Top Ten Tuesday: Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

 Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For The Second Half Of The Year

I’m only going to list books I haven’t read yet (so you won’t see Kids of Appetite – which you know I loved with everything I have, Gemina – which I LOVED, The Sun Is Also a Star – which I also LOVED, etc.) These are ten of the books from the second half of 2016 that I can’t wait to read.

Gemini by Sonja Mukherjee (July 26)
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling (July 31)
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff (August 9)

A Child of Books by Sam Winston, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers (September 6)
Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow (September 6)
And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich (September 6)

Afterward by Jennifer Mathieu (September 20)
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (September 27)
Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh (October 4)
Heartless by Marissa Meyer (November 8)

What books are you looking forward to?

Advertisements

ARC Review: If I Was You Girl by Meredith Russo

If I Was Your GirlAuthor: Meredith Russo

Genre: Young adult, contemporary, LGBTQIA+

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Publication Date: May 3, 2016

288 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

This book. Wow. If I Was Your Girl is not only great because it is important (though it is SO important) but also because Russo has an easy, authentic, beautiful writing style that made me fall in love with this book and its characters. It’s a quick read but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to read. It’s difficult to read at times, but Amanda is an incredible, brave, and wonderful character and you really want to meet her.

I ordered this book as a physical book, e-book, and audiobook for my library because I really want everyone to read it. I think it is important for everyone to read it. I even convinced my very conservative, religious supervisor to read this one as an audiobook and she’s loving it.

However, I did have a few issues – mostly with the bit of instalove and subsequent not-as-developed-as-I’d-like relationship between Amanda and Grant and also the ending, which I felt was a bit rushed. The beginning was so developed and emotionally resonant that the ending didn’t feel as genuine, I guess?

The bottom line: HIGHLY recommended for EVERYONE.

Rating: I’m not rating this one because even though I had some issues, this book is so freaking important and everyone should read it.

Top Ten Tuesday: Reasons I Love Damian Wayne

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Ten Reasons I Love X — could be a certain book, character, author, your indie bookstore, a fandom, a tv show, reading, a hobby, a genre. Honestly anything you want to gush about.

Before I start, I just want to wish my awesome mom a happy birthday! Love you, mom! ❤

Ten Reasons I LOVE Damian Wayne

I know I’ve talked about Damian Wayne on the blog before and how much I love this smug, arrogant, little punk, but I thought it’d be fun to use this theme to share ten Damian moments in the comics that made me smile or reinforce my love of this character.

Damian 1
Source

Damian 2
Source

Damian 3
Source

Damian 4
Source

Damian 5
Source

Damian 6
Source

Damian 7
Source

Damian 8
Source

Damian 9
Source

Damian 10
Source

Damian 11
Source

Link me up to your TTTs!

 

ARC Review: My Seventh-Grade Life in Tights by Brooks Benjamin

My Seventh-Grade Life in TightsAuthor: Brooks Benjamin

Genre: Middle grade, contemporary, humor

Publisher: Delacorte

Publication Date: April 12, 2016

293 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

My Seventh-Grade Life in Tights made me feel like this.

happy baby gif

It’s a joyous, fun, light-hearted, sweet book. Dillon’s voice is absolute perfection; he really felt like a middle schooler that just wanted to be a dancer with everything he had. I loved all of the characters in this book, and I was rooting for them the whole time. The book is witty and full of life and humor. It’s diverse with a cast of interesting and wonderful characters. The kids are just that…kids. I think all of them felt like kids I could meet at my library, and I really appreciated that. The voices felt genuine and real.

I just want to talk for days about how much I love this book, but I’m just going to give you two more GIFs that I felt represent the way this book made me feel.

Also check out my super awesome M7GLiT tights that Brooks sent me! I’m obsessed with them. They are so comfortable. Check out this tweet from Brooks for your chance to win a pair!

The bottom line: M7GLiT is a really enjoyable, clever, funny book about being who you are and not letting anyone tell you otherwise. It’s full of so much life and you’ll just want to hug the book the entire time.

Rating: 8 – freaking fantastic

Pride Month Display & Book Recommendations

If you follow me on Twitter, you might’ve seen me post about my (small, inclusive, non-offensive) Pride Month display (pictured below) that I put up in the library that was taken down.

Pride Month Display

 

I couldn’t care less about the work I put into the display. What I care about are the teens who didn’t get to see the display before it got taken down, who didn’t get to find a book that they could find themselves in, who didn’t get to see that at least one librarian cares about them in this state. I’m sad because none of the teens who could’ve benefited from this display were asked what they thought about it. I’m sad because before the display was taken down, FOUR of the books in the display were checked out, which means at least one teen saw that display and thought, “Wow. This is for me,” but no other teens were given that option.

I can’t say much about the display or why it was taken down, unfortunately. There was a much longer post here, but all I’m going to say no is that the display was taken down. Kayla, the young adult librarian at one of the other libraries in our system, also had to take her display down (pictured below).

