YA Recommendations Roundup: Summer/Fall 2015

I’m going to start recommending my favorite 2016 books next week, so I thought I’d post a roundup of what I’ve recommended at Coven Book Club since June (when I posted my Winter/Spring 2015 roundup post.)

21569527If you haven’t read the first book in Mary E. Pearson’s trilogy, The Kiss of Deception, do so ASAP and you’ll likely be devouring The Heart of Betrayal just a few days later. This series is addictive, and this second book in the trilogy did not suffer from a sophomore slump and is equally good, if not better, than the first book. I want the third book so badly. GIMME NOW.

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In Lair of Dreams, the Diviners must catch a serial killer who is causing a deadly sleeping sickness. After Evie’s frightening showdown with the serial killer that took place in Libba Bray’s The Diviners (2012), she’s become a celebrity Diviner. The world now knows her special talent: she can “read” objects and discern people’s pasts (and their secrets). But despite fame and fortune, her troubles aren’t over. (Read Allison’s recommendation of The Diviners audiobook here.)

23346358The Accident Season, by Moïra Fowley-Doyle, is literary horror at its best: magical realism and eloquent, imaginative prose amplify the horror narratives and play to our most primal fears. Seventeen-year-old Cara’s family is cursed. Every October (The Accident Season), Cara, her mother, her sister Alice, and her step-brother Sam find that no matter how many precautions they take, “[b]ones break, skin tears, bruises bloom,” and sometimes family members (her father and uncle) die. (Read my full recommendation here and Allison’s recommendation here.)

19364719Slasher Girls & Monster Boys, edited by April Genevieve Tucholke: I loved this anthology of scary stories by many of my favorite YA authors (Nova Ren Suma, Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, and more). This collection pays homage to classic horror films and literature, urban legends, fairy tales, and myths; yet these stories are original and disturbing in their own right. (Read my full recommendation here.)


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What I like most about Kate Elliott’s Court of Fives–pitched as “Game of Thrones meets The Hunger Games meets Little Women” —is its strong heroine, Jes, who fights for freedom and justice in a very classist, racist, and sexist society that resembles Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt. As the daughters of a Patron father and a Commoner mother who are forbidden from marrying, Jes and her three sisters struggle to fit in with the Imperial Patrons. Jes, especially, doesn’t want to obey the rules and she secretly trains for an elite athletic competition, The Fives. When her family is torn asunder, winning fame and fortune through The Fives becomes of the utmost importance….Even if she is falling in love with a competitor?

23569428Eleanor Herman’s Legacy of Kings (Blood of Gods and Royals #1) reimagines the early years of the reign of Alexander the Great, Macedonia’s sixteen-year-old heir, through multiple POV characters. Tangled up in Alexander’s web are Katerina, who’s determined to kill Alexander’s mother; Katerina’s lover, Jacob; and Alexander’s betrothed Persian princess, Zofia.  

17564519Rae Carson’s Walk on Earth a Stranger, the first book in the Gold Seer trilogy, offers a fresh perspective on the Gold Rush narrative. Fifteen-year-old Leah is a brave, resourceful heroine who, masquerading as a boy, runs away to California after a terrible tragedy compromises her freedom. (Read my full recommendation here.)

23719270Like Walk on Earth a Stranger, Erin Bowman’s Vengeance Road  features a tough, gender-bending heroine; this time, in Gold Rush Arizona (1877). Like Leah, eighteen-year-old Kate (a Mexican-American) disguises herself as a boy (Nate) and heads further west, after a tragedy leaves her parentless. (Read my full recommendation here.)

11516221Erin Bow’s The Scorpion Rules is set in a near-post-apocalyptic future. After environmental disasters and devastating wars almost wiped out humanity, an Artificial Intelligence, called Talis, achieves world domination and world peace by forcing all of its territories’ rulers to exchange hostages. A child from each territory (usually the ruler’s son or daughter) must be held hostage at one of Talis’s schools (called Preceptures), governed by A.I. agents, until he or she turns eighteen, to be harmed or even killed if his or her country incites conflict. (Read my full recommendation here.)

24397041Like The Scorpion Rules, Mercedes Lackey’s Hunter (Hunter #1) depicts a treacherous, post-disaster future. The barriers between our world and the Otherworld have opened (called the Diseray), mythical monsters roam the earth, destroying cities, and humanity’s survival depends on the Hunters, a group of magically-gifted, monster-fighting teens. (Read my full recommendation here.)

