Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday (1): Nightblood by Elly Blake

Can't Wait Wednesdays is a bookish meme hosted by Wishful Endings in which we share our anticipated reads each week!

This week, I'm itching to get my hands on the third in Elly Blake's Frostblood saga, Nightblood.


Nightblood by Elly Blake
Book Birthday: August 21st, 2018

"Ruby's world has changed more than she ever could have imagined. She's in love with a powerful Frost King. She's the heir to the Fire Throne. And she may be a Nightblood--the spawn of a vengeful deity hellbent on releasing his wraithlike Minax from their prison. Once freed, these beasts will roam the earth, devouring every last person until he or she is nothing but an empty husk. But Ruby is able to control the Minax to a degree, and now she, her beloved Arcus, and her friend Kai must find a way to bring Frostbloods and Firebloods--sworn enemies--together to make a stand against a foe more deadly than any they've faced.

In this heart-pounding finale of Elly Blake's gorgeously written and action-packed Frostblood Saga, the fate of Frostbloods, Firebloods, and all of humanity is at stake."

I know this came out yesterday, but my copy hasn't arrived yet so I still can't wati! I've really enjoyed the two previous books in the series, Frostblood and Fireblood, and the last book took a really interesting turn - I'm excited to see where it goes! What release are you excited for this week?

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Throwback Titles (3): Eleanor & Park, or, The One in Which I Realize I May Be More Jaded than the Average Teen

Throwback Titles are books that I've been meaning to read for a very, very long time, but have just now gotten around to it. In other words, it's that book you picked up in middle school that may have been a little bit above your reading level, and also happened to have 14 sequels. And what do you, a rational adult do now that you've realized that you stopped a mere five books from finishing the series? Continue, of course.

That's most of my stories, but I consider a throwback title to be any book 5 or more years old. Let's clear these babies out of to-be-reads and remind people of their favorite 2005 novel! I'll be posting a throwback title every Thursday (naturally). Please join in the fun by adding to the linky below and adding my graphic (or one of yours, as long as it links back here) above to your post!


Goodreads 丨 Amazon

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Pages: 328

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Publication Date: February 26th, 2013

Cover Comments: One of the best covers I've seen. It really captures the simplicity of Eleanor and Park's love story amidst their otherwise often chaotic life.

Cover Comments: "He'd stopped trying to bring her back."

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough...Eleanor.

Park... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises...Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.



Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell is a book that I've been hearing about for a long time, and most of the things I heard were exclusively rave reviews. People love Rainbow Rowell and everything she writes, it seems. I can't say I'm quite so head over heels about Eleanor & Park as I hoped I'd be, but overall, this was a very sweet love story, if a bit unrealistic for my realist, jaded, adult self.


1) A romance that builds

When Eleanor and Park meet, they don't like each other. Not physically, and not by personality. But their friendship grows through a mutual love of music and comics, and from there to a romantic relationship. It's rare to see a YA book where the love interests aren't immediately "drawn" to one another from the beginning, and I love to see a romance blossom from friendship.

2) Diverse characters

Park is half Korean and half Irish, and Eleanor seems to be a little overweight. It's nice to read about characters who are not white, skinny, and beautiful(see: 99% of teen romances)

Not pointing fingers, nope, not me

3) Real life issues

Eleanor's issues at home are heartbreaking and read all too realistically. While Park's home life is far superior, he also struggles with his dad's expectations of how a man should look, dress, and behave.


1) 0 to 1205871230498234091723

I noted earlier that I liked that Eleanor and Park's relationship in the book is one that builds slowly. This is true for the most part, but I did think things started to get a little too fast and co-dependent for my taste. 

"I don't like you, Park. Sometimes I think I live for you."

I get that this is partly because with everything else going on in Eleanor's life, Park is a warm safe space. It's a also been a while since I was a teenager in love, so we can chalk this up to life ripping out my sentimentality.

2)  The ending

If I were Park, I would be mad as hell. Just saying...

Overall, Eleanor and Park is a very sweet, mostly authentic teen love story with added depth where family issues are concerned. In the tradition of John Green, I can't say that the teens really think or speak like real teens do, but that's half the fun.

