Tag: YA books

5 New YA Novels Just in Time for Christmas

It’s that time of the week again and it’s also the week of Christmas! Christmas is just days away and if you’re still shopping, why not buy these books? They will make perfect stocking stuffers for the book lover in your life or even for yourself. The holidays is the season of giving, so why not give to yourself too and buy these books!

1. Love and Olives by Jenna Evans Welch

Image via Amazon

Love and Olives, tells the story of Liv Varanakis, who hasn’t seen her dad since she was eight years old. Her dad moved to Greece and the only thing she remembers about her dad is how much they love Greek Myths and the lost city of Atlantis. Then, when she receives a postcard about a documentary her dad will be hosting on his theories about Atlantis, Liv jumps at the chance to join him. However, when Liv lands in Santorini, she has so many questions to ask her dad, but instead of asking him, she avoids her feelings in order to move forward and not focus on the past. Liv also doesn’t want Theo, her father’s protegee to witness her feeling this way. So, Liv decides to make the best of her time and dive into everything Santorini has to offer, but soon enough, Liv learns her father invited her to Santorini for something more important than Atlantis.

2. A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey

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A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow, tells the story of Lila Reyes and how she spends her summer in England. Lila, thought she had her summer after high school all planned out, but then she was thrown a curve ball and everything, including herself, falls apart. Lila’s parents become concerned about her mental health, so they decide to send her to Winchester, England, to stay with some family friends. However, her dream trip feels more like a nightmare, with a grumpy cook, no sun, and no Miami flavor, that is until she meets Orion Maxwell. Despite the fact that Orion has his own troubles, he appoints himself as Lila’s personal tour guide. Soon enough, Lila becomes charmed by England and Orion, and that makes Lila dream of a new future, a future that will change everything she had planned.

3. Ruinsong by Julia Ember

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Ruinsong, tells the story of a powerful mage, Cadence, who has been forced to disgrace her country’s nobility. However, when Cadence is reunited with her childhood friend, who just so happens to have ties with an underground rebellion, she has no choice but to make a choice. She can either take a stand and free their country from oppression or she can follow in the Queen’s footsteps and become a monster too.

4. Rent a Boyfriend by Gloria Chao

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Rent a Boyfriend, tells the story of two young adults, Chloe Wang and Drew Chan. Chloe, is very nervous to introudce her boyfriend to her parents because she hired him from a company called, Rent for your ‘rents. The company provides fake boyfriends to impress even the most traditional asian parents. While Drew’s parents just cut him off from dropping out of college, so in order to pursue his dreams of art, he becomes a rent a boyfriend. Chloe ends up renting Drew in hopes they will leave her alone about accepting a proposal from Hongbo, who is very wealthy and a young bachelor in their tight knit asian community. Soon enough, Chloe begins to fall for the real Drew and now she isn’t what she wants. Chloe has to figure out what she wants before she loses everything.

5. Super Fake Love Song by David Yoon

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Super Fake Love Song, tells the story of self pro claimed nerd Sunny Dae, and how his life changes when he meets Cirrus Soh. Cirrus so is so cool and confident, but when Cirrus mistakes Sunny’s older brothers room, for hers, he lies and tells her he is in a rock band. Now, Sunny is in way too deep in this lie and he even gets his best friends involved, they form a fake band and he starts to wear his old brother’s old rock and roll castoffs. When Sunny is ready to tell Cirrus the truth, she asks to see them play sometime, so Sunny has no choice but to keep the charade up. To make matters worst people start to notice him in school, and he even starts getting invited to parties.  Sunny is more confident now, then he’s ever been in his life, and he’s even falling in love, having fun and he’s even becoming a rocker for real. Unfortunately, all of Sunny’s lies start to catch up with him and he has to learn if all of this was worth it or if he can ever truly change.

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Author Spotlight: Dylan Farrow

This fall has brought us countless new reads, one of the newest being Hush by Dylan Farrow. Hush follows seventeen year old Shae who has wanted nothing, but a quiet life. After living with the secret of a disease that took the life of her brother, Shae has known nothing but a life of fear. Once her mother is murdered she is forced to face the secrets that she has kept at bay before they destroy her. If you are looking for a read that is full of fantasy with a strong female main character, then Hush is for you.

I was lucky enough to get to ask author Dylan Farrow a few questions about her new release!

image via St. Martins press

For readers interested in reading Hush, what four words would you use to describe this book?

Magic, secrets, journey, and language.

As a writer do you enjoy writing more about a enemies-to-lovers trope or a friends-to-lovers trope? As a reader, which do you prefer to read about?

I am a sucker for enemies-to-lovers. The stakes, the drama… I just love it. I haven’t written much about that theme in-depth yet, but it’s something I would love to explore in the future.


What character did you have the most fun with writing about/getting to develop? Which character did you find the hardest to write about/develop?

Kennan was by far the most fun to create. One of my favorite things about writing for her was how she calls Shae out on her BS. I really enjoyed writing a strong female character who already knows she kicks butt and doesn’t apologize for it.

The hardest character to write for was probably Cathal. He’s a character with a lot of secrets so it was sometimes a challenge walking that line between keeping his cards close to his chest and allowing enough information to slip out to keep the story going.


Hush has a little bit of everything, you did a brilliant job at incorporating fantasy, romance, mystery, and action all into one book. Did you always know that you wanted all these elements in your book or was it something that came together as you wrote?

Those are some of my favorite elements in storytelling, so it was probably inevitable that they worked their way in. Overall, I try and put the needs of the plot and characters first, so if something doesn’t work, I try to be objective and just axe it. I’m glad it all wound up resonating together in the end.


You weave together a very complex and alluring world within Hush, what was that hardest part about developing it?

Bringing the world of Montane together was a challenge. It looked very different in its earliest versions. I wanted it to contain elements of strife from the real world, but not too much, and sometimes that was a tricky balancing act. One of my favorite things about this genre is worldbuilding, so it was a fun challenge for me.


Which character do you find yourself relating to the most?

I relate to them all a little, but perhaps a tiny bit more to Shae’s mother. I started writing Hush as a new mom, so I think that experience really brought me closer to that particular character.


Did you always know that you wanted to be a writer?

Yes and no. I went through a period where although I loved writing more than anything, I didn’t have the self confidence that I could follow through with making it my career. After a certain point of trying a few different jobs and never feeling completely satisfied with them, I figured I might as well try writing, since it makes me so happy. I’m very fortunate that it all worked out!


What are some books/authors that have inspired you to write?

The Earthsea series, His Dark Materials, and Lord of the Rings had a huge impact on my desire to write, and especially piqued my interest in fantasy. I was also hugely inspired by a number of excellent video games.


Finally, I must say the ending of Hush did leave me on the edge of my seat. I must ask/hope is there going to be a second and perhaps third book?

Hush is a duology! I’m currently writing the second and final book in the series. I don’t want to give away too much this early on, but Shae and her friends are in for an epic, wild ride!

You can get your hands on a copy of Hush now!

feature images via st. martins press