I’m actually at BEA right now, but because technology is fancy, I wrote this before hitting the road and set it to auto-publish. Win!
That said, I spent most of May recovering from TAKEN’s launch, slogging my way through book three’s first draft (there is still much slogging to come), and packing for my upcoming tour. Here’s the reading I managed to get done in May (all of which seemed to feature red covers):
I read Kasie West’s PIVOT POINT earlier this year and thought it was sweet, smart, and charming; so naturally I was excited to get my hands on an ARC of THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US. This is an unrelated, straight-contemporary series, releasing as a paperback original come July. The story follows seventeen-year-old Cameron, who lives with her mother in a tiny apartment above their porcelain doll shop (where she also works). When she crosses paths with Xander Spence, heir to an upscale hotel chain, she knows that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps showing up…And she can’t ignore him completely…
This book reads like Pretty in Pink meets Stephanie Perkins, and it made me forever a fan of West. Cameron and Xander are each achingly real. The financial gap between them is obvious, and yet they manage to relate to each other in a number of ways. They are both expected to take over the family business, and they both think they want more for their futures. Family tension, money, and friendship play equal roles in this novel, and the relationship that builds between the characters gave me warm fuzzies. Simply put, this was adorable. I can’t wait for whatever West writes next!
Nova Ren Suma’s 17 & GONE was such a unique read. After growing interested in a missing person’s case (a seventeen-year-old girl who vanished from a nearby summer camp), Lauren begins having visions of more missing girls. The deeper she digs for clues, the more convoluted the truth becomes. Why are the girls speaking to her? Can she help them? Who is still alive, and…Could Lauren be next?
First and foremost, Nova’s writing is gorgeous. This book goes down like honey, and the tone is both serene and spine-tingling eerie at once. Lauren’s visions are shockingly well realized, and entirely compelling. (While the story unfolds at a steady but rather slow clip, I eagerly kept turning pages.) More than anything, I love an unreliable narrator, and 17 & GONE gives us just that. Lauren is a reliable until she’s not, and suddenly the reader is left wondering what is real, what is a lie, what is supernatural, and what is something else. I can’t say much else without risking spoilers, but I thought the subject matter was handled deftly, and the final reveal and conclusion, powerful.
I can’t tell you how excited I was to get my hands on an ARC of Sarah J. Maas’s CROWN OF MIDNIGHT, sequel to THRONE OF GLASS. I thoroughly enjoyed the beginning of Celaena’s story (ToG and the novellas), but this follow-up blew. me. away! It picks up right where ToG left off: Celaena has won the title of Champion and is now tasked with carrying out the King’s orders. But she is far from loyal to the crown, a secret she hides from even those closest to her in an attempt to keep them safe. But those secrets backfire, changing everything in the course of one horrific night, and leading Celaena to question who she trusts, where her loyalties lie, and what she is willing to fight for.
I can’t say much more without spoiling all the wonderful twists and turns of this novel. But rest assured that it is epic in scope, with wonderfully layered relationships between characters, intense political intrigue, and mind-bending plot twists. Celaena is as bad-ass as ever. Chaol made me swoon like crazy. Nehemia became a favorite for me–her relationship with Celaena is endearing and nuanced. In full disclosure, I am good friends with Sarah, but I’d be fangirling either way, I was that floored. Kirkus gave Crown of Midnight a star, and after reading, I completely see why. (And agree, mind you!) I had chills upon reading the final pages. Absolute CHILLS. I am so excited for you all to read the next chapter in Celaena’s story so that we can fangirl together. (Now I just have to figure out how to survive the wait until book three.)
That’s all for me! I’m now hitting the road for the Young Authors Give Back tour, which will take take me to Philly, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Grand Rapids, and Chicago! The full schedule is here, and I’d love to see you if I’m coming to your town. (Oh, and there’s also still room in some of our FREE writing workshops, so sign up fast!)
But in the meantime, please tell me: What did you read and love in May?