Archive for the ‘books’ Category:

Books I’ve Recently Acquired

recently acquired

Hello all!

I’ve recently gotten a ton of books from friends and publishers, so I thought I’d share!

acquired elsewhere

I’m so thankful to Amulet for sending me On the Edge of Gone, which I was not expecting at all! It looks like a dystopian that I’m going to enjoy. I also went and splurged on myself at Barnes & Noble and got myself some goodies I’ve been meaning to read (and know I’ll love).

acquired from edelweiss

This is the biggest part of the haul! I’ve finally put myself in Edelweiss as a Barnes & Noble employee, and to my surprise, certain publishers are auto-downloads for me now!

So I obviously went a bit crazy.


acquired from friends

I’m also incredibly lucky to have phenomenal friends. Jen sent me The Forbidden Orchid in the mail, and Rachel and Megan got me the rest of this set at ALA Midwinter. I was supposed to go with them, but had to cancel to a family (dog) emergency. Then these two were amazing and got me goodies! I love them. A lot. (NEW AMY ZHANG!!!!)


Basically, I’m freakishly excited to get reading.

What are you excited for? Let me know in comments!

Books I Want to Re-Read in 2016

re-read in 2016

I’ve been wanting to do some massive re-reading for YEARS, and I feel like 2016 is that time. Here are some books that I have that I desperately want to do some re-reads of this year!

Pushing the Limits Series by Katie McGarry | Goodreads

This is one of my all-time favorite series, and I’m in for a re-read. I have some of the series, but I need to buy two of the books – and then re-read them. I’ve been wanting to get back into this world and let McGarry’s words consume me.

If you’re a lover of contemporary urban romance, this is the series for you! It’s a great series about growing up and falling in love, and also has a heavy emphasis on personal growth, which I love.

Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles Series) by Melina Marchetta | Goodreads

I’m a massive Melina Marchetta fan, and her fantasy series is one of my favorites. It features beautiful world building, phenomenal writing, and entoxicating plotlines. I fell head-over-heels for this series while I was reading it, and doing a binge-read sounds absolutely blissful.

Also, I love Melina Marchetta.


Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Series) by Leigh Bardugo | Goodreads

Leigh Bardugo is one of my all-time favorites, and I desperately want to get back into the Grishaverse. I read each of these books with a year between them, and didn’t re-read, so I don’t think I really experienced the full magic of the book. I’d forgotten a lot of the little details in the time between each installment, so I think with a binge-read I could fully enjoy the series.

If you haven’t read this series, DO IT.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling | Goodreads

I haven’t read these since I was a kid, and I don’t even know if I read all of them (???). I think I may have skipped Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Askaban and I need to go back and read them. Otherwise, I don’t feel like I can truly call myself a fan of the series. I think I’m especially in for a re-read after re-watching all of the movies over the holiday break – I realized how much I’d forgotten of this series! It’s such a magical one.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak | Goodreads

One of my all-time favorite historical fiction books, and one that I continue to recommend to people. It’s such an incredible story, and with my love for historical fiction set in World War II, I need to experience it’s magic again. The story of Liesel and Rudy is one that I’ll always hold close to my heart, and one if you haven’t read, you must.

It’s pure magic.

A bit of a short list, but I really want to challenge myself to read all of these this year! If I can get through all of these, I think I’ll award myself with a book-buying spree.

Geez, I need to find some time. 


FIRSTS by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn: Review, Guest Post, & Giveaway

I’m incredibly honored to be a part of the blog tour for Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, one of my favorite from last year! Today I have a guest post from Laurie, a giveaway for a copy of Firsts, and my review.



Novel: Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn | Goodreads
Release Date: January 5th, 2016
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Format: E-book
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.

Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.

When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, FIRSTS is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.

Yes. This book is just a yes.

I’m going to agree with Amanda Maciel who blurbed on this book – Firsts is fearless. It’s honest, edgy, touching, and absolutely incredible – Mercedes is a character every teenager should meet. They need to hear her fear, love, and heartache. They need to hear her narration of growing up and confronting the things that scare you the most.

Firsts follows Mercedes, a seventeen-year-old girl determined to go to MIT, who excels at chemistry, can’t stand her mother, and has a best friend named Angela who is a devout Christian. That’s the Mercedes on the surface, though – she keeps her other activities a secret from the people she cares about. Mercedes lets the virgin boys in her school get their first times over with, and helps them make their first time with their girlfriends perfect. The perfect night that Mercedes never had.

Mercedes has a lot of secrets that the reader uncovers over the course of the novel. For the most part, they revolve around Mercedes’s own first time and the memories that have haunted her into her teenage life. She’s incredibly protected and struggles to let her friends in. She ashamed, and it takes a new girl, Faye, to help her embrace her own sexuality and become comfortable in her own skin. Faye is the friend Mercedes needs – unflinchingly honest and judgement-free. She helps Mercedes to confront her demons and the feelings she’s been shoving down, allowing her to be happier in all parts of her life.

The one part of this book that was hard for me wasn’t the discussion of sex, which may be difficult for some readers. (It’s not graphic, it’s just prevalent and not censored at all.) Instead, Mercedes’s relationship with her mother made me so sad. I wanted them to connect so bad, but the shame Mercedes’s feels towards her mother’s actions and her mother’s absence from Mercedes’s life fueled a hatred in Mercedes that drove the two of them apart. The most rewarding part of the story for me was the evolution of their relationship and the eventual understanding that Mercedes comes to.

Find a copy of Firsts here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Indigo | Google Play | iBooks | Kobo

Find Laurie Elizabeth Flynn here: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


  1. Laurie Elizabeth Flynn CREDIT Steve Grimes PhotographyWhat inspired FIRSTS?

The idea for FIRSTS—the hook and the name Mercedes—just kind of hit me one day when I was working on a different project and wouldn’t vacate my head until I started writing. I knew the idea of a girl in YA who had multiple sexual partners might be a hard sell, but that didn’t stop me. I had to write the story. Not just for me, but for every teen girl who has been judged and shamed for having sex or expressing her sexuality. They’re my inspiration, the force that made me keep writing, even when I didn’t know what was coming next.

  1. Did you have a soundtrack for the writing of FIRSTS? If so, what was it?

I listened to the song “Lover I Don’t Have to Love” by Bright Eyes a lot when I was writing. It just created the right atmosphere and became a kind of theme song to accompany my writing. Other songs that made up my FIRSTS soundtrack:

  • Love Her Madly- The Doors
  • Heartbreaker- Led Zeppelin
  • Crazy On You- Heart
  • Lay Lady Lay- Bob Dylan
  • Glory Box- Portishead
  • Don’t Speak- No Doubt
  • Zombie- The Cranberries
  • Playground Love- Air
  • Don’t Let it Bring You Down- Annie Lennox
  1. Angela, Mercedes’s best friend, was my favorite character in the book. Can you tell me about where she came from?

When I sat down and started writing, the only character I knew was Mercedes. The others kind of popped onto the pages. As soon as I wrote Angela’s name down, I had a vision of her in my head and knew how important she would be to Mercedes. Angela has very strong religious beliefs and is planning to wait until marriage to have sex—she’s the opposite of Mercedes in many ways, but there’s one common thing in which they both put their faith: friendship. I loved exploring the dynamic between the two girls and how they learned to trust and rely on each other.

  1. Although the romantic relationships were a key part of the story, I felt like the emotional growth of Mercedes and her friendships were more important. Was that intentional? If so, why was that the case?

To be honest, that wasn’t intentional. I just wrote what was in my head and heart and tried to make sense of it later. Since Mercedes is someone who has a very hard time trusting other people, I knew her attitude toward friendship would change with the events that unfolded. At the start of the book, Angela is her best and only friend, and she even keeps Angela at a distance. But when Zach, Mercedes’ “friend with benefits,” starts to want more, and the new girl Faye blows into school and wants to befriend Mercedes, she starts to feel the control she has so carefully cultivated slipping away. Learning to allow people in and let them know who she really is were huge parts of Mercedes’ character development and the fact that her friends find ways to show her how much they care was something I wanted to convey.


