newly released books i’m excited for

Alternatively titled, brand new books with gorgeous covers that I definitely would not mind someone giving me out of the kindness of their heart, hint hint. (Even though I already own one out of the list. But I wouldn’t object to a second copy!)

  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (feb 28)
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    I’ve heard so much good about this one! It’s a YA contemporary inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and everyone is raving about it. It tackles serious topics from the view of a sixteen-year-old girl, it’s simultaneously important and humorous, and I really want to get my hands on a copy.


  • The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi (march 28)
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    I’ve been waiting for this one for at least a year and it’s finally out! It’s an MG adventure about “a steampunk Jumanji with a Middle Eastern flair” with a Bangladeshi-American main character and lots of family dynamics. Also, apparently, a lot of food descriptions Every aspect of the book just looks so good. Out of this entire list, this is the one I currently want most.


  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (march 28)
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    I actually don’t know the premise of this one clearly, so it’s kind of a mystery to me, but I’ve heard the prose is really beautiful. It’s apparently about an orphan-dreamer-librarian and a mythical lost city, which is a really cool premise even though it doesn’t give away much. Of course, the only way to find out more is to read it!


  • Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham (feb 21)
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    This one is a YA historical fiction mystery with two points-of-view a hundred years apart! There’s a girl who finds a skeleton and starts investigating a century-old murder, and a boy in Tulsa in 1921. And of course I love mysteries and historical fiction (well, I love everything and those genres fall under everything), so I really really want this book.


  • A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab (feb 21)
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    This is the only one from the list that I’ve actually started. I’ve already posted pictures of my (twice) signed copy here and I’m reading this slowly, but I’m very excited to see how everything concludes. The basic concept is four parallel Londons with varying degrees of magic, if you don’t already know that. In this book specifically, there are boats and funny scenes on said boats and very intense moments, as well as multiple things I haven’t gotten to yet so no spoilers. This is a wonderful series, people. Read it if you haven’t already!


  • Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves (march 28)
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    This one is a YA historical fantasy! It takes place in Hungary and it’s about a girl who can’t do magic at all but comes from a family of people with pretty powerful magic. Of course, it’s a concept that has been done before, but I want to read it for the setting, history, and pretty cover if nothing else. Plus I’ve heard that it takes its own unique spin on the concept, so I’m excited to read it!


  • The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco (march 7)
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    This is a YA paranormal fantasy about a necromancer named Tea! According to the summary, necromancers are feared and she has to leave her kingdom to train under an older, wiser necromancer. I love stories about necromancers and such, so nothing to object to here!


  • Strangers in Atlantis by Matt Myklusch (april 1)
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    This is the second of the Seaborne books, and it happens to be by one of my favorite authors (who also wrote the Jack Blank series, which I HIGHLY recommend). It’s MG and it’s about pirates and apparently there’s a gateway to Atlantis, so all good things!


  • Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan (march 14)
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    This one is a contemporary MG featuring a Pakistani-American girl! It’s about identity and culture and dealing with vandalization, and I want this book so much. I want them all so much. Please give them to me.


Do any of these books appeal to you, and if so, which ones? Are you willing to gift me any of them? Or all of them? Let me know!

MAGICAL WORD OF THE DAY/WEEK/MONTH/WHATEVER:

Savoir faire, which is the ability to act or speak appropriately in a social setting. Also known as something I do not have.

-THE END-

character studies: introducing kesslyn

character studiesI’m late in doing this, but better late than never, right?

Character Studies is a monthly interview thing for characters, so if you’d like to know more, go visit Shim’s blog! I’m using my character Kesslyn from Color it Right, which is my story about cyborgs and parasites.

[part one]

WHAT’S YOUR NAME?  DO YOU HAVE A NICKNAME?  IS THERE ANY MEANING BEHIND YOUR NAME OR YOUR NICKNAME?

Kesslyn. Friends call me Kessie, which I hate, and there’s no meaning I’m aware of.

HOW OLD DO YOU LOOK?  IS THAT YOUR REAL AGE?  HOW OLD ARE YOU, ACTUALLY?

