A Look Back at the Literary Society in 2019

The Literary Society Book Club (a group for adults, but teens are welcome to join!) has had an awesome year- with highs and head-scratching "lows"- but we've managed to cover a fair bit of reading this year:

01/19 Selection:
Baby Teeth
by Zoje Stage
Find it at Amazon, Goodreads, Mysterious Galaxy, SDCL
Meet Hanna.

She’s the sweet-but-silent angel in the adoring eyes of her Daddy. He’s the only person who understands her, and all Hanna wants is to live happily ever after with him. But Mommy stands in her way, and she’ll try any trick she can think of to get rid of her. Ideally for good.

Meet Suzette.

She loves her daughter, really, but after years of expulsions and strained home schooling, her precarious health and sanity are weakening day by day. As Hanna’s tricks become increasingly
sophisticated, and Suzette's husband remains blind to the failing family dynamics, Suzette starts to fear that there’s something seriously wrong, and that maybe home isn’t the best place for their baby girl after all.


Zoje Stage was such a fun interview! Maybe due to the creepy content of Baby Teeth, but she answered all our burning questions, and left us with a serious desire for her to publish the children's book Hanna loves sooo much in the novel. I would love to see the Under Slumber Bumble Beast illustrated

02/19 Selection:
BY Madeline Miller
Find it on: Amazon, Goodreads, Mysterious Galaxy, SDCL
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

03/19 Selection:
Bygone Badass Broads
BY Mackenzie Lee
Find it on Amazon, Goodreads, Mysterious GalaxySDCL
Based on Mackenzi Lee’s popular weekly Twitter series of the same name, Bygone Badass Broads features 52 remarkable and forgotten trailblazing women from all over the world. With tales of heroism and cunning, in-depth bios and witty storytelling, Bygone Badass Broads gives new life to these historic female pioneers. Starting in the fifth century BC and continuing to the present, the book takes a closer look at bold and inspiring women who dared to step outside the traditional gender roles of their time. Coupled with riveting illustrations and Lee’s humorous and conversational storytelling style, this book is an outright celebration of the badass women who paved the way for the rest of us.

We were visited via Skype by the author!!

She's pretty cool, she was keeping all the info on her Loki novel under wraps, but she did give us some hints as to a new Montague sibling novel, and her novel on famous Doggies throughout history.

04/19 Selection:
BY Courtney Summers
Find it on Amazon, Goodreads, Mysterious Galaxy, SDCL
"A haunting, gut-wrenching, and relentlessly compelling read." ―Veronica Roth, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Carve the Mark and the Divergent series

A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial―like podcast following the clues she's left behind. And an ending you won't be able to stop talking about.

Sadie hasn't had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she's been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie's entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister's killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray―a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America―overhears Sadie's story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie's journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it's too late.

Courtney Summers has written the breakout book of her career. Sadie is propulsive and harrowing and will keep you riveted until the last page.

05/19 Selection:
7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
BY Stuart Turton
Find it on Amazon, Goodreads, Mysterious Galaxy, SDCL
"Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day...quite unlike anything I've ever read, and altogether triumphant."―A. J. Finn, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

The Rules of Blackheath
Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11:00 p.m.
There are eight days, and eight witnesses for you to inhabit.
We will only let you escape once you tell us the name of the killer.
Understood? Then let's begin...

Evelyn Hardcastle will die. Every day until Aiden Bishop can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others.

For fans of Claire North and Kate Atkinson, The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a breathlessly addictive novel that follows one man's race against time to find a killer―but an astonishing time-turning twist means that nothing and no one are quite what they seem.

06/19 Selection:
A Woman of No Importance
BY Sonia Purnell
Find it on Amazon, Goodreads, Mysterious Galaxy, SDCL

Chosen as a BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR by the New York Public Library, the Seattle Times, the Washington Independent Review of Books, the Spectator, and the Times of London

In 1942, the Gestapo sent out an urgent transmission: "She is the most dangerous of all Allied spies. We must find and destroy her."

The target in their sights was Virginia Hall, a Baltimore socialite who talked her way into Special Operations Executive, the spy organization dubbed Winston Churchill's "Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare." She became the first Allied woman deployed behind enemy lines and--despite her prosthetic leg--helped to light the flame of the French Resistance, revolutionizing secret warfare as we know it.

