Review: Sisters of Shadow and Light by Sara B. Larson

Title: Sisters of Shadow and Light
Series: Sisters of Shadow and Light
Author: Sara B. Larson
Release Date: November 5, 2019
Publisher: Tor Teen
Pages: 368

Content Warnings: self-harm, abuse, thoughts of suicide, death of parents, violence

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From the acclaimed author of Defy, Sara B. Larson, Sisters of Shadow and Light is a timeless and fantastical tale of sisterly love and powerful magic

The night my sister was born, the stars died and were reborn in her eyes….

Zuhra and Inara have grown up in the Citadel of the Paladins, an abandoned fortress where legendary, magical warriors once lived before disappearing from the world—including their Paladin father the night Inara was born.

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Review: Ziggy, Stardust and Me by James Brandon

Title: Ziggy, Stardust and Me
Author: James Brandon
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Pages: 368

Content Warnings: homophobia (internalized and externalized), bullying, racism (specifically towards Native Americans), derogatory language, abuse (parental, psychological, and physical), shock/conversion therapy, misgendering, suicide, suicidal thoughts, sexism, disassociation, self-harm, possible PTSD, anxiety, asthma attacks, physical violence, police brutality, death of a parent, attempted rape

This post does contain affiliate links. I will receive a small amount from any purchases made through Book Depository at no extra cost to you.

The year is 1973. The Watergate hearings are in full swing. The Vietnam War is still raging. And homosexuality is still officially considered a mental illness. In the midst of these trying times is sixteen-year-old Jonathan Collins, a bullied, anxious, asthmatic kid, who aside from an alcoholic father and his sympathetic neighbor and friend Starla, is completely alone. To cope, Jonathan escapes to the safe haven of his imagination, where his hero David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and dead relatives, including his mother, guide him through the rough terrain of his life. In his alternate reality, Jonathan can be anything: a superhero, an astronaut, Ziggy Stardust, himself, or completely “normal” and not a boy who likes other boys. When he completes his treatments, he will be normal—at least he hopes. But before that can happen, Web stumbles into his life. Web is everything Jonathan wishes he could be: fearless, fearsome and, most importantly, not ashamed of being gay.

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Review: Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things by Jacqueline Firkins

Title: Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things
Author: Jacqueline Firkins
Release Date: December 17, 2019
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Pages: 384

Content Warnings: parental abandonment, death of a parent, foster care, fatphobia, underage drinking

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In this charming debut about first love and second chances, a young girl gets caught between the boy next door and a playboy. Perfect for fans of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.

Mansfield, Massachusetts is the last place seventeen-year-old Edie Price wants to spend her final summer before college. It’s the home of wealthy suburbanites and prima donnas like Edie’s cousins, who are determined to distract her from her mother’s death with cute boys and Cinderella-style makeovers. Edie has her own plans, and they don’t include a prince charming.

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Review: As Many Nows as I Can Get by Shana Youngdahl

Title: As Many Nows as I Can Get
Author: Shana Youngdahl
Release Date: August 20, 2019
Publisher: Dial Books
Pages: 432

Content Warnings: underage drinking, sexism, cancer, hospitals, drug use, drug overdose, death of a parent, grief, ghosting a two year relationship, talk of suicide, anxiety, depression, talk of eating disorders, talk of gun violence, unplanned pregnancy, talk of abortion, talk of miscarriage, gaslighting, misgendering, car accident, animal death, fatphobia

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A timely, searing, and unconventional romance from an urgent new voice in young adult fiction

In one impulsive moment the summer before they leave for college, overachievers Scarlett and David plunge into an irresistible swirl of romance, particle physics, and questionable decisions. Told in non-linear, vivid first-person chapters, As Many Nows As I Can Get is the story of a grounded girl who’s pulled into a lightning-strike romance with an electric-charged boy, and the enormity of the aftermath. Cerebral, accessible, bold, and unconventionally romantic, this is a powerful debut about grief, guilt, and reconciling who you think you need to be with the person you’ve been all along.

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Review: The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring

Title: The Tenth Girl
Author: Sara Faring
Release Date: September 24, 2019
Publisher: Imprint
Pages: 458

Content Warnings: sexual abuse, torture, cancer, death of a parent, death of a sibling, survivor’s guilt, self-harm, miscarriage, gore

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Simmering in Patagonian myth, The Tenth Girl is a gothic psychological thriller with a haunting twist.

At the very southern tip of South America looms an isolated finishing school. Legend has it that the land will curse those who settle there. But for Mavi—a bold Buenos Aires native fleeing the military regime that took her mother—it offers an escape to a new life as a young teacher to Argentina’s elite girls.

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Review: Coral by Sara Ella

Title: Coral
Author: Sara Ella
Release Date: November 12, 2019
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pages: 384

Content Warnings: anxiety, depression, PTSD, suicidal ideation, graphic depictions of suicide attempts, successful suicide, hospitals, self-harm, unhealthy eating, death of a parent, parental abandonment, disassociation

This post does contain affiliate links. I will receive a small amount from any purchases made through Book Depository at no extra cost to you.

There is more than one way to drown.

Coral has always been different, standing out from her mermaid sisters in a society where blending in is key. Worse yet, she fears she has been afflicted with the dreaded Disease, said to be carried by humans—emotions. Can she face the darkness long enough to surface in the light?

Above the sea, Brooke has nothing left to give. Depression and anxiety have left her feeling isolated. Forgotten. The only thing she can rely on is the numbness she finds within the cool and comforting ocean waves. If only she weren’t stuck at Fathoms—a new group therapy home that promises a second chance at life. But what’s the point of living if her soul is destined to bleed?

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Guest Post: Writing a Bromance by Naomi Hughes

Bromance—a strong friendship between two guys—is one of my absolute favorite tropes. Sherlock and Watson! Kirk and Spock! Crowley and Aziraphale! Something about these types of relationships just always seems so special to me. I love the banter, the tension, the vulnerable moments. Even better, in my opinion, is if the guys start out as enemies before they grow into an unexpected friendship (or frenemy-ship).

So when it came time for me to brainstorm a brand-new story last year, of course I decided to write a bromance into it.

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