About a month ago, I went to the Fierce Reads event here in St. Louis and bought a stack of books I was privileged to get signed from the authors. I had time for one of them–LAILAH by Nikki Kelly–before I got buried in library books. I’m not kidding here. I think the library has it out for me. Yes, I had 14 books requested at the same time. BUT, I was way down on the list for several of them, and others hadn’t even been released yet. It’s not my fault they all decided to come in at the same time. Anyway, the result is that in the last month I’ve speed-read ten books. Normally I might have granted some of these full reviews, but the library isn’t finished with me yet, so instead you get a young adult list this week and a middle grade list next week. But, BONUS, I’m going to give away my signed copy of LAILAH, so look for details at the end of the post. And if the library books ever stop coming, I might get to those other books I bought at the Fierce Reads event and do more giveaways :).
Ok, I just have to say that Nikki Kelly is absolutely adorable and was very encouraging to me as a writer seeking publication. I’m also extremely impressed that she found a way to successfully publish a YA book about vampires and angels in a market where pretty much every agent and editor says, “no vampires or angels!” She took it directly to the audience through Wattpad, and a publisher came to her after some million views. That’s the way to show them vampires aren’t dead. Well, you know what I mean :).
The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.
On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him are fighting with help from an unlikely ally – a rogue Angel named Gabriel.
In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?
Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is.
I would review BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE, but the five things I love are pretty much the same as what I listed for THE DREAM THIEVES. Still, you should read this book! Actually, start with THE RAVEN BOYS and read the whole series.
Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs. The trick with found things, though, is how easily they can be lost.
I’ve been anxious to read STITCHING SNOW ever since The Writer’s Voice contest in 2012. You may recall I was in that contest, too. Anyway, if I remember correctly, STITCHING SNOW was the first entry to receive an agent offer and a traditional publishing deal. It’s not the first published book from the contest I’ve read, but still, it’s exciting. And it didn’t disappoint. I loved the blend of the fairy tale with sci-fi elements, and the pacing was fantastic.
Princess Snow is missing. Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back—but that’s assuming she wants to return at all.
Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.
When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane’s arrival was far from accidental, and she’s pulled into the heart of a war she’s risked everything to avoid. With the galaxy’s future—and her own—in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.
Finally, I loved the MATCHED series, so I’ve been anticipating Ally Condie’s new book, ATLANTIA, for some time. It is a completely different concept and not really what I expected, and yet I thoroughly enjoyed it. I especially liked the theme of sisterhood and the way I never quite knew who to trust in the story. It’s very well done.
For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose. Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.
On to the giveaway! I have a signed hardback of LAILAH by Nikki Kelly. North America only, please. Click on the Rafflecopter link below to enter. Good luck!
Have you read any of these books yet? Let me know what you thought!