May Upcoming Titles

Summer’s coming, the pandemic is still going, but we’ve got some pretty awesome books on their way!

Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Our heroes are back… kind of. From the bestselling co-authors of the Illuminae Files comes the second book in the epic series about a squad of misfits, losers, and discipline cases who just might be the galaxy’s best hope for survival.

First, the bad news: an ancient evil—you know, your standard consume-all-life-in-the-galaxy deal—is about to be unleashed. The good news? Squad 312 is standing by to save the day. They’ve just got to take care of a few small distractions first.

Like the clan of gremps who’d like to rearrange their favorite faces.

And the cadre of illegit GIA agents with creepy flowers where their eyes used to be, who’ll stop at nothing to get their hands on Auri.

Then there’s Kal’s long-lost sister, who’s not exactly happy to see her baby brother, and has a Syldrathi army at her back. With half the known galaxy on their tails, Squad 312 has never felt so wanted.

When they learn the Hadfield has been found, it’s time to come out of hiding. Two centuries ago, the colony ship vanished, leaving Auri as its sole survivor. Now, its black box might be what saves them. But time is short, and if Auri can’t learn to master her powers as a Trigger, the squad and all their admirers are going to be deader than the Great Ultrasaur of Abraaxis IV.

Shocking revelations, bank heists, mysterious gifts, inappropriately tight bodysuits, and an epic firefight will determine the fate of the Aurora Legion’s most unforgettable heroes—and maybe the rest of the galaxy as well.

Pub Date: May 2, 2020

The Betrothed by Kiera Cass

When King Jameson declares his love for Lady Hollis Brite, Hollis is shocked—and thrilled. After all, she’s grown up at Keresken Castle, vying for the king’s attention alongside other daughters of the nobility. Capturing his heart is a dream come true.

But Hollis soon realizes that falling in love with a king and being crowned queen may not be the happily ever after she thought it would be. And when she meets a commoner with the mysterious power to see right into her heart, she finds that the future she really wants is one that she never thought to imagine.

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance – and Papi’s secrets – the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.

Papi’s death uncovers all the painful truths he kept hidden, and the love he divided across an ocean. And now, Camino and Yahaira are both left to grapple with what this new sister means to them, and what it will now take to keep their dreams alive.

In a dual narrative novel in verse that brims with both grief and love, award-winning and bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives.

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

A captivating and utterly original fairy tale about a girl cursed to be poisonous to the touch, and who discovers what power might lie in such a curse…

There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it’s not just a story.

As the day of her twin brother’s wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she’s willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man who isn’t afraid of her, whose eyes linger not with fear, but with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison.

Soraya thought she knew her place in the world, but when her choices lead to consequences she never imagined, she begins to question who she is and who she is becoming…human or demon. Princess or monster.

Pub Date: May 12, 2020

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the 10th annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to out charm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.

The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined – every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute… and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.

Pub Date: May 19, 2020

S4 E7 Aurora Rising

This widget shows our latest episode and may not match up to the title of the post. Use the links below to subscribe to us whereever you get your podcast fix.

Jess is a gearhead with both eyebrows, Dan is a stunningly attractive Ace, and Maggie finds herself with newfound responsibilities on this episode of Booked All Night when we discuss Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.

From the internationally bestselling authors of THE ILLUMINAE FILES comes an epic new science fiction adventure.

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.

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YALLSTAYHOME

YALLWEST 2020 REBRANDED AS YALLSTAYHOME: OVER 70
BESTSELLING & AWARD-WINNING AUTHORS CREATE A VIRTUAL BOOK FESTIVAL

YOUR TOWN, YOUR STATE: YALLWEST returns for its sixth year with more than 70 authors presenting on April 25-26, 2020. The annual gathering typically draws over 20,000 readers to Santa Monica High School, but this year’s event will be entirely virtual. The biggest teen and middle grade book festival in the country is going worldwide (web). Rebranded as YALLSTAYHOME, this free event will feature a weekend of online panel discussions, giveaways, games and more. Special events will surround the festival, with promotions across social media platforms. Additionally, the festival is connecting participating authors with twenty underserved Los Angeles schools for virtual visits via Zoom and providing e-books to their students. Festival founders and #1 New York Times Bestselling authors Margaret Stohl (Beautiful Creatures) and Melissa de la Cruz (The Queen’s Assassin) open the event at 10:00 AM (PDT) by discussing their decade-long collaboration culminating in their upcoming novel, Jo & Laurie. Starsight and Mistborn series author Brandon Sanderson will lead the afternoon keynote at 4:00 PM (PDT).

Saturday closes as Angie Thomas, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling blockbusters On the Come Up and The Hate U Give, host the annual YALLWEST SMACKDOWN variety show with Nic Stone (Dear Martin). Pseudonymous Bosch and Shane Pangburn host a Middle Grade Storyball on Sunday at 10:00 AM (PDT). The entire YALLSTAYHOME experience will end with a star-studded lineup of authors reading their earliest writing on Sunday, April 26th at 5:00 PM (PDT).

