TeensRead Winter + Spring 2019 Preview Picks

Two months ago, I was fortunate enough to attend the Raincoast BooksTeensRead Winter and Spring 2019 Preview event in Toronto. As always there were some of the best donuts I’ve ever had, awesome swag bags, and of course tons of amazing books that were presented to us. Below are my top three picks from the preview and for 2019.

1. Comics Will Break Your Heart by Faith Evans Hicks (on sale February 12th, 2019)

Faith Evan Hicks is a Canadian cartoonist and animator known for her graphic novel. Comics Will Break Your Heart is her first young adult novel. The plot of this book inspired by the real life stories of comic creators of companies like DC and Marvel who lost the rights to their creations, and thus were never fairly compensated for their work, comics will break your heart is about Miriam the granddaughter of one of the creators of a well-known superhero who was betrayed by my co-creator as a result her family is now penniless. While Miriam is trying to out if she truly wants more than what her small town can offer, she meets a cute boy who of course ends up being the grandson of the man who betrayed her grandfather. I got an ARC of this one at the preview event and am intrigued by it. Hopefully I’ll get around to reading this one. Fun fact, Comics Will Break Your Heart is apparently the first book in a series, though I hope the book is a standalone and the next book is about other characters.

2. Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo (on sale May 7th, 2019)

At the time of the preview, we didn’t have a cover for this book. However, now that we do can I just say how adorable it is? Of all the titles mentioned during the preview, this one is without a doubt my most anticipated title! Another romantic comedy from Maurene Goo, Somewhere Only We Know is a modern take on the classic Audrey Hepburn film  Roman Holiday only with Hong Kong setting and a potential romance with Kpop singer and the son of a paparazzi who is trying to impress his dad. I cannot wait to read this one, and *fingers crossed* I’ll be able to snag an advance of it!

3.We Hunt the Flame (We Hunt the Flame #1) by Hafsah Faizal (on sale May 14th, 2019)

We Hunt the Flame is getting ALOT of buzz on social media and a lot of people at the preview were excited for it. I love the tagline for this book which is, “people lived because she killed, people died because he lived”. Doesn’t that speak your curiosity? The author herself is Muslim and she wanted to write a diverse fantasy novel with an Arabica setting with no genies or even supernatural elements. The first in a duology, We Hunt the Flame promises to be a thrilling novel that is all about discovering who you are and conquering your fear.

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5 Books from Penguin Random House That I’m Excited For This Fall and Winter

This month and last month, I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend a couple of book previews from some publishers. Two of these preview events were from Penguin Random House. The first was their annual Fall Preview for fiction and non-fiction titles and the second was the annual Fall-I-Day Kids and Teen Preview. Both events were lots of fun, with great food and guests. You can get a glimpse of the events on my Instagram account @WordsofMystery. You should also check out the hashtags #PRHCFallPreview and #fallidaypreview on social media for more fun. Anyways without further delay, here are my top picks from both events this season!

1. The Pocket Butler’s Guide to Travel: A Compact Guide to Travelling Well: From Efficient Packing to Etiquette in a Foreign Land by Charles MacPherson

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Charles The Butler (as he is fondly know as) has written couple of guide books, and his latest is a compact guide to all things travel. As someone always on the lookout for tips and tricks for travel, I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what kind of advice Charles The Butler has to offer. This guide is apparently also quite small in size which means it would fit perfectly within a carry-on which would make it a perfect gift for the traveler in your life.

2. The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

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Earlier this year I read Jasmine Guillory’s The Wedding Date and while I appreciated the diverse representation and the string, independent heroine it wasn’t exactly my favourite romance. That being said, I did like the character of Carlos and was curious as to what his story would be like. But what really had me intrigued enough to add this book to my TBR was this article by Jasmine Guillory on how it’s okay to say no to a ring, something that the heroine in The Proposal finds herself doing in a very public way.

3. Design Your Next Chapter: How to Realize Your Dreams and Reinvent Your Life by Debbie Travis (November 20th 2018)

Lately, I’ve felt like I’m at a crossroads in more than one aspect of my life.  This is something that Debbie Travis probably has also felt as she started as a TV and Home Decor guru before she decided she needed a new challenge in life. This lead to her purchasing a 13th century Tuscan villa where she now runs empowering retreats for women. Providing advice on how to make a life change and/or “switch” I’m interested in seeing what Travis has to say about reinventing your life.

4. Paperback Crush: The Totally Radical History of ’80s and ’90s Teen Fiction by Gabrielle Moss

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Quirk Books is known for putting out unique and fun titles, and Paperback Crush is no exception. Authour, Gabrielle Moss is an editor for Bustle and has written for The New Yorker, Slate, GQ.com, The Hairpin, The Toast among many other places. In Paperback Crush looks at the history of Young Adult fiction in the 1980s and 1990s from a feminist perspective. I’m not totally obsessed with YA fiction from that era but having grown up with The Babysitters Club series, I’m definitely interested in checking this book out and learning more about 80s and 90s YA fiction. Plus who knows? Maybe I’ll even end up adding some more of these books to my TBR.

5. Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner (February 26th 2019)bluebird

So this one actually comes out early next year. Jeff Zentner is a YA author that many of my fellow book bloggers love. Despite his books being in the  contemporary YA fiction genre, I haven’t read any of them as of yet. I love that this one is about two friends who are in their final year of high school and are dealing with their lives going in different directions as this is something I can definitely relate to. Furthermore,  I was told that unlike his previous books this one won’t be as sad and in fact it will be funny so I may make this one my first Jeff Zentner read.

5 YA Books I’m Looking Forward to this Fall

I’ve always said, as a book blogger its easy to forget what season we’re actually in because many of us are always reading ahead. For instance, over the last month or so I’ve had the pleasure of attending to bookish events that showcased some of the publisher’s upcoming fall titles. And while summer hasn’t officially begun, it can’t hurt to get a head start on creating your fall reading list. With that being said, here are a few YA titles that will be coming out in the fall season.


Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adis Khorram (August 28th, 2018)
I’ve heard great things about this one from many people. Darius is a half Persian, half White American teenaged boy who is forced to go back to Iran with his family due to the declining health of his maternal grandparents which causes him to feel even more out of place than normal. The main character self-identifies as a geek, so expect lots of references from shows like Star Trek. There’s also mental health representation as both Darius and his father suffer from depression and both deal with it in very different ways. Darius the Great is Not I Okay seems primed to be a heartwarming novel and I love that it is set in Iran as the authour is from there and we don’t often get YA contemporary novels set in the Middle East.

The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees by Don Brown (September 18, 2018) 

As a child of immigrants, one who was a refugee as well as someone who works in a field where we deal with a lot of marginalized individuals I’m always curious about the stories of those in other countries. The Unwanted Stories of Syrian Refugees is a timely read and given that it’s a graphic novel, this one is also good for just about anyone who wants to learn more about the conflict in the Middle East and the Syrian refugees. Featuring actual refugee stories, this one is an important read on a tough subject matter.

Carols and Chaos by Cindy Anstey (October 9, 2018)

So I haven’t read the Suitors and Sabotage books yet, however, it’s not mandatory to do so in order to enjoy Carols and Chaos. I love a good winter holiday read and this one with its side of mystery and danger in addition to romance sounds intriguing, to say the least. Plus I love a good historical setting and it’s always enjoyable to get a story from the perspective of the house staff rather than just the wealthy. And I’m always game for books that are recommended for Jane Austen fans.

Kingdom of The Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao (November 6th, 2018)

So I didn’t realize that Julie C. Dao was a Vietnamese writer until recently, which only adds to my excitement for this book. A companion novel to Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, which I haven’t read yet Kingdom of The Blazing Phoenix is a retelling of Snow White that takes place years after the events of Forest of a Thousand LanternsNow normally I not much of a fantasy reader, but I’m all for supporting Asian voices plus I’ve heard great things about this one so I’m stoked to read and review this one for my blog. Also look at that amazing cover! Stay tuned for a review of this title on the blog in November.