Virginia established vast spy networks throughout France, called weapons and explosives down from the skies, and became a linchpin for the Resistance. Even as her face covered wanted posters and a bounty was placed on her head, Virginia refused order after order to evacuate. She finally escaped through a death-defying hike over the Pyrenees into Spain, her cover blown. But she plunged back in, adamant that she had more lives to save, and led a victorious guerilla campaign, liberating swathes of France from the Nazis after D-Day.

Based on new and extensive research, Sonia Purnell has for the first time uncovered the full secret life of Virginia Hall--an astounding and inspiring story of heroism, spycraft, resistance, and personal triumph over shocking adversity. A Woman of No Importance is the breathtaking story of how one woman's fierce persistence helped win the war.

07/19 Selection:
Tattooist of Auschwitz 
BY Heather Morris
Find it on Amazon, Goodreads, Mysterious GlaxaySDCL
#1 New York Times Bestseller and #1 International Bestseller

This beautiful, illuminating tale of hope and courage is based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov—an unforgettable love story in the midst of atrocity.

In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.

Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.

One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.

A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov's experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.

My Pick of Best Book of  our 2019 selections!
08/19 Selection:
Sorcery of Thorns
BY Margaret Rogerson
Find it on Amazon, Goodreads, Mysterious Galaxy, SDCL
All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.

09/19 Selection:
Gross Anatomy: Dispatches from the Front (and Back) 
BY Mara Altman
Find it on Amazon, Goodreads, Mysterious Galaxy, SDCL
An honest, funny, neurotic, and totally gross love child of Mindy Kaling and Mary Roach. Mara Altman's volatile and apprehensive relationship with her body has led her to wonder about a lot of stuff over the years. Like, who decided that women shouldn't have body hair? And how sweaty is too sweaty? Also, why is breast cleavage sexy but camel toe revolting? Isn't it all just cleavage? These questions and others like them have led to the comforting and sometimes smelly revelations that constitute Gross Anatomy, an essay collection about what it's like to operate the bags of meat we call our bodies.

Divided into two sections, "The Top Half" and "The Bottom Half," with cartoons scattered throughout, Altman's book takes the reader on a wild and relatable journey from head to toe—as she attempts to strike up a peace accord with our grody bits.

With a combination of personal anecdotes and fascinating research, Gross Anatomy holds up a magnifying glass to our beliefs, practices, biases, and body parts and shows us the naked truth: that there is greatness in our grossness.

Author Mara Altman (Twitter)

Despite having heavy construction in front of our building, and a three car police presence in the middle of our parking, we had a full house for Mara! I was sooo impressed with the engagement of our group, and that we had new members come specifically this book- because it had started so many honest and frank conversations that hadn't ever happened before. And Mara is a gem of a person, she is as she seems on the page, funny, smart, engaging, and curious!

BY Liza Lutz
Find it on Amazon, Goodreads, Mysterious Galaxy, SDCL
What do you love? What do you hate? What do you want?

It starts with this simple writing prompt from Alex Witt, Stonebridge Academy's new creative writing teacher. When the students' answers raise disturbing questions of their own, Ms. Witt knows there's more going on the school than the faculty wants to see. She soon learns about The Ten--the students at the top of the school's social hierarchy--as well as their connection to something called The Darkroom.

Ms. Witt can't remain a passive observer. She finds the few girls who've started to question the school's "boys will be boys" attitude and incites a resistance that quickly becomes a movement. But just as it gains momentum, she also attracts the attention of an unknown enemy who knows a little too much about her--including what brought her to Stonebridge in the first place.

Meanwhile, Gemma, a defiant senior, has been plotting her attack for years, waiting for the right moment. Shy loner Norman hates his role in the Darkroom, but can't find the courage to fight back until he makes an unlikely alliance. And then there's Finn Ford, an English teacher with a shady reputation who keeps one eye on his literary ambitions and one on Ms. Witt.

