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February's First Class Post & Monthly Recap

First Class Post - because this post is first class!

Books Purchased:

Physical copies:

Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon (1st March 2011)
This sounds incredible! It's dual-narrated by the mermaid, Princess Lenia, and the woman who finds the Prince on the shore, Princess Margrethe. Margrethe is astounded to see a mermaid bring the almost drowned man to shore, but the mermaid has disappeared by the time she gets to him. When Margrethe discovers that the man is a prince, and the son of her father's rival, who her kingdom is at war with, she believes the mermaid brought the prince to her for a reason, and believes a marriage between her and the prince can finally bring about peace. But Lenia longs to be with the prince she saved, and is willing to give up everything to be with him. Aah, how incredible does this sound?! Really looking forward to it, though!

Cut: One Woman's Fight Against FGM in Britain Today by Hibo Wardare (7th April 2016)
Tuesday 6th February was FMG Awareness Day, and was being talked about on Twitter. It's something I know very little about, but it's something I need to learn more about. So on 6th Feb, I was reminded of, and bought, this book, which I'd heard about previously when the author was on a panel with Laura Bates I was meant to attend but couldn't - and in not attending I didn't, and subsequently forgot, to buy. Now I have it, and can educate myself.

Naondel by Maria Turtschaninoff (25th January 2018)
I've bought the paperback of Naondel because my review has been quoted in it! This absolutely never gets old! So happy! See below for a photo of my quote!

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton (6th February 2018)
I loved The Belles so much, I had to buy myself a physical copy - I reviewed an eProof (see below). I bought the US hardback, as I think the cover is better (the UK cover looks pixelated?). IT'S SO PRETTY! I love it!

Last Night I Sang to the Monster by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (3rd April 2012)
As you may know, in May, I'm holding Mental Illness in YA Month. Most of the books I had to read, though, featured white people. After asking for some recs, I got a list of YA novels with characters from other identities, and this book features Zach, who, I believe, is Latino, has depression, and is an alcoholic.

The Art of Feeling by Laura Tims (15th August 2017)
I bought this book for the same reasons as Last Night; this story features Samantha, who has chronic pain and depression after being in a car accident. It also a love interest who can't feel pain. I'm really intrigued!

Misogynation: The True Scale of Sexism by Laura Bates (22nd February 2018)
More feminist non-fic by Laura Bates. Enough said. I will buy anything she writes. She's brilliant, and her books always make me think.

Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith (19th May 2015)
This is a book that was recommended to me for Mental Illness in YA Month, that may feature a protagonist of colour, but it's been a while since they read it. However, it features a protagonist with bipolar, and there don't seem to be too many books featuring bipolar, so I'm looking forward to reading it!


How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake (2nd May 2017)
This was on sale for £1.99, so I snapped it up! It's one I've wanted to read for a while. Grace wants a normal, stable life, where her bed is in one place for more than three months, and doesn't have to scrounge for change to pay for the bills. Emotionally trapped by by her unrealiable mum, she focuses on her best friend, her upcming audition for a prestigious music school, and surviving her mother's latest boyfriend. But then she meets Eva, who has problems of her own, and midnight adventures ensue. When Eva tells Grace she likes girls, their lives open up. Really looking forward to this one! And it's #OwnVoices!

Catching Jordan by Mirander Kenneally (1st December 2011)
This was on sale, and I got it for nothing! I've always seen Kenneally's books around, and they seem to be highly praised, so as this was free, I thought I would give it a go! I'm not a huge fan of sports, and this series is sports focused, but we'll see!

I Never by Laura Hopper (7th September 2017)
Another eBook that was on sale - for £1.85! I've wanted to read this for a while! It was inspired by Judy Blume's Forever, so I'm excited to see where Hopper takes the story!

Books Received for Review:

Books with an * are reading copies I received as a book seller.


Puddin' by Julie Murphy* (8th May 2018)
Aaah, I am so excited for this book! It's a companion novel to Dumplin', which I absolutely loved! Puddin' stars Millie rather than Willowdean, and I really can't wait to read it!

Finished Copies:

Bygone Badass Broads by Mackenzi Lee (27th February)
I am so looking forward to reading this! There have been quite a number of books to come out over the past year or so celebrating women in history, but they all pretty much talk about the same women. But Bygone Badass Broads covers more lesser known women, so I'm excited to learn about some more fantastic women!


Only Child by Rhiannon Navin (8th March 2018)
An adult book, Only Child follows how a family and a community are affected after a school shooting. Told from the perspective of six-year-old Zach (I believe), we see how his father absents himself, his mother fights for justice, and Zach retreats into books and drawings in his secret hideout. But it's Zach who will ultimately show the grown ups the way forward. I'm really intrigued by this. I've only ever read books on school shootings involving teenagers, so it will be interesting - though undoubtedly heartbreaking - to read a story from the perspective of a young child.