20734002I can see why Anna-Marie McLemore’s The Weight of Feathers is being called “Night Circus meets Romeo and Juliet,” but it is not another Night Circus. This star-crossed romance between the daughter and son of two rival families of traveling performers (white-scaled “mermaids” vs. black-feathered tree-walkers) is inventive, magical, poetic, and multicultural. (Read my full recommendation here.)

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I effortlessly fell in love with Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything. Told through diary entries, instant messages, emails, vignettes, charts, illustrations, and more, Yoon’s debut is an imaginative, heartwarming love story about a girl and a boy whose relationship is doomed from the beginning, but that doesn’t stop them from being romantic, funny, hopeful, and adventurous. (Read my full recommendation here.)

22811807Mackenzi Lee’s This Monstrous Thing is an alternative historical fantasy set in 1818, Geneva, that brilliantly reimagines Frankenstein with a steampunk twist. Alasdair Finch is a Shadow Boy, an illegal mechanic who supplies humans with clockwork parts. Two years ago, he secretly brought his brother back from the dead, but Oliver is more monster than man. (Read my recommendation here.)

24376529Mindy McGinnis’s A Madness So Discreet is not as gory as American Horror Story: Asylum, but it does paint a horrific picture of what it’s like for an innocent young woman to be trapped in Boston’s Wayburne Lunatic Asylum in the 19th century. Grace has escaped one hell–an abusive father–for another–the asylum’s dark cellars, where she has no hope of surviving (at least with her brain intact). But she’s saved by a doctor who appreciates her genius and relocates her to an ethical asylum in Ohio. Together they try to catch a killer who preys on young women.

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The first book in a planned trilogy, Illuminae is co-authored by Amie Kaufman (The Starbound Trilogy) and Jay Kristoff (the Lotus War series). Its storyline goes something like this. It’s 2575 A.D. and two interstellar megacorporations are at war. When BeiTech discovers its competitor is running an illegal mining operation, called the Kerenza colony, on a small, isolated planet, it attacks with brutal force. (Read my recommendation here.)

23846013The Rose Society (The Young Elites #2) brings Adelina Amouteru’s villainy to a whole new level. For those of you who don’t know, this series is set in a fantasy world in which some of the malfettos (“marked” survivors of a deadly blood fever) have special powers and are called The Young Elites. As a malfetto, Adelina is vulnerable and victimized until she discovers she’s an Elite, gifted with powers of illusion that feed off of her fear and fury. Adelina is a perfect villain. Motivated by revenge and destruction, not compassion, love and heroism, she’d rather be everyone’s adversary than risk being anyone’s victim. (Read my full recommendation here.)

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Ryan Graudin’s Wolf by Wolf, the first book in a duology, reimagines what could have happened if the United States had stayed isolationist and the Axis Powers had won World War II. It’s 1956, and the Third Reich and Imperial Japan have conquered much of Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Each spring, to celebrate their joint victory, they host the Axis Tour: a motorcycle race, in which ten Hitler Youth members and ten citizens of Greater East Asia ride from Berlin to Tokyo. The protagonist, Yael, wants desperately to win. The award? A dance with Hitler at the Victor’s Ball. A chance to kill him. (Read my full recommendation here.)

Alyssa recommends new and upcoming releases in young adult fiction (and occasionally middle grade and adult). She thanks Edelweiss, NetGalley, the Boulder Book Store, and publishers for providing her with ARCs and DRCs for review purposes. Please follow her on Tumblr and Twitter.

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October Favorite: Illuminae, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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Don’t let Illuminae‘s size (608 pages) scare you away. It’s fast-paced, action-packed, and a quick read (which I practically finished in one sitting). What makes it so compelling? Its unique plot and format. I mean, really unique. I haven’t read anything else even remotely like it.

The first book in a planned trilogy, Illuminae is co-authored by Amie Kaufman (The Starbound Trilogy) and Jay Kristoff (the Lotus War series). Its storyline goes something like this. It’s 2575 A.D. and two interstellar megacorporations are at war. When BeiTech discovers its competitor is running an illegal mining operation, called the Kerenza colony, on a small, isolated planet, it attacks with brutal force.

