Slaying YA

As we know, Buffy’s premiere had its 20th reunion this year (Ah!). Now, admittedly, I wasn’t Buffy’s target audience at its premiere. I did hit that age as it was coming onto DVD, so I got to binge watch it like the Netflix power user I am not. I would hole myself away for entire weekends powering through this show. And I know my experience mirrors the experience of many others. So, let’s explore some YA that can give us some of the same feels as the Scooby Gang. 

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“Welcome to the Hellmouth” – Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

This was compared to Buffy by bloggers, including myself, straight out of the gate. It has a butt-kicking heroine against a supernatural element. It is quippy. While Buffy was created to be the cheerleader that fights back in the dark alley, she was never as popular as Harper outside of back-story. Harper’s like the perfect blend of Buffy and Cordelia. And it is so FUN to see a popular, opinionated girl celebrated instead of vilified. This is like those episodes between the highest of “big bad” angst. It’s Buffy at its most joyous.

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“Witch”- The Walls Around Us by Nova Rae Suma

Amy’s mom will do anything to recapture her glory days. Suma’s dancers are willing to do anything for their dream. We get a peak into this high stakes world, whether it’s cheerleading or dancing. Suma takes something known and twists it in that wonderful way Buffy always accomplished. And, like in Buffy, not everything is how it may seem. Because what’s the fun in that?

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“I, Robot….You, Jane”- Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

What about the perils of the early internet as represented by a cat fishing demon? While, sadly, this novel does not have Willow’s early Apple laptop in all it’s glory, it does have that same early internet feel, with a super smart hacker to boot. And then the jinn get involved just to make everything even MORE complicated. Even better? It’s written by G. Willow Wilson (of Ms. Marvel fame)!

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“Reptile Boy”- All the Rage by Courtney Summers

It seemed like such a clever, veiled metaphor when I was 13. Now, I am like “yup, that’s a dick demon.” Still, “Reptile Boy” explored date rape in a very real way. All the Rage gets at the same ideas. How can the golden boy be a rapist? All the Rage doesn’t necessarily have any of the quippiness that defines Buffy and its monsters. The tone of the book fits more with Season Six’s Spike incident. But the social element of the fraternity and the teen-ness of the early seasons just fit “Reptile Boy”.  Regardless, you should read this book.

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“I Only Have Eyes for You”- Avalon High by Meg Cabot

Buffy and Angelus are forced to reenact a tragic love story in an attempt to rewrite the ending. The crew of Avalon High are doing the same thing, except their tragic love story is that of King Arthur and Guinevere. This was my favorite Meg Cabot book as a teen. Yes, it beat out Mia Thermopolis. And who didn’t feel at least a little spiritually connected to Mia Thermopolis? While this may be a more angsty Buffy episode, Cabot channels a lot of the same fast-paced humor in her writing that typifies Buffy.

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“The Zeppo”- The Rest of Us Just Live Here By Patrick Ness

This book made me think of the “The Zeppo” from the blurb alone. It inspired this whole mental exercise. Like “The Zeppo”, The Rest of Us Just Live here follows the “normals” (even if they’re not always totally normal) as the Chosen Ones save the day on the periphery. The zeppos of the world save the day in their way too, or at least save themselves. It is lighthearted and fun while tackling real issues. This captures the fun spirit of Buffy for a generation drowning in Chosen Ones.

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“The Freshman”- We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

Buffy clearly feels lost in the Freshman. She feels displaced and uncomfortable in new surroundings. She doesn’t even have a familiar library to research in; you know, having blown apart the school and all. Marin in We Are Okay is going through her own trauma, having lost her support system. LaCour taps a little more into the heartbreak than the absurdity that Buffy channels. But they both explore that lost feeling of entering a completely new phase of life. This is a little book that will punch you in the stomach in the best way, and prepare you to enter a bigger world.

 

Litsy

I know I know, I have been bad about posting the last month. I apologize. You know where I haven’t been as bad about posting? Litsy. 

If you haven’t seen Litsy yet, it’s kind of a weird cool mix between Instagram and Goodreads. Different types of conversations happening, and it definitely doesn’t negate Goodreads. But you should check it out. And when you check it out, you should follow me to stay up to date on my reads even when I’m bad at posting here. And then I can keep up on what you’re reading too! And we can talk about it!

BEA Day 1

I’ve been wanting to go to BEA for years. BEA is in Chicago this year. I live in Chicago. This was the year! 

I am attending BEA as a bookseller (’cause hey, I’m that too!). I know there was a blogger conference as well, but I opted to sleep in this morning after a six day stretch at work. I know, I’m the worst. 

I must say, I was a little overwhelmed today. I had a ball don’t get me wrong! But I didn’t bring a buddy. I stood around awkwardly keeping a wall up for an hour before the exhibition hall opened. Something I am well qualified for, but still. So if you’re at BEA too let me know! I’d love to chat books in person! I have at least a couple of people I know also attending the conference, and yet, even with similar reading tastes we did not cross paths. 

Still, once I got in the conference itself I got in a little more of a groove. I’ve already refined tomorrow’s plan with everything I learned today–like when certain galleys drop. I know many industry people/people who have been to BEA before are saying it’s very pared down because it’s costing publishers more to get stuff here, but there is still so much going on! 


Above is a sneak peak at some of the goodies I walked away with today. I know the right stack is super dark. But a good mix of middle grade, YA, and adult. I can’t wait to talk about all of these books with you guys! But first I guess I need to read them. 

Also Shannon Hale complimented me on my lipstick. And even if she was just being a gem of a human being that is good at small talk, it really boosted my confidence. Thanks Shannon! 

April Round-Up

  • What is Not Yours is Not Yours by Helen Oyemi
  • The Lady of Misrule by Suzannah Dunn
  • Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina
  • The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski
  • Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt
  • Step Aside, Pops: A Hark! A Vagrant Collection by Kate Beaton
  • Lady Renegades by Rachel Hawkins
  • The Grownup by Gillian Flynn
  • The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
  • Barbara the Slut and Other People by Lauren Holmes
  • Ms. Marvel Volume 4: Last Days by Willow G. Wilson
  • Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
  • Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke
  • The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
  • The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  • The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
  • Literary Starbucks: Freshly Brewed Bookish Humor, No-Whip, Half-Caf by Nora Anderson Katz, Wilson Isaac Josephson, Jill Madeline Poskanzer, Harry Bliss
  • The Immortals by Jordanna Max Brodsky

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(hmm…must have been a blue month)

Much Much Belated March Round-Up

Sorry for the delay. Switched positions at work, been a little busier. Going to try to get back in the swing of things now. Without even more delay, here’s my March round-up.

Seven Black Diamonds by Melissa Marr
Not if I See You First by Eric Windstorm
El Deafo by Cece Bell
These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker
Feverborn by Karen Marie Moning
We are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson
Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat
Prince’s Gambit by C.S. Pacat
King’s Rising by C.S. Pacat
Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston
For Teenage Girls with Wild Ambitions and Trembling Hearts by Clementine von Radics
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Mouthful of Forevers by Clementine von Radics
Champion by Marie Lu
Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh
Night Study by Maria V. Snyder
A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

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February Round-Up

First of all, sorry for the lack of posts the last week or two. Things got a little crazy with work and life. I hope to be back in the swing of things soon.

But, here is a round-up of all I read in February. Reviews for things read later in the month should be coming, but let me know if there’s anything you really want to hear about!

American Housewife by Helen Ellis
The Girl from Everywhere
 by Heidi Heilig
All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
The Imposter Queen by Sarah Fine
The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redline
Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins
Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix
Remembrance by Meg Cabot
Maurice by E.M. Forester
The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman
The Heir and the Spare by Emily Albright
Kingdom of Ashes by Rhiannon Thomas
The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore
The Siren by Kiera Cass
Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard
A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor
Sudden Death by Álvaro Enrique

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January Round-Up

January has been a good reading kickoff for the year. This post I’m going to list what I’ve read this month, as well as highlight my favorites. If you see something on this list I haven’t reviewed, it is highly possible it is an ARC with a review coming closer to publication (which should be indicated).

Here we go!

January Reads

January Favorites

What have you read this month? What have been some of your favorite reads? Is there anything from this list you’re looking forward to?