when I say that I loved this book so much that it might be a contender for my favorite book of 2021!
There was not a single thing I didn’t love about this book: the characters (both old and new) were so complex and added so much to the plot; the plot itself highlighted the best of what a romcom has to offer yet felt refreshing and modern; and both the steamy moments and the funny moments were golden in terms of their placement in the story.
Readers also get the little snippets of “book within a book” like Bromance Book Club had which adds even more depth to this story. The parallels drawn between Vlad and Elena’s story and Promise Me (the book Vlad is writing) shows how masterful a writer Adams is.
This book is seriously addictive (I think I binge-read it in like 6 hours) and I am itching to see if and how Adams will continue with this series because I don’t think I could bear it if this series were to end. If you haven’t read this book series yet then I really don’t know what you're waiting for because you are sorely missing out!
Katie McGarry has written many best-selling YA books, but in her new book, A Stormy and Sultry Sea, readers are brought into an adult fantasy world with Faeries, witches, and demons. Set to be released on October 13th, the second book in the Witches of the Island Series shares what’s in store for the characters we met in book one.
A witch and a Fae aren’t supposed to fall in love, nonetheless be soulmates… New witch and midwife Cassie Strega helped a human mother through the tumultuous birth of the queen of the demons, and now Cassie and the baby have been kidnapped by one of the four demon princes fighting each other to lay claim to their new queen. Cassie hopes she can appeal to the human side of the child in order to save humanity, but as the child feeds upon her soul, Cassie must also battle the four demon-prince-uncles who intend for the infant to fulfill her dark destiny. The love of Cassie’s life, the sultry Fae warrior and heir to the Fae kingdom, Orion, is still searching for the Fae queen he’s been tasked to find, but he is also desperate to save Cassie from his archenemies. He is torn between his heart and his duty, but if he doesn’t save Cassie by Beltane, the blood bond that connects Cassie to Orion will forever be severed and she will be marked as an enemy to the Fae—one he is sworn by oath to kill. Fate was cruel when it linked Cassie and Orion together. Their attraction to each other is undeniable, their love assured, but these fated lovers are doomed by a curse that threatens to keep them apart. Every touch during every shared dream, every kiss during every cherished moment together is driving them closer to what will either be a victory of humanity or an end no mortal will be able to survive. Will love, in the end, truly conquer all or will it destroy them all?
I was really hoping to like this book but unfortunately theist, like the first book in the series, it just fell a little flat for me. The characters in this book are great, but it’s the plot that I found lacking. This book seems to want to mesh fantasy and romance like other popular series like ACOTAR but the fantasy world-building is a bit too confusing to feel super invested in the story and the romance gets dragged out a bit too much and isn’t heavy enough to make up for the lack of world development.
The main ideas and plot points are great but it’s the execution of it that has me on the fence about this book. The ending is engaging enough to make me want to read the next and final book in the series, but that’s about it.
I think this series is worth taking a look into, but if you’re a die-hard fantasy fan who values intricate stories and characters, you might be disappointed. Nevertheless, I still look forward to see what will happen next for these characters.
*I recieved an ARC from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.
Lynette Noni brings readers back to the world of The Prison Healer with the second book in the series, The Gilded Cage, which comes out on October 12th. We pick up where we left off in Kiva’s story, but the plot only thickens in this spell-binding and captivating story.
Kiva Meridan is a survivor. She survived not only Zalindov prison, but also the deadly Trial by Ordeal. Now Kiva’s purpose goes beyond survival to vengeance. For the past ten years, her only goal was to reunite with her family and destroy the people responsible for ruining their lives. But now that she has escaped Zalindov, her mission has become more complicated than ever. As Kiva settles into her new life in the capital, she discovers she wasn’t the only one who suffered while she was in Zalindov—her siblings and their beliefs have changed too. Soon it’s not just her enemies she’s keeping secrets from, but her own family as well. Outside the city walls, tensions are brewing from the rebels, along with whispers of a growing threat from the northern kingdoms. Kiva’s allegiances are more important than ever, but she’s beginning to question where they truly lie. To survive this time, she’ll have to navigate a complicated web of lies before both sides of the battle turn against her and she loses everything.