Apparently, I look eleven or so because of my wide eyes and just my face overall. I’m actually fourteen.

WHAT’S YOUR GENDER?

Female.

WHAT’S YOUR EYE COLOR?  HOW EASY IS TO TELL YOUR EYE COLOR FROM A DISTANCE?

Dark brown, and it’s pretty easy, I would guess.

WHAT’S YOUR ETHNICITY?  DOES ANYBODY EVER GET IT WRONG?

I’m Phrexan. Don’t know why anyone would get that wrong, since there are no foreigners in Phrex. Welllll, there’s one, but the rest of Phrex doesn’t know that and hopefully never will.

WHAT’S YOUR BUILD?  HOW TALL ARE YOU?  ARE YOU STRONG?

I’m semi-skinny, at an average height (5’5″) with average strength.

WHAT’S YOUR FOREMOST PHYSICAL TRAIT—THE FIRST THING SOMEONE WILL NOTICE ABOUT YOUR APPEARANCE?

I guess that would be my hair? It’s a super curly mess. But as I’m pretty used to my appearance, I can’t really guess at what’s noticeable about me.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE OUTFIT, OR WHAT DO YOU WEAR THE MOST?  WHY IS THAT YOUR FAVORITE?

I have this knee-length dress that’s white with a blue-and-orange skirt, which I wear a small purple jacket along with. Just think it’s pretty.

 HOW DO YOU USUALLY INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO NEW PEOPLE?

I usually tell them my name and then turn the conversation around to them.

BONUS: WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WERE A PIRATE?

*author implants knowledge of pirates into character’s head* I’d be a sailing master. It requires an education and is both challenging and well-paid, all of which sounds pretty good to me.

[part two]

HOW DO YOU USUALLY ENTER A ROOM?  (DRAMATIC ENTRANCE, WALK IN BEHIND SOMEBODY SO YOU AREN’T NOTICED, ETC.)

I walk in silently, maybe try to smile at someone, and sit down as quickly as possible.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN ONE WORD?

Curious.

THREE WORDS?

Curious + easily confused.

WHAT KIND OF FIRST-IMPRESSION DO YOU USUALLY MAKE?  DO YOU THINK IT’S A GOOD FIRST-IMPRESSION?

I think I maybe come off as shy and pretty trusting, both of which are true. But I also come across as weird because of who my best friend is, and people generally know I’m friends with him before they know who I am. That’s obviously not a good impression–of either of us.

WHAT KIND OF FIRST-IMPRESSION DO YOU WANT TO MAKE?

I want to seem friendly and like I’ll listen if anyone needs to talk. Someone people can trust with anything.

HOW WOULD YOUR BEST FRIEND DESCRIBE YOU?

He’d just say I’m his best friend like that’s all that he needs to say. And it probably is.

HOW WOULD YOUR ENEMY (OR LEAST FAVORITE PERSON) DESCRIBE YOU?

I don’t really have an enemy (author is laughing evilly and says to add yet to that sentence) but my least favorite people would say I’m stubborn and strange and a little too nervous all the time.

DO YOU AGREE WITH EITHER (OR BOTH) OF THOSE DESCRIPTIONS?  WHY?

Yeah, because they’re true. Besides the part about me being strange, which I don’t think I am.

HOW DO YOU USUALLY EXIT A ROOM?

Reluctantly.

BONUS: IF YOU WERE A FLOWER, WHAT KIND OF FLOWER WOULD YOU BE?

Author says nonflower, but I don’t know what that is. I’d be . . . hold on, I’m going to take a quiz.

The quiz says sunflower. I’ve decided on hyacinths, though. Just because.

review-ish-thingies: lazy lists about really great books

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

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look how gorgeousssss they both are

  1. funny but also serious
  2. emotional
  3. well-developed, very realistic, and relatable characters
  4. unique world and mythology
  5. BIRD-PEOPLE
  6. SHIPS IN THE SKY
  7. really, really, really great prose and style
  8. “Because every time someone finds a new animal, or a new amazing thing on earth, it means we haven’t broken everything yet.”
  9. sky pirates need i say more
  10. “Something has happened above the clouds that man has not yet accounted for.”
  11. once you read this book, you will never look at clouds the same way again
  12. “You’ve never seen surprise until you’ve looked into the eyes of an ascending bovine.”

Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

I don’t really have a list of stuff for this one, since I’m not really sure how to review short stories + I don’t want to spoil anything, so here are my basic thoughts on the new stories, spoilers removed:

The Keeper showed Scarlet’s life when she was younger, and added more depth to her family, ‘specially her grandmother. Little Scarlet was cute.

After Sunshine Passes By was super sad AND POOR CRESS THAT IS NO LIFE FOR A NINE-YEAR-OLD.

The Princess and the Guard showed the evolution of Winter and Jacin’s friendship and it was SUPER CUTE AAAAH but also really dark at parts.

The Mechanic . . . well, KAIIIIII. That is all.

And Something Old, Something New included Thorne being ridiculous and everyone being cute and OH MY GOSH. That one was my favorite, of course, along with The Princess and the Guard.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

A Darker Shade final for Irene

IT CAPTURES THE BOOK SO WELL

  1. you totally can’t tell from the title, but it’s dark
  2. “Kell wore a very peculiar coat.”
  3. parallel Londons
  4. unpredictable, awesome plot, but with lots of foreshadowing and lots of space for theories about the next book
  5. so much action and really high stakes
  6. splendiferous worldbuilding
  7. Lila Bard, the girl who’s a pickpocket and a PIRATE, sort of
  8. Kell, the adopted prince who can travel between worlds and is unofficially a smuggler
  9. Holland, the scary dude
  10. the poor guy though
  11. lots of different settings with different feels to ’em
  12. seriously Victoria Schwab is so good at settings

(warning: technically A Darker Shade of Magic is an adult book.)

MAGICAL WORD OF THE DAY/WEEK/MONTH/WHATEVER:

Corsair, which is another word for . . . *drumroll* . . . pirate.

-THE END-

review-ish-thingy: passenger by alexandra bracken

passenger

JUST STARE AT IT FOR A WHILE

First off, look at the cover! It’s absolutely gorgeous. The summary is awesome as well, and since I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book, I obviously had to read it.

Right before the summary, it says this:

passage, n.

i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.

ii. A journey by water; a voyage.

iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

That’s basically a really clever way of saying that the story is, in essence, about a violinist, a (legal) pirate, and time-travel. And the time-travel is done SO WELL. The people Etta meets act just like I assume they would centuries ago, and the story goes on to describe not only Etta’s struggle of trying to appear as if she belongs in whatever century she’s ended up in, but also the characters’ struggles with the misogyny or racism of the past.

The descriptions are one of the best aspects of this book because they’re so vivid and just splendiferous. But the dialogue follows right behind on the greatness-scale, which is good since it seems like there’s a lot more of it when you get deeper into the book. The characters are realistic and awesome, even Sophia, who sometimes makes things really difficult for Etta and Nicholas but is otherwise not really that bad. In fact, Sophia’s probably my favorite antagonist. Ever. Her motivation is wonderful.

Two random quotes I liked:

  • “‘Don’t mind him. He’s allowed one day of good nature a year and he’s already spent it.'”
  • “. . . but I must venture through time with the pirate queen would be met with confusion, and fear for Nicholas’s mind.”

Also, THERE’S AWKWARDNESS. THERE’S BETRAYAL. THERE’S HISTORY AND CLEVER PLOT TWIST AFTER CLEVER PLOT TWIST. THERE ARE HARD RIDDLES AND HIGH STAKES. What more could you want?

Although there was one scene about three-fourths in that I disliked and which ruined a bit of the book for me, the plot and the action helped me get right back into enjoying the story. So, ignoring the existence of that one scene, this is the BEST book I’ve read this year and it’ll be pretty hard to beat.

MAGICAL WORD OF THE DAY/WEEK/MONTH/WHATEVER:

Acersecomic, which means someone who has never cut their hair in their lifetime. It would make a great name for a Rapunzel retelling . . .

-THE END-