As the school's secrets begin to trickle out, a boys-versus-girls skirmish turns into an all-out war, with deeply personal--and potentially fatal--consequences for everyone involved. Lisa Lutz's blistering, timely tale shows us what can happen when silence wins out over decency for too long--and why the scariest threat of all might be the idea that sooner or later, girls will be girls.

Someday We Will Fly
BY Rachel DeWoskin
Find it on Amazon, Goodreads, Mysterious Galaxy, SDCL
Warsaw, Poland. The year is 1940 and Lillia is 15 when her mother, Alenka, disappears and her father flees with Lillia and her younger sister, Naomi, to Shanghai, one of the few places that will accept Jews without visas. There they struggle to make a life; they have no money, there is little work, no decent place to live, a culture that doesn't understand them. And always the worry about Alenka. How will she find them? Is she still alive?

Meanwhile Lillia is growing up, trying to care for Naomi, whose development is frighteningly slow, in part from malnourishment. Lillia finds an outlet for her artistic talent by making puppets, remembering the happy days in Warsaw when they were circus performers. She attends school sporadically, makes friends with Wei, a Chinese boy, and finds work as a performer at a "gentlemen's club" without her father's knowledge.

But meanwhile the conflict grows more intense as the Americans declare war and the Japanese force the Americans in Shanghai into camps. More bombing, more death. Can they survive, caught in the crossfire?

The Great Alone
BY Kristin Hannah
Find it on: Amazon, Goodreads, Mysterious Galaxy, SDCL

Alaska, 1974.
Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed.
For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival.

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if it means following him into the unknown.

At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves.

In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska―a place of incomparable beauty and danger. The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.

Sabrina & Corina: Stories
BY Kali Fajardo-Anstine
Find it on: AmazonGoodreads, Mysterious Galaxy, SDCL
A haunting debut story collection on friendship, mothers and daughters, and the deep-rooted truths of our homelands, centered on Latinas of indigenous ancestry that shines a new light on the American West.

Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s magnetic story collection breathes life into her Latina characters of indigenous ancestry and the land they inhabit. Set against the remarkable backdrop of Denver, Colorado–a place that is as fierce as it is exquisite–these women navigate the land the way they navigate their lives: with caution, grace, and quiet force.

In “Sugar Babies,” ancestry and heritage are hidden inside the earth but tend to rise during land disputes. “Any Further West” follows a sex worker and her daughter as they leave their ancestral home in southern Colorado only to find a foreign and hostile land in California. In “Tomi,” a woman leaves prison and finds herself in a gentrified city that is a shadow of the one she remembers from her childhood. And in the title story, “Sabrina & Corina,” a Denver family falls into a cycle of violence against women, coming together only through ritual.

The Au Pair
BY Emma Rous
Find it on Amazon, Goodreads, Mysterious Galaxy, SDCL
If V. C. Andrews and Kate Morton had a literary love child, Emma Rous' USA Today bestseller The Au Pair would be it.

Seraphine Mayes and her twin brother, Danny, were born in the middle of summer at their family's estate on the Norfolk coast. Within hours of their birth, their mother threw herself from the cliffs, the au pair fled, and the village thrilled with whispers of dark cloaks, changelings, and the aloof couple who drew a young nanny into their inner circle.

Now an adult, Seraphine mourns the recent death of her father. While going through his belongings, she uncovers a family photograph that raises dangerous questions. It was taken on the day the twins were born, and in the photo, their mother, surrounded by her husband and her young son, is smiling serenely and holding just one baby.

Who is the child, and what really happened that day?

My Pick of Best Books of All Time!
Song of Achilles
BY Madeline Miller
Find it on AmazonGoodreadsMysterious GalaxySDCL

Greece in the age of Heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia. Here he is nobody, just another unwanted boy living in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles.

Achilles, “best of all the Greeks,” is everything Patroclus is not—strong, beautiful, the child of a goddess—and by all rights their paths should never cross. Yet one day, Achilles takes the shamed prince under his wing and soon their tentative connection gives way to a steadfast friendship. As they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something far deeper—despite the displeasure of Achilles’ mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess with a hatred of mortals.

Fate is never far from the heels of Achilles. When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows Achilles into war, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they have learned, everything they hold dear. And that, before he is ready, he will be forced to surrender his friend to the hands of Fate.