The Girl and the Grove by Eric Smith (8th May 2018)
Leila's life is challenging. She's bee bounced around the foster care system, and lives with seasonal affective disorder. But she is passionate about environmental advocacy, so keeps herself busy monitoring the Urban Ecovist message boards and joining the local environment club with her friend. Finally being adopted, Leila hopes her life will improve. But she can't ignore the voices in her head that are getting louder every day. Something is calling out to her from Fairmount Park. I've never read a book with a character who has seasonal affective disorder, so I'm really looking forward to this! Will be reading it for Mental Illness in YA Month.

The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green (3rd May 2018)
This is a high fantasy novel that sounds so good! At the same time, it's by Sally Green, and I'm not really a fan of her Half Bad series, so I'm a little nervous. Hopefully it will be awesome!


Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking (22nd February 2018)
Oooh, this sounds so good! Malin is a Valkyrie, who's job is to return immortals back to the afterlife by slaying them, and the balance of the world rest on a Valkyrie's ability to follow orders. But her world is turned upside down when she discovers her mother spared an immortal who was destined to die. While she's wrestling with the idea her mother may not be who she thought, she meets Asher, who wants her help to kill a rogue immortal who destroyed his family. The balance of the world is at stake, and as Asher and Malin's ex compete for her love, so is her heart. Tgis sounds so exciting! Really looking forward to it!

The Beast's Heart by Leife Shallcross (3rd May 2018)
Aaah, I am SO excited for this book! It's a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but from the Beast's perspective! How awesome! It sounds incredible, and I'm really looking forward to reading it!

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (8th March 2018)
An #OwnVoices novel about Xiomara, a girl who learns to use her poetry, which she has always kept to herself, to speak up about what she believes in. I'm intrigued!


Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman (5th April 2018)
I've wanted to read this book for so long, so I'm so excited to have been accepted to read the eProof in the lead up to the paperback release! It's about Kiko, who is biracial, half-Japanese and half-white American, and has social anxiety, so I'll be reviewing it for Mental Illness in YA Month.

Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne (1st May 2018 - 2018 YA Debut)
This is a sci-fi retelling of Jane Eyre. It sounds like it might be light sci-fi? I'm hoping so, because high sci-fi isn't really my bag. But I'm really intrigued!

How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne (14th June 2018)
This is Holly Bourne's debut adult novel. I love most of her YA novels (there are a few I'm still yet to read), so I thought I would give this one a go!

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw (8th March 2018)
In a town where three sisters were drowned for witchcraft two centuries ago, they return every Summer to take over the bodies of weak-hearted girls, and seek their revenge by luring boys to a death similar to their own. An unsuspecting boy, Bo, arrives, not knowing the danger he's in, mistrust spreads through the town, and people turn against each other. Penny sees what others don't, and must choose - save herself, or save Bo. I want to squeal with excitement over how bloody amazing this book sounds! This has my name written all over it!

Thank you to Harper360, Abrams and Chronicle, and Mantel, Flux, Penguin, Pan Macmillan, Hodder & Stoughton, Electric Monkey, Ink Road, HMH Books for Young Readers, Simon and Schuster Children's Books via NetGalley for the review copies.

Check out mail memes: The Sunday Post on Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Stacking the Shelves on Tynga's Reviews.


On the blog:


  • Mosquitoland by David Arnold - I didn't like this story at all. I couldn't see the point of the story, and there was so much that, in my opinion, that was just wrong. Offensive language, problematic stereotypes of a person with a mental illness, forcing treatement for mental illness on someone who doesn't seem to have one.
  • Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama - I was completely gripped by this book, but once I finished it, I was left wanting more. Fama's storytelling is obviously brilliant, but I felt there could be more to the story.
  • The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton - Oh my god, this book was so good! I absolutely loved it! The writing and descriotions are just so gorgeous! And the story! Oooh, it's just brilliant, with a fantastic, sadistic villian! Loved it!
I know it looks like I haven't read many books this month, but every other read is for Mental Illness in YA Month, so the reviews are being saved for May.

Other Posts:
  • In Light of the Recent Articles on Sexual Harassment in the Children's Book Industry, How We Readers React Now is Important - Self-explanatory; my thoughts after hearing about sexual harassment in the children's book industry, and how I think we readers need to respond.
  • The Cover for Bookshop Girl by Chloe Coles - in which I share the cover for my friend's debut UKYA novel.
  • Blog Tour: A Far Away Magic by Amy Wilson (+ Giveaway) - Amy Wilson stopped by the blog to share her inspiration for A Far Away Magic. It also includes a giveaway to win one of five sets of Amy's books.