Additional YALLSTAYHOME attending authors include Cassandra Clare, Rainbow Rowell,
Karen McManus, Maureen Johnson, Ransom Riggs, Victoria Aveyard, Marie Lu, Roshani Chokshi, Mariko Tamaki and many others (see next page for full line-up). Multiple bestselling authors will appear on the virtual stage for the festival’s Saturday opening and
closing events.

Full event schedule and panel registration can be found at yallwest.com/schedule.

2020 FESTIVAL LINEUP YALLSTAYHOME • April 25-26, 2020

Renée Ahdieh
Melissa Albert
Becky Albertalli
Elise Allen
Janella Angeles
Victoria Aveyard
Gwenda Bond
Pseudonymous Bosch
Alexandra Bracken
Julie Buxbaum
Cecil Castellucci
Traci Chee
Soman Chainani
Roshani Chokshi
Dhonielle Clayton
Ally Condie
Mintie Das
Charlotte Nicole Davis
Melissa de la Cruz
Jennifer De Leon
Natasha Díaz
Hafsah Faizal
Jennifer Donnelly
Simone Elkeles
Sarah Enni
Francesca Flores
Romina Garber
Stephanie Garber
Kami Garcia
Stuart Gibbs
Holly Goldberg Sloan
Adalyn Grace
Shannon Hale
Frances Hardinge
Carlos Hernandez
Isabel Ibañez
Jordan Ifueko
George M Johnson
Leah Johnson
Maureen Johnson
Mike Johnston
Marisa Kanter
Amie Kaufman
Bill Konigsberg
Jay Kristoff
Victoria Lee
David Levithan
Alex London
Marie Lu
Tahereh Mafi
Sam Maggs
Karen M. McManus
Tehlor Kay Mejia
Shannon Messenger
Samuel Miller
Bethany C. Morrow
Sarah Mlynowski
Lauren Myracle
Danielle Paige
Shane Pangburn
Lewis Peterson
Rory Power
Brendan Reichs
Ransom Riggs
Lilliam Rivera
Margaret Rogerson
Zan Romanoff
Rainbow Rowell
Brandon Sanderson
Adam Silvera
Rachel Lynn Solomon
Tara Sim
Margaret Stohl
Nic Stone
Mariko Tamaki
Angie Thomas
Maggie Tokuda-Hall
Sarah Watson
David Yoon
F.C. Yee
Abigail Hing Wen
Tracy Wolff
Nicola Yoon

Ice Wolves ★★★★★

35068585I’ve only ever read one other book by Amie Kaufman, and that was IlluminaeSo when I saw she had a middle grade piece about kids who turned into wolves and dragons well… I needed to get my hands on it! And Elementals: Ice Wolves did not disappoint!

Everyone in Vallen knows that ice wolves and scorch dragonsare sworn enemies who live deeply separate lives.

So when twelve-year-old orphan Anders takes one elemental form and his twin sister, Rayna, takes another, he wonders whether they are even related. Still, whether or not they’re family, Rayna is Anders’s only true friend. She’s nothing like the brutal, cruel dragons who claimed her as one of their own and stole her away.

In order to rescue her, Anders must enlist at the foreboding Ulfar Academy, a school for young wolves that values loyalty to the pack above all else. But for Anders, loyalty is more complicated than obedience, and friendship is the most powerful shapeshifting force of all.

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Twelve-year-old scrappy orphan kids who suddenly become animals and have to join the institution they’ve been avoiding all their life? Oh, and one of them transforms into a dragon and is whisked away from her brother? A brother who depended on his sister for years while they lived on the street? Yaaaasssss.

This was such a cute book and a wonderful story about a little boy who turns into a confident kid when his life turns upside down. I couldn’t put Ice Wolves down for a second! It was not just cute, but Kaufman has a way with words. She doesn’t talk down to the kids that would be reading her book; she weaves a masterful story that’s intriguing and unforgettable.

So often, a middle grade piece sacrifices either a complex story or its vocabulary to be made “appropriate” for it’s intended demographic. People often forget that kids are smart and want deeper, complex books with a narrative that doesn’t talk down to them.

Ice Wolves didn’t sacrifice a thing. It showed the hardship of growing up on the streets, how hungry Anders and Rayna go when they’re not able to steal food or the sort of trouble they would face if they were caught pickpocketing. It shows how other kids on the street look out for one another.

And when Anders enters the Academy, he notes how everything there is more than he might have ever had in his life; the overabundance of food, a warm place to sleep at night, an education.

I loved the sense of found family Anders had with his pack, and how he never wavered in his quest to rescue his sister, despite finding out that she didn’t need rescuing after all.

And when I hit the last page, I was incredibly upset. Not because of the story, but because it was over and I knew it’d be at least a year before the second book came out.

So don’t hesitate to pick up Ice Wolves right now. You’ll thank me for it. Also, I won’t be alone in my suffering while I wait for book 2!

Ice Wolves
Amazon Barnes&Noble . BooksAMillion

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Maggie’s March TBR

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I finished Children of Blood and Bone the other night, and it was my most anticipated March release, so now I get to go through all the new March releases, and even work on some of my April release ARCs!

Jessica’ March TBR

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For Review

34728667Title: Children of Blood and Bone
Author(s): Tomi Adeyemi
Pub Date: March 6, 2018
Publisher: Henry Holt Books for Young Readers
Buy Links: Amazon . B&N

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.