The giveaway is open until January 16th, 2016. The book will be mailed by the publisher (thankfully, because I’m the worst at mailing things out). Must be 13 years old or older to enter, and must live in the United States. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks so much for reading, and to the people over at St. Martin’s Press for inviting me to participate in this blog tour. 

My Auto-Read Authors

auto-read authors

We all have those authors whose work we will read anything of. They could write some horrible book about the science of fireplaces and we would read about.

Here’s my list.

(Each author has the book cover of the first book I read of theirs included, as well as why I love their work and their Goodreads profile attached.)
adi alsaid

Adi Alsaid writes incredible books.

It’s common knowledge among most people I know, but I feel like he’s still under appreciated. His books are filled with beautiful characters, honest emotions, and stunning writing. The plots of his books are always different and unique, and his debut novel, Let’s Get Lost is still one of my favorite books of all time.

Find him on Goodreads here:

dan wells

Ever since I read Wells’s book, Partials, I fell in love with his writing. Partials is like no other science fiction novel, and I love it to its core. I read it at a time when I was new to science fiction, and I was completely blown away by how much I loved it. The characters made me fall in love with them and I finished ever book breathless and aching for more.

Find him on Goodreads here:

elle cosimano

I love a good thriller, and I love it even more when it includes romance and some mystery and one kick-butt heroine.

Elle Cosimano’s Nearly Gone duology is freaking awesome. It’s a perfect choice for anyone who loves a thriller, but nothing too dark, and for people who like a taste of magical realism.


Find her on Goodreads here:

gayle forman

i love gayle forman so much i love gayle forman so much i love gayle forman so much i love gayle forman so much i love gayle forman so much 

Okay I’m done now. But I’m serious. I 100% plan on reading her next book, which is an adult novel and something I usually don’t read. Heck, I’ll buy it the day it comes out – I love her that much.

Why? Her writing. The truth that flows out of her characters. Their ability to love even when everything is falling apart. I MEAN IF I STAY, PEOPLE. IF I STAY.

Find her on Goodreads here:

hilary t smith

Wild Awake was one of the first books I read that changed the way I thought.

I remember reading it and being a coma for three days, unable to really process my life. I could only think about Kiri and Skunk and how much I wanted to relive the experience of reading their story.

Hilary T. Smith is magical.

Find her on Goodreads here:

ilsa j bick

Ilsa J. Bick has written the only zombie novels I’ve ever read and enjoyed.

Because Ashes is freaking amazing. It’s a thriller, a zombie novel, a dystopian novel, and also a book about friendship, family, and love.

Now try to tell me someone who combines all of that into one book isn’t a genius.

Yeah. That’s what I thought.

Find her on Goodreads here:

katie mcgarry

It is no secret I am Katie McGarry’s #1 fangirl. Like. I just. I LOVE HER. Her books make my heart sing and my mind go crazy, and if I could only read her books for the rest of my life, I would. No doubt about it.

For any romance lovers out there, read her books. Just trust me.

Find her on Goodreads here:

leigh bardugo

I read Shadow and Bone as an ARC and I’ve been a fan of Leigh Bardugo’s ever since. Her fantastic world of the Grisha was my introduction into fantasy, and she converted me to a fantasy-lover overnight.

Now, I basically cry everytime I find out she has a new book coming out.

Find her on Goodreads here:

morgan matson

I adore Morgan Matson as a person, and I love her books almost as much.

As someone who both loves romance and true life in a book, her books strike a perfect balance. Awkward teenage relationship and family difficulties and struggling with friendships all with undertones of love.

I love her and her new book, The Unexpected Everything I’m expecting to be my everything.

Find her on Goodreads here:

ruta sepetys

Ruta Sepetys is one of the masters of YA historical fiction. Between Shades of Gray stunned me when I read it, uncovering a part of history I knew nothing about, and all of her books since have done the same thing.

Salt to the Sea is going to be one heck of a book, guys.