Rating: 4/5 walkmans

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Legendary, or, The One With ALL THE FANCY DRESSES



Legendary by Stephanie Garber

Pages: 451
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: May 29th, 2018
Cover Comments: Almost as beautiful as Caraval's cover. I love the dark starry black background with the red rose spade, both subtle nods to the plot.
First Lines: "While some rooms on the estate had monsters hiding beneath the beds, Tella swore her mother's suite concealed enchantment."

A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister's. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval...the games have only just begun.



“Every good story needs a villain. But the best villains are the ones you secretly like.”

I think the word that best sums up Legendary, like Caraval before it, is enchanting.

Caraval was my favorite new release last year, and Legendary has claimed that title for 2018 as well. Stephanie Garber manages to maintain the magic of Caraval, while giving us an entirely new story and perspective, looking through Tella's eyes instead of Scarlett's.



Call me shallow for putting this first but WOW. Stephanie Garber really outdid herself in her descriptions of all the decadent costumes in this book. I've never been one to especially pay attention to clothing in books, but every gown described in Legendary is a show stopper. I would love to see this series in movie or tv format if only for the dresses.

2. writing

Just like in Caraval, Stephanie Garber's writing is so decadent and magical that you feel transported to the scenes she's describing. A little tidbit:

“The air tasted like wonder. Like candied butterfly wings caught in sugared spiderwebs, and drunken peaches coated in luck.”
The way colors and scents are described in this book are so vivid, and they really helped me to envision all the wonderful and terrible scenes.

3. even sexier romance, if you can believe it

“His mouth was crashing against hers. He tasted like exquisite nightmares and stolen dreams, like the wings of fallen angels, and bottles of fresh moonlight.”

I loved Julian and Scarlett's romance in Caraval, but Tella's boyz in this book are on a whole 'nother level. Tella is a more bold character who enjoys a good game, and the games she plays with Dante are SMOKING. Their relationship is complicated, but never boring and never without palpable sexual tension. I also liked that we got glimpses of Julian and Scarlett's relationship through Tella spying on them (lol).

5. caraval, reimagined

Another game of Caraval could have felt like a repeat of the last book, but this game is utterly different. The stakes are so much higher, and the prize is personal. The rules from last game are thrown out the window and Tella is left wondering if she even wants to win.

6. new characters & back stories

This book gave so much depth to the Caraval world, with interlaid mythologies, long-forgotten villains, and lost family members. We learn so much about Dante, Tella's mother Paloma, and the history of the world itself. It  never felt too much like exposition, instead told through stories that interlaced with the current events in the book.

7. satisfying but open ending

I was afraid of a cliffhanger ending, but Garber avoids that, instead resolving many of the plot lines of this book, while setting up the last novel, Finale, in a way that makes me anxious to read it, but not angry at being left hanging.


1. slightly predictable

There were lots of twists and turns in the book, but I predicted a good amount of them. On top of that, I didn't feel that some of the twists really made sense (ex: a certain one true love). I'm hopeful that some things will be explained better in Finale, and we'll get to see why certain events played out the way they did.

2. a little more game, a little less talk

This Caraval felt less like a game and more like Tella wandering around chatting with people. I wanted more magical trades, daring contests, and secret passageways. And Tella, bless her heart, isn't as good at playing games as she thinks she is. When one character tells her she gets some free questions, she immediately wastes a question on something inconsequential. She's also even more gullible than Scarlett, despite her untrusting attitude toward everyone.

The positives far outweigh the negatives for me though, and I'm sure that Legendary will rank highly in my top reads of 2018. I can't wait to get caught up in the world of Tella, Scarlett, and Legend next time in Finale.

“Not everyone gets a true ending. There are two types of endings because most people give up at the part of the story where things are the worst, where the situation feels hopeless. But that’s when hope is needed most. only those who persevere can find their true ending.”

4.5/5 stars

Goodreads 丨 Amazon

Monday, August 13, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (2)

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted at The Book Date and is a way to share what we've read in the past week, what we're currently reading, and what's next!


I finished three books this week which is HUGE for me. I just moved to a new city, and my job and classes haven't started up yet, so it's been a great time for reading.

1. The Austere Academy by Lemony Snicket


I was inspired to re-read this series by the amazing Netflix TV adaption. I still love the wit and dry humor of these books, and the little easter eggs in the drawings and references.