What I've Been Reading Online:

On Sexual Harassment in the Library/Children's Book Industry:
  • The State of Sexual Harassment in the Library on Book Riot (Kelly Jensen's piece from October 2017).
  • #TimesUp on Harassing Your Public Librarian on Shondaland (31st Jan).
  • Sexual Harassment in the Children's Book Industry on Anne Ursu's Medium (7th Feb).
  • #metoo #ustoo Change Starts Now: Stand Against Harassment in the YA/Kidlit Community on Gwenda Bond's Blog.
  • Children's Publishing Reckons with Sexual Harassment in it's Ranks on School Library Journal (3rd Jan, but comments regarding Anne Ursu's essay + naming of names started (11th Feb) .
  • Sexual Harassment in the Children's Literature Industry by Rick Riordan (11th Feb).
  • Jay Asher Expelled from Writer Organization Over Harassment on NY Times (12th Feb).
  • "Thirteen Reasons Why" Author Jay Asher Was Removed From a Literary Organization After Sexual Harassment Allegations on Buzzfeed (12th Feb).
  • Sexual Harassment in Children's Publishing Reaches a Crisis Point on Publishers Weekly (13th Feb).
  • Asher, Dropped by Agent, Lawyers Up as SCBWI Revamps Conduct Policy on Publishers Weekly (14th Feb).
  • 'Maze Runner' Author is Dropped by Agent Amid Sexual Misconduct Claims on NY Times (14th Feb).
  • When You Make a Mistake You Have to Own It by Myke Cole (14th Feb).
  • Maze Runner Author Says He'll 'Seek Counselling' Following Misconduct Claims on Entertainment Weekly (15th Feb). 
  • Sexual Harassment Allegations Against 'Maze Runner' Author James Dashner Set Off 'Earthquake' in Utah Writing Community on The Salt Lake Tribune (15th Feb).
  • Children's Book Industry Has Its #MeToo Moment on NY Times (15th Feb).
  • Maze Runner Author James Dashner Dropped by US Publisher Amid Harassment Claims on The Guardian (16th Feb)
  • Maze Runner Author James Dashner Dropped by UK Publishers on The Bookseller (16th Feb).
  • Children's Publishing is Having a #MeToo Reckoning, and Author Anne Ursu's Survey Might Be Responsible on Bustle (16th Feb).
  • Court Stevens on Medium discussing comments left on the SLJ article that related to how Tessa Gratton treated her (19th Feb).
  • Unpacking Anne Ursu's Survey and the Fallout, With Changes Coming to Events | Sexual Harassment in Children's Publishing on School Library Journal (19th Feb).
  • How Will Publishing Deal With Lemony Snicket Amid #MeToo? on Pacific Standard (21st Feb)
  • An Open Letter About Sherman Alexie on American Indians in Children's Literature (25th Feb)
  • Tweet thread from Litsa Dremousis RE Sherman Alexie sexual harassment allegations (25th Feb).

Cover Reveals:

  • This is What it Feels Like by Rebecca Barrow (+ Intl. Giveaway) on Pop! Goes the Reader.
  • The Deepest Roots by Miranda Asebedo (+ US Giveaway) on Pop! Goes the Reader.
  • Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria (+ Intl. Giveaway) on Pop! Goes the Reader.
  • Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan (+ Excerpt) on Bustle.

  • Sadie by Courtney Summers (+ Excerpt) on Bustle.
  • Pride by Ibi Zoboi on Entertainment Weekly.
  • Ruin of Stars by Linsey Miller (+ Us/Canada giveaway) on YA Books Central. 
  • On the Come Up by Angie Thomas on Entertainment Weekly.

  • Damsel by Elana K. Arnold on Barnes and Noble Teen Blog.
  • Mirage by Somaiya Daud on Entertainment Weekly.
  • For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig (+ Excerpt) on Bustle.
  • Bookshop Girl by Chloe Coles tweeted by Chloe Coles.
  • The Devil's Thief by Lisa Maxwell on Hypable.

  • The Traitor's Game by Jennifer A. Nielsen on I Read YA.
  • The Width of the World by David Baldacci on I Read YA.
  • It's Not Me, It's You by Stephanie Kate Strohm on I Read YA.
  • Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter on I Read YA.
  • Don't Cosplay With My Heart by Cecil Castellucci on I Read YA.
  • Vanilla by Billy Merrell on I Read YA.
  • The Serpent's Secret by Sayantani Dasgupta on Scholastic's Website.
  • Dread Nation by Justina Ireland on HarperCollins US.
  • All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater on I Read YA.
  • Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaluddin on HarperCollins Canada's Facebook.