Dear Heartbreak: YA Authors and Teens on the Dark Side of Love by Heather Demetrios (December 18, 2018)

Dear Heartbreak isn’t your typical YA anthology. Bringing together some of the biggest names in YA, this book is a series of letters from real teens writing to their favourite authours who in turn reply to them. Each of the authours has chosen a letter that hits close to home with them, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what some of my favourite authours like Gayle Forman, and Sandhya Menon have to say on things like break-ups, cheating, betrayal, and loneliness.

What are some of your guys’ most anticipated titles for this Fall?

Frenzy Presents | Spring 2018

Last month I had the pleasure of attending the Frenzy Presents Spring Preview at the new HarperCollins Canada office. As always it was a fun day filled with good company, great snacks and of course lots of book talk! Not to mention we got to hear authour, Hadley Dyer talk about her  new YA novel Here So Far Away. As per tradition instead of doing a full recap, I thought I’d once again share my top HarperCollins Spring/Summer YA titles picks with you guys. Feel free to let me know in the comments below which books you guys are most looking forward to.


Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli – April 24, 2018

Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

So I’m going, to be honest here. I never really got on the Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda bandwagon with the book and so my first Becky Albertalli book was actually The Upside of Unrequited which I liked but didn’t really love. I did, however, adore the movie adaption of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens AgendaLove Simon which made me really fall for Simon and his group of friends. And while I’m nervous at the thought of Leah and her group of friends drifting apart during their senior year of high school, I am excited for Leah to finally get her own book!

Puddin’ by Julie Murphy – May 8, 2018

Millie Michalchuk has gone to fat camp every year since she was a little girl. Not this year. This year she has new plans to chase her secret dream of being a newscaster—and to kiss the boy she’s crushing on.

Callie Reyes is the pretty girl who is next in line for dance team captain and has the popular boyfriend. But when it comes to other girls, she’s more frenemy than friend.

When circumstances bring the girls together over the course of a semester, they surprise everyone (especially themselves) by realizing that they might have more in common than they ever imagined.

So this was a title that I was fortunate enough to read before the event as an eGalley. I did read Dumplin’ but it just wasn’t for me. Puddin’, however, was an awesome, heartwarming read! I love the female friendships in this book and all the girl power that happens. Pitched as a title that would appeal to fans of Rainbow Rowell’s books, I also think this is perfect for those who may not love Rainbow Rowell’s books but are looking for a feel-good read to put them in a happy mood. Look for my review of this one on the blog early next week.

Mariam Sharma Hits the Road by Sheba Karim – June 5, 2018

The summer after her freshman year in college, Mariam is looking forward to working and hanging out with her best friends: irrepressible and beautiful Ghazala and religious but closeted Umar. But when a scandalous photo of Ghaz appears on a billboard in Times Square, Mariam and Umar come up with a plan to rescue her from her furious parents. And what better escape than New Orleans?

The friends pile into Umar’s car and start driving south, making all kinds of pit stops along the way–from a college drag party to a Muslim convention, from alarming encounters at roadside diners to honky-tonks and barbeque joints.

Along with the adventures, the fun banter, and the gas station junk food, the friends have some hard questions to answer on the road. With her uncle’s address in her pocket, Mariam hopes to learn the truth about her father (and to make sure she didn’t inherit his talent for disappearing). But as each mile of the road trip brings them closer to their own truths, they know they can rely on each other, and laughter, to get them through.

So out of all the titles that were presented during the event, this one was my most anticipated title. It’s a summer story of a group of friends who embark on a road trip together to New Orleans. The characters are said to be relatable and hilarious and I like that it tackles the cultural issues along with the usual teenage drama. I also like that the characters are in university as opposed to high school like in most YA novels. This one’s recommended for contemporary fans who’ve enjoyed books like When Dimple Met Rishi.  I actually manage to snag an ARC of this one at the event, so if you guys are interested in seeing my review of it on the blog let me know in the comments below.

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning – July 31, 2018

Ever since her best friend Anna died, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. Hiding her talents, mourning her loss, drowning in her guilt.

Then a girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears on the shore, and the two girls catch the eyes of two charming princes. Suddenly Evie feels like she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after.

But magic isn’t kind, and her new friend harbors secrets of her own. She can’t stay in Havnestad—or on two legs—without Evie’s help. And when Evie reaches deep into the power of her magic to save her friend’s humanity—and her prince’s heart—she discovers, too late, what she’s bargained away.

For fans of fairy tale retellings and the musical Wicked, Sea Witch is the story of the evil witch in The Little Mermaid (known to Disney fans as “Ursula”). Pretty much every blogger I knew was excited for this one. And while I’m more of a contemporary YA girl myself, the comparison to Wicked (my favourite Broadway musical) in addition to the promise of strong female characters and friendship on top of a revenge plot has me intrigued. And while I’m not really the biggest fan of getting to know the “villians”, I am curious to see Henning’s unique take on the classic story of The Little Mermaid. Not to mention just how awesome and haunting the cover is of this book is! Also recommended for fans of Danielle Paige’s Dorothy Must Die series.

Winter/Spring 2018 Preview (Raincoast Books)

Back in September, I got the opportunity to attend the Toronto session  at the Bloor/Gladstone Library. Hosted by Vanessa and Laura from Ampersand Inc. as well as Jenn from Lost in a Great Book, the event was a fun, snack-filled chance to watch the live stream with other book lovers of the actual preview event that was taking place in Vancouver, BC.

Since the end of November is much closer to 2018, I thought that now would be the perfect time for me to share with you guys my top four picks from all the titles that were showcased at the preview event.

1. Busted by Gina Ciocca (on sale January 1st, 2018)

This was the very first title that was presented during the preview. Pitched as “Veronica Mars meets 10 Things I Hate About You”, Busted is definitely a must read for contemporary YA fiction lovers. If you love Jenny Han and Morgan Matson then this one is recommended for you! Seeing as I’ve loved several books by both of those authors, I immediately added this one onto my TBR list. This book features spying and a protagonist who finds herself falling for the guy who she shouldn’t as not only is he unavailable he’s also her “mark”. Stay tuned for my review of this book in early 2018!

2. Wires and Nerves, Volume 2 by Marissa Meyer, illustrated by Stephen Gilpin (on sale January 30th, 2018)

Like many book bloggers, I’m a HUGE fan of Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series. The graphic novels are set after the events of the main series, and they follow Iko who’s known as Cinder’s android best friend. The graphic novels find Iko teaming up with some familiar faces and I definitely can’t wait for the second and final volume to come out!

3. Brazen by Pénélope Bagieu (on sale March 6th, 2018)

The past year and a bit I’ve be really getting into feminist and empowering reads like The Mother of All QuestionsWonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History and Kelly Jensen’s Here We AreBrazen is the latest book to follow the trend of female empowering reads. The book features profiles of 29 different women and unlike the books before it, this one is told in graphic novel format! Combining with my love of comics with my growing interest in women’s history and stories, this book has made it high on my list of must reads for 2018!

4. How I Resist: Activism and Hope for the Next Generation by Maureen Johnson and Tim Federle (on sale May 1st, 2018)

Since this book doesn’t come out until May 2018, there’s not cover for it yet. Anyways lately given all that’s happening in the world right now, it’s no surprise to see an increase in books talking about human rights and activism. How I Resist features essays about activism and hope (which many of us can use during these times) from many well-known YA authors and actors that’s meant to inspire everyone not just the young people it’s targeting!

So what 2018 titles, are you most looking forward to? Let me know in the comments below.

