Category: Young Adult

Bookstr’s Three to Read This Week 3/14/19

Do you remember grade school math tests? (We understand if you’ve blocked them out.) More specifically, do you remember calculating just how many questions you could get wrong and still pass? If you’re in a similar mindset now with your reading goals—example: ‘maybe if I read four books a week I can still catch up’—it might be time to choose your books a little more wisely. The best way to read more books is to read better books… and these three would be an excellent place to start.

Here are Bookstr’s Three to Read, the three books we’ve picked for you to read this week!

Bookstr's Three to Read

Our Hot Pick:

 

'Internment' by Samira Ahmed

 

Synopsis:

Rebellions are built on hope.

Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens.

With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the internment camp’s Director and his guards.

Heart-racing and emotional, Internment challenges readers to fight complicit silence that exists in our society today.

 

Why?

This novel openly confronts Islamophobia and bigotry, not hiding the subject of its social commentary behind the abstraction of a metaphor. A groundbreaking work of speculative fiction, Samira Ahmed‘s Internment dares to imagine a world that is no longer unimaginable—one in which American Muslims are in danger. The novel is hardly speculative; rather, it explores a dystopian reality that is, according to its author, “fifteen minutes” into the future. YA novels, and this one in particular, are increasingly willing to tackle heavy topics with grace, nuance, and undeniable power. This novel explores the ability of young people to enact change—and just how necessary their voices are and will continue to be. Undoubtedly one of the hottest YA releases of 2019, you won’t be able to put this one down… but first, you’ll have to pick it up. Trust us.

 

Our Coffee shop read:

 

'All Happy Families' by Hervé le Tellier

 

Synopsis:

A prominent French writer delves into his own history in this eloquent reflection on dysfunctional family relationships. 

Hervé Le Tellier did not consider himself to have been an unhappy child–he was not deprived, or beaten, or abused. And yet he understood from a young age that something was wrong, and longed to leave. Children sometimes have only the option of escaping, and owe to that escape their even greater love of life.

Having reached a certain emotional distance at sixty years old, and with his father and stepfather dead and his mother suffering from late-stage Alzheimer’s disease, Le Tellier finally felt able to write the story of his family. Abandoned early by his father and raised in part by his grandparents, he was profoundly affected by his relationship with his mother, a troubled woman with damaging views on love.

In this perceptive, deeply personal account, Le Tellier attempts to look back on trying times in his life without anger or regret, and even with humor.

 

Why?

You may be familiar with the Leo Tolstoy quote behind Le Tellier’s title: “all happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” And you may (or, hypothetically, may not) be well-acquainted with familial trauma. Though the degree of trauma each of us undergoes may vary, the impact tends to be the same: enormous. Renowned French experimental writer Le Tellier‘s All Happy Families explores the way these early childhood experiences impacted—and continue to impact—the man he is today. But these recollections extend beyond the typical confines of childhood memories, towards the past broader scope of Nazi-occupied France and towards an uncertain future. Although this memoir is an account of pain, it’s also a tale of forgiveness. We can all benefit from this mature, objective look into the past—maybe we can look into our own.

 

Our Dark HORSE:

 

'Grace and Fury' by Tracy Banghart

 

Synopsis:

In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi Tessaro face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other in prison.

Serina has been groomed her whole life to become a Grace – someone to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining, subjugated example of the perfect woman. But when her headstrong and rebellious younger sister, Nomi, catches the heir’s eye, it’s Serina who takes the fall for the dangerous secret that Nomi has been hiding.

Now trapped in a life she never wanted, Nomi has only one way to save Serina: surrender to her role as a Grace until she can use her position to release her sister. This is easier said than done. A traitor walks the halls of the palace, and deception lurks in every corner. But Serina is running out of time, imprisoned on an island where she must fight to the death to survive and one wrong move could cost her everything.

 

Why?

We love strong female characters—especially when strength isn’t dependant on ‘ability to punch things.’ While the sisters’ personalities may seem formulaic at first, as Tracy Banghart‘s Grace and Fury goes onto subvert expectations, so do its characters. Readers will love this almost-entirely female cast and appreciate the story’s overt commentary on sexism and female empowerment. Now is the perfect time to give this 2018 release you might’ve missed the shot it deserves: a publication date has recently been announced for the sequel. Are you one of those people who wait for the second season to drop on Netflix so you can binge it all? Yeah? Well, this is like that.