Find her on Goodreads here:

ryan graudin

Ryan Graudin takes historical events and then asks what if? What is Hitler had won World War II? What if the Walled City in Asia became darker?

Her books always stun me, and her first, The Walled City is like nothing I’d ever read before – and her second, Wolf by Wolf is equally as unique.

Find her on Goodreads here:

sarah j maas

Queen Sarah J. Maas, as my friends and I refer to her as. Her fantasy is filled with women who will show you – and everyone else – who is boss, and romance that will pull on every one of your heart strings. Her writing will make you cry, and her plots will keep you up until the darkest hours of night.

Basically, she’s amazing.

Find her on Goodreads here:

melina marchetta


Because she’s Melina Marchetta and I’m Willa Smith and I’m obsessed with her books.

For example: I’ve read Jellicoe Road nine times.

Just go read this post to understand.

But, basically, her writing is the key to my heart and her characters fill my brains. I live, dream, and breathe Melina Marchetta.

Find her on Goodreads here:

Who are your auto-read authors? Who holds the keys to your heart? Let me know in comments!


My Highly Anticipated 2016 Releases


After spending about two hours scrolling through an extensive Goodreads list of 2016 YA Releases, I’ve put together some ones I’m insanely excited about. Enjoy, and let me know what you’re looking forward to!

Into the Dim (Into the Dim, #1) by Janet B. Taylor | Goodreads

Release Date: March 1st, 2016

When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Along the way, her path collides with that of a mysterious boy who could be vital to her mission . . . or the key to Hope’s undoing. Addictive, romantic, and rich with historical detail, Into the Dimis an Outlander for teens.

True Letters from a Fictional Life by Kenneth Logan | Goodreads

Release Date: June 6th, 2016

If you asked anyone in his small Vermont town, they’d tell you the facts: James Liddell, star athlete, decent student, and sort-of boyfriend to cute, peppy Theresa is a happy, funny, carefree guy.

But whenever James sits down at his desk to write, he tells a different story. As he fills his drawers with letters to the people in his world—letters he never intends to send—he spills the truth: he’s trying hard but just isn’t into Theresa. It’s his friend, a boy, who lingers in his thoughts.

James’s secret letters are his safe space—until someone leaks them, and words he never meant to share are being broadcast all over school. Will he come clean to his parents, his teammates, and himself or is he destined to live a life of fiction?

Thicker Than Water by Kelly (Fiore) Stultz | Goodreads

Release Date: January 5th, 2016

Cecelia Price killed her brother. At least, that’s what the police and the district attorney are saying. And although Cecelia is now locked up and forced into treatment, she knows the real story is much more complicated.

Cyrus wasn’t always the drug-addled monster he’d become. He was a successful athlete, but when an injury forced him off the soccer field and onto pain medication, his life became a blur of anger, addiction, and violence. All CeCe could do was stand by and watch, until she realized one effective way to take away her brother’s drugs while earning the money she needed for college: selling the pills.

Soon, CeCe becomes part drug dealer, part honor student. But even when all she wants is to make things right, she learns that sometimes the best intentions lead to the worst possible outcome.

Thicker than Water is an unforgettable dark, harrowing look into the disturbing truth of drug addiction and the desperate love of a sister watching her brother deteriorate before her eyes.

Never Missing, Never Found by Amanda Panitch | Goodreads

Release Date: June 28th, 2016

A juicy thriller about a girl who returned from the missing. . . . Hand to fans of We Were Liars, Bone Gap, and Vanishing Girls.

Some choices change everything. Scarlett chose to run. And the consequences will be deadly.

Stolen from her family as a young girl, Scarlett was lucky enough to eventually escape her captor. Now a teen, she’s starting a summer job at an amusement park. There are cute boys, new friends, and the chance to finally have a normal life.

Her first day on the job, Scarlett is shocked to discover that a girl from the park has gone missing. Old memories come rushing back. And now as she meets her new coworkers, one of the girls seems strangely familiar. When Scarlett chose to run all those years ago, what did she set into motion? And when push comes to shove, how far will she go to uncover the truth . . . before it’s too late?

