July Releases I’m Excited For

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It’s surprisingly been quite awhile since I’ve done one of these posts and even though we’re halfway through July already, I really wanted to get this up anyway. I love taking a look at new releases and bringing attention to some of those lesser raved about books! Some of these you’ve probably heard of, but my hope is that at least one or two will be books you’re hearing about for the first time now. If any of you have already read any of the books on this list, let me know what you thought of them! 🙂

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Review: War Storm by Victoria Aveyard

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Published: May 15th, 2018 by HarperTeen | Series: Red Queen #4 | Length: 662 pages | Genre: YA dystopian fantasy | Source: Bought | Content Warning: war, violence, kidnapping, homophobia, parental manipulation of children

Rating: 5/5

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Summary from Goodreads:

Victory comes at a price.

Mare Barrow learned this all too well when Cal’s betrayal nearly destroyed her. Now determined to protect her heart—and secure freedom for Reds and newbloods like her—Mare resolves to overthrow the kingdom of Norta once and for all… starting with the crown on Maven’s head.

But no battle is won alone, and before the Reds may rise as one, Mare must side with the boy who broke her heart in order to defeat the boy who almost broke her. Cal’s powerful Silver allies, alongside Mare and the Scarlet Guard, prove a formidable force. But Maven is driven by an obsession so deep, he will stop at nothing to have Mare as his own again, even if it means demolishing everything—and everyone—in his path.

War is coming, and all Mare has fought for hangs in the balance. Will victory be enough to topple the Silver kingdoms? Or will the little lightning girl be forever silenced?

In the epic conclusion to Victoria Aveyard’s stunning series, Mare must embrace her fate and summon all her power… for all will be tested, but not all will survive.

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Top Ten Best Books I’ve Read So Far This Year

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week features a different theme or prompt for which you come up with a list of ten books or ideas. This week’s theme is: best books we’ve read so far this year. Now because I haven’t been having a great reading and blogging year, I have very sadly only read ten books so far. So, for what I hope are obvious reasons, this is not going to be a true top ten Tuesday. I’m still participating though because it’s been forever since I’ve posted anything other than a book review and I really wanted to share some of my favorite books I’ve read so far this year.

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Review: The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan

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Published: October 10th, 2017 by Delacorte Press | Series: N/A | Length: 272 pages | Genre: YA horror, fantasy | Source: Borrowed from library | Content Warning: sexual assault, rape, murder, torture

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Summary from Goodreads:

Five boys attacked her.
Now they must repay her with their blood and flesh.

Bethan is the apprentice to a green healer named Drina in a clan of Welsh Romanies. Her life is happy and ordered and modest, as required by Roma custom, except for one thing: Silas, the son of the chieftain, has been secretly harassing her.

One night, Silas and his friends brutally assault Bethan and a half-Roma friend, Martyn. As empty and hopeless as she feels from the attack, she asks Drina to bring Martyn back from death’s door. “There is always a price for this kind of magic,” Drina warns. The way to save him is gruesome. Bethan must collect grisly pieces to fuel the spell: an ear, some hair, an eye, a nose, and fingers.

She gives the boys who assaulted her a chance to come forward and apologize. And when they don’t, she knows exactly where to collect her ingredients to save Martyn.

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Review: Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

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Published: April 24th, 2018 by Balzer + Bray | Series: Creekwood #2 | Length: 343 pages | Genre: YA LGBT (f/f – both bisexual) contemporary romance | Source: Purchased | Content Warning: homophobia, racism

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Summary from Goodreads:

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.

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ARC Review: Welcome Home edited by Eric Smith

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Published: September 5th, 2017 by Flux | Series: N/A | Length: 352 pages | Genre: YA anthology (various genres) | Source: Received a free copy from editor | See individual story reviews for content warnings (too many to list all of them here). Themes like adoption, abandonment, and feeling out of place are common throughout.

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Summary from Goodreads:

Welcome Home collects a number of adoption-themed fictional short stories, and brings them together in one anthology from a diverse range of celebrated Young Adult authors. The all-star roster includes Edgar-award winner Mindy McGinnis, New York Times bestselling authors C.J. Redwine (The Shadow Queen) and William Ritter (Jackaby), and acclaimed YA authors across all genres, like Adi Alsaid, Lauren Gibaldi, Sangu Mandanna, Karen Akins, and many more.

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Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

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Rating: 5/5 stars

Published: April 7th, 2015 by Balzer + Bray | Series: Creekwood #1 | Length: 303 pages | Genre: YA LGBTQIAP contemporary | Source: Bought | Content Warning: blackmail, MC is outed by another person, homophobic bullying

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Summary from Goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

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