Book Trailers:
  • Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young on Happy Ever After - USA Today.
  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi on Vulture.

  • The Branford Boase Award 2018 Long List.
  • 21 YA Books for Black History Month on Epic Reads.
  • Picture Books to Celebrate LGBT History Month on Scottish Book Trust. 
  • YA Book Recs Based on the 2018 Oscar Best Picture Nominees on I Read YA.
  • Four New Uglies Novels on Scott Westerfeld's Blog.
  • 10 Books to Help Young Readers Better Understand and Fight Injustice on Teen Vogue.
  • The Waterstone Children's Book Prize Short Lists.
  • In Y.A., Where Has All the Good Sex Gone? on The New York Times. (I should add, this post has caused outrage in many. See Twitter threads from Dahlia Adler, Nicole Brinkley, and Laura Ruby, for example.)
  • Beyond the Bestsellers: What to Read After The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas on Book Riot.
  • The Best YA Novels with Jewish Protagonists on Jewish Book Council. 
  • G-d Gave Us the Rainbow: A Valentine's Day Reading List (gay Jewish books) on Jewish Book Council.
  • The Official List of Harper's Fall 2018 YA Cover Reveals on Epic Reads.
  • Don't Miss These Fantastic YA Books by Black Authors that Release This Year on Buzzfeed.
  • What the Kickass Heroines of YA Novels Can Teach You About Resisting the Status Quo & Fighting Back on Bustle. 
  • Black History Month Booklist: 8 LGBTQIAP+ Books by Black Authors on YA Pride.
  • LGBTQ+ and Disabled Characters Deserve to Single in Literature, Too on Bustle.
  • 12 YA Books to Try If You Love Black Panther on Epic Reads.
  • Tess of the Road Introduces a New Heroine From the World of Seraphina on Barnes and Noble Teen Blog.
  • 16 New and Upcoming Retellings of Classic Plays, Novels, and Tales on Barnes and Noble Teen Blog.
  • The 20 Best YA Books of 2018 on Seventeen.
  • 10 New and Upcoming College-Set YA Novels on Barnes and Noble Teen Blog.

  • Caleb Roehrig and Richard Lawson Discuss Gay YA and Writing What You Know on BN Teen Blog.
  • Authors Bring Untold Stories of Black America to the Forefront on NBC News.
  • Strong Female Characters #10: We Discuss Beauty in Genre with The Belles' Dhonielle Clayton on SyFy.
  • Laurie Halse Anderson - Almost 20 Years After "Speak," the Author is "So Fucking Angry" the Reckoning Took This Long on BuzzFeed.
  • V. E. Schwab Announces New Shades of Magic Prequel Comic Series on Entertainment Weekly.
  • Coverflip: Author Maureen Johnson Turns Tables on Gendered Book Covers on The Guardian.
  • Q&A with Dhonielle Clayton on Goodreads.
  • Zoraida Córdova Writes Fantasy She Can See Herself In on Lit Reactor.
  • Tomi Adeyemi's Diverse Must-Reads to Rock Your World on Goodreads. 
  • Why Children of Blood and Bone Author Tomi Adeyemi Embraces Disappointments on Ravishly.
  • Tahereh Mafi on Her Next Book, 'A Very Large Expanse of Sea,' About a Muslim American Teen After 9/11 on LA Times.

Publishing Industry:
  • Sarah Shaffi: Developing Opportunities for BAME Writers on Scottish Book Trust.

Book-to-Screen Adaptations:
  • First-Look Photos of Amandla Stenbeer and Russell Hornsby in 'The Hate U Give' on Shadow and Act.
  • YouTube Star Kian Lawley Fired From Fox's "The Hate U Give" After Racist Video Resurfaces on Variety. 
  • 'This is Where it Ends,' Bestselling YA Novel, Optioned by Gotham Group for Lysa Heslov on Deadline.
  • Yara Shahidi in Talks to Star in Film Adaptation of 'The Sun is Also a Star,' Scripted by 'Girls Trip' Writer Tracy Y. Oliver on Shadow and Act.

  • It's a Musical, Batman on Rec It Rachel - Matching YA books to your favourite musicals.

For Readers:
  • 8 Ways to Arrange an Aesthetically Pleasing Bookshelf on Epic Reads.
  • Shop Selling Books Written By Women Only Is Coming to East London Next Month on The Metro.

  • 'Star Wars' Infamous Diversity Problem is Summed Up in this One Cutting Tweet on Bustle.

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This post first appeared on Once Upon A Bookcase, please read the originial post: here

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February's First Class Post & Monthly Recap


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