Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2022) Featured Review of We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon

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We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon; Narrated by Carly Robbins
Simon and Schuster Audio
Release date: June 8, 2021
ISBN: 9781797123639

Wedding harpist Quinn has just graduated high school and her life has been laid out for her: attend business school nearby while continuing to help out with her parents’ wedding planning business, just as her older sister did. But Quinn is burnt out on love, especially after last summer when she confessed her feelings for wedding caterer Tarek and he vanished off to college without a reply. This summer he’s back and they keep getting thrown together to solve wedding emergencies, all while Quinn navigates telling her parents she doesn’t want to be a wedding planner and learning to build harps. 

Continue reading Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2022) Featured Review of We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2022) Featured Review of One Two Three by Laurie Frankel

One Two Three cover art

One Two Three by Laurie Frankel; narrated by Emma Galvin, Jesse Vilinsky, and Rebecca Soler
Publisher: Macmillan Audio Production from St. Martin’s Press
Release date: June 8, 2021
ISBN: 9781250790965

Mab, Monday, and Mirabelle have grown up in Bourne, a bucolic little place that has an above average percentage of pets and humans who have been afflicted with various cancers, congenital birth defects, and early death. Wheelchair accessibility is common. All of this can be traced back to the silty effluence caused by Belsum Chemical that presaged the water turning a violent shade of green. Nora Mitchell, the mother of the triplets, KNOWS that Belsum is responsible and has single-handedly rallied the town in a class action lawsuit that will never bring back her dead husband or make her two neuro-divergent daughters whole. Then, Duke Templeton, son of Belsum Chemical’s owner, comes to town with his family reopening old wounds and heightening town tension with news that the Belsum plant is reopening. In a race against the clock, Mab, Monday, and Mirabelle must try to find evidence that Belsum wants to keep hidden–evidence that could keep the plant shut down forever. 

Continue reading Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2022) Featured Review of One Two Three by Laurie Frankel

Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2022) Featured Review of Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant

Happily Ever Afters Audiobook by Elise Bryant Cover Art

Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant; Narrated by Jordan Cobb
Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: January 5, 2021
ISBN: 9780063058132

Tessa Johnson is excited to have been accepted into the creative writing program at a prestigious art school, but nervous at the same time: she’s never shared her writing with anyone but her best friend, Caroline.  When she gets to her first workshop, her words are gone and she’s terrified she’ll never write again and the whole school will find out she’s a fraud.  Caroline is convinced that the only solution is for Tessa to star in her own personal love story and the perfect candidate for her happily-ever-after is the most popular kid in school and her crush, Nico.  Or is he?

Continue reading Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2022) Featured Review of Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant

Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2022) Featured Review of Love in English by Maria E. Andreu

Love in English Audiobook by Maria E. Andreu - 9780063058118 | Rakuten Kobo  United States

Love in English by Maria E. Andreu; narrated by Frankie Corzo
Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: February 1, 2021
ISBN: 978-0063058118

Sixteen year-old Ana and her mom arrive in New Jersey from Argentina to reunite with Ana’s father, who has been in the United States for three years. Ana starts her junior year in a new country, in a new school, speaking a new language, and has to navigate her new surroundings. Ana makes a couple friends but grounds herself by writing poetry, which she uses to help her understand American conventions at school as well as shifting relationships at home. 

Continue reading Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2022) Featured Review of Love in English by Maria E. Andreu

Booklist: Books for Fans of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Jenny Han’s heroine Lara Jean Song endeared herself to readers in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P. S. I Still Love You. In 2017 readers will get to read the highly anticipated last chapter in Lara Jean’s story Always and Forever, Lara Jean. This booklist will help fill the Lara Jean shaped hole in your heart during the wait until its April 2017 release.

Lara Jean Read-a-likes collage with cover art for To All the Boys I've Loved Before, PS I Still Love You, Always and Forever Lara Jean

(And, if you’re anything like me and consider yourself Lara Jean’s number one fan, you might want to check out these fan buttons I made to declare your allegiance online.)

If You Want a Book With Sensational Sisters:

