Meet the Newbies: Julie Eshbaugh


Meet the Newbies is a blog event dedicated to introducing you to the “newbie” published debut authors. In this event, expect to learn more about the authors, their books, and silly fun facts! Check out the full Meet the Newbies lineup here.

Julie Eshbaugh is a local author, and I've had the immense pleasure of meeting her on multiple occasions! She is such a wonderful friend and an amazing supporter of APCB. Her debut historical fantasy novel, Ivory and Bone, is a sweeping tale that will grab you from the very start. Here is Julie!

Author Most Likely to One Day Live in a House Built of Books


Nickname: Jewels
First Day of School: June 7, 2016
Homeroom: HarperTeen
Grade: Historical Fantasy
Extracurricular Travel, wandering through museums, staying up way too late reading, binge watching TV with the family
Favorite Class: English
Favorite Quote/Motto: "Make good art." Neil Gaiman

Meet the Newbies: Kerri Maniscalco


Meet the Newbies is a blog event dedicated to introducing you to the “newbie” published debut authors. In this event, expect to learn more about the authors, their books, and silly fun facts! Check out the full Meet the Newbies lineup here.

Kerri Maniscalco is such a kind and hilarious author. She makes me want to eat pizza on a daily basis, and her gif-usage is unparalleled! I'm currently reading her debut novel, a historical mystery novel, Stalking Jack the Ripper, and it's spectacular. This is definitely a book that should be on your watch list, so here is Kerri!

Author Most Likely To Be A Stormtrooper for Halloween

Nickname: Kerri Sunshine
First Day of School: September 20, 2016
Homeroom: jimmy patterson/Little, Brown
Grade: YA Gothic Horror
Extracurricular Activities: Reading, Sherlock Fangirl Club, Model Crime Investigation, Forensic Science Lab, School Journalism, Bookstagram Photography.
Favorite Class: Muggle Studies
Favorite Quote/Motto: “Our doubts are traitors, And make us lose the good we oft might win, By fearing to attempt.” — William Shakespeare

ARC Review: Ivory and Bone

Author: Julie Eshbaugh
Series: Ivory and Bone #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Length: 384 Pages
Publication Date: June 14th, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: ARC 
Goodreads | Amazon
The only life seventeen-year-old Kol knows is hunting at the foot of the Great Ice with his brothers. But food is becoming scarce, and without another clan to align with, Kol, his family, and their entire group are facing an uncertain future.

Traveling from the south, Mya and her family arrive at Kol’s camp with a trail of hurt and loss behind them, and hope for a new beginning. When Kol meets Mya, her strength, independence, and beauty instantly captivate him, igniting a desire for much more than survival.

Then on a hunt, Kol makes a grave mistake that jeopardizes the relationship that he and Mya have only just started to build. Mya was guarded to begin with—and for good reason—but no apology or gesture is enough for her to forgive him. Soon after, another clan arrives on their shores. And when Mya spots Lo, a daughter of this new clan, her anger intensifies, adding to the already simmering tension between families. After befriending Lo, Kol learns of a dark history between Lo and Mya that is rooted in the tangle of their pasts.

When violence erupts, Kol is forced to choose between fighting alongside Mya or trusting Lo’s claims. And when things quickly turn deadly, it becomes clear that this was a war that one of them had been planning all along.

Meet the Newbies: Lindsey Klingele


Meet the Newbies is a blog event dedicated to introducing you to the “newbie” published debut authors. In this event, expect to learn more about the authors, their books, and silly fun facts! Check out the full Meet the Newbies lineup here.

The Marked Girl seems like a wonderful blend of contemporary and fantasy. I've heard great things about the book, and here is the author, Lindsey Klingele!


Author Most Likely To Ask the Cafeteria Lady Where She Stashes the Extra Ranch Dressing


Nickname: Linds
First Day of School: June 21, 2016
Homeroom: HarperTeen
Grade: Fantasy
Extracurricular Activities: Reading, Drawing, Competitive Hanging Out on the Couch with my Dog
Favorite Class: Would it make me look more interesting if I said something here other than English? Ah well, I can’t lie
Favorite Quote/Motto: “We’re all stories, in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?” - The Doctor

Parents in YA


Today I want to talk about parents in YA. Do you notice how often parents are either completely ignorant or just plain not there in YA books? I know not all parents are wonderful, but I'm often appalled by the constant portrayal of parents in YA as horrible people...

I love my parents. Of course we don't see eye-to-eye on everything, but they are always present in my life and always there to support or give helpful advice. The parent figures in YA tend to fall into these three tropes:

5 Reasons Why You MUST Read "Made You Up"

Author: Francesca Zappia
Series: N/A
Genre: YA Contemporary
Page Length:  448 Pages
Publication Date: May 5th, 2015
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Source: eARC via Edelweiss (Thanks Harper!)
Goodreads
Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook, and Liar.

Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn't she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal.

Funny, provoking, and ultimately moving, this debut novel featuring the quintessential unreliable narrator will have readers turning the pages and trying to figure out what is real and what is made up.

Meet the Newbies: Ashley Herring Blake


Meet the Newbies is a blog event dedicated to introducing you to the “newbie” published debut authors. In this event, expect to learn more about the authors, their books, and silly fun facts! Check out the full Meet the Newbies lineup here.

Ashley Herring Blake has been such a bright spot in the bookish community through her impactful statements on religion and sexuality and hilarious tweets in general. I connected with her through Twitter nearly from the beginning of my blogging career, and I've been anxiously waiting to read her debut novel, Suffer Love. Ashley is such an amazing person and a wonderful writer, and now you can get to know her too!

Author Most Likely to Organize Books by Color While You Sleep


Nickname: Curls
First Day of School: May 3rd, 2016
Homeroom: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt  
Grade: Contemporary
Extracurricular Activities: Organizing books by color, gazing at books organized by color, wondering which book organized by color I shall read next, convincing you to organize your books by color, dreaming of my next cup of coffee while looking at books organized by color, listening to gloomy girl music while organizing books by color, reading a book I have previously organized by color.
Favorite class: British Lit
Favorite Quote: “I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am." -Sylvia Plath

Meet the Newbies: Karen Hattrup


Meet the Newbies is a blog event dedicated to introducing you to the “newbie” published debut authors. In this event, expect to learn more about the authors, their books, and silly fun facts! Check out the full Meet the Newbies lineup here.

Karen's debut Frannie and Tru immediately snared my attention with its premise of a girl taken in by her charismatic cousin for an adventure-filled summer. And then the plot deepens and blossomed into something even more complex and lovely. Here is Karen Hattrup!

Author Most Likely to Have a Favorite Playlist Titled “Teenage Angst” Even When She’s in her Thirties
Nickname: The Over-thinker
First Day of School: May 31, 2016
Homeroom: HarperTeen
Grade: Contemporary YA
Extracurricular Activities: Fangirling around the YA sections of all the libraries and bookstores in Baltimore, hunching over my current writing project while cycling between joy and despair, counting the minutes until it’s reasonable to drink more coffee (And back when I was in high school: dance, yearbook, homecoming hall/float, and lots of nonrequired reading)
Favorite class: Mine was AP English senior year – where all the book nerds united. Frannie’s is biology – she’ll totally end up doing something super-rad and STEM-related.
Favorite Quote: “When we are green, still half-created, we believe that our dreams are rights, that the world is disposed to act in our best interests, and that falling and dying are for quitters. We live on the innocent and monstrous assurance that we alone, of all people ever born, have a special arrangement whereby we will be allowed to stay green forever. That assurance burns very bright at certain moments.” -Tobias Wolff

Meet the Newbies: Traci Chee


Meet the Newbies is a blog event dedicated to introducing you to the “newbie” published debut authors. In this event, expect to learn more about the authors, their books, and silly fun facts! Check out the full Meet the Newbies lineup here.

I am so excited to read Traci's debut. I love the premise, and there are PIRATES. I am sold! Here's Tracichee! ;)

Author Most Likely to Be Reincarnated as a Border Collie
Nickname: Tracichee! (Okay, yes, this is just my full name mushed together and spoken very quickly, but I find it remarkable because numerous people from different friend groups at different points in my life have all magically seized upon saying my name just this way [with just this exclamation!], and I think that’s a beautiful bit of kismet.)
First Day of School: September 13, 2016
Homeroom: Putnam/Penguin
Grade: Fantasy
Extracurricular Activities: Hiking, crafting, egg-painting, dog-walking
Favorite Class: English, of course! (Art is a close second.)
Favorite Quote/Motto: “I have always believed the great artists are the ones who dare to entitle to beauty things so natural that when they’re seen afterward people say: Why did I never realize before that this too was beautiful?” - AndrĂ© Gide

What Makes A "Good" Series?



Pretty much anyone who's in the book blogosphere and has an internet connection is aware of what happened last week Tuesday: Sarah J. Maas released her newest book, A Court of Mist and Fury (ACOMAF).  The book's Goodreads rating is off the charts.  Last I checked, it was 4.75/5!  So high of a rating is insane -- and almost unheard of.

The first moment my schedule freed up, I hurried over to the bookstore and picked up a copy.  I read the 600+ page monstrosity in just a couple of days, and thankfully, loved it.

So, ACOMAF was an amazing sequel, but other books in series aren't always so . . . fulfilling.  What makes a "good" sequel?  What makes a "good" series?