Among the few thousand survivors are Kady Grant and Ezra Mason, two teens who’ve recently broken up and who are evacuated on different ships (Alexander and Hypatia). But their failed relationship is the least of their worries. A deadly virus is turning survivors into murderers, and Alexander is manned by a potentially threatening Artificial Intelligence that may be doing more harm than good in its mission to protect the fleet. Of course, the truth about what really is going on is kept secret. That is, until Kady discovers how to hack into confidential documents and communicate with Ezra, thus renewing their romance.

Their pursuit of the truth brings us to Illuminae‘s unique format. Not a typical novel, it consists of interview transcripts, emails, instant messages, memos, diagrams, security footage, military files, medical reports, and more. If I haven’t persuaded you yet to pre-order this book, take a look at its trailerIlluminae is a stellar sci-fi horror story and perfect for Halloween.

Alyssa Raymond is a YA blogger for Coven Book Club and its sister site Spellbinding Books. She thanks Edelweiss, NetGalley, the publisher, and the Boulder Book Store for providing her with a digital review copy of this book for review purposes, and her opinions are her own. Please follow Spellbinding Books onTwitter and Tumblr.


Fall 2015 YA Preview: November & December Books

I know, late fall is fortunately still months away. But since I’ll start reading November and December releases soon, now’s a good time to give you a preview of my most anticipated books. (Summaries are from Goodreads.)

13206900Let’s start with the book I’m most excited about: Marissa Meyer’s Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4): Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana. Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long. Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

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Manners & Mutiny (Finishing School #4): When a dastardly Pickleman plot comes to fruition, only Sophronia can save her friends, her school, and all of London…but at what cost? Our proper young heroine puts her training and skills to the test in this highly anticipated conclusion of the rousing, intriguing, and always polishedNew York Times bestselling Finishing School series!

The Conjurer’s Riddle (The Inventor’s Secret #2), by Andrea Cremer: In this sequel to The Inventor’s Secret, Charlotte and her companions escape the British Empire, but they haven’t left danger behind. In fact, if they go against the revolutionaries, they face even greater peril. Charlotte leads her group of exiles west, plunging into a wild world of shady merchants and surly rivermen on the way to New Orleans. But as Charlotte learns more about the revolution she has championed, she wonders if she’s on the right side after all. Charlotte and her friends get to know the mystical New Orleans bayou and deep into the shadowy tunnels below the city–the den of criminals, assassins and pirates–Charlotte must decide if the revolution’s goals justify their means, or if some things, like the lives of her friends, are too sacred to sacrifice. This alternate-history adventure series asks the questions: What would have happened if America had lost the Revolutionary War? And what would people be willing to do to finally taste freedom?

Frozen Tides (Falling Kingdoms #4), by Morgan Rhodes: Rebels, royals, and monsters wage war over the Mytican throne….CLEO: Reeling after a bloody showdown in Limeros ending with Amara’s abduction of the water crystal, and a vacancy in the Mytican throne, Princess Cleo must cast aside her feelings and look toward her kingdom with the eyes of a Queen. MAGNUS: With the kingdom in chaos, Princess Lucia still missing and quite possibly in danger, and a shocking realization about Cleo, the steely prince is once again torn between love and duty, leaving him wondering whether he’s strong enough to rule his people. LUCIA: The young sorcercess has had her vengeance after the cruel death of her first and only love. Heartbroken and unable to trust anyone, she allies with the awoken Fire god, who also seeks revenge. JONAS: After escaping death by the skin of his teeth, the defeated rebel—along with a mysterious stranger–leader reunites with Princess Cleo, only to find himself a mere pawn in a dangerous hunt for the elusive Kindred. KING GAIUS: Abandoned by Melenia and betrayed by his own children, Gaius flees Mytica and sails to Kraeshia, where he attempts to ally with the famously brutal emperor across the Silver Sea.

The Vanishing Throne (The Falconer #2), by Elizabeth May: My name is Lady Aileana Kameron. First the fae murdered my mother. Then they destroyed my world. Now I’m fighting for more than revenge. Aileana took a stand against the Wild Hunt, and she lost everything: her home, her family and her friends. Held captive by her enemy, and tormenting herself over her failure, escape seems like only the faintest possibility. But when she gets her chance, she seizes it . . . to rejoin a world devastated by war. The future is bleak. Hunted by the fae, running for her life, Aileana has only a few options left. Trying to become part of a society scarred by – and hiding from – the Wild Hunt; trusting that a fragile alliance with the fae will save her; or walking the most dangerous path at all: coming in to her own powers as the last of the Falconers . . .

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Their Fractured Light (Starbound #3), by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner: A year ago, Flynn Cormac and Jubilee Chase made the now infamous Avon Broadcast, calling on the galaxy to witness for their planet, and protect them from destruction. Some say Flynn’s a madman, others whisper about conspiracies. Nobody knows the truth. A year before that, Tarver Merendsen and Lilac LaRoux were rescued from a terrible shipwreck—now, they live a public life in front of the cameras, and a secret life away from the world’s gaze. Now, in the center of the universe on the planet of Corinth, all four are about to collide with two new players, who will bring the fight against LaRoux Industries to a head.

Hardwired, by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie: Genetically flawed. Perfectly human. When seventeen-year-old Lucas Marshall tests positive for the M0A1 gene—a genetic abnormality believed to predispose humans toward violence—he is shipped off to an impregnable government facility to undergo a battery of psychological tests aimed at making him crack. Now, having survived their tests and proven his mental stability, Lucas is labeled safe to return home. But any hope Lucas has of returning to a normal life is shattered when the van transporting him to the reintegration facility is forced off the road by a group of radicals intent on accessing the facility and exposing its dehumanizing practices. And Lucas is their ticket through the front door….

Soundless, by Richelle Mead: For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom. When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation. But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.

This Raging Light, by Estelle Laure: Can the best thing happen at the worst time? Her dad went crazy. Her mom left town. She has bills to pay and a little sister to look after. Now is not the time for level-headed seventeen-year-old Lucille to fall in love. But love—messy, inconvenient love—is what she’s about to experience when she falls for Digby Jones, her best friend’s brother.

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24951755-120909906Young Widows Club, by Alexandra Coutts: First came love, then came marriage, and then…For seventeen-year-old Tam, running off to marry her musician boyfriend is the ideal escape from her claustrophobic high-school life on the island, and the ultimate rebellion against her father and stepmother. But when Tam becomes a widow just weeks later, the shell-shocked teen is forced to find her way forward by going back to the life she thought she’d moved beyond—even as her struggle to deal with her grief is forcing her to reinvent herself and reach out to others in ways she never imagined.

Need, by Joelle Charbonneau: “No one gets something for nothing. We all should know better.” Teenagers at Wisconsin’s Nottawa High School are drawn deeper into a social networking site that promises to grant their every need . . . regardless of the consequences. Soon the site turns sinister, with simple pranks escalating to malicious crimes. The body count rises.

Hotel Ruby, by Suzanne Young: Stay Tonight. Stay Forever. When Audrey Casella arrives for an unplanned stay at the grand Hotel Ruby, she’s grateful for the detour. Just months after their mother’s death, Audrey and her brother, Daniel, are on their way to live with their grandmother, dumped on the doorstep of a DNA-matched stranger because their father is drowning in his grief. Audrey and her family only plan to stay the night, but life in the Ruby can be intoxicating, extending their stay as it provides endless distractions—including handsome guest Elias Lange, who sends Audrey’s pulse racing. However, the hotel proves to be as strange as it is beautiful.

Da Vinci’s Tiger, by Laura Malone Elliott: Young, beautiful, and witty, Ginevra de’ Benci longs to take part in the artistic ferment of Renaissance Florence. But as the daughter of a wealthy family in a society dictated by men, she is trapped in an arranged marriage, expected to limit her creativity to domestic duties….When the charismatic Venetian ambassador, Bernardo Bembo, arrives in Florence, he introduces Ginevra to a dazzling circle of patrons, artists, and philosophers—a world of thought and conversation she has yearned for….Choosing her as his Platonic muse, Bembo commissions a portrait by a young Leonardo da Vinci. Posing for the brilliant painter inspires an intimate connection between them—one Ginevra can only begin to understand…. 