‘The Princess Diaries’ Author Writing Black Canary Story

Black Canary is one of the DC Universe’s most iconic heroines. The character first appeared in 1947, slowly growing through the ages to become a self-assured, independent character. Her power is a ‘canary cry’, a supersonic scream, powerful enough to shatter windows. The current and most iconic Black Canary is Dinah Lance, who has appeared in such works like Arrow and Justice League.  Black Canary has been consistently seen as a superhero icon and a feminist role model to the comic book fanbase’s female culture. This latest book puts a new spin on the character for a new generation, written by a famous author.

 

Dinah Lance sits with her parents around a table over dinner, arguing
Image Via Bustle

 

According to BustleThe Princess Diaries author Meg Cabot is writing a new Black Canary comic book, with art by Over the Garden Wall artist Cara McGee. The story will focus on a younger Dinah Lance, who is a brash, fun loving thirteen-year-old girl whose powers slowly begin to develop, manifesting in things she doesn’t mean to do, like shattering glass or knocking people over with her supersonic voice. Meg Cabot hopes the comic will resonate with younger readers, hence making Dinah a middle-schooler and making her face the same problems they do. The character’s typical costume, fishnets and a leotard, was also changed for this reason. Hence, her costume is this comic looks like something a kid could design themselves and make them know they could be a hero too, just like Dinah.

The novel is titled Black Canary: Ignite, and will be part of the DC Universe’s new imprint, DC Zoom, which will also have other titles focusing on younger iterations of their classic hero gallery: such as Mera: Tidebreaker, Wonder Woman: Tempest, and Batman: Gotham High. These stories, like Black Canary: Ignite, will be under a YA imprint and hopefully inspired younger readers with their tales.

 

Black Canary knocks down a bunch of her peers with her sonic scream (by accident)
Image Via Bustle

 

The book is due November 5th! Check it out or better yet, buy it for your kids. Go, Dinah, go!

 

 

Featured Image Via Meg Cabot.com

"Best Books March 2019"

The 10 Hottest YA Releases of March 2019

Winter might be cold—but these releases are guaranteed to be hot! We’ve got political dystopias; tragic, time-travel romances; and… genderqueer werewolves? Three months in, and 2019 already has more diverse reads than some years altogether. January saw the release of The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan, a heartbreaking depiction of a Bangladeshi lesbian whose parents force her into an arranged marriage upon discovering her sexuality. In February, we got the newest Angie Thomas release: On the Come Up, a poignant yet raw foray into poverty, ambition, and hip-hop. Hurry up and read these ten phenomenal releases—it won’t be long before more YA hits hit those shelves.

This list will include both standalone releases and continuations of established series! Of course, after reading some of the debuts, you’ll be hoping for a sequel. Let’s take a look at the hottest releases of March 2019.

 

New Content

Internment

 

Samira Ahmed's 'Internment'

 

Tense, chilling, and timely, Samira Ahmed‘s Internment imagines a society in which American Muslims are openly persecuted and detained—a society that, unfortunately, is not so difficult to imagine. This powerful novel explores horrors that exist, devastatingly, alongside xenophobia and racism: the compliance of adults who might have been protectors and the bigotry that exists in even the most progressive communities.

Rebellions are built on hope.

Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens.

With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the internment camp’s Director and his guards.

Heart-racing and emotional, Internment challenges readers to fight complicit silence that exists in our society today.

 

Opposite of Always

 

Justin A. Reynolds' 'Opposite of Always'

 

Time travel? A perfect romance? What could possibly go wrong? As Justin A. Reynolds obviously knows, everything. When Kate dies, Jack will do everything he can to see her again—including going back to the moment that they first met, even knowing what will happen next. This heartfelt debut is guaranteed to cause one feeling in particular: tears. Don’t tell me that tears aren’t a feeling. Just read it, and you’ll see. The novel features two black protagonists, and The Hate U Give author Angie Thomas called Opposite of Always “one of the best love stories [she’s] ever read.”