Let's discuss!

Meet the Newbies: Rebecca Podos


Meet the Newbies is a blog event dedicated to introducing you to the “newbie” published debut authors. In this event, expect to learn more about the authors, their books, and silly fun facts! Check out the full Meet the Newbies lineup here.

Rebecca's debut captured my attention because of the mystery component and the clear attention to family. This book is packed with layers upon layers of touching themes and sophisticated writing. I urge you all to check out The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos.

Nickname: Bextraterrestrial
First Day of School: 1/26/16
Homeroom: Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins)
Grade: Mystery
Extracurricular Activities: Reading Sweet Valley High books hidden behind my textbook in math class
Favorite Class: Gym (no just kidding)
Favorite Quote/Motto: “I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have been seen done, of everything done-to-me. I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I'm gone which would not have happened if I had not come.” –Salman Rushdie

Review: Outrun the Moon

Author: Stacey Lee
Series: No
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Page Length: 400 Pages
Publication Date: May 24th, 2016
Publisher: Putnam/Penguin
Source: ARC via Stacey + Penguin
Goodreads | Amazon
San Francisco, 1906: Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty in Chinatown, and an education at St. Clare’s School for Girls is her best hope. Although St. Clare’s is off-limits to all but the wealthiest white girls, Mercy gains admittance through a mix of cunning and a little bribery, only to discover that getting in was the easiest part. Not to be undone by a bunch of spoiled heiresses, Mercy stands strong—until disaster strikes.

On April 18, an historic earthquake rocks San Francisco, destroying Mercy’s home and school. With martial law in effect, she is forced to wait with her classmates for their families in a temporary park encampment. Mercy can't sit by while they wait for the Army to bring help. Fires might rage, and the city may be in shambles, yet Mercy still has the 'bossy' cheeks that mark her as someone who gets things done. But what can one teenaged girl do to heal so many suffering in her broken city?

Meet the Newbies: Kathryrn Purdie


Meet the Newbies is a blog event dedicated to introducing you to the “newbie” published debut authors. In this event, expect to learn more about the authors, their books, and silly fun facts! Check out the full Meet the Newbies lineup here.

Kathryn's debut, Burning Glass, was easily one of my most anticipated books of the year. I read it back in August, and it definitely lived up to my expectations! I love Kathryn's writing, the Russian culture, the subplots, the characters, and the searing romance. And so I present to you... Kathryn Purdie!

Author Most Likely To Get Trapped in Her Seatbelt in the High School Parking Lot (True Story)


Nickname: Firestarter
First Day of School: March 1, 2016
Homeroom: Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins
Grade: YA fantasy
Extracurricular Activities: Dream Interpretation, Wild Horse Training (and some serious ones: acting, guitar, singing, art)
Favorite Class:  Sensing Assassins 101
Favorite Quote/Motto: “I’m not a mirror. And I don’t break like glass.” ~Sonya from BURNING GLASS

Double Review: The Crown's Game + The Unexpected Everything

Author: Evelyn Skye
Series: Yes
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Length: 416 Pages
Publication Date: May 17th, 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: ARC 
Goodreads | Amazon
Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love... or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear... the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

#ThisIsWhoIAmNow: The Square Root of Summer Blog Tour


The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood is a book that has gained lots of attention in the bookish industry and had a huge bidding war at auction. I love the idea of mixing time travel and physics. For these reasons I instantly grew an interest in this book.

Today as part of the blog tour, I was asked to answer a series of questions in late February and answer them again in early May to see the difference in my responses and how I've grown in that time.

Meet the Newbies: Harriet Reuter Hapgood


Meet the Newbies is a blog event dedicated to introducing you to the “newbie” published debut authors. In this event, expect to learn more about the authors, their books, and silly fun facts! Check out the full Meet the Newbies lineup here.

Harriet's debut The Square Root of Summer instantly caught my attention because time travel always fascinates me. And there's physics in this book! Without further ado, I present Harriet Reuter Hapgood!

Author Most Likely To Talk To You Earnestly About Dawson's Creek
Nickname: baggylettuce
First Day of School: May 3, 2016
Homeroom: Roaring Brook Press
Grade: Contemporary
Extracurricular Activities: Kitchen disco, applying eyeliner on the bus, Instagramming cats, felt-tip pen illustrations of unicorns, time travel
Favorite Class: I study at the school of Goop.com every Thursday ;)
Favorite Quote/Motto: "I am going to make the largest wizard staff in the world. I was also going to summon something wonderful but you are already here." from Leigh Stein's Birthday by Lauren Ireland

April Wrap-Up


Can you believe that we are a third of the way through 2016??

April Reads: