Tag: Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel

Top Picks: 5 Awesomely YUGE YA Picks

Each week, Bookstr gives you a look at some of the best novels in a particular genre for your continued reading list.

Today we’ll be recommending 5 awesomely YUGE YA books!

 

 

5-Open Mic Night at Westminister Cemetary by Mary Amato

 

Mary Amato

Image Via Tribute Books Reviews & Giveaways

 

This past September 1st, the newest and the coolest from Mary Amato was released. The award-winning children’s and YA book author, songwriter, and poet from the happiest state in the United States—Maryland.

 

Open Mic Night at Westminster Cemetery by [Amato, Mary]
Image Via Amazon
 

Waking up on the final resting place of Edgar Allan Poe, Lacy is, to say the least, confused. Turns out she’s dead and it’s up to Sam, a young soldier who died in 1865, to teach her the ins and outs of the afterlife.

Of course, Lacy would much rather figure out how she died, but unfortunately every soul is obligated to perform a job. Thus, she is given the task of providing entertainment.

Finding a way around this, Lacy proposes an open mic for the dead, but not only do long-buried truths rise up with the dead, but Lacy is under the threat of Suppression—a punishment worse than death.

In this fully realized world, our spirits are lifted up and brought on a hard rocking adventure. As Kirkus Reviews puts it, “Quoth the Raven, ‘Encore.’

 

4-Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron

 

Rena Barron
Image Via TWITTER

 

On her website, Rena Barron notes that while she “loves all things science fiction, ghosts, and superheroes,” and is “a self-proclaimed space nerd,” it was “stories of magic and adventure” that initially “sparked her imagination.”

She’s honed her craft for years and brought us Maya and the Rising Dark. Well, September 3rd we were given a spellbinding book that must be possessed, because it hasn’t let us go.

 

Kingdom of Souls by [Barron, Rena]

Image Via Amazon

 

A failure in all things magic, things aren’t looking too good for Arrah, the heir to two lines of powerful witchdoctors, but maybe she has to find her own magic.

When the Kingdom’s children begin to disappear, Arrah turns to a forbidden, dangerous ritual where she must trade years of life for magic.

With her clock running out, Arrah must combat a rising tide of darkness that threatens to consume her and all those she loves.

Heart pounding, spell binding, this book won’t let you go.

 

 

 

3-Sadie by Courtney Summers

 

Image result for Courtney Summers
Image Via Goodreads

 

Author of Cracked Up to Be, This Is Not a Test, and All the Rage, Courtney Summers came at us with a knockout thriller last September 4th that’s had us stunned.

 

Sadie by [Summers, Courtney]
Image Via Amazon
 

Sadie has raised her younger sister Mattie all on her own. That is, until Mattie was murdered. Following a botched police investigation, Sadie goes to bring her sister’s killer to justice using what little clues are out there.

Sadie’s journey for justice becomes more than a one hit wonder when West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—broadcasts Sadie’s story to the world.

Now West McCray hopes to find Sadie before she ends up like her sister, and Sadie fears that Mattie’s killer, newly alerted, might just slip away again.

This young adult thriller will swoon any lover of YA, or a crime novelist enthusiast. It’ll have you riveted until the last page. Layered and fascinating, it’s ambitious and doesn’t hold back.

 

2-Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

 

Image result for akemi dawn bowman
Image Via SPine Magazine

 

Author of Starfish, a book that swam into our hearts, comes a book that soars even higher since it took flight since its early September release date.

 

Summer Bird Blue by [Bowman, Akemi Dawn]
Image Via Amazon

We follow Rumi Seto, a woman who is unsure of most things except for one: she wants to spend the rest of her life writing music with her younger sister, Lea.

After Lea’s tragic death, Rumi is sent to live with her aunt in Hawaii. Thousands of miles from home, Rumi struggles to navigate the loss of her sister, being abandoned by her mother, and the absence of music in her life.

With the help of the “boys next door”—a teenage surfer named Kai and an eighty-year-old named George Watanabe who succumbed to his own grief years ago—Rumi will try to write the song she and Lea never had the chance to finish.

Coupled with “[c]onvincing local details and dialogue, masterful writing, and an emotionally cathartic climax,” this lyrical expression of grief will make your heart sing.

 

1-Here to Stay by Sara Farizan

 

Image result for Sara Farizan
Image Via Workman Publishing

 

An Iranian American writer and ardent basketball fan, Sara Farizan is an award-winning author of If You Could Be Mine and Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel, and her third novel, a September 18th release, is one to keep track of:

 

Here to Stay by [Farizan, Sara]
Image Via Amazon

 

The Amazon description put it best:

 

Bijan Majidi is:

  •         Shy around girls
  •         Really into comics
  •         Decent at basketball

Bijan Majidi is not:

  •         A terrorist

 

What happens when a kid who’s flown under the radar for most of high school gets pulled off the bench to make the winning basket in a varsity playoff game?