2. Rust and Stardust by T. Greenwood


I was lucky enough to win an ARC of this book through Goodreads. The book is based on the true story of the kidnapping of Sally Horner, the girl who inspired Nabakov's Lolita. Told from the perspectives of Sally, several of her family members, and various people she crosses paths with during the two years she was held by her kidnapper, Rust and Stardust was haunting and well-written, and nuanced in a way that these kinds of stories usually aren't. For more, see my review.


3. The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin


This is the first book in a long time that has kept me hanging onto the edge of my chair, reading frantically way past my bedtime. My bedtime is 10pm sharp, but still. This book was crazy. I love an unreliable narrator, and Mara Dyer delivers. Strange things have been happening to her for some time now, but it's hard to tell whether she's crazy, has a stalker, or has supernatural powers. Spoiler: it might be all three.


Currently Reading:

I like to impose crazy reading quotas on myself, which is why I'm always reading a nonfiction book and self-help book slowly, and at least one other book at a quicker pace.

1. John Adams by David McCullough


I haven't gotten very far into this one, but I loved 1776 by the same author. It'll probably be a few months before I finish, because 1) I'm only reading a couple pages a day, and 2) it's 651 pages long!

8% read

2. The Brain Fog Fix: Reclaim Your Focus, Memory, and Joy in Just 3 Weeks by Mike Dow


I'm at the very beginning of this one as well, but the author speaks really convincingly about brain health and its connections to what we eat, which is what the first couple of chapters are on. Especially striking to me were the stats on the connection between diabetes and Alzheimer's. I'm excited to learn more and start the three-week program at the end.

4% read

3. Legendary by Stephanie Garber


I LOVED Caraval when it came out last year, and I've been itching to start this sequel. I love how atmospheric this series is, and the descriptions and writing are lush and beautiful without going too purple-y. I'm loving Legendary so far as well.

25% read

Up Next: 

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller


I'd love to know what all of you are reading as well. Have a great week!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Eight Books That Will Get You in the Back to School Spirit (Or Make You Run Screaming from the Memory of High School)

Whether you're in high school, college, or far removed from both, I'm of the opinion that that "back to school" time affects us all. It's a season of fresh starts and learning and office supplies (I can't be the only one obsessed with office supplies). Pick from my carefully curated list below to reminisce about or get excited for going back to class!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone


The perfect book about being whisked away to a magical school to learn strange and frightening things. Even if you're a Muggle, it's hard not to get the urge to jump on the Hogwarts Express and head back to school after reading this first installment of Harry Potter. The new illustrated edition is even more magical than the OG.

Avalon High by Meg Cabot


From the author of the beloved Princess Diaries series, Avalon High mixes high school with Arthurian legend in a fun and engrossing way. Your school may frown on showing up with a coat of armor or horse though, so don't get too carried away.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson


On a more somber note, Speak shows the side of high school no one wants to talk about, including the protagonist. This novel is so powerful and moving and important. A must-read.

Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard


Have you ever seen those girls in high school that seem so perfect, like they have it all together? Emily, Aria, Hana, and Spencer were those girls, until their best friend and leader Alison disappeared. Now they're getting threatening notes from an anonymous "A" that leads them to believe that Alison may not be gone after all. You may have seen the show on TV, but the book series has a completely different conclusion, and is equally enjoyable.

Wonder by R. J. Palacio


Dropping down to the middle school era, Wonder is the heartwarming story of Auggie, born with a facial defect that's prevented him from attending school before 5th grade. As Auggie navigates his new school, he also has to deal with the way his classmates and teachers look at and treat him differently. Told from several different perspectives, Wonder is a beautiful story about kindness and acceptance in one of the harshest environments humans can suffer: middle school.

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli


When a girl named Stargirl starts attending Mica High, a school where conformity is key, Leo and his classmates don't know what to think. Stargirl is unapologetically strange, but also incredibly kind. As the high school sways in public opinion over whether Stargirl is in or out, Leo gets to know her and her way of thinking and is changed forever. Stargirl is such a sweet novel, an authentic tale of being yourself in a world that often seems mass produced. 

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell


Eleanor and Park is an adorable first love story that starts on the bus, with a Walkman and a few comic books. I love the way Eleanor and Park's relationship builds up from friendship to something epic, despite the pressures of high school and home life. 