Once Upon a Kiss by Robin Palmer | Goodreads

Release Date: January 5th, 2016

It’s 1986 and sixteen-year-old Zoe Brenner’s world revolves around Depeche Mode, Judd Nelson, exercise-obsessed parents, and her best friend Jonah. Then one day, in a freak Fun-Dip choking accident, Zoe falls unconscious, and awakes in the year 2016. So much has changed, and Zoe needs Jonah to help her make sense of it all. But in this life, Zoe is the most popular girl in school, and she soon realizes this Zoe doesn’t associate with nerds like Jonah. As Zoe juggles new technology, attempts to hide her enthusiasm for poet blouses, and manages to keep her super jock boyfriend at bay, she tries to rekindle her friendship with Jonah and use her popularity for a good cause. Will she ever get back to 1986? And more importantly, does she want to?


It Wasn’t Always Like This by Joy Preble | Goodreads

Release Date: May 17th, 2016

In 1916, Emma O’Neill is frozen in time. After sampling an experimental polio vaccine brewed on a remote island off St. Augustine, Florida, she and her family stop aging—as do the Ryans, her family’s business partners. In a way, this suits Emma fine because she’s in love with Charlie Ryan. Being seventeen forever with him is a dream. But soon a group of religious fanatics, the Church of Light, takes note. Drinking the elixir has made the O’Neills and Ryans impervious to aging, but not to murder. When their families are massacred, Emma and Charlie are the only ones who escape with their lives.

On the run, Emma is tragically separated from Charlie. For the next hundred years, she plays a cat-and-mouse game with the Church of Light and their descendants. She becomes a private investigator when a series of murders—whose victims all bear more than a passing resemblance to her—indicate that her enemies are closing in. Yet as the dasnger grows, so does Emma’s hope for finding the boy she’s certain is still out there…

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow | Goodreads

Release Date: September 27th, 2016

Cover not released yet

Seventeen-year-old Charlie Davis is a cutter.

While most girls her age are dealing with college choices, love lives, and prom, Charlie is struggling just to survive. After losing her best friend, Ellis, and her home, Charlie finds herself on the downtown streets of Saint Paul, Minnesota, where every day is a fight to live. After a traumatic event lands her in the hospital, Charlie finds what might be her best hope: a recovery program for girls just like her. When her insurance runs out, though, Charlie is back on the streets, alone. Through the kindness of her old friend, Mikey, the roadie for a band in Arizona, Charlie finds herself in the endless desert of Tucson, surrounded by musicians, artists, and eccentrics, and, in particular, a washed-up singer named Riley West.

The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter | Goodreads

Release Date: March 15th, 2016

Cassie O’Malley has spent her whole life trying to keep her head above water—literally and metaphorically. It’s been two-and-a-half years since her mother dumped Cassie in a mental institution against her will for something Cassie claims she didn’t do. Now, at eighteen, Cassie enrolls in college, ready to reclaim her life and enter the world on her own terms.

But as she struggles to find her way forward, the startling truths she uncovers about her own family narrative make it impossible to cut the tethers of a tumultuous past. And when the unhealthy mother-daughter relationship that defined Cassie’s childhood and adolescence threatens to pull her under once again, Cassie must decide: whose version of history is the truth? And more important, whose life must she save?

Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy | Goodreads

Release Date: July 5th, 2016

An asteroid is hurtling toward Earth. A big, bad one. Yuri, a physicist prodigy from Russia, has been called to NASA as they calculate a plan to avoid disaster. He knows how to stop the asteroid: his research in antimatter will probably win him a Nobel prize–if there’s ever another Nobel prize awarded. But Yuri’s 17, and having a hard time making older, stodgy physicists listen to him. Then he meets Dovie, who lives like a normal teenager, oblivious to the impending doom. Being with her, on the adventures she plans when he’s not at NASA, Yuri catches a glimpse of what it means to save the world and save a life worth living.

Prepare to laugh, cry, cringe, and have your mind burst open with questions of the universe.