Jack Ellison King. King of Almost.

He almost made valedictorian.

He almost made varsity.

He almost got the girl . . .

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack. Jack’s curse of almost is finally over.

But this love story is . . . complicated. It is an almost happily ever after. Because Kate dies. And their story should end there. Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Beautiful, radiant Kate. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind. Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do—and let go—to save the people he loves.

 

The Fever King

 

'The Fever King' Victoria Lee

 

Gone are the days of YA dystopias that read like a MadLibs of superficial concepts and arbitrary capitalization. Or rather, they’re not gone. They dwindled in the Pursuit—a.k.a. the desire for imagined worlds that comment upon our own. Victoria Lee‘s The Fever King is a vicious tale of political intrigue with timely commentary on immigration and power structures.

In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.

The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.

Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.

 

Heroine

 

'Heroine' by Mindy McGinnis

 

Unabashedly raw, Mindy McGinnis‘ Heroine goes to dark places most YA novels might hesitate to reach—dark places many American young people have learned to call home. Violent, unforgettable, and gripping, this portrayal of a descent into addiction clearly shows how this affliction can strike anyone… and what happens when it does.

A captivating and powerful exploration of the opioid crisis—the deadliest drug epidemic in American history—through the eyes of a college-bound softball star. Edgar Award-winning author Mindy McGinnis delivers a visceral and necessary novel about addiction, family, friendship, and hope. 

When a car crash sidelines Mickey just before softball season, she has to find a way to hold on to her spot as the catcher for a team expected to make a historic tournament run. Behind the plate is the only place she’s ever felt comfortable, and the painkillers she’s been prescribed can help her get there.

The pills do more than take away pain; they make her feel good.

With a new circle of friends—fellow injured athletes, others with just time to kill—Mickey finds peaceful acceptance, and people with whom words come easily, even if it is just the pills loosening her tongue.

But as the pressure to be Mickey Catalan heightens, her need increases, and it becomes less about pain and more about want, something that could send her spiraling out of control.

 

SHOUT

 

'Shout' by Laurie Halse Anderson

 

Laurie Halse Anderson‘s Speak, the unforgettable story of a sexual assault survivor, has remained an enduring classic of YA fiction despite its status as one of the most-challenged YA titles of all time. Now, Anderson has spoken up again with Shout—intertwining the personal story of her own rape with broader criticism of confusing or contradictory messages surrounding sexuality.

A searing poetic memoir and call to action from the bestselling and award-winning author of Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson!

Bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson is known for the unflinching way she writes about, and advocates for, survivors of sexual assault. Now, inspired by her fans and enraged by how little in our culture has changed since her groundbreaking novel Speak was first published twenty years ago, she has written a poetry memoir that is as vulnerable as it is rallying, as timely as it is timeless.

In free verse, Anderson shares reflections, rants, and calls to action woven between deeply personal stories from her life that she’s never written about before. Searing and soul-searching, this important memoir is a denouncement of our society’s failures and a love letter to all the people with the courage to say #metoo and #timesup, whether aloud, online, or only in their own hearts. Shout speaks truth to power in a loud, clear voice– and once you hear it, it is impossible to ignore.

 

The Last 8

 

'The Last 8' by Laura Pohl

 

Readers will be all over this queer genre debut, The Last 8 by Laura Pohl. Nearly all characters are LGBTQA+, and YA lovers will get some much-needed representation for some of the more neglected letters of the acronym: the novel features an openly aromantic and bisexual lead character! Even better, it’s an #ownvoices novel—Pohl has shared her story so that you can finally read your own. (Sorry to any aromantics who have also been involved in an alien attack. This one might hit too close to home.)

 

A high-stakes survival story about eight teenagers who outlive an alien attack—perfect for fans of The 5th Wave 

Clover Martinez has always been a survivor, which is the only reason she isn’t among the dead when aliens invade and destroy Earth as she knows it.

When Clover hears an inexplicable radio message, she’s shocked to learn there are other survivors—and that they’re all at the former Area 51. When she arrives, she’s greeted by a band of misfits who call themselves The Last Teenagers on Earth.

Only they aren’t the ragtag group of heroes Clover was expecting. The group seems more interested in hiding than fighting back, and Clover starts to wonder if she was better off alone. But then she finds a hidden spaceship, and she doesn’t know what to believe…or who to trust.

 

OUT OF SALEM

 

'Out of Salem' by Hal Schrieve

 

We’ve got a lesbian werewolf, a genderqueer zombie… and a nonbinary author? Hal Schrieve‘s gritty, eclectic debut explores issues of surveillance, homelessness, and the ways that higher social class impacts even marginalized identities. Out of Salem builds to an explosive conclusion… and, hopefully, a sequel!

 

When genderqueer fourteen-year-old Z Chilworth wakes from death after a car crash that killed their parents and sisters, they have to adjust quickly to their new status as a zombie. Always a talented witch, Z can now barely perform magic and is rapidly decaying. Faced with rejection from their remaining family members and old friends, Z moves in with Mrs. Dunnigan, an elderly witch, and befriends Aysel, a loud would-be-goth classmate who is, like Z, a loner. As Z struggles to find a way to repair the broken magical seal holding their body together, Aysel fears that her classmates will discover her status as an unregistered werewolf.

When a local psychiatrist is murdered in an apparent werewolf attack, the town of Salem, Oregon, becomes even more hostile to monsters, and Z and Aysel are driven together in an attempt to survive a place where most people wish that neither of them existed.

 

Series

The Shadow Glass (The Bone Witch #3)

 

'The Bone Witch' by Rin Chupeco

 

In the highly anticipated finale to the Bone Witch trilogy, Tea’s life—and the fate of the kingdoms—hangs in the balance.

Tea is a bone witch with the dark magic needed to raise the dead. She has used this magic to breathe life into those she has loved and lost…and those who would join her army against the deceitful royals. But Tea’s quest to conjure a shadowglass—to achieve immortality for the one person she loves most in the world—threatens to consume her heart.

Tea’s black heartsglass only grows darker with each new betrayal. And when she is left with new blood on her hands, Tea must answer to a power greater than the elder asha or even her conscience…

 

Return of the thief (the queen’s thief #6)

 

'Return of the Thief' by Megan Whalen Turner

 

The thrilling, twenty-years-in-the-making, conclusion to the New York Times–bestselling Queen’s Thief series, by Megan Whalen Turner. This beloved and award-winning series began with the acclaimed novel The Thief. It and four more stand-alone volumes bring to life a world of epics, myths, and legends, and feature one of the most charismatic and incorrigible characters of fiction, Eugenides the thief. Now more powerful and cunning than ever before, Eugenides must navigate a perilous future in this sweeping conclusion. Perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, Patrick Rothfuss, and Sarah J. Maas.

Neither accepted nor beloved, Eugenides is the uneasy linchpin of a truce on the Lesser Peninsula, where he has risen to be high king of Attolia, Eddis, and Sounis. As the treacherous Baron Erondites schemes anew and a prophecy appears to foretell the death of the king, the ruthless Mede empire prepares to strike. The New York Times–bestselling Queen’s Thief novels are rich with political machinations, divine intervention, dangerous journeys, battles lost and won, power, passion, and deception.

 

The Everlasting Rose (The Belles #2)

 

'The Everlasting Rose' by Dhonielle Clayton

 

In this sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller, Camille, her sister Edel, and her guard and new love Remy must race against time to find Princess Charlotte. Sophia’s Imperial forces will stop at nothing to keep the rebels from returning Charlotte to the castle and her rightful place as queen.

With the help of an underground resistance movement called The Iron Ladiesa society that rejects beauty treatments entirelyand the backing of alternative newspaper The Spider’s Web, Camille uses her powers, her connections and her cunning to outwit her greatest nemesis, Sophia, and restore peace to Orleans.

 

All In-Text Images Via Amazon.
Featured Image Made With CollageMaker.

Diverse books for diverse readers

It’s Zero Discrimination Day! Check Out These 10 Diverse New Releases

March 1 is Zero Discrimination Day, and we imagine you have a lot of questions.

What is Zero Discrimination Day? It’s a recurring UNAIDS campaign addressing human rights violations throughout the world. The event calls on countries to address discriminatory laws, particularly those that prevent access to healthcare.

Isn’t every day Zero Discrimination Day if you’re not a total asshole? Yes.

 

"Committing to make our world free of stigma and discrimination is not an option, it's a duty."
Image Via United Nations

 

In honor of Zero Discrimination Day, let’s celebrate these 10 new and upcoming diverse reads across a delightful multitude of genres. Whether they’re non-fiction or fiction, YA or adult, these books delve into the feelings and experiences of people across identifiers of race, sexuality, gender, class, religion, and ability. These are more than just books—they’re stories. And they’re more than just stories—they’re your stories. (Well, hopefully not the one about being a genderqueer werewolf. That werewolf part in particular could come with some serious complications.)

 

THE FEVER KING

 

'The Fever King' Victoria Lee

 

In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.

The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.

Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.

 

INTERNMENT

 

Samira Ahmed's 'Internment'

 

Rebellions are built on hope.

Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens.

With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the internment camp’s Director and his guards.

Heart-racing and emotional, Internment challenges readers to fight complicit silence that exists in our society today.

 

WHEN BROOKLYN WAS QUEER

 

'When Brooklyn Was Queer' Hugh Ryan

 

The groundbreaking, never-before-told story of Brooklyn’s vibrant and forgotten queer history, from the mid-1850s up to the present day.

When Brooklyn Was Queer is a groundbreaking exploration of the LGBT history of Brooklyn, from the early days of Walt Whitman in the 1850s up through the women who worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard during World War II, and beyond. No other book, movie, or exhibition has ever told this sweeping story. Not only has Brooklyn always lived in the shadow of queer Manhattan neighborhoods like Greenwich Village and Harlem, but there has also been a systematic erasure of its queer history—a great forgetting.

Ryan is here to unearth that history for the first time, and show how the formation of Brooklyn is inextricably linked to the stories of the incredible people who created the Brooklyn we know today.

 

UNBECOMING

 

'Unbecoming' by Anuradha Bagwati

 

A raw, unflinching memoir by a former US Marine Captain chronicling her journey from dutiful daughter of immigrants to radical activist effecting historic policy reform.

After a lifetime of buckling to the demands of her strict Indian parents, Anuradha Bhagwati abandons grad school in the Ivy League to join the Marines—the fiercest, most violent, most masculine branch of the military—determined to prove herself there in ways she couldn’t before.

Yet once training begins, Anuradha’s G.I. Jane fantasy is punctured. As a bisexual woman of color in the military, she faces underestimation at every stage, confronting misogyny, racism, sexual violence, and astonishing injustice perpetrated by those in power. Pushing herself beyond her limits, she also wrestles with what drove her to pursue such punishment in the first place.

Once her service concludes in 2004, Anuradha courageously vows to take to task the very leaders and traditions that cast such a dark cloud over her time in the Marines. Her efforts result in historic change, including the lifting of the ban on women from pursuing combat roles in the military.

 

SPEAK NO EVIL

 

'Speak No Evil' by Uzodinma Iweala

 

On the surface, Niru leads a charmed life. Raised by two attentive parents in Washington, D.C., he’s a top student and a track star at his prestigious private high school. Bound for Harvard in the fall, his prospects are bright. But Niru has a painful secret: he is queer—an abominable sin to his conservative Nigerian parents. No one knows except Meredith, his best friend, the daughter of prominent Washington insiders—and the one person who seems not to judge him.

When his father accidentally discovers Niru is gay, the fallout is brutal and swift. Coping with troubles of her own, however, Meredith finds that she has little left emotionally to offer him. As the two friends struggle to reconcile their desires against the expectations and institutions that seek to define them, they find themselves speeding toward a future more violent and senseless than they can imagine. Neither will escape unscathed.

 

LUBNA AND PEBBLE

 

Lubna & Pebble by Wendy Meddour

 

In an unforgettable story that subtly addresses the refugee crisis, a young girl must decide if friendship means giving up the one item that gives her comfort during a time of utter uncertainty.