Profoundly moving and breathtakingly original, this rendering of the epic Trojan War is a dazzling feat of the imagination, a devastating love story, and an almighty battle between gods and kings, peace and glory, immortal fame and the human heart.


Cover Revealed: Ruinsong by Julia Ember

Coming 11/24/20
ISBN-13: 978-0374313357
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) 
Pages: 320
Find it on: Amazon, Goodreads

Revolution, or silence?

In a world where magic is sung, a powerful mage named Cadence must choose between the two. For years, she has been forced to torture her country’s disgraced nobility at her ruthless queen’s bidding.

But when she is reunited with her childhood friend, a noblewoman with ties to the underground rebellion, she must finally make a choice: Take a stand to free their country from oppression, or follow in the queen’s footsteps and become a monster herself.

In this dark and lush LGBTQ+ romantic fantasy, two young women from rival factions must work together to reunite their country, as they wrestle with their feelings for each other.

Read an excerpt exclusivley on Hypable.com


Happy Book Birthday: Children of Virtue and Vengeance

Children of Virtue and Vengeance
Legacy of Orïsha, Book #2
416 pages // Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
ISBN-13: 978-1250170996
Find it on Amazon, Goodreads, Mysterious Galaxy, SDCL
Available Now!
After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could've imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too.

Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari's right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy's wrath.

With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.

Children of Virtue and Vengeance is the stunning sequel to Tomi Adeyemi's New York Times bestselling debut Children of Blood and Bone, the first title in her Legacy of Orïsha trilogy.

Believe the Hype!
Author Tomi Adeyemi
Author, and awesome San Diego local, who has been a great friend to the Imperial Beach Library (and to the San Diego community in general) Tomi Adeyemi kicked the publishing doors down in 2017 with Children of Blood and Bone, winning all the awards, getting voted on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon as their first Summer Book Club selection. CBB was a BIG deal.

Much is expected from the LONG awaited sequel, Children of Virtue and Vengeance- Good Morning America's Book Club selection anyone?!!

Cannot wait to find out what has happened to the land of Oriisha now that magic isn't going to be taboo in the same way as it was before- when more people have it, public opinion will change- fear will grow, but so will corruption, anarchy, as well as the possibility for greatness.

Children of Blood and Bone
Legacy of Orïsha, Book #1
 by Tomi Adeyemi
Find it on:  Amazon, Goodreads, Mysterious Galaxy, SDCL
In a world where magic has disappeared and magis, once revered, are targeted by a ruthless king, Zélie has always feared she would share the fate of her mother, killed at the hands of the king’s guards when Zélie was just a child.

Now, at seventeen, Zélie has a chance to bring magic back to the land of Orïsha. With the help of her brother Tzain and the fugitive Crown Princess Amari, she sets off on a journey to restore her people’s magical abilities. In order to succeed, they’ll have to outwit and outrun Prince Inan, who is hell-bent on ridding the world of magic.

In the face of danger, death, and a star-crossed romance, Zélie must grapple with the ramifications of bringing magic back to her people -- and come to terms with her own powers.


I'm thankful for...

There is MUCH to be thankful for this holiday season, despite what world events are occurring at any given moment, plus now there is #BabyYoda to save us all from the scarier things we cannot control- or change!

So let show you a few of the things I am grateful for this year (this is not a comprehensive list, that would be a mile long!): 

An Illusion of Thieves
Chimera Series, Book #1
Published: May 2019
Find it on: Amazon, Goodreads, SDCL
In Cantagna, being a sorcerer is a death sentence.

Romy escapes her hardscrabble upbringing when she becomes courtesan to the Shadow Lord, a revolutionary noble who brings laws and comforts once reserved for the wealthy to all. When her brother, Neri, is caught thieving with the aid of magic, Romy's aristocratic influence is the only thing that can spare his life—and the price is her banishment.

Now back in Beggar’s Ring, she has just her wits and her own long-hidden sorcery to help her and Neri survive. But when a plot to overthrow the Shadow Lord and incite civil war is uncovered, only Romy knows how to stop it. To do so, she’ll have to rely on newfound allies—a swordmaster, a silversmith, and her own thieving brother. And they'll need the very thing that could condemn them all: magic.

Why I'm thankful:
Magical outlaws, and impossible quest, political intrigue, adult themes, a "ragtag crew" having to work together- basically, An Illusion of Thieves, had me at hello. From the very start, Cate Glass weaves her world and characters with such rich layers, her words absolutely came alive for me.

Book #2 Coming 2/4/2020
The relationship between Romy and Neri are central to the book, with its' varied twists and turns, their sibling bond was the lodestone through which their endeavor succeeded or failed. So it was wonderful to see their once estranged and strained relationship grow.

This first book absolutely left me wanting more!

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of the second book in the series; A Conjuring of Assassins, and it is even better than the first! We see the world Glass created expand, we see into characters like Placidio (who I am seriously shipping with Romy but no joy yet), and the mysteries within the plot are labyrinthine and outstanding.  Amazing series, amazing author, 100% reread material. 

Sorcery of Thorns
by Margaret Rogerson
Published: June 2019
Find it on: AmazonGoodreadsSDCL
All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.

How do you say you loved a thing more than you've ever loved a thing since...... Harry Potter, or Outlander (book not TV series), or seeing Chris Evans emerging from the machinery that transformed him into Captain America- all sleepy and glistening. That's how much I loved A Sorcery of Thorns, THAT'S how gooood this book is.

I've never encountered such a charming and fantastical magic system that is so lovingly described, you can veritably taste the descriptions, they are just that evocative. This isn't the type of book that it takes you a chapter or two to acclimate to the writing style and world, your immersion starts on page one- Rogerson is an absolute wizard with words. I cannot say more without spoiling the book, all I can say- and those lucky enough to have read the book already will know what I mean when I say- I love every character in this book, but just like Elizabeth and Nathaniel, I cannot let Silas go!

This world, this magic, Katrien, the libraries and grimories, the riotous book lice! Everything was perfection. The only thing that stabs my heart is that this is a stand alone novel. Give me a demon and I will enchant Margaret Rogerson to write me a trilogy! 

Check out the amazing fan art commissioned from @rosiethorns for @LitJoyCrate.

Wilder Girls
by Rory Power
Published: July 2019
Find it on: AmazonGoodreadsSDCL
It's been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty's life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don't dare wander outside the school's fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there's more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.


Any Way the Wind Blows..... Coming Soon!


So it seems as though we are returning for a THIRD installment in Rainbow Rowell's Simon Snow series- now Trilogy. What seemed like a super cool treat for fans of Fangirl, us getting an entire novel of the most meta of ideas: a novel for the fanfiction writings of the character in the novel Fangirl, which is fanfiction of Harry Potter- but gay (which is better BTW). And it was AMAZING! And oh by the way, it's going to have a sequel- which was even MORE amazing.... Seems like Carry On and Wayward Son have surpassed Fangirl in every way imaginable. Now it feels like Fangirl is the extra perk for fans of Simon and Baz. 

If you have a chance, pop over to Vanity Fair where they interviewed Rainbow Rowell about the upcoming third installment, Any Way the Wind Blows, and all things Simon Snow. 

Nice wingspan Simon- but where's Baz?

For any of you lucky readers out there who have yet to read the first two books in the series, here's what you need to know:

Available Now
Carry On
Simon Snow Trilogy, Book #1
by Rainbow Rowell
ISBN-13: 978-1250135025
Publisher: Wednesday Books; Reprint edition
Pages: 528
Amazon, Goodreads
#1 New York Times best seller!
Booklist Editors’ Choice 2015 - Youth!
Named a "Best Book of 2015" by Time Magazine, School Library Journal, Barnes & Noble, NPR, PopSugar, The Millions, and The News & Observer!

Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who's ever been chosen.

That's what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he's probably right.

Half the time, Simon can't even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor's avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there's a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon's face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here--it's their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon's infuriating nemesis didn't even bother to show up.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story and a mystery. It has just as much kissing and talking as you'd expect from a Rainbow Rowell story - but far, far more monsters.

Available Now
Wayward Son
Simon Snow Trilogy, Book #2
by Rainbow Rowell
ISBN-13: 978-1250146076
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Pages: 368
Amazon, Goodreads

Simon Snow is back and he's coming to America!

The story is supposed to be over.

Simon Snow did everything he was supposed to do. He beat the villain. He won the war. He even fell in love. Now comes the good part, right? Now comes the happily ever after…

So why can’t Simon Snow get off the couch?

What he needs, according to his best friend, is a change of scenery. He just needs to see himself in a new light.

That’s how Simon and Penny and Baz end up in a vintage convertible, tearing across the American West. They find trouble, of course. (Dragons, vampires, skunk-headed things with shotguns.) And they get lost. They get so lost, they start to wonder whether they ever knew where they were headed in the first place.

With Wayward Son, Rainbow Rowell has written a book for everyone who ever wondered what happened to the Chosen One after he saved the day. And a book for everyone who was ever more curious about the second kiss than the first. It’s another helping of sour cherry scones with an absolutely decadent amount of butter.

Come on, Simon Snow. Your hero’s journey might be over – but your life has just begun.


Unravel the Dusk Cover Revealed!

Unravel the Dusk
The Blood of Stars, Book #2
Coming 07/07/20
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers // ISBN-13: 978-0525647027
Pages: 368
Find it on: Amazon, Goodreads
Maia Tamarin proved her skill as a tailor when she wove the dresses of the sun, the moon, and the stars, but it will take more than a beautiful gown to hide the darkness rising up within her. . . . The stakes are higher than ever in this breathtaking sequel to Spin the Dawn, perfect for fans of Six of Crows.

Maia Tamarin's journey to sew the dresses of the sun, the moon, and the stars has taken a grievous toll. She returns to a kingdom on the brink of war. Edan, the boy she loves, is gone--perhaps forever--and no sooner does she set foot in the Autumn Palace than she is forced to don the dress of the sun
Book #1
and assume the place of the emperor's bride-to-be to keep the peace. When the emperor's rivals learn of her deception, there is hell to pay, but the war raging around Maia is nothing compared to the battle within. Ever since she was touched by the demon Bandur, she has been changing . . . glancing in the mirror to see her own eyes glowing red; losing control of her magic, her body, her mind. It's only a matter of time before Maia loses herself completely, and in the meantime she will stop at nothing to find Edan, protect her family, and bring lasting peace to her country.


Cover Revealed! The House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

House of Earth and Blood
Crescent City, Book #1
by Sarah J. Maas
Coming 01/28/20!
Pages: 648 // ISBN-13: 978-1635574043 // Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Find it on: AmazonGoodreads
#1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas launches her brand-new CRESCENT CITY series with House of Earth and Blood: the story of half-Fae and half-human Bryce Quinlan as she seeks revenge in a contemporary fantasy world of magic, danger, and searing romance.

Half-Fae, half-human Bryce Quinlan loves her life. By day, she works for an antiquities dealer, selling barely legal magical artifacts, and by night, she parties with her friends, savoring every pleasure Lunathion-otherwise known as Crescent City-has to offer. But it all comes crumbling down when a ruthless murder shakes the very foundations of the city-and Bryce's world.

Two years later, her job has become a dead end, and she now seeks only blissful oblivion in the city's most notorious nightclubs. But when the murderer attacks again, Bryce finds herself dragged into the investigation and paired with an infamous Fallen angel whose own brutal past haunts his every step.
Hunt Athalar, personal assassin for the Archangels, wants nothing to do with Bryce Quinlan, despite being ordered to protect her. She stands for everything he once rebelled against and seems more interested in partying than solving the murder, no matter how close to home it might hit. But Hunt soon realizes there's far more to Bryce than meets the eye-and that he's going to have to find a way to work with her if they want to solve this case.

As Bryce and Hunt race to untangle the mystery, they have no way of knowing the threads they tug ripple through the underbelly of the city, across warring continents, and down to the darkest levels of Hel, where things that have been sleeping for millennia are beginning to stir...

With unforgettable characters and page-turning suspense, this richly inventive new fantasy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas delves into the heartache of loss, the price of freedom-and the power of love.


New Release Date for: Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao

Blood Heir
Blood Heir Trilogy, Book #1
Coming 11/19/19
ISBN-13: 978-0525707790
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 496
The hottest fantasy debut of the summer, perfect for fans of Children of Blood and BoneBlood Heir is the first book in an epic new series about a princess hiding a dark secret and the conman she must trust to clear her name for her father's murder. 

In the Cyrilian Empire, Affinites are reviled and enslaved. Their varied abilities to control the world around them are unnatural--dangerous. And Anastacya Mikhailov, the crown princess, might be the most monstrous of them all. Her deadly Affinity to blood is her curse and the reason she has lived her life hidden behind palace walls. 

But when Ana's father, the emperor, is murdered, her world is shattered: Ana is the one framed as his killer. To save herself, she must flee the safety of the palace and enter a land that hunts her and her kind. And to clear her name, she must find her father's murderer on her own. Yet, what Ana finds is far worse than she ever imagined. A greater conspiracy is at work in Cyrilia, one that threatens the very balance of her world. And there is only one person corrupt enough to help her get to its rotten core: Ramson Quicktongue.

A cunning crime lord of the Cyrilian underworld, Ramson has sinister plans--though he might have met his match in Ana. Because in this story, the princess might be the most dangerous player of all.

“Blood Heir is cinematic storytelling at its best. A stunning new voice in YA, Amélie Wen Zhao has drawn characters who are as complex and captivating as the fantastical world she’s built. With a thrilling, slow-burn romance and a layered, twisty plot that hits the ground running, this spectacular debut delivers. Get ready for a retelling like you’ve never seen before.” —Adrienne Young, New York Times bestselling author of Sky in the Deep

Lamentably, the Zhao- under an avalanche of public pressure from social media- felt that she had to have more time before publication to maybe make some changes to her book! 

Thankfully all is back on track now, but those of us who were anticipating the novel spent a few months in limbo, and databases like Edelweiss listed Blood Heir as "Postponed Indefinitely". Here is her statement below:


My Review: An Illusion of thieves by Cate Glass

A ragtag crew with forbidden magic must pull off an elaborate heist and stop a civil war in An Illusion of Thieves, a fantasy adventure from Cate Glass!

An Illusion of Thieves is many things rolled into one; a slow burn heist novel, a break up novel, a novel of magicians, sibling bonding, and persecution. It has strong themes of justice, fairness, brutal consequences for even seeming unlawful, and the imbalance in power between the rich and the poor.

This novel unfolds itself slowly, I loved the everyday drudgery of Romy's fall from grace, because she scrapes and claws for everything (most especially for the good behavior of her younger brother). As time goes on you see that Romy and Navi collect people- Placidio, Drummond and his family. Once all of these pieces are in place, the novel really becomes a symphony of all the disperate elements that have been sprinkled throughout the book. Romy is most certainly a mastermind, and it is not often that the female is in that position- even in books written by women.

There is sooo very much I am bursting to say- mostly that a love between Master and Concubine is not one of equals. If she makes herself to be everything her wants and lives in fear OF DEATH to disappoint him, that is not love ROMY. But she knows that. Romy is not stupid, and I love that about her.

I've been thinking about these characters for DAYS, and I want to put it out into the world: I ship Romy and Placidio. Big time.

An Illusion of Thieves
Chimera Series, Book #1
by Cate Glass
cover art by Alyssa Winans
Coming May 21, 2019
Find it on: Amazon, Goodreads, SDCL
In Cantagna, being a sorcerer is a death sentence.

Romy escapes her hardscrabble upbringing when she becomes courtesan to the Shadow Lord, a revolutionary noble who brings laws and comforts once reserved for the wealthy to all. When her brother, Neri, is caught thieving with the aid of magic, Romy's aristocratic influence is the only thing that can spare his life—and the price is her banishment.

Now back in Beggar’s Ring, she has just her wits and her own long-hidden sorcery to help her and Neri survive. But when a plot to overthrow the Shadow Lord and incite civil war is uncovered, only Romy knows how to stop it. To do so, she’ll have to rely on newfound allies—a swordmaster, a silversmith, and her own thieving brother. And they'll need the very thing that could condemn them all: magic.

"In a world reminiscent of Renaissance Italy. You know, intrigue, mercenaries, poison rings, artists, family rivalries, political skullduggery of all kinds. And the mythology that makes use of magic a mortal crime starts to creep in..."--Cate Glass