Ask Me How I Got Here by Christine Heppermann | Goodreads

Release Date: May 3rd, 2016

Addie has always known what she was running toward. In cross-country, in life, in love. Until she and her boyfriend—her sensitive, good-guy boyfriend—are careless one night and she ends up pregnant. Addie makes the difficult choice to have an abortion. And after that—even though she knows it was the right decision for her—nothing is the same anymore. She doesn’t want anyone besides her parents and her boyfriend to know what happened; she doesn’t want to run cross-country; she can’t bring herself to be excited about anything. Until she reconnects with Juliana, a former teammate who’s going through her own dark places. Once again, Christine Heppermann writes with an unflinching honesty and a deep sensitivity about the complexities of being a teenager, being a woman. Her free-verse poems are moving, provocative, and often full of wry humor and a sharp wit. Like Laurie Halse Anderson and Ellen Hopkins, Christine Heppermann is a voice to turn to for the truth of difficult subjects. Ask Me How I Got Here is a literary exploration of sexuality, religion, and self-discovery.

The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos | Goodreads

Release Date: January 26th, 2016

All Imogene Scott knows of her mother is the bedtime story her father told her as a child. It’s the story of how her parents met: he, a forensic pathologist, she, a mysterious woman who came to identify a body. A woman who left Imogene and her father when she was a baby, a woman who was always possessed by a powerful loneliness, a woman who many referred to as troubled waters.

When Imogene is seventeen, her father, now a famous author of medical mysteries, strikes out in the middle of the night and doesn’t come back. Neither Imogene’s stepmother nor the police know where he could’ve gone, but Imogene is convinced he’s looking for her mother. She decides to put to use the skills she’s gleaned from a lifetime of her father’s books to track down a woman she’s never known, in order to find him and, perhaps, the answer to the question she’s carried with her for her entire life.

The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas | Goodreads

Release Date: April 19th, 2016

There are ghosts around every corner in Fayette, Pennsylvania. Tessa left when she was nine and has been trying ever since not to think about it after what happened that last summer. Memories of things so dark will burn themselves into your mind if you let them.

Callie never left. She moved to another house, so she doesn’t have to walk those same halls, but then Callie always was the stronger one. She can handle staring into the face of her demons–and if she parties hard enough, maybe one day they’ll disappear for good.

Tessa and Callie haven’t talked about what they saw that summer night since it happened. After the trial Callie drifted and Tessa moved and childhood friends just have a way of losing touch.

But ever since she left, Tessa’s had questions. Things have never quite added up. And now she has to go back to Fayette–to Wyatt Stokes sitting on death row; to Lori Cawley, Callie’s dead cousin; and to the only other person who may be hiding the truth.

Only the closer Tessa gets to the truth, the closer she gets to a killer–and this time, it won’t be as easy to run away.

Look Both Ways by Allison Cherry | Goodreads

Release Date: June 14th, 2016

A summer away from the city is the beginning of everything for Brooklyn Shepard. Her theater apprenticeship at Allerdale is a chance to prove that she can carve out a niche all her own, surrounded by people who don’t know anything about her or her family of superstar performers.

Brooklyn immediately hits it off with her roommate, Zoe, and soon their friendship turns into something more. Brooklyn wants to see herself as someone who’s open to everything and everyone, but as her feelings for Zoe intensify, so do her doubts. She’s happier than she’s ever been—but is it because of her new relationship? Or is it because she’s finally discovering who she wants to be?

Bluescreen by Dan Wells | Goodreads

Release Date: February 16th, 2016

Los Angeles in 2050 is a city of open doors, as long as you have the right connections. That connection is a djinni—a smart device implanted right in a person’s head. In a world where virtually everyone is online twenty-four hours a day, this connection is like oxygen—and a world like that presents plenty of opportunities for someone who knows how to manipulate it.

Marisa Carneseca is one of those people. She might spend her days in Mirador, the small, vibrant LA neighborhood where her family owns a restaurant, but she lives on the net—going to school, playing games, hanging out, or doing things of more questionable legality with her friends Sahara and Anja. And it’s Anja who first gets her hands on Bluescreen—a virtual drug that plugs right into a person’s djinni and delivers a massive, non-chemical, completely safe high. But in this city, when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is, and Mari and her friends soon find themselves in the middle of a conspiracy that is much bigger than they ever suspected.