larajeansisters

  1. The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June by Robin Benway: Sisters April, May, and June rediscover their childhood powers after their parents’ divorce. April sees the future, May disappears, and June reads minds. The powers help them cope with a tumultuous year but could they also have a bigger purpose?
  2. The Year My Sister Got Lucky by Aimee Friedman: When Katie’s family moves from New York City to rural Fir Lake, she expects to face all of the changes with her older sister, Michaela. But the harder Katie clings to her memories of the city, the more Michaela adapts to life in Fir Lake, leaving Katie to wonder what happens when your best friend starts to look like someone you don’t know.
  3. Making Pretty by Corey Ann Haydu: Missing her sister as she immerses herself in college life, Montana dives head first into a friendship with Karissa, an intoxicating girl from her acting class. Throwing herself into new relationships and trying to remake herself, Montana isn’t sure if she is losing herself or finding herself for the first time.
  4. The Key to the Golden Firebird by Maureen Johnson: Sisters Brooks, May, and Palmer don’t know how to cope with their father’s sudden death. Brooks starts drinking, Palmer focuses on softball and middle sister May is left to hold their family together. As the girls drift apart they each gravitate to their father’s 1967 Pontiac Firebird. The Golden Firebird might be a horrible reminder of everything they have lost, but it might also be the key to finally moving on.
  5. Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan: Josie can always translate the things around her into her own native language of Josie. But living a life in translation is exhausting–especially with her sister marrying an insufferable man. Love is found in many languages. With so many things around her changing, Josie is about to get a crash course in the true meaning of the word. 

Continue reading Booklist: Books for Fans of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

It’s Your (Monthly) Monday Poll: May

Monday Poll @ YALSA's The HubHappy first Monday of May, Hub readers!

Last month, we asked which series finale or next installment you’re most looking forward to this spring, and Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven King was the favorite by a landslide (48% of the vote!). Tied for second were The Crown, Kiera Cass’ final book in the Selection series, and The Last Star, the final book of Rick Yancey’s 5th Wave trilogy, with 16% percent each. A Court of Mist and Fury was a close third, with 14%, and The Rose and the Dagger had 8% of the vote.

Today we’re going to revisit a poll theme from several years ago: your favorite YA siblings, updated with some more recently-published characters. Did we leave out your favorite siblings? Tell us in the comments! Continue reading It’s Your (Monthly) Monday Poll: May

Hub Bloggers Love: Recent Young Adult Romances

Valentine’s Day might be over but that doesn’t mean some readers aren’t still in the mood to fall in love with a good love story!  If you’re looking for some recent titles to spice up a suddenly sparse book display or you’re in need of some new recommendations for your eager romantic readers, the Hub bloggers are here for you!HubLoveRomance

This week we’ve gathered together to showcase just a few of our recent favorite young adult romances.  Some of our picks are well-known titles while others might have slipped under the radar.  Either way, we hope you’ll find something new and exciting to read or share.  Want even more romantic reading inspiration? Check out Dawn Abron’s latest Diversify YA Life post highlighting interracial couples in young adult fiction or search our tags for past romance book lists.

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (2016 Morris Award Winner; 2016 Best Fiction for Young Adults)

After several months anonymously corresponding with a classmate he knows only as Blue, Simon Spier is sure of several facts: he is definitely gay, he is falling in love with Blue, and he does not want to share either of these realities with anyone else–at least, not yet.  But then Simon’s emails fall into the wrong hands and suddenly, his–and Blue’s–secrets are in serious danger of being revealed.  Can Simon find a way to come out on his own terms, without causing even more drama amidst his increasingly complicated group of friends, becoming the center of unwanted attention at school, or–worst of all–losing his chances with Blue, the perfect boy he’s never met? -Kelly D.

What We Left Behind by Robin Talley

In high school, Gretchen and Toni were that couple.  They prided themselves on the fact that they never fought and their friends all joked that they were already practically married.  Gretchen and Toni had the kind of love everyone else envied.  Then Gretchen decides that she’s not coming to Boston with Toni in the fall–she’s going to try out NYU for at least a semester instead, abandoning the plan the two have carefully constructed.  Toni is angry and Gretchen is guilty but still they’re convinced that they’re going to make it.  But while Toni, who’s quietly identified as genderqueer for about a year, finds a new sense of belonging with a group of older transgender students, Gretchen struggles to redefine herself as someone other than Toni’s girlfriend.  Is love enough or is the distance between more than mere geography?  – Kelly D.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Sandwiched between the dependable Margot and mischievous Kitty, Lara Jean feels secure as the shy and quirky middle Song sister. She’s content being the one who stays home to scrapbook or bake on Friday night and she finds expression for her unrequited crushes in writing letters that she hides in a hatbox under her bed. But then Margot is heading off to Scotland for college and within weeks, disaster strikes when Lara Jean’s secret letters are mistakenly mailed out.   Now all her past crushes are coming back to haunt her as her first kiss, her camp crush, and the boy next door ( also Margot’s ex-boyfriend) each confront her about the letters.  And suddenly Lara Jean’s dependable and tidy life is spinning out of control.  -Kelly D. Continue reading Hub Bloggers Love: Recent Young Adult Romances

Book Mania Descends on D.C.: The 15th Annual National Book Festival

NBF15-Poster-5.8The sun was high in the sky and the air was remarkably low in humidity as thousands of people begins to fill the downtown streets and converge on the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.  While many might have left the city for the Labor Day long weekend, others have traveled into the nation’s capital to spend Saturday in an air-conditioned and crowded convention center talking about books.  And as I have for the past five years, I joined the throng and headed down to the Library of Congress‘s 15th Annual National Book Festival.

NatBkFest15crowd1
Note both the snazzy teal tote bag and the growing line in front of the information booth, AKA swag central.

After collecting my trusty guide pamphlet and the all important, traditional Book Festival swag—a large brightly colored tote and at least two copies of the highly collectible poster—I stopped by the Starbucks in the main foyer to arm myself with additional caffeine before trekking back to the Children’s and Teen’s pavilions.

Happily, the Library of Congress documents the multitude of wonderful speakers at this event and makes the recordings available on their website as webcasts.  According, I will refrain from verbatim recaps.  Instead, I will try to offer a sampling of favorite interesting moments from the presentations I attended.

  • Rachel Swaby, author of Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science – and the World,  shared that one of her largest take-aways from the project was everyone (especially women) must find the space that works for them to pursue their ambitions and dreams–and if such a space does not exist, make it!

Continue reading Book Mania Descends on D.C.: The 15th Annual National Book Festival

Spotlight on: Teens’ Top Ten Nominees – Part 2

TeensTopTen_winner_WMToday’s post is the second installment in our 4-part series highlighting each of the 24 titles (and their authors) nominated for the Teens Top Ten list. You can check out the first post here, and a handy pdf list of all the nominees, annotated for reader’s advisory, is here. To recap, the Teens’ Top Ten list is determined entirely by teens; first the nominees are chosen by teen book groups, and then voting is opened up online to teens everywhere.

Teen readers can vote starting August 15th through Teen Read Week (October 18-24, 2015), with winners announced the following.

So here we go; your next 6 (alphabetically by author’s last name) Teens’ Top Ten nominees, chosen by real, live teenagers.

Love Letters to the DeadLove Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira. A debut contemporary realistic novel about coming to terms with grief, told in a series of letters to dead celebrities, starting with Kurt Cobain. This snagged a glowing review from The Perks of Being a Wallflower‘s elusive Stephen Chbosky, and the audiobook production was a 2015 Top Ten Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults, if you prefer to listen your way through the nominees. Dellaira has an author website, is on Facebook and Twitter, and there’s buzz that the production team behind the TwilightThe Fault in Our StarsPaper Towns, and Maze Runner movies is in talks to do a movie adaptation, so expect this title to stay in the spotlight for awhile.

into_the_dark_shadow_princeInto the Dark: The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain. The first in a new series based on the Greek myth of Persephone and Hades from the author of the paranormal Dark Divine series (the first book in that series, Dark Divine, was a 2011 Popular Paperback for Young Adults pick). The second book in the Into the Dark series is already out, and the third is slated for fall 2016. Despain has a website, and a blog, and is on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. Continue reading Spotlight on: Teens’ Top Ten Nominees – Part 2

YA Books to Make You Laugh Out Loud

CC photo by Flickr User Joao Paulo de Vasconcelos
CC photo by Flickr User Joao Paulo de Vasconcelos

One of the most frequent readers’ advisory questions I get is  also one of the most complicated. Often, a reader asks for a “funny” book. But what does that mean?

Humor is subjective. Some readers might be looking for a book with slapstick-y humor, others might appreciate darker humor, like satire. Some readers don’t mind a book with bits of humor but more dramatic themes overall, others just want an easy, breezy comedy.

Bottom line: matching books with readers looking for a funny book can be tricky.

Since April is National Humor Month, it seemed like a good time to break down the subcategories of humor and offer suggestions for readers looking for funny books.

Satire

Satire is the use of humorous exaggeration to expose and criticize, particularly in the context of politics or culture.

beauty queensBeauty Queens by Libba Bray (2012 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2012 Amelia Bloomer List, 2012 Rainbow List, 2014 Popular Paperbacks) is about a group of beauty pageant contestants who crash land on an island: hilarity ensues. But while a less adept writer might have just mocked the beauty-obsessed girls, but instead, she creates complicated characters who for various reasons—money, love, approval—have all bought into the rigid standards beauty pageant contestants are expected to embody, and in the process, critiques consumerism , reality TV, and of course, pageants.

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde (2013 Best Fiction for Young Adults) is the story of Jennifer Strange, a wizard for hire who becomes the last dragonslayer. Like Bray, Fforde critiques the corporate world and consumer culture in this fantasy series sure to put a smirk on reader’s faces.

Teen readers who love satire should also check out the classics from authors like George Orwell and Kurt Vonnegut.  Continue reading YA Books to Make You Laugh Out Loud