Midnight Beauties (ARC) by Megan Shepherd

The witches, beasties, goblins, and Royals return in this spellbinding conclusion to New York Times best-selling author Megan Shepherd’s Grim Lovelies duology, released in North America on August 13th, 2019. Wicked and delightful, this spellbinding sequel and conclusion to Grim Lovelies is perfect for fans of The Cruel Prince and The Hazel Wood.

DISCLAIMER: Thank-you to Raincoast Books for providing me with an Advance Readers’ Edition of Midnight Beauties by Megan Shepherd, in exchange for an honest review. 

Ever since she discovered her affinity for magic, seventeen-year-old Anouk has been desperate to become a witch. It’s the only way to save her friends who, like Anouk, are beasties: animals enchanted into humans. But unlike Anouk, the other beasties didn’t make it out of the battle at Montélimar in one piece. With her friends now trapped in their animal forms, Anouk is forced into a sinister deal involving a political marriage with her sworn enemy, a wicked plot to overthrow London’s fiercest coven of witches, and a deadly trial of fire to become a witch. The price for power has always been steep in the world of the Haute. Now, it will cost Anouk everything.

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Bright Star (ARC) by Erin Swan

Released on August 13, 2019, Bright Star is Erin Swan’s YA fantasy debut, filled to the brim with adventurous tales of rebellion, romance, and finding one’s voice in the heart of a storm.

DISCLAIMER: Thank-you to Raincoast Books for providing me with an Advance Readers’ Edition of Bright Star by Erin Swan, in exchange for an honest review. 

Paerolia has been at peace for two centuries, and all is well in the land-or so it seems. Beneath the surface, a tyrant is rising to power. A traumatic experience in Andra’s childhood has left her mute and subdued, a servant in the Chief Judge’s manor. But when an assassination team, led by the secretive and alluring Kael, infiltrates the manor and makes a quick escape, she takes her chance and flees with them. Andra is thrust into the ranks of a secret rebellion – a group of outcasts and believers seeking to overthrow the Chief Judge and replace the corrupt government with new members, ones who will restore and preserve the land they love. Now, the girl who was once an outcast must somehow become the leader Paerolia needs. But she is stronger than she believes – and with the help of a fiercely loyal dragon, she may just be the one to lead them all to victory.

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The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen

Released in North America on July 30th, 2019, The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen promised to be a powerful debut novel, filled to the brim with vengeance, survival, and sacrifice – perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Kendare Blake.

A future chieftain – Fie abides by one rule: look after your own. Her Crow caste of undertakers and mercy-killers takes more abuse than coin, but when they’re called to collect royal dead, she’s hoping they’ll find the payout of a lifetime. A fugitive prince – When Crown Prince Jasimir turns out to have faked his death, Fie’s ready to cut her losses – and perhaps his throat. But he offers a wager that she can’t refuse: protect him from a ruthless queen, and he’ll protect the Crows when he reigns. A too-cunning bodyguard – Hawk warrior Tavin has always put Jas’s life before his, magically assuming the prince’s appearance and shadowing his every step. But what happens when Tavin begins to want something to call his own? 

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Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

If you’ve been itching to get your hands on Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim, now is the perfect time! Released on July 9th, 2019, Spin the Dawn is not only the Indigo Teen Staff Pick of the Month for August, but it is also a stunning read!

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review. 

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job. Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise. And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

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The Good Luck Girls (ARC) by Charlotte Nicole Davis

Described as “Westworld meets The Handmaids TaleThe Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis certainly has a lot to live up to when it is released on October 1, 2019. And with a cast of diverse characters, a daring escape, and plenty of social commentary to boot, it certainly seems like The Good Luck Girls has it all.

DISCLAIMER: Thank-you to Raincoast Books for providing me with an Advance Readers’ Edition of The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis, in exchange for an honest review. 

The country of Arketta calls them Good Luck Girls – but they know their luck is anything but. Sold to a “welcome house” as children and branded with cursed markings. Trapped in a life they would never have chosen. When Clementine accidentally murders a man, the girls risk a dangerous escape and harrowing journey to find freedom, justice, and revenge in a country that wants them to have none of those things. Pursued by Arketta’s most vicious and powerful forces, both human and inhuman, their only hope lies in a bedtime story passed from one Good Luck Girl to another, a story that only the youngest or most desperate would ever believe. It’s going to take more than luck for them all to survive.

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The Grace Year (ARC) by Kim Liggett

Set to release on October 8th, 2019, The Grace Year by Kim Liggett is a deeply suspenseful book that brilliantly explores the high cost of a misogynistic world that denies women power and autonomy. Through sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they must make in-between.

DISCLAIMER: Thank-you to Raincoast Books for providing me with an Advance Readers’ Edition of The Grace Year by Kim Liggett, in exchange for an honest review. 

No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden. Girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive. Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life-a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for their chance to grab one of the girls in order to make their fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other. 

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Kingsbane (ARC) by Claire Legrand

Set to release on May 21, 2019, Kingsbane by Claire Legrand is the second of a planned three books in the Empirium Trilogy. Kingsbane continues the story of two strong, powerful young women who find themselves drawn into an age-old magical prophecy neither of them can escape – even hundreds of years apart.

DISCLAIMER: I received an Advance Review Copy of this book from Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review.

Rielle Dardenne has been anointed Sun Queen, but her trials are far from over. The Gate keeping the angels at bay is falling. To repair it, Rielle must collect the seven hidden castings of the saints. Meanwhile, to help her prince and love Audric protect Celdaria, Rielle must spy on the angel Corien—but his promises of freedom and power may prove too tempting to resist. Centuries later, Eliana Ferracora grapples with her new reality: She is the Sun Queen, humanity’s long-awaited savior. But fear of corruption—fear of becoming another Rielle—keeps Eliana’s power dangerous and unpredictable. Hunted by all, racing against time to save her dying friend Navi, Eliana must decide how to wear a crown she never wanted—by embracing her mother’s power, or rejecting it forever.

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Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He was released in North America on April 9, 2019, and promised to be full of twists and treachery. Descendant of the Crane by Joan He is also the Teen Staff Pick of the Month for Indigo Books and Music Inc., so I was certainly quite excited to pick it up – I’ve never been disappointed by an Indigo SPOTM before!

Thank-you to Indigo Book and Music Inc. for providing me with a finished copy of Descendant of the Crane by Joan He in exchange for an honest review. 

Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own. Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she enlists the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago. Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high? In this shimmering Chinese-inspired fantasy, debut author Joan He introduces a determined and vulnerable young heroine struggling to do right in a world brimming with deception.

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Opposite of Always (ARC) by Justin A Reynolds

Released on March 5, 2019, Opposite of Always by Justin A Reynolds promised to be a hilarious and heartfelt novel about the choices we make, the people we choose, and the moments that make a life worth reliving.

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack. But then Kate dies. And their story should end there. Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind. Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do to save the people he loves.

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