Kayla's display

What Kayla had to say:

What you’re saying is, “The kids who need these books, this visibility, and this support are not as important as the people who might get upset about it.”
….
What I just got told, by the people who refer to us all as a family, is that I can only be proud of myself if other people don’t have to see it. What I just got told, by the people who are supposed to uphold the idea of freedom of information for the public, who are supposed to serve the community as best they possibly can, is that some parts of that community matter more than others.

Good to know.

Kayla and I are not giving up and we will continue to find a way to continue to support our LGBTQIAP+ youth and ALL youth in our communities.

————————————

So while all of this was happening, someone asked me on Twitter so share a list of the books I put in my display so he could add them to his TBR. I wanted to share them with all of you, so here’s the list of books I had in my display plus a few I wanted to include but were already checked out. I hope that you’ll find at least one of them that will benefit you.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour
Anything Could Happen by Will Walton
Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
What We Left Behind by Robin Talley
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Two Boys Kissing and Every Day by David Levithan (honestly, everything by David Levithan)
In Real Life by Joey Graceffa
Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz
Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Binge by Tyler Oakley
Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler
Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan
Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin

A Work in Progress by Connor Franta
Breakthrough: How One Teen Innovator Is Changing the World by Jack Andraka
More Than This by Patrick Ness
Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin
The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

Far from You by Tess Sharpe
Lizard Radio by Pat Schmatz
The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie

Other books that I wanted in my display but they are already checked out (which is even better):

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio
Winger and Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

Jerkbait by Mia Siegert
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee

There are so many other books I wanted to include. I would also recommend checking out Dahlia Adler’s LGBTQ Reads website for more recommendations!

If you are interested in hearing about what happens with this situation, I’ll be tweeting updates, so follow me @StefaniSloma.

Audiobook Review: Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

Bone GapAuthor: Laura Ruby

Narrator: Dan Bittner

Audiobook length: 8 hours and 21 minutes

Genre: Young adult, magical realism

Publisher: Balzer + Bray (book); HarperAudio (audiobook)

YOU GUYS WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG TO READ THIS BOOK?

This book is SO. COOL. I’m really glad that Nic Stone couldn’t stop talking about how much she loved it. I finally checked it out because of her, and it made my trip up to Chicago (for BEA) feel so short. I was completely engrossed in this story.

Bone Gap is super strange. Like, so completely weird. But in the best possible way. It’s magical realism, so there are some scenes that take you by surprise – I know I wasn’t expecting to see Roza in a castle, and it felt a bit weird at first. But mostly I felt like I was dreaming. That’s my favorite part of magical realism – you feel awake and asleep at the same time. Bone Gap was exactly that: I felt like I’d fallen into this strange, beautiful, bizarre dream. I thought the book was really well-written and I loved all of the characters, especially Petey. I will definitely be rereading this one in physical format.

THE NARRATOR: I thought Dan Bittner did a fantastic job at narrating the book. I’ve previously listened to Dan as he is the narrator for Cole St. Clair in the later Wolves of Mercy Falls books by Maggie Stiefvater. I really like his voice, as it’s a bit gruff, so I enjoyed his Bone Gap narration.

The bottom line: READ THIS BOOK, YOU GUYS. I thought it was fantastic and beautiful. I will say that I don’t think this book is for everyone, and if you’ve never read a book that’s magical realism, just be prepared. It’s bizarre at first, but it is so so good.

Rating: 9 – practically perfect

Book Review: Gena/Finn by Hannah Moscowitz and Kat Helgeson

Gena-FinnAuthor: Hannah Moscowitz, Kat Helgeson

Genre: Young adult, contemporary

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Publication Date: May 17, 2016

287 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

I’m just not sure what to make of this book. I have really mixed feelings. It was a quick read, so that was good.

I was so invested in this book. For the first half or so. Then there’s a major event, and I felt the transition from the first half to the second was really awkward and not well done in my opinion. I wanted to stay invested because I really liked these nerdy, adorable, smart characters in the beginning. The book went from being really cute to being REALLY serious and dark practically out of nowhere. I think the dark stuff was important too, but the transition was so hard and quick that it could’ve given you whiplash.

I also think that the book was marketed as something that it definitely wasn’t. In my opinion, they made it seem like it would be this epic, adorable LGBTQIAP+ book and while it does hint at that a little bit, the overall story is very heteronormative, especially in the end. SPOILER: The authors had a real opportunity here with how they set up these characters to work with their sexuality, but nothing happens with it. It ended up just being really confusing and weird.

You guys know how much I love books that are made of alternative storytelling methods, and this one has it all – blog posts, texts, emails, fan fiction, and there’s not a single page that has a normal page of text. I loved that format. I also loved the fandom stuff and the fact that they become friends online and then friends IRL.

The bottom line: A cute, fluffy read in the beginning all about fandom and online friends that turns into a dark, serious read very quickly. I liked it overall, but there were some disappointing factors.

Rating: 5 – take it or leave it

NOTE: I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Chronicle Books for letting me read this!