Lubna’s best friend is a pebble. Pebble always listens to her stories. Pebble always smiles when she feels scared. But when a lost little boy arrives in the World of Tents, Lubna realizes that he needs Pebble even more than she does.

This emotionally stirring and stunningly illustrated picture book explores one girl’s powerful act of friendship in the midst of an unknown situation.

 

OUT OF SALEM

 

'Out of Salem' by Hal Schrieve

 

When genderqueer fourteen-year-old Z Chilworth wakes from death after a car crash that killed their parents and sisters, they have to adjust quickly to their new status as a zombie. Always a talented witch, Z can now barely perform magic and is rapidly decaying. Faced with rejection from their remaining family members and old friends, Z moves in with Mrs. Dunnigan, an elderly witch, and befriends Aysel, a loud would-be-goth classmate who is, like Z, a loner. As Z struggles to find a way to repair the broken magical seal holding their body together, Aysel fears that her classmates will discover her status as an unregistered werewolf.

When a local psychiatrist is murdered in an apparent werewolf attack, the town of Salem, Oregon, becomes even more hostile to monsters, and Z and Aysel are driven together in an attempt to survive a place where most people wish that neither of them existed.

 

FROM DISABILITY TO DIVERSITY

 

'From Disability to Diversity' by Lynne C. Shea

Colleges and universities are seeing increasing numbers of students with a range of disabilities enrolling in postsecondary education. Many of these disabilities are invisible and, despite their potential for negative impact on students’ academic and social adjustment, some students will choose not to identify as having a disability or request support.

Approaching disability from the perspective of difference, the authors of this new volume offer guidance on creating more inclusive learning environments on campus so that all students–whether or not they have a recognized disability–have the opportunity to succeed. Strategies for supporting students with specific learning disabilities, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder or who display learning and behavioral characteristics associated with these profiles are described. A valuable resource for instructors, advisors, academic support personnel, and others who work directly with college students.

A Love Story for Bewildered Girls

 

'A Love Story for Bewildered Girls' by Emma Morgan

 

Grace loves a woman. Annie loves a man. Violet isn’t quite sure. But you’ll love them all…

Grace has what one might call a ‘full and interesting life’ which is code for not married and has no kids. Her life is the envy of her friends, who assume she doesn’t want that kind of commitment. But all this time she has been waiting in secret for a love that will take her breath away, like the way a wave in a rough sea knocks you over…

When Grace meets a beautiful woman at a party, she falls suddenly and desperately in love. At the same party, lawyer Annie finds the man of her dreams – the only man she’s ever met whose table manners are up to her mother’s standards. And across the city, Violet, who is mostly afraid of everything, is making another discovery of her own: that for the first time in her life she has fallen for another girl.

 

 

QUEENIE

 

'Queenie' by Candice Carty-Williams

 

Bridget Jones’s Diary meets Americanah in this disarmingly honest, boldly political, and truly inclusive novel that will speak to anyone who has gone looking for love and found something very different in its place.

Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. She works at a national newspaper, where she’s constantly forced to compare herself to her white middle class peers. After a messy break up from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places…including several hazardous men who do a good job of occupying brain space and a bad job of affirming self-worth.

As Queenie careens from one questionable decision to another, she finds herself wondering, “What are you doing? Why are you doing it? Who do you want to be?”—all of the questions today’s woman must face in a world trying to answer them for her.

LOT: Stories

 

'Lot' by Bryan Washington

 

In the city of Houston – a sprawling, diverse microcosm of America – the son of a black mother and a Latino father is coming of age. He’s working at his family’s restaurant, weathering his brother’s blows, resenting his older sister’s absence. And discovering he likes boys.

Around him, others live and thrive and die in Houston’s myriad neighborhoods: a young woman whose affair detonates across an apartment complex, a ragtag baseball team, a group of young hustlers, hurricane survivors, a local drug dealer who takes a Guatemalan teen under his wing, a reluctant chupacabra.

 

All In-Text Images Via Amazon.
Featured Image Via School Library Journal.