For those of you asking whether this book is just as good as its prequel, The Prison Healer, the answer is HELL YES!! It’s so easy to fall back into the Kiva’s world and see what is going on with these characters after the events in Book 1.
Without being too spoiler-y, the plot is engaging and it makes this book severely binge-worthy. On top of that, the cast of characters and the development of the main characters is fantastically done and it makes me SO EXCITED for Book 3 to come out (which better be as soon as freaking possible)!!!
Basically, if you haven’t checked out this series yet then I don’t know what you’re waiting for! This book is a fantasy lover’s dream and should be on everyone’s TBRs!
*I received an ARC from Clarion Teen via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Even though it’s coming out on October 12th, Tracy Ardeen’s new YA novel So, This Is Christmas has me ready for the holidays and all of the joy that comes along with the most wonderful time of the year! So what happens during the holidays in a town called Christmas when unexpected guests arrive? Only a little bit of holiday mischief...
When Finley Brown returned to her hometown of Christmas, Oklahoma, from boarding school, she expected to find it just as she left it. Christmas hasn't changed much in her sixteen years. But instead she returns to find that her best friend is dating her ex-boyfriend, her parents have separated, and her archnemesis got a job working at her grandmother's inn. And she certainly didn't expect to find the boy she may or may not have tricked into believing that Christmas was an idyllic holiday paradise on her grandmother's doorstep. It's up to Finley to make sure he gets the Christmas he was promised. This is Finley's Christmas. It's about home and family and friends and finding her place, and along the way she also finds the best Christmas present of all: love.
This book is like a Hallmark movie in book form (which isn’t surprising considering the author has literally written multiple screenplays for Hallmark) and it’s the perfect read to get you ready for the holiday season! With the holiday activities described in the book and the cozy romances in the air, it’s really not hard to fall in love with this book.
Not only is this YA romcom adorable, but I really enjoyed all of the subplots of the story that intermixed with the main plot, all of which is amazingly (and sarcastically) narrated by Finley. Plus, I’m a sucker for a small-town story and this book makes me want to visit Christmas, Oklahoma and experience the town for myself!
This is the perfect book to get you in the mood for the holidays (even if it’s only October lol)! Make sure to add this to your holiday TBRs!
*I received an ARC from Penguin Teen in exchange for my honest opinion.
When you first hear the words “magic hotel”, anyone’s first instinct is to experience the magic for themselves. However, in The Splendor by Breanna Shields (which comes out on September 28th), one girl realizes that sometimes separating fantasy and reality can be a dangerous thing.
When Juliette’s sister, Clare, returns from her birthday week at the magical hotel upon a hill, she comes back changed. All at once, it seems Clare’s love for Juliette has vanished. Or perhaps it was stolen. Deeply unsettled, Juliette uses the last of her savings to book a stay at the Splendor and unravel its mysteries. Run by the talented young illusionist, Henri, the halls are full of magnificent delights and alluring distractions. Every wonder seems to twist Juliette’s attention away from the answers lurking just beneath the surface. Even as Henri reveals the truths behind his illusions, Juliette is uncertain whom she can trust in this palace of lies. The Splendor promised Juliette her dreams, but the longer she stays, the more it feels like a nightmare.
This book was a really engaging read! The mysteries of The Splendor Hotel and the allure of magic was well written and the plot was entertaining. I can totally picture this book being made into a movie or something in the future since everything was so detailed.
Figuring out the secrets of the hotel through Juliette and Henri’s eyes was fascinating and made this YA novel a fun escape from reality (similar to The Splendor itself). I found some parts of it to be predictable, while others were shocking. However, to a younger audience, I think this book would be so enrapturing.