The Way I Used To Be by Amber Smith | Goodreads

Release Date: March 22nd, 2016

In the tradition of Speak, this extraordinary debut novel shares the unforgettable story of a young woman as she struggles to find strength in the aftermath of an assault.

Eden was always good at being good. Starting high school didn’t change who she was. But the night her brother’s best friend rapes her, Eden’s world capsizes.

What was once simple, is now complex. What Eden once loved—who she once loved—she now hates. What she thought she knew to be true, is now lies. Nothing makes sense anymore, and she knows she’s supposed to tell someone what happened but she can’t. So she buries it instead. And she buries the way she used to be.

Told in four parts—freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year—this provocative debut reveals the deep cuts of trauma. But it also demonstrates one young woman’s strength as she navigates the disappointment and unbearable pains of adolescence, of first love and first heartbreak, of friendships broken and rebuilt, and while learning to embrace a power of survival she never knew she had hidden within her heart.

The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian | Goodreads

Release Date: April 26th, 2016

What if your town was sliding underwater and everyone was ordered to pack up and leave? How would you and your friends spend your last days together?

While the adults plan for the future, box up their possessions, and find new places to live, Keeley Hewitt and her friends decide to go out with a bang. There are parties in abandoned houses. Canoe races down Main Street. The goal is to make the most of every minute they still have together.

And for Keeley, that means taking one last shot at the boy she’s loved forever.

There’s a weird sort of bravery that comes from knowing there’s nothing left to lose. You might do things you normally wouldn’t. Or say things you shouldn’t. The reward almost always outweighs the risk.


It’s the end of Aberdeen, but the beginning of Keeley’s first love story. It just might not turn out the way she thought. Because it’s not always clear what’s worth fighting for and what you should let become a memory.

A World Without You by Beth Revis | Goodreads

Release Date: July 19th, 2016

Seventeen-year-old Bo has always had delusions that he can travel through time. When he was ten, Bo claimed to have witnessed the Titanic hit an iceberg, and at fifteen, he found himself on a Civil War battlefield, horrified by the bodies surrounding him. So when his concerned parents send him to a school for troubled youth, Bo assumes he knows the truth: that he’s actually attending The Academy, a school for kids who, like Bo, have “superpowers.”

At The Academy, Bo falls in love with Sofia, a quiet girl with a tragic past and the superpower of invisibility. Sofia helps Bo open up in a way he never has before. In turn, Bo provides comfort to Sofia, who lost her mother and two sisters at a very young age.

But even the strength of their love isn’t enough to help Sofia escape her deep depression. After she commits suicide, Bo is convinced that she’s not actually dead. He believes that she’s stuck somewhere in time — that he somehow left her in the past, and now it’s his job to save her.

Not since Ned Vizzini’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story has there been such a heartrending depiction of mental illness. In her first contemporary novel, Beth Revis guides readers through the mind of a young man struggling to process his grief as he fights his way through his delusions. As Bo becomes more and more determined to save Sofia, he has to decide whether to face his demons head-on, or succumb to a psychosis that will let him be with the girl he loves.

The Forbidden Orchid by Sharon Biggs Waller | Goodreads

Release Date:  March 28th, 2016

Staid, responsible Elodie Buchanan is the eldest of ten sisters living in a small English market town in 1861. The girls’ father is a plant hunter, usually off adventuring through the jungles of China.

Then disaster strikes: Mr. Buchanan fails to collect an extremely rare and valuable orchid, meaning that he will be thrown into debtors’ prison and the girls will be sent to the orphanage or the poorhouse. Elodie’s father has one last chance to return to China, find the orchid, and save the family—and this time, thanks to an unforeseen twist of fate, Elodie is going with him. Elodie has never before left her village, but what starts as fear turns to wonder as she adapts to seafaring life aboard the tea clipper The Osprey, and later to the new sights, dangers, and romance of China.

But even if she can find the orchid, how can she find herself now that staid, responsible Elodie has seen how much the world has to offer?

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys | Goodreads

Release Date: February 2nd, 2016

In 1945, World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer toward safety.

Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.

Heir to the Sky by Amanda Sun | Goodreads

Release Date: April 26th, 2016

As heir to a kingdom of floating continents, Kali has spent her life bound by limits—by her duties as a member of the royal family; by a forced betrothal to the son of a nobleman; and by the edge of the only world she’s ever known—a small island hovering above a monster-ridden earth, long since uninhabited by humans. She is the Eternal Flame of Hope for what’s left of mankind, the wick and the wax burning in service for her people, and for their revered Phoenix, whose magic keeps them aloft.

When Kali falls off the edge of her kingdom and miraculously survives, she is shocked to discover there are still humans on the earth. Determined to get home, Kali entrusts a rugged monster-hunter named Griffin to guide her across a world overrun by chimera, storm dragons, basilisks, and other terrifying beasts. But the more time she spends on earth, the more dark truths she begins to uncover about her home in the sky, and the more resolute she is to start burning for herself.

This is Where the World Ends by Amy Zhang | Goodreads

Release Date: March 22nd, 2016

Janie and Micah, Micah and Janie. That’s how it’s been ever since elementary school, when Janie Vivian moved next door. Janie says Micah is everything she is not. Where Micah is shy, Janie is outgoing. Where Micah loves music, Janie loves art. It’s the perfect friendship, as long as no one finds out about it.

But when Janie is date-raped by the most popular guy in school—a guy she’s had a crush on for years—she finds herself ostracized by all the people she thought were her friends. Now only Micah seems to believe she’s telling the truth. But when even Micah expresses doubt about whether or not she was “asking for it,” it leads to disastrous consequences, and Janie Vivian goes missing.

In Real Life by Jessica Love | Goodreads

Release Date: March 1st, 2016

Hannah Cho and Nick Cooper have been best friends since 8th grade. They talk for hours on the phone, regularly shower each other with presents, and know everything there is to know about one another.

There’s just one problem: Hannah and Nick have never actually met.

Hannah has spent her entire life doing what she’s supposed to, but when her senior year spring break plans get ruined by a rule-breaker, she decides to break a rule or two herself. She impulsively decides to road trip to Las Vegas, her older sister and BFF in tow, to surprise Nick and finally declare her more-than-friend feelings for him.

Hannah’s surprise romantic gesture backfires when she gets to Vegas and finds out that Nick has been keeping some major secrets. Hannah knows the real Nick can’t be that different from the online Nick she knows and loves, but now she only has night in Sin City to figure out what her feelings for Nick really are, all while discovering how life can change when you break the rules every now and then.

Walk the Edge by Katie McGarry | Goodreads

Release Date: March 29th, 2016

One moment of recklessness will change their worlds

Smart. Responsible. That’s seventeen-year-old Breanna’s role in her large family, and heaven forbid she put a toe out of line. Until one night of shockingly un-Breanna-like behavior puts her into a vicious cyber-bully’s line of fire—and brings fellow senior Thomas “Razor” Turner into her life.

Razor lives for the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, and good girls like Breanna just don’t belong. But when he learns she’s being blackmailed over a compromising picture of the two of them—a picture that turns one unexpected and beautiful moment into ugliness—he knows it’s time to step outside the rules.

And so they make a pact: he’ll help her track down her blackmailer, and in return she’ll help him seek answers to the mystery that’s haunted him—one that not even his club brothers have been willing to discuss. But the more time they spend together, the more their feelings grow. And suddenly they’re both walking the edge of discovering who they really are, what they want, and where they’re going from here.

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson | Goodreads

Release Date: May 3rd, 2016

Andie had it all planned out.

When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.

Important internship? Check.

Amazing friends? Check.

Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks)

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.

Because here’s the thing – if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected.

And where’s the fun in that?

What are your most anticipated 2016 releases, and what are you excited for from my list? Let me know in comments – it’s going to be quite the year for YA!