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater


Maggie Stiefvater writes nothing but gold, and The Raven Boys is no exception. The first in a series, this novel follows Blue, born into a house of clairvoyants, and Adam, Gansey, Ronan, and Noah, students at the exclusive private school Aglionby. Magic runs amock as their paths cross and fates and legends come into play. One of my absolute favorites.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Rust and Stardust, or, the One in Which I Mostly Lose All Hope for Mankind


Rust and Stardust by T. Greenwood

Pages: 368
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: August 7th, 2018
Cover Comments: This is a beautiful cover, and every element in it: the red ribbon, the stars in the background, and the way the ribbon is worn and tattered, speaks to the book's plot and feel.
First Lines: "The girls at school had a club, a secret club with secret rules."

Camden, NJ, 1948.

When 11 year-old Sally Horner steals a notebook from the local Woolworth's, she has no way of knowing that 52 year-old Frank LaSalle, fresh out of prison, is watching her, preparing to make his move. Accosting her outside the store, Frank convinces Sally that he’s an FBI agent who can have her arrested in a minute—unless she does as he says.
This chilling novel traces the next two harrowing years as Frank mentally and physically assaults Sally while the two of them travel westward from Camden to San Jose, forever altering not only her life, but the lives of her family, friends, and those she meets along the way. 



What a tragic novel, about a tragic life. There should be no surprise going in that this is a very sad novel, about the life of Sally Horner, the inspiration behind Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita. Sally is slyly abducted from her life in Camden, NJ, after she steals a notebook on a dare from classmates and is apprehended by a man who tells her he is with the FBI. The events that follow are equally unbelievable and upsetting. 

T. Greenwood pulls from the facts of real events, but adds her own take on what might have happened in between the stark realities we know from Sally's case. Points of view swap between Sally, her mother, her sister, and other people Sally encounters throughout her harrowing journey. The changing around of POV lent interesting perspectives to Sally's story. Alongside the horror of Sally's life in Frank LaSalle's clutches, we have Sally's mother wondering why Sally would have gone with this man, Sally's sister Ella worrying about her sister as well as her young child, and various sympathetic characters who meet Sally and realize that something isn't right.

I had never heard of Sally Horner before picking up this book, so I was on the edge of my seat as her story progressed, amazed at how many opportunities passed by where someone, even Sally herself, could have saved her from her situation. In the beginning, I found myself frustrated as Sally let her politeness and fear of authority and the law keep her from saying anything to anyone until it was almost too late. I bristled at the myriad suggestions that characters made that Sally had done this to herself by going "willingly" and that she had a part in the blame for the sexual acts LaSalle forced on her. As much as I wanted to blame these things on Sally being a young girl in 1948, these same issues could be keeping girls today from getting the help that they need. 

I hesitate to give Rust and Stardust a full five stars because I thought that Sally's reasoning for not escaping or telling someone about her situation was not written very convincingly, and Sally's inner monologue throughout this whole book did not quite ring true for me. She's constantly confused by LaSalle's identity and why he is doing these things to her, but her thoughts never made this inner conflict very clear. Obviously, LaSalle deluded the real Sally Horner for years, but I felt it could have been written more convincingly than it was here.

As heartbreaking as Rust and Stardust is, I felt that T. Greenwood did well at not using the abuse that Sally endured for their shock factor. There were abuse scenes that were nauseating and starkly painted, illustrating Sally's fear and shame, but brief and non-graphic. Even throughout all the hardships that Sally had to bear throughout her captivity, I was touched by the notes of hope throughout the novel. Sally finds friends in unlikely places - a traveling circus member, her next door neighbor in her trailer park, a friend in her school whom she dares to tell her real name. These are mostly details fabricated by Greenwood, but I hope that the real Sally was able to find these lights in a dark sky too.

4/5 stars

I received this novel through a giveaway on Goodreads. This in no way affects my opinion.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Six August Releases I'm Super Excited About

Hi friends! There are so many good books coming out this month, so I thought I'd round up a list of my most anticipated new releases. From light contemporaries to epic fantasies, it's a good month for new reads.

