6 YA Books to Read This Fall

Fall is just around the corner, and with a new season comes more great new read to cozy up with. Over the past few months, I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to attend a couple of fall previews. So for those of you who are looking to add even more books to your TBR pile you’re in luck, because I’ve got some recommendations to share with you guys.

Butterfly Yellow by Thanhha Lai (September 3, 2019)

This one is high on my reading list as there still aren’t many #ownvoices novels featuring Vietnamese protagonists. It follows a girl named Hằng who finally makes it to the US and is looking to reunite with her brother, Linh. Along for the ride is her new friend, LeeRoy who dreams of being a cowboy. Of all the titles presented at Frenzy Presents, this is story of unlikely friendship, road trips, displacement and family is probably my most anticipated read.

 

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin (September 3, 2019)

At the Frenzy Presents event, the one word that was used to describe this book was “filthy”. Other than that, the concept of a forbidden romance between a witch and a witch hunter has me intrigued. This is the one title that has been compared to the Sarah J. Maas books and it is also perfect if you liked dark fantasy series like Rin Chupeco’s The Bone Witch.

 

There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool (September 3, 2019)

This book was my YA Horoscopes match for the TeensRead Fall 2019 Preview. Compared to Six of Crows, this book promises to turn the trope of the Chosen One on its head. Fair warning though, this book is far bleaker than Six of Crows. If you want to know more about my thoughts on this book, be sure to come by the blog next week for my blog stop and review for this title.

Frankly in Love by David Yoon (September 10, 2019)

The name David Yoon may ring a bell because of his wife, Nicola Yoon who is a best-selling YA author and whose books have both been turned into major movies. However, with his debut novel he proves that he’s also a gifted writer. In fact, Frankly in Love is currently on my list of top reads of 2019! Highly recommend this well-written and touching story about first love, family and being the kid of immigrant parents.

Unpregnant by Jenni Hendriks and Ted Caplan (September 10, 2019)

Another book that I was fortunate enough to read early. This one is about a teen in Missouri who is forced to take a road trip with her ex best friend when she discovers she’s pregnant and needs to get an abortion. This one is being marketed as “Thelma and Louise but…with a happy ending” and I agree. If you’re a fan of the movie Juno you may like this one. Also like Juno, Unpregnant is set to become a movie produced by Greg Berlanti and Sarah and directed by Rachel Lee Goldenberg who worked on The Mindy Project. A timely read, I really enjoyed this one and am looking forward to seeing how the book gets translated to the big screen! 

Dangerous Alliance: An Austentacious Romance by Jennieke Cohen (December 3, 2019)

I love a good historical mystery and even better if there a good romance subplot! This one was pitched to us as a “Victorian Tinder”, which has piqued my interest. For fans of My Lady Jane and The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, I think Dangerous Alliance may end up on my reading list solely on the basis the that the heroine is not only a badass but also a major Jane Austen fan looking for her own “Pride and Prejudice” type of love.

 

Frenzy Five | Spring/Summer 2019

It’s hard to believe it’s been 7 years since the very first, Frenzy Presents. Frenzy Presents has certainly come a long way since its humble beginnings especially as this event had over 110 attendees and that’s not including the waitlist! This particular event was definitely shorter than the ones in the past due to the Angie Thomas event that was taking place at the Art Gallery of Ontario later that afternoon. Still there was no shortage of great titles, so without further ado here are my top five picks from all of the titles presented.

1. The Wise and the Wicked by Rebecca Podos (Release Date: May 28, 2019)

A contemporary-fantasy hybrid novel, The Wise and the Wicked is about a family with an unusual power. Every woman in Ruby’s family when they come of age, has the ability to see when exactly they will die. And without fail, every member of the Chernyavsky family has died in the same manner that they saw that is until Ruby’s great-aunt Polina passes away. This twist leads to Ruby having hope that things are not completely set in stone, but can she really change her fate? An own voices magical realism story, this one awesome some awesome LGBTQ characters and representation which I’m all here for!

2. Ordinary Girls by Blair Thornburgh (Release Date: June 4, 2019)

This one was one of the titles on my wish list and I was fortunate enough to snag an ARC in my swag bag. A modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, this one’s for those who love stories about complicated and dysfunctional family dynamics particularly among sisters. 

3. This Time Will Be Different by Misa Sugiura (Release Date: June 4, 2019)

Another contemporary YA novel that I’m eagerly anticipating, this one is about a Japanese American girl whose family owns a flower shop. Interestingly enough this one looks at the effect that the Japanese internment camps still has, since CJ’s family ends up selling their shop to the family that swindled her grandparents during WWII. This causes CJ to stand up and fight for her family, causing conflict within their entire Northern California community. Perfect for fans of Samira Ahmed’s Love, Hate & Other Filters, Sandhya Menon’s When Dimple Met Rishi as well Jenny Han.

4. The Evil Queen by Gena Showalter (Release Date: June 25, 2019)

Everyone that attended the event received a chapter sampler of this Evil Queen retelling. For fans of twisted fairy-tale retellings like the Lunar Chronicles series, this one takes place in a world where your fate is already written in the fairy tales. Everly Morrow is a loner and outsider who has the ability to commune with mirrors. Unbeknownst to her, she is destined to be the “Evil Queen” in Snow White’s story. Will she succumb to becoming the evil queen and a villain or give up her crown to become a hero? After reading this one, I’m even more intrigued to read the rest of Everly’s story.

5. Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove #1) by Shelby Mahurin (Release Date: September 3, 2019)

Okay so technically this one doesn’t come out until the fall, however those who attended the Spring 2019 Frenzy Presents event were given a tiny glimpse of some upcoming fall titles. This one is the first in a fantasy duology, and is the authour’s debut novel. Although, fantasy isn’t my typical cup of tea I’m excited for this one because it has a runaway witch, a marriage of convenience cleverly orchestrated by the protagonist and of course some forbidden romance between a huntsman and a witch! Also how awesome is this cover?

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.

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!

Frenzy Five

2016 marked the fifth year anniversary of Frenzy Presents, a YA preview event of upcoming Fall/Winter titles hosted by HarperCollins that usually took place at their offices.  A big shout to all the wonderful staff at HarperCollins who have once again invited me to attend this event for the third (and I hope not the last) time. As always there were lots of book bloggers, awesome treats, and of course tons of books. Of the titles discussed during the presentation, the following five are the ones that I most looking forward to:

1. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

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The protagonist, Molly has had many crushes but has never been in love (just like high school me). When her twin sister, Cassie finds love with her new girlfriend Mina, Molly is slightly jealous that her sister gets to experience something she has yet to experienced. Things suddenly get complicated when Cassie and Mina try to set up Molly with Mina’s friend, Will at the same time that Mina finds herself falling for her nerdy co-worker, Reid. The Upside of Unrequited  is probably my most anticipated title of all the titles that were discussed during this year’s Frenzy Presents. I love a good contemporary YA novel and this one sounds right up my alley, too bad I will have to wait until April 11th 2017 to read it, though I’m sure it will be worth the wait.

2. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

3crowns

Okay, normally I don’t do fantasy but this one has me intrigued (and it comes highly recommended by Suman). Three Dark Crowns follows three sisters who are triplets and all have equal claim to the throne. Separated at birth, on their 16th birthday the three sisters will be forced to battle each other (until the death?) with the victor becoming the next queen. Unfortunately of the three sisters, only one of them truly has a handle on their powers…Releasing on  September 20, this is one book that I’m looking forward to audiobook.

3. The Valiant by Lesley Livingston

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My first introduction to Canadian authour, Lesley Livingston was her Never series, so her latest book has me excited. I’ve always been into ancient history, and this book is set during Ancient Rome where gladiators roamed. Additionally it features a badass female which I just love. For those of you who are fans of Roman history, The Valiant comes out on February 14th 2017.

4. The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

1000th

Apparently The Thousandth Floor starts with a character falling off the tower, but readers won’t know who it is until the end. I was fortunate enough to be gifted an ARC at the Indigo YA Fall Preview, and I’m looking forward to starting this at some point. Jessica at The Papertraildiary was the presenter for this title at Frenzy Presents and has told me that the story is REALLY good. For those of you who were not able to get an early copy, fret not as this tale of high stakes, drama, and gossip comes out on August 30!

5. Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel

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On the invitation for Frenzy Presents this year, we were told that there would be two special guests. One was M-E Girard, the authour of Girl Mans Up and the other was Kenneth Oppel who talked about his new book, Every Hidden Thing. Described as “Romeo and Juliet meets Indiana Jones”, the book follows the children of two rivaling paleontologists (whose relationship is based off of the real life rivalry of paleontologists, Cope and Marsh). After falling in love and realizing that their fathers are nuts the two run away and elope before setting off on an adventure to find “the Rex”. This one is out on September 20th.

So, what are you guys looking forward to this coming fall and winter? Comment below with what titles you can’t wait to read.

Frenzy Presents 2014 | Four Titles I Can’t Wait For!

Last Sunday, I got the great privilege of attending my first publisher event for bloggers. Hosted by the HarperCollins team at their offices, “Frenzy Presents” is sort of like a fall preview but just for upcoming YA titles from Harper. Anyways instead of doing an event recap, I’d thought I’d just highlight four of the upcoming titles (four because that was my team number for the trivia game, shot out to my teammates, Tiff and Melissa, sorry I wasn’t more useful with the questions) from the presentation that I am extremely excited for. And if you guys want recaps, I provide some links below to bloggers who are doing event recaps. So without further delay, here are the four YA books (in no particular order) that I’m anticipating from Harper:

fallingintoplaceFalling into Place by Amy Zhang

Interesting fact, the authour of this book is only eighteen years old! Pretty awesome no? This contemporary YA title was actually one that I was on the fence about, however after hearing more about it at the Frenzy Presents event, I am definitely going to pick this one up, Falling into Place follows the story of Liz Emerson a girl who one day tries to kill herself by running her car into a tree. She ends up in the hospital and the story,told by an apparently unexpected narrator consists of nonlinear “flashbacks” which will give readers more insight into who Liz was and why she did what she did. Falling into Place seems like it will be a very moving story and I am very intrigued as to who the narrator is. This book releases on September 9th 2014.

 

blackholesMy Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

Mental illness and suicide is a topic that remains very important to me, as I personally know many people who are suffering from mental illness and have tried to do it at some point and even more than once. The story in this book is about a girl named Ayse, who because of all the stressors in her life both from her family and her classmates, decides to take her own life. She ends up going online to find a suicide partner (someone to help her take her life), and instead she finds someone who makes her question her decision to take her own life even though he is still determined to take his own life. Sounds like it will be an important and emotional read. Cannot wait for this book which comes out, February 10th 2014!

 

jewelThe Jewel (The Lone City #1) by Amy Ewing

Proclaimed as The Selection meets The Handmaid’s Tale, this is one title that I have been excited for since the start. I love that even that it’s a YA novel that tackles a lot of very serious topics like human trafficking and surrogacy as the protagonist, Violet is a surrogate whose job is to carry the children of others. There is also romance in this book which is always nice though I hope there won’t be a love triangle. If this book sounds like something right up your alley, be sure to check out The Jewel by Amy Ewing is coming out in stores September 2nd 2014!

 

redqueen2Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Okay before this event, I had heard ALOT of things about this Red Queen. However being someone who almost always reads just contemporary fiction in the YA genre I chose to enjoy all the hype around this book as I figured it wouldn’t be the kind of book I’d like. I was proven wrong when Suman started to talk about it at “Frenzy Presents”! People with special powers, a rebel movement and awesome, kick butt characters? I am for sure intrigued, and will be definitely checking out this book when it comes out February 10th 2015.

 

Anyways those are the four teen titles, I’m looking forward to from HarperCollins. I’d like to thank Suman for the invitation as well as give a shout out to Kaitlyn (thanks for the books!) and Shannon, it was lovely to meet and talk with you again. Oh and as promised, here are some links to recaps done by other bloggers:

Video Recap from Maji Bookshelf – http://youtu.be/H4W3NNyowHA
Blog Event Recap from Maji Bookshelf – http://majibookshelf.blogspot.ca/2014/08/hcc-frenzy-presets-recap.html
Book Nerd Canada’s Event Recap – http://booknerd.ca/recap-2014-hcc-frenzy-ya-book-blogger-event/
Booking it With Haley G’s Event Recap – http://booknerd.ca/recap-2014-hcc-frenzy-ya-book-blogger-event/