I think this is a great YA book for those just looking for a fantastical mystery, especially for younger readers on the YA spectrum. If you’re looking for a standalone fantasy that will be a quick read, then I highly recommend Shield’s novel!
*I received an ARC from Page Street Books in exchange for my honest opinion.
Staci Hart is back on the romcom scene with the release of her newest book, For Love Or Honey. Set to be published on September 21st, this buzz-worthy read brings readers back to Lindenbach, Texas for another small-town romance that will have you swooning.
When the devil comes to town, you have to meet him head-on. Which is exactly what Jo Blum did when Grant Stone rolled into her small Texas town, driving a sports car she could fit in the bed of her truck, wearing a suit as black as his soul. He’s here to acquire mineral rights to half a dozen farms in town and there’s no way he’s getting hers. She doesn't make deals with the devil. So when he challenges her to show him the small town ropes, Jo’s motivation is the prospect of seeing him make a fool of himself. He might have an angle, but if he thinks he can finagle her into endangering her bee farm, he’s got another thing coming. Until the line in the sand is washed away. Her family farm is in danger, her town is in upheaval, this man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants, and Jo is in the middle. When the devil comes to town, you have to meet him head-on. And when he sneaks into your heart, he’ll only break it.
As with every other Staci Hart book I’ve read, I binged this story so quickly and was enamored by the romance. The book seemed to start pretty abruptly so I definitely recommend at least reading Friends with Benedicts first for a little precursor to give you a little background on the town of Lindenbach; that being said, this book still totally works as a stand-alone novel!
I adore a good small-town romance and Hart is always a master at weaving together a small-town community in a book. Throw in a little enemies-to-lovers steaminess, a sexy man in some Wranglers and boots, and some other drama and you’ve got a delicious romance that is the perfect read to kick off your Fall with!
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: go read a Staci Hart book if you haven't already! This is just another example of why Hart is a fantastic romance writer and I cannot wait for the next book in this universe to be published!
*I received an ARC from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.
From bestselling author Helena Hunting comes a friends-to-lovers romance that will set off a new series of love for a set of isters. Set to be released on September 21st, When Sparks Fly shows how healing can help bring people together.
Avery Spark is living her best life. Between her friends, her sisters, and Spark House, the event hotel her family owns, she doesn’t have much time for anything else, especially relationships. She’d rather hang out with her best friend and roommate, Declan McCormick, than deal with the dating scene. But everything changes when she is in a car accident and needs someone to care for her as she heals. Declan avoids relationships, giving him a playboy reputation that he lives up to when he puts a one-night stand ahead of a promise he made to Avery. While he may not have been the one driving the car, he feels responsible for Avery’s injuries and is determined to make it up to her by stepping into the role of caretaker. Little did they know that the more time they spend in compromising positions, the attraction they’ve been refusing to acknowledge becomes impossible to ignore. When they finally give in to the spark between them, neither is prepared for the consequences. Their love is fragile and all it will take is a blow from the past to shatter it all.
I really enjoyed the trajectory of this story. The way these best friends deal with tragedy, altering their relationship, realizing their feelings, and overcoming the obstacles in their lives is so well done and shows that not every relationship can be solved with a single grand gesture and apology. That sometimes it takes time and work to make a relationship work.
Don’t worry my romcom fans: there are still plenty of steamy times in this book as well as journeys of healing (both physical and emotional) for Avery and Declan. However, this boo gave me a lot of Katherine Center vibes so if you’re a fan of her work and like a bit of steam then this is the book for you!
For my first Helena Hunting book, I was very satisfied with it! I can definitely see why people are such fans of her writing. I will definitely be checking out her blacklist collection while I wait for the rest of this series to come out!
*I received an ARC from St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Hi! My name is Elisa and my bookshelf is quite literally overflowing! Join me in my journey of reading as many books as humanly possible!