I can’t remember the last time I bought so many books….
To clarify: I did not buy all these books on one trip. Two of these books are from Amazon (A Crown of Wishes and Eliza and Her Monsters), the rest are from an independent bookstore three blocks away from the library I worked at for the last four months. Bad news is, that job was temporary and the project I was hired for is over. Good news is, I have more books on my TBR pile I am excited to read and will keep the time I have off entertaining until the next opportunity arises.
But, before anyone says anything, I already know that getting a job was the biggest mistake I ever made.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
I read The Upside of Unrequited this month and really enjoyed it. It was cute and fluffy, and I have also heard great things about Becky Albertalli’s first book, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. That’s why I bought it.
The book is about a boy named Simon, who is gay but has not come out to the people in his life. He is exchanging emails with a boy that calls himself Blue, but then the class clown discovers these emails and threatens to expose his secret. Plus, this one is being made into a movie.
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
I’ve had my eye on Between Shades of Gray for years, even before I read Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys. It is about a fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl who is rounded up with her family by the Soviet secret police and sent to a prison camp in Siberia. The first time I read the synopsis of this book, I knew I had never learned anything about this in school. It is another untold story from World War II, much like the Wilhelm-Gustloff in Salt to the Sea.
Windwitch by Susan Dennard
I read the first book in this series, Truthwitch, in June and became enthralled with the story as well as the characters. I knew I had to pick up the sequel, Windwitch, because it mainly focuses on a character I adored from the previous book and it has gotten really great reviews.
A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi
Like Truthwitch, I read the predecessor of A Crown of Wishes, The Star-Touched Queen, and enjoyed it so much I had to pick up the companion. While I think you can read A Crown of Wishes without having read The Star-Touched Queen, I am glad I read the latter first. Knowing who the characters will be in the second novel has given me context of what I can expect from this book. Besides, I loved the world of these stories and the influence of Indian mythology.
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
Eliza and Her Monsters is a young adult contemporary novel about a shy teenaged girl with anxiety who is an outcast at her high school. But online, she is the anonymous artist behind a popular web comic series. Then, Wallace, her web comic’s biggest fan and most popular fan fiction writer, transfers to her school and he has no idea who Eliza really is when they strike up a friendship. She wants to keep it that way, until her identity as the web comic artist is unintentionally revealed.
I saw Eliza and Her Monsters EVERYWHERE on BookTube and other bookish Internet places when it first came out. Everyone was reading and loving it. At the time I bought it, I had not read Made You Up, Francesca Zappia’s debut novel that I owned. Now that I have, I can honestly say my expectations for Eliza and Her Monsters are quite high.
Beautiful Broken Girls by Kim Savage
I first saw Beautiful Broken Girls on a YouTube video, but when I saw the cover in person, it drew me in. It has a haunting feel to it and it matches with the synopsis. Reminiscent of Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, teenager Ben is left clues by his friend Mira after she and her sister commit suicide. It leads him to unravel some shocking secrets about the girls, as well as forces him to face a traumatic event from his own past. While the reviews of Beautiful Broken Girls are not the highest on Goodreads, I am still interested in reading it.
How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake
After reading several books with main characters of the LGBTQ community, I wanted to read more books within the genre. How to Make a Wish is right up my alley: a bisexual girl that has a turbulent relationship with her mother falls in love with another girl who helps her realize her home situation is worse than she lets herself believe. While I am interested in learning more about bisexuality, I am drawn to books with kids dealing with mentally ill parents. I think I might really like How to Make a Wish once I get around to reading it.
Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer
Spindle Fire is another book I am really excited to read. It is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty featuring two sisters; one of them the Sleeping Beauty trapped in a horrifying dreamland with fairies and her half-sister is searching for a way to break the curse. Given how popular young adult retellings are, I’m surprised I have not heard much about Spindle Fire.
You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner
You’re Welcome, Universe is a young adult contemporary novel featuring a deaf graffiti artist who gets kicked out of her school for the deaf and forced to attend mainstream high school. As she adjusts to life at a school where she is the only deaf person, Julia finds herself in a heated battle with another mysterious graffiti artist that is sabotaging her work—except it is not a romance!
History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
Adam Silvera is an author I have been meaning to read for a while. Of the two books he has out so far, History is All You Left Me is the one I was most interested in. A teenaged boy, Griffin, loses his first love Theo in a drowning accident and the only person that can help him through his grief is Theo’s current boyfriend, Jackson. The book is all about Griffin’s relationship with Theo, past and present, as well as covers him dealing with his OCD. Also, I’ve heard History is All You Left Me is supposed to be a major tearjerker.
Mansfield Park & Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
I enjoy Jane Austen’s novels and, up until now, I read/owned four of her published books. When I saw these beautiful Signet Classic editions of Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park for cheap, I had to buy them. These are two of her least popular novels, but I’m still excited to read them. Particularly Northanger Abbey, which a college professor told me, is satire of the classic Gothic novel from the Victorian era.
Mad Miss Mimic by Sarah Henstra
I saw this book on Hailey in Bookland’s YouTube channel, but she only mentioned it was set in Victorian London. I saw this at the bookstore and read the summary, immediately liking it as much as I did the cover and title. Mad Miss Mimic follows Leo, a beautiful young heiress with a speech disorder that gives her a dreadful stutter as well as the ability to mimic any voice she hears, who gets wrapped up in the mystery behind a deadly opium poisoning the streets of London in 1872.