Dangerous Lies, by Becca Fitzpatrick: Stella Gordon is not her real name. Thunder Basin, Nebraska, is not her real home. This is not her real life. After witnessing a lethal crime, Stella Gordon is sent to the middle of nowhere for her own safety before she testifies against the man she saw kill her mother’s drug dealer. But Stella was about to start her senior year with the boyfriend she loves. How can she be pulled away from the only life she knows and expected to start a new one in Nebraska? Stella chafes at her protection and is rude to everyone she meets. She’s not planning on staying long, so why be friendly? Then she meets Chet Falconer and it becomes harder to keep her guard up, even as her guilt about having to lie to him grows. As Stella starts to feel safer, the real threat to her life increases—because her enemies are actually closer than she thinks…

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The Anatomical Shape of the Heart, by Jenn Bennett: Artist Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she’s spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow in Leonardo da Vinci’s footsteps, she’s ready to tackle the one thing that will give her an advantage in a museum-sponsored scholarship contest: drawing actual cadavers. But when she tries to sneak her way into the hospital’s Willed Body program and misses the last metro train home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside down. Jack is charming, wildly attractive . . . and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists. On midnight buses and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who Jack really is—and tries to uncover what he’s hiding that leaves him so wounded. But will these secrets come back to haunt him? Or will the skeletons in Beatrix’s own family’s closet tear them apart?

For the Record, by Charlotte Huang: If Almost Famous were a YA novel… a raw, honest debut celebrating music, friendship, romance, and life on the road. Chelsea thought she knew what being a rock star was like… until she became one. After losing a TV talent show, she slid back into small-town anonymity. But one phone call changed everything. Now she’s the lead singer of the band Melbourne, performing in sold-out clubs every night and living on a bus with three gorgeous and talented guys. The bummer is that the band barely tolerates her. And when teen heartthrob Lucas Rivers take an interest in her, Chelsea is suddenly famous, bringing Melbourne to the next level—not that they’re happy about that. Her feelings for Beckett, Melbourne’s bassist, are making life even more complicated. Chelsea only has the summer tour to make the band—and their fans—love her. If she doesn’t, she’ll be back in Michigan for senior year, dying a slow death. The paparazzi, the haters, the grueling schedule… Chelsea believed she could handle it. But what if she can’t?

The Lies About Truth, by Courtney C. Stevens: Sadie Kingston, is a girl living in the aftermath. A year after surviving a car accident that killed her friend Trent and left her body and face scarred, she can’t move forward. The only person who seems to understand her is Trent’s brother, Max. As Sadie begins to fall for Max, she’s unsure if she is truly healed enough to be with him — even if Max is able to look at her scars and not shy away. But when the truth about the accident and subsequent events comes to light, Sadie has to decide if she can embrace the future or if she’ll always be trapped in the past.

What’s Broken Between Us, by Alexis Bass: Look to the left, look to the right. We’re all going to die. But someone has to do it first. So who’s it going to be? Tragedy struck Amanda Tart’s town a year and a half ago when a sophomore girl was killed in a car accident on graduation night. Amanda’s brother, Jonathan, was behind the wheel and too drunk to drive. He’s spent the past year in prison and has cut off all ties. But now Jonathan is coming home. Just as Amanda’s trying to figure out what that means for her family and herself, she’s paired up for a school project with Henry Crane—a former crush, and brother of Jonathan’s ex-girlfriend, who survived the crash with horrible injuries. Everyone is still incredibly damaged by the events of that night. Can Amanda and Henry finally begin to heal what’s broken and find some peace?

Alyssa recommends new and upcoming releases in (mostly) young adult fiction at Coven Book Club and its sister site Spellbinding BooksShe thanks Edelweiss, NetGalley, the publishers, and the Boulder Book Store for providing her with galleys for review purposes. Please chat with her on Twitter about books! What are your most anticipated upcoming releases?


Our Scary Future: The Scorpion Rules, by Erin Bow, and Hunter, by Mercedes Lackey

These September releases in dystopian YA will appeal to fans of Divergent and The Hunger Games, but they are also unique:

11516221Erin Bow’s The Scorpion Rules is set in a near-post-apocalyptic future. After environmental disasters and devastating wars almost wiped out humanity, an Artificial Intelligence, called Talis, achieves world domination and world peace by forcing all of its territories’ rulers to exchange hostages. A child from each territory (usually the ruler’s son or daughter) must be held hostage at one of Talis’s schools (called Preceptures), governed by A.I. agents, until he or she turns eighteen, to be harmed or even killed if his or her country incites conflict. 

Greta is the Crown Princess of the Pan Polar Confederacy (formerly Canada) and a Child of Peace. While she wants to live long enough to gain her freedom from the Precepture, she understands she must accept all punishments–even death–without putting up a fight. That’s until Elian (a rebellious hostage from a new American alliance) arrives at her school, and she and the other hostages start challenging the A.I. agents’ authority. But what if the new American alliance rebels against the Pan Polar Confederacy? How will Elian and Greta survive?