1. Nightblood by Elly Blake


Release Date: August 21st, 2018
Ruby's world has changed more than she ever could have imagined. She's in love with a powerful Frost King. She's the heir to the Fire Throne. And she may be a Nightblood--the spawn of a vengeful deity hellbent on releasing his wraithlike Minax from their prison. Once freed, these beasts will roam the earth, devouring every last person until he or she is nothing but an empty husk. But Ruby is able to control the Minax to a degree, and now she, her beloved Arcus, and her friend Kai must find a way to bring Frostbloods and Firebloods--sworn enemies--together to make a stand against a foe more deadly than any they've faced.

In this heart-pounding finale of Elly Blake's gorgeously written and action-packed Frostblood Saga, the fate of Frostbloods, Firebloods, and all of humanity is at stake.

I've really enjoyed the Frostblood series by Elly Blake (check out my review of Frostblood here). I love elemental magic, an interesting romance and a strong, complicated female lead, and this series has got it all in spades. There were some interesting mythology & world building developments in Fireblood that has me super excited to continue the series.

Side note: does "Nightblood" make you think of something from another fandom?

2. Rust and Stardust by T. Greenwood


Release Date: August 7th, 2018

Camden, NJ, 1948.

When 11 year-old Sally Horner steals a notebook from the local Woolworth's, she has no way of knowing that 52 year-old Frank LaSalle, fresh out of prison, is watching her, preparing to make his move. Accosting her outside the store, Frank convinces Sally that he’s an FBI agent who can have her arrested in a minute—unless she does as he says. 

This chilling novel traces the next two harrowing years as Frank mentally and physically assaults Sally while the two of them travel westward from Camden to San Jose, forever altering not only her life, but the lives of her family, friends, and those she meets along the way.

I was lucky enough to win an advanced copy of this book on Goodreads, and it's next on my list. It sounds chilling, and already has great advanced reviews, so I think it'll be a memorable read. 

3. That's Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger


Release Date: August 28th, 2018

It's been three years since the Virgil County High School Massacre. Three years since my best friend, Sarah, was killed in a bathroom stall during the mass shooting. Everyone knows Sarah's story--that she died proclaiming her faith. 
But it's not true. 

I know because I was with her when she died. I didn't say anything then, and people got hurt because of it. Now Sarah's parents are publishing a book about her, so this might be my last chance to set the record straight . . . but I'm not the only survivor with a story to tell about what did--and didn't--happen that day. 

Except Sarah's martyrdom is important to a lot of people, people who don't take kindly to what I'm trying to do. And the more I learn, the less certain I am about what's right. I don't know what will be worse: the guilt of staying silent or the consequences of speaking up...

School shootings are obviously a heavy and emotionally charged topic, and I'm interested to see how Keplinger tackles the subject. I read and really enjoyed her previous novel The DUFF, and I hope she fares as well on a more series subject.

4. The Other Side of Lost by Jessi Kirby


Release Date: August 7th, 2018

Girl Online meets Wild in this emotionally charged story of girl who takes to the wilderness to rediscover herself and escape the superficial persona she created on social media.

Mari Turner’s life is perfect. That is, at least to her thousands of followers who have helped her become an internet starlet. But when she breaks down and posts a video confessing she’s been living a lie—that she isn’t the happy, in-love, inspirational online personality she’s been trying so hard to portray—it goes viral and she receives major backlash. To get away from it all, she makes an impulsive decision: to hike the entire John Muir trail. Mari and her late cousin, Bri, were supposed to do it together, to celebrate their shared eighteenth birthday. But that was before Mari got so wrapped up in her online world that she shut anyone out who questioned its worth—like Bri.

With Bri’s boots and trail diary, a heart full of regret, and a group of strangers that she meets along the way, Mari tries to navigate the difficult terrain of the hike. But the true challenge lies within, as she searches for the way back to the girl she fears may be too lost to find: herself.

I love to see the issue of the disconnect between social media and our real lives addressed in a book. This one sounds so interesting, and I love the hiking aspect. I read Moonglass by Jessie Kirby back in 2011 and found it just so-so, but I have high hopes for this one.

5. Our Stories, Our Voices: 21 YA Authors Get Real About Injustice, Empowerment, and Growing Up Female in America


Release Date: August 14th, 2018

From Amy Reed, Ellen Hopkins, Amber Smith, Sandhya Menon, and more of your favorite YA authors comes an anthology of essays that explore the diverse experiences of injustice, empowerment, and growing up female in America.