Fall Books Preview 2017

Fall marks the return of school, and the return of people coming back to work from their summer vacation. But book lovers may also know it as the prime “book season”, when many great releases are out, serval literary festivals are happening and the major book awards are given. This month I had the opportunity to attend two different fall book previews each with amazing author guests, and  so instead of doing a full event recap for each event I thought I’d highlight a few of the titles from both that I’m looking forward to.

Penguin Random House

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin (Out Now)

This one is one that I’ve actually read before the preview. It’s about a young woman who as an intern has an affair with her married, a congressman. Told from various points of views including the woman, her mother and the congressman’s wife this book unexpectedly became one of my favourites for it’s incredibly female empowering message. A review of this book will be up on the blog some time next week.

Smitten Kitchen: Every Day Triumphant & Unfussy New Favourites by Deb Perelman (October 24, 2017)

I don’t often cook or bake, but when I do I tend to visit food blogs for inspiration. I stumbled upon the Smitten Kitchen blog last year when I was looking for recipes for my Christmas cookie swap with my friends. I love the simplistic blog layout, gorgeous photos and the easy to follow recipes. It’s been more than four years since the last Smitten Kitchen book and based on the previews, this one promises the usual drool worthy food photos and family friendly, accessible recipes. For those of you interested, Deb Perelman will be coming to Canada for a signing at Chapters Bayview on October 26!

Unqualified by Anna Faris (October 24, 2017)

This one is rather interesting seeing as Anna Faris and her husband, Chris Pratt have just announced that they’re separating. Chris is still confirmed to be doing the foreword to the book as announced earlier. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book but after reading an excerpt of her book where she talks about how its importance of friendships especially female friendships outside of your romantic relationships, I found her writing to be relatable and interesting so I’ll definitely be picking this one up. Unqualified has been suggested as being a must read if you’re a fan of Faris’ podcast or even if you enjoy funny, female memoirs.

Christmas at the Vinyl Cafe by Stuart McLean (October 31, 2017)

I grew up with CBC radio, and Stuart McLean’s Vinyl Cafe show was one of the staples of my Canadian childhood. Sadly with his passing earlier this year, 2017 will be the first year without a Vinyl Cafe Christmas special. This collection includes some previously recorded stories as well as some new ones, so I’m definitely excited for it as it would make for some perfect Christmas reading.

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce (November 7, 2017)

I adored Rachel Joyce’s The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy and after hearing abut The Music Shop, I’m eagerly anticipating this one as well. Inspired by a real life event, and taking place in the 1980s and featuring a record store where the owner has a “gift” for finding music that people need at a certain point in their life. Described as quirky and heartwarming and recommended for fans of Terry Fallis’ The Best Laid Plans this one is definitely on my must read list this fall. (I managed to get an ARC of this one, so stay tuned for my review of it on the blog)

HarperCollins (YA)

If There’s No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Out Now)

I haven’t read anything by Jennifer L. Armentrout yet, but the tagline for this book “how can you move on if tomorrow isn’t guaranteed” has me intrigued. Also I looked up the synopsis of this one online and it sounds like it would be an interesting contemporary YA novel with the added bonus of a swoon-worthy book boyfriend! This one was recommended for fans of All the Bright Places as well as 99 Days.

One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake (September 19th)

I quite enjoyed Three Dark Crowns and am looking forward to more action in the sequel! This series is about a set of triplets who must fight to the death in order to become the next queen! Recommended for fans of complex, and messy sibling relationships and readers who love the fantasy genre.

Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West (December 26th)

So this one was my most anticipated titles out all the ones that were presented! I love a good contemporary YA novel and am a huge fan of the friends to lovers trope. Plus I love reading books were characters have their own bucket lists and are trying to check things off their list. This is mostly because I’ve always wanted to make a bucket list but could never really commit to doing one so its fun for me to live vicariously through others even book characters.

So what are you guys looking forward to this fall? Let me know in the comments below!