24397041Like The Scorpion Rules, Mercedes Lackey’s Hunter (Hunter #1) depicts a treacherous, post-disaster future. The barriers between our world and the Otherworld have opened (called the Diseray), mythical monsters roam the earth, destroying cities, and humanity’s survival depends on the Hunters, a group of magically-gifted, monster-fighting teens.

Since childhood, sixteen-year-old Joy has trained as a Hunter, with Mexican- and Tibetan-inspired magic, weapons, and a pack of supernatural hounds. She lives in a small, isolated mountain village, far away from the capital, Apex City, and its enclosed communities of wealthy civilians. When her uncle (the Prefect) summons her to the capital to join the best Hunters, she becomes a reality TV celebrity, with millions of fans watching her protect capital civilians (called Cits) from monster attacks. But are the Cits really as safe as they are led to believe?

Alyssa recommends new and upcoming releases in mostly young adult fiction at Coven Book Club and its sister site Spellbinding BooksShe thanks Edelweiss, NetGalley, the publishers, and the Boulder Book Store for providing her with digital review copies of these books for review purposes only, and her opinions are her own. Please chat with her on Twitter about books! What are you looking forward to reading this fall? What are your favorite September releases?


September Favorites: This Monstrous Thing, The Weight of Feathers, and Everything, Everything

Yay! It’s time to recommend fall books! Here are a few of my favorite September releases in YA:

22811807Mackenzi Lee’s This Monstrous Thing is an alternative historical fantasy set in 1818, Geneva, that brilliantly reimagines Frankenstein with a steampunk twist. Alasdair Finch is a Shadow Boy, an illegal mechanic who supplies humans with clockwork parts. Two years ago, he secretly brought his brother back from the dead, but Oliver is more monster than man.

To make matters worse, Frankenstein has just been published anonymously and many people believe it is about a real-life doctor and his monster. As prejudice towards the Shadow Boys and clockwork people grows, Alasdair suspects that Frankenstein is about himself. Who exposed his secret? Oliver, Dr. Geisler, or the girl who helped revive Oliver but broke Alasdair’s heart…Mary Shelley?

20734002I can see why Anna-Marie McLemore’s The Weight of Feathers is being called “Night Circus meets Romeo and Juliet,” but don’t let such comparisons fool you into thinking it’s a copycat. This star-crossed romance between the daughter and son of two rival families of traveling performers (white-scaled “mermaids” vs. black-feathered tree-walkers) is inventive, magical, poetic, and multicultural (interweaving Spanish and French phrases).

When Lace Paloma and Cluck Corbeau meet, they don’t know they are enemies (since her white scales and his black feathers are hidden). She saves him from being beaten by her cousins; he rescues her from a chemical disaster. After Lace realizes she’s been touched by a Corbeau, whose “black magic” cursed her (accidentally binding her to him), her family casts her out. Hoping for a cure to the curse, she works for the Corbeaus (who don’t know her true identity). As she and Cluck become friends, then lovers, they uncover family secrets that challenge everything they’ve been led to believe. Will their love withstand all that’s against them? I highly recommend The Weight of Feathers for fans of The Accident SeasonBone Gap, The Walls Around Us, and The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly.

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I effortlessly fell in love with Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything for many of the same reasons that I adore All the Bright Places, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Because You’ll Never Meet Me, and Eleanor & Park.

Told through diary entries, instant messages, emails, vignettes, charts, illustrations, and more, Yoon’s debut is an imaginative, heartwarming love story about a girl and a boy whose relationship is doomed from the beginning, but that doesn’t stop them from being romantic, funny, hopeful, and adventurous. Maddie, a biracial seventeen-year-old, is allergic to the outside world and never leaves her house. The only people she’s allowed to see are her mom and her nurse. But then, Olly moves in next door…and they might just risk everything to be together.

Alyssa recommends new and upcoming releases in mostly young adult fiction at Coven Book Club and its sister site Spellbinding Books. She thanks Edelweiss, the publishers, and the Boulder Book Store for providing her with digital review copies of these books for review purposes only, and her opinions are her own. Please chat with her on Twitter about books! What are you looking forward to reading this fall? What are your favorite September releases?