A Song Below Water (ARC) by Bethany C. Morrow

Set to release in North America on June 2, 2020, A Song Below Water is Bethany C. Morrow’s newest YA Fantasy novel. A Song Below Water promises to be a story for today’s young readers – a captivating modern fantasy about black mermaids, friendship, and self-discovery set against the challenges of today’s racism and sexism.

DISCLAIMER: Thank-you to Raincoast Books for providing me with an Advance Readers’ Edition of A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow, in exchange for an honest review.

Tavia is already at odds with the world, forced to keep her siren identity under wraps in a society that wants to keep her kind under lock and key. Never mind she’s also stuck in Portland, Oregon, a city with only a handful of black folk and even fewer of those with magical powers. At least she has her bestie Effie by her side as they tackle high school drama, family secrets, and unrequited crushes. But everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation; the girls’ favorite Internet fashion icon reveals she’s also a siren, and the news rips through their community. Tensions escalate when Effie starts being haunted by demons from her past, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice during a police stop. No secret seems safe anymore—soon Portland won’t be either.

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The Shadows Between Us (ARC) by Tricia Levenseller

Tricia Levenseller, author of Daughter of the Pirate King, is back with an epic YA tale of ambition and love in The Shadows Between Us, set to be released in North America on February 25, 2020.

DISCLAIMER: Thank-you to Raincoast Books for providing me with an Advance Readers’ Edition of The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller, in exchange for an honest review.

Alessandra is tired of being overlooked, but she has a plan to gain power: woo the Shadow King, marry him, kill him and take his kingdom for herself. No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King’s power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves, and she’s going to do everything within her power to get it. But Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. As attempts on his life are made, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen-all while struggling not to lose her heart. After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?

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There Will Come A Darkness (ARC) by Katy Rose Pool

There Will Come A Darkness is Katy Rose Pool’s debut novel, which is set to release in North America on September 3rd, 2019. There Will Come A Darkness promises to be showstopping debut YA fantasy perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows meets Kristin Cashore’s Graceling. 

DISCLAIMER: Thank-you to Raincoast Books for providing me with an Advance Readers’ Edition of The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young, in exchange for an honest review.

The Age of Darkness approaches. Five lives stand in its way. Who will stop it . . . or unleash it? For generations, the Seven Prophets guided humanity. Using their visions of the future, they ended wars and united nations-until the day, one hundred years ago, when the Prophets disappeared. All they left behind was one final, secret prophecy, foretelling an Age of Darkness and the birth of a new Prophet who could be the world’s salvation . . . or the cause of its destruction. With chaos on the horizon, five souls are set on a collision course: A prince exiled from his kingdom. A ruthless killer known as the Pale Hand. A once-faithful leader torn between his duty and his heart.  A reckless gambler with the power to find anything or anyone. And a dying girl on the verge of giving up. One of them-or all of them-could break the world. Will they be savior or destroyer? 

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The Girl the Sea Gave Back (ARC) by Adrienne Young

Set to release on September 3rd, 2019, The Girl the Sea Gave Back is Adrienne Young’s second novel, following in the footsteps of Sky in the DeepThe Girl the Sea Gave Back promises to be a moving coming-of-age tale, perfect for those who appreciate the wild and the wildlings, strong female protagonists, and cinematic battles.

DISCLAIMER: Thank-you to Raincoast Books for providing me with an Advance Readers’ Edition of The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young, in exchange for an honest review. 

For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse. For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home.

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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 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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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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April 2019 Reading List

March was quite a successful reading month for me – thanks, in part, to March Break, which gave me 9 days of blissful, uninterrupted reading time! I sat down and set a goal to read five (5) books during March Break (March 9 – March 17, 2019). Early on, this seemed a bit optimistic – even if I did have the week off work – but not entirely impossible. And as I quickly worked my way through book, after book, after book, it was rapidly evident that this was definitely a goal I could achieve. And I did! I finished my fifth book (Mirage by Somaiya Daud) on Saturday March 16, fulfilling my goal over 24 hours before the deadline I had set myself. This, and some other reading, brought me to a grand total of 10 books read in March 2019 (which means I have now read 27/50 books for my 2019 Reading Challenge)!

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That being said, I still have a handful of unread books already waiting in my “To Be Read Box”, and some other late-March and April