If his name is Bijan Majidi, life is suddenly high fives in the hallways and invitations to exclusive parties—along with an anonymous photo sent by a school cyberbully that makes Bijan look like a terrorist. 

The administration says they’ll find and punish the culprit. Bijan wants to pretend it never happened. He’s not ashamed of his Middle Eastern heritage; he just doesn’t want to be a poster child for Islamophobia. Lots of classmates rally around Bijan. Others make it clear they don’t want him or anybody who looks like him at their school. But it’s not always easy to tell your enemies from your friends.

 

Kirkus Reviews sums it up as “[p]owerful,” Publisher’s Weekly calls it “an engaging page-turner,” and we here at Bookstr say that this top notch high school drama about fighting prejudice SCORES!

 

 

 

Featured Images Via Amazon

7 Beautifully Inspiring Books About Loving Unapologetically

Love is never easy, but we all deserve to love and be loved in return no matter how we identify ourselves and who we choose to love. Sorry, there was a lot of “love” in that sentence, but what the world needs now is just that, and on this National Coming Out Day let’s spread the sentiment to everyone—lesbian, gay, bi, trans, and everyone else a part of the rainbow flag.

 

Related image

Image via gyfcat

 

In honor of National Coming Out Day, let’s celebrate these stories that remind us all to be ourselves and love who we love.

 

 

 

1. Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

 

 

Giovanni's Room (Vintage International) by [Baldwin, James]

 

A historical classic in Gay and Queer literature, this story follows a young man coming to terms with his homosexuality in 1950s Paris. Published in a time when homosexuality was not accepted in society and even considered a mental illness, Baldwin’s book about sexuality and acceptance was groundbreaking and meant the world to thousands upon thousands of LGBT people, especially for gay men.

 

 

2. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

 

Two Boys Kissing by [Levithan, David]

 

Focused on two ex-boyfriends trying to make a new Guinness record⁠—making out for a 32-hour marathon⁠—this optimistic tale centers around universal questions of love, identity, and belonging that our teenaged characters struggle with. An unconventional read, Two Boys Kissing will leave you with bliss and hope that love will find a way.

 

 

3. Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan

 

Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel: A Novel by [Farizan, Sara]

 

Leila is trying to make it through and fit in at her high school, and struggling to accept her Iranian-American descent when she is at school is tough enough, but she is hiding the fact that she is also gay. Everything goes according to plan until the beautiful new girl Saskia shows up. Leila starts to take risks she never thought she would, including coming out to one of her best friends about her feeling for Saskia. Finally coming out, Leila learns that every one of her classmates are keeping secrets of their own.

 

 

 

 

 

4. Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown

Rubyfruit Jungle: A Novel by [Brown, Rita Mae]

 

With parents who love her deeply, beauty and wit that makes all the ladies swoon, Molly Bolt is paving her own life the way she wants it. This inspiring coming-of-age tale teaches us to be true to ourselves and, against the odds, strive for a happily ever after.

 

 

5. For Today I Am a Boy by Kim Fu 

For Today I Am a Boy: A Novel by [Fu, Kim]
To Peter Huang’s parents, he is the exalted son in a sea of daughters⁠, expected to portray the ideal masculine man, but there’s an issue with that⁠, aside from toxic masculinity⁠—Peter does not identify with being a boy. While his sisters find their own way in life, Peter knows that freedom will not as easy for him. However, with their help, and the help of many he finds along the way, Peter works towards changing his life so he can finally feel comfortable in his own skin.

 

 

6. Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinbe

 

 

This biographical novel follows the real-life struggle of Jess Goldberg. With the rigorous gender pressures of society, Jess questions her identity her entire life, trying to find where she fits in and where she can survive.

 

 

 

 

7. Prom and Other Hazards by Jamie Sullivan

 

Prom and Other Hazards

 

Let’s be honest, not everyone was excited for prom. The same can be said for non-binary high schooler Sam, who wants nothing to do with it. If it weren’t for her best friend Tash, who has been dreaming about the perfect, romantic prom night, Sam would never consider going. After finding the perfect suit to match Sam’s androgynous and suave style, Sam puts a plan in motion to not only pay off the ridiculously expensive suit, but also to build up the courage to tell Tash how deeply in love she has been with her for years.

 

 

 

 

Granted not all of these books have romance as the focus, coming out is not always about having some romantic partner encouraging you to be true to what you want. There are times when you have to find it yourself. Either way, in this day and age, let’s hope that all can celebrate being who they are, and loving who they are, unapologetically.

 

 

Images Via Amazon

 

Featured Image via the vermillion