A selection of 2018's bestselling YA reads, including 'Children of Blood and Bone' and 'The Poet X'

YA Crisis: U.K. Faces Steep Decline in Demand for YA Books

YA is a massively polarizing genre, and, when faced with its possible decline, any avid reader is bound to have one of two drastically different reactions. One possible reaction is something along the lines of: Finally! Now I’ll never have to read about an entire world that somehow possesses the logic and nuance of a Buzzfeed zodiac quiz! The other is NO! 

If you’re in the first camp, consider what this sharp decline actually means: fewer children are reading.

 

Banner: "YA? Y Not?!"

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It’s no secret that childhood reading is extremely beneficial with significant academic and interpersonal perks: readers score higher on tests and have stronger interpersonal skills, including empathy and the ability to understand others. Delighted critics may rejoice the disappearance of YA’s infamous, highly-stylized dystopias and not understand the problem—that’s not what YA is. And the decline in British YA sales has had consequences beyond fewer possible blockbusters: children’s books are also underperforming in libraries. Experts warn that this decline—which comes in the wake of drastic budget cuts—may have lasting consequences on the reading habits of a generation.

To answer the question of why this is happening, let’s consider the matter of where this is happening. Though YA sales have been consistently strong in the U.S., sales have suffered in the U.K. specifically—2018 saw the lowest profits in eleven years. (To refresh your memory, that was the year before The Hunger Games‘ release changed the game for YA fiction.) To understand the crisis, it’s critical to understand the difference between the American and British market for YA books: there isn’t one. According to British YA authors, the U.K. market for children’s literature is oversaturated with American content.

In 2018, all of the U.K.’s top 5 bestselling YA novels were by American authors. Only one British writer even cracked the top 10: Michelle Magorian, author of Goodnight Mister Tom (which is a decades-old classic rather than a new release). Those across the industry are concerned about what this might mean for U.K. children… and what it already means for U.K. authors.

 

U.K. YA authors of queer fiction Lisa Williamson and Alice Oseman

Books by authors Lisa Williamson and Alice Oseman, u.k. Authors of LGBT+ YA fICTION
Image Via Pretty Books

 

Promotion is centered around these foreign books while advances for British authors remain dauntingly small—£1,000 for an entire novel. These prohibitively small payments will limit new authors struggling to break into publishing. U.K. authors have also reported that American books tend to receive the most promotion, making their marketing efforts far more successful. And it’s not just authors who aren’t seeing any income: the aforementioned library cuts have led to the termination of around 1,000 librarians and shrinking purchasing budgets for new material. Fewer librarians, fewer books, and fewer young readers.

There are factors besides the overwhelming American cultural influence, most notably, a misconception about what YA is. For starters—not a genre. YA Waterstones buyer Kate McHale stresses, “YA is an age category.” With big titles covering topics ranging from fantastic depictions of Nigerian myth (Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi) to a queer Muslim girl forced into an arranged marriage (The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan) it’s clear that YA is no longer all about who can write the hottest vampire kisses… if it ever actually was. YA is a territory of increasing diversity and a proven willingness to tackle difficult issues. The only thing these books have in common is that their protagonists are within a certain age range—the distinction of YA has nothing to do with the quality of the writing or the significance of the piece.

 

'The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali' and more diverse releases

Image Via SABINA kHAN tWITTER

 

Children’s book consultant Jake Hope believes that another factor in the decline may be the price of YA books. Though teenagers generally don’t have significant (or any) income, books for that audience cost the same as books for adults who (generally) have disposable income. While this may be true, it’s also true in countries throughout the world. The concern of U.K. children seeing adolescence primarily through an American cultural lens seems far more significant. Furthermore, U.K. authors of color have voiced concerns about their representation in the market. Of the U.K.’s 2018 YA authors, only 1.5% were people of color—as opposed to a more significant (if still slight)11% in the U.S.

 

Statistics on authors of color, showing an incredibly small percentage of UK authors of color.

Image Via Nikesh Shukla Twitter

 

Just how steep is this decline, anyway? Steep. Publishers report a 26% decrease in sales. And just how serious are the consequences? Experts believe this could “severely” affect literacy levels. The solution to this problem might remain unclear, but the problem is increasingly obvious.

 

Featured Image Via Bustle