This collection of twenty-one essays from major YA authors—including award-winning and bestselling writers—touches on a powerful range of topics related to growing up female in today’s America, and the intersection with race, religion, and ethnicity. Sure to inspire hope and solidarity to anyone who reads it, Our Stories, Our Voices belongs on every young woman’s shelf.

This anthology features essays from Martha Brockenbrough, Jaye Robin Brown, Sona Charaipotra, Brandy Colbert, Somaiya Daud, Christine Day, Alexandra Duncan, Ilene Wong (I.W.) Gregorio, Maurene Goo. Ellen Hopkins, Stephanie Kuehnert, Nina LaCour, Anna-Marie McLemore, Sandhya Menon, Hannah Moskowitz, Julie Murphy, Aisha Saeed, Jenny Torres Sanchez, Amber Smith, and Tracy Walker.

Can I get a yassssss? I'm so pumped to see a nonfiction anthology by diverse female writers for young female readers. This sounds so inspirational and thought-provoking.

6. Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

Release Date: August 28th, 2018

Darius doesn't think he'll ever be enough, in America or in Iran. Hilarious and heartbreaking, this unforgettable debut introduces a brilliant new voice in contemporary YA.

Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He's about to take his first-ever trip to Iran, and it's pretty overwhelming--especially when he's also dealing with clinical depression, a disapproving dad, and a chronically anemic social life. In Iran, he gets to know his ailing but still formidable grandfather, his loving grandmother, and the rest of his mom's family for the first time. And he meets Sohrab, the boy next door who changes everything.

Sohrab makes sure people speak English so Darius can understand what's going on. He gets Darius an Iranian National Football Team jersey that makes him feel like a True Persian for the first time. And he understand that sometimes, best friends don't have to talk. Darius has never had a true friend before, but now he's spending his days with Sohrab playing soccer, eating rosewater ice cream, and sitting together for hours in their special place, a rooftop overlooking the Yazdi skyline.

Sohrab calls him Darioush--the original Persian version of his name--and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he's Darioush to Sohrab. When it's time to go home to America, he'll have to find a way to be Darioush on his own.

Okay, how amazing is this? It makes me so happy to see diverse authors and subjects in YA. Exploring a different culture alongside an lgbtq teen dealing with mental health sounds all kinds of relevant and illuminating. These are topics that need to be written about more often. Also, check out the FAQ on the author's page to learn (as I just did) not to ask *that* question.

That's all folks! Any new releases you're excited about this month that I've passed over?

Cover Love (2): Since We Last Spoke

Cover Love is a bookish meme that I'm starting every Wednesday in which we select our favorite recent cover reveals! Feel free to join in on the linky below.

My pick for this week is the lovely Since We Last Spoke by Brenda Rufener. 
Release Date: April 2nd, 2019

When true love is shattered by tragedy—how much would you risk to save it all?

When Aggi Frank and Max Granger finally admitted their feelings for each other last December, it felt like love was beautiful and endless... until it wasn’t.

A fatal car accident involving their older siblings throws their lives into sudden chaos. And with a restraining order now in place between the two bitter households, Aggi and Max’s love runs cold. Being together again seems like a distant fantasy, even though they share the same driveway.

Still, Plum Lake is a small town, and staying apart can’t last forever. Aggi and Max eventually reunite at a lake-house party hosted by a mutual friend and break the ice after a year of silence. But just as they begin to rebuild their relationship, the unthinkable happens when Aggi’s little sister, Grace, flees from home after their father spirals into a fit of rage. With a support system of friends close by, Aggi and Max must confront each other and their families in the hopes of mending all the broken pieces.

Perfect for fans of Jennifer Niven and Nicola Yoon, Brenda Rufener’s (Where I Live) second heartbreaking and uplifting novel captures the ups and downs of star-crossed lovers in the face of unimaginable grief, the fragile balance of their family relations, and the rocky journey to healing, peace, and forgiveness.

I love everything about this cover. The snow and tress, the font and color of the title, the two houses blowing smoke, the two figures standing on opposite sides of the driveway, the way the trees form the shape of a heart.

 I haven't read Brenda Rufener's debut, Where I Live, but I definitely want this pretty thang on my shelves. Happy reading!