I love historical mysteries. I want to read this book right now. But, of course, there are others I need to read first.
Dumplin’ & Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy
Julie Murphy is an author I have wanted to get into for a while. Mainly, Dumplin’, which is about a plus-size girl who enters a beauty pageant to prove a point. As a plus-size girl myself, this book speaks to me on a certain level.
As for Ramona Blue, part of what drew me to it in the first place was the controversy surrounding it when its release was announced. The main character, Ramona, identifies as a lesbian, but she develops feelings for her childhood friend Freddie. This angered people as the summary implied that “the right guy can make a lesbian straight.” However, the author herself identifies as bisexual and the idea behind Ramona Blue is that sexuality is fluid. Of course, there is more to it than that, which is why I want to read it.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Another book I saw everywhere after it came out, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a young adult historical fiction novel about scoundrel Monty, bisexual young English lord who does not want his title and has a crush on his best friend, Percy. When their year abroad takes an unexpected turn, Monty finds himself in a middle of a manhunt that takes him all across Europe. I’ve heard this book is hilarious, plus I love the cover’s color scheme.
The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana
I did not pay much attention to The Library of Fates when its release was announced. Then, I saw it advertised as a book fans of The Star-Touched Queen and The Wrath & the Dawn would enjoy. I read the synopsis, and I totally agree with that statement.
The Library of Fates follows a young princess who promises herself as a bride to the brutal emperor to spare her kingdom. Only her sacrifice is not enough and she goes on the run with an oracle the emperor enslaved. The girls set out to find the Library of All Things to change their pasts, but the princess begins to wonder if the future holds more for her than she thought.
Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
The cover is what drew me to this book, although the insides don’t look too bad, either. Rachel had a crush on Henry and wrote him a love letter before she moved away, slipping it inside his favorite book at his parents’ bookstore. But he never responded. Years later, after her brother tragically drowns, she returns to that same bookstore and forced to work alongside Henry. The story centers on books and bookstores, which is the kind of plotline I love.
Hunted by Megan Spooner
Another Beauty and the Beast retelling—I’m game! Yeva is the daughter of a hunter that gains fortune, then loses it, and moves the family back to the woods. A born hunter, Yeva is happy to return and hears the call of the Beast like her father had. When her father loses his mind, disappearing into the woods, she goes looking for him. So is the Beast, but he has met his match in Yeva.
The plot of the story, as well as the fact that Yeva is a hunter from high society, reminds me a lot of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. That is probably why I finally gave in to buying it.
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
I already own another of Agatha Christie’s books, The Monogram Murders, except I haven’t read it yet. And Then There Were None is said to be her best novel ever, as well as one of the best mysteries ever written. Ten strangers are lured to an island and are trapped there during a storm while they are killed off one by one. It sounds terrifying.
Little Monsters by Kara Thomas
Young adult thrillers are my guilty pleasure. Particularly ones set in small towns where the main character can’t trust anyone. Little Monsters is exactly that. Kacey moves in with her father and is welcomed into a loving new family after years of living with her unstable mother. She makes new friends, Bailey and Jade, who invite her to do everything with them until they don’t. Then, Bailey disappears after the party of the year and all eyes are on Kacey. So, she goes to look for answers and realizes not everyone is who they appear to be.
Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall
Norah is a seventeen-year-old girl who suffers from agoraphobia and OCD. She never leaves her house as a result. Then, she meets Luke while struggling to bring in the groceries off her porch with a stick and the two become friends. But when they grow closer than she ever thought possible, Norah has a decision to make: let Luke go or finally see herself beyond her disabilities.
While I am not a fan of “the boy changing the girl’s perspective” plot device, I do see the potential. I am interested in reading more mental health books and the cover is absolutely beautiful.
Lastly, there is a lot of Jojo Moyes, my favorite women’s fiction author, in this haul. I have read two of her books, Me Before You and The Girl You Left Behind. I enjoyed both of those books, yet I did not read any of her works this year, or last year. Now that I own all the books she has published in the USA, I plan on changing that in 2018.
Of her books, I bought:
The Horse Dancer
A recently divorced lawyer takes a fourteen-year-old girl with a horse under her wing. But as her grandfather is sick in the hospital, the girl is hiding a secret.
One Plus One
A single mother and her math-whiz daughter get stranded on the side of the road on their way to a competition when their car breaks down. A tech millionaire whose life is falling apart comes to their rescue, leading to a road trip that changes their lives for the better.
The Ship of Brides
Set right after World War II has ended, 650 war brides board the HMS Victoria from Sydney, Australia to England to fulfill the promises to the men they married. One of those women is Frances Mackenzie, whose past comes back to haunt her midst her journey to her new home.
A heartbroken single mom moves with her little girl to a seaside town to help her aunt run the family’s hotel. After vowing to never fall in love again, she meets a kindhearted Englishman that threatens to break that vow, as well as the bay and hotel she values.
A woman is emotionally estranged from her teenaged daughter and physically estranged from her mother. When the teenaged girl goes to visit her grandmother in Ireland, the grandmother is forced to face secrets of her past that will hopefully repair the relationships between mother and daughter, as well as granddaughter and grandmother.
A designer and newly minted single mom moves into a crumbling estate she is hired to restore, left behind by another young woman with broken dreams years before. The estate they both have come to love intertwine their lives.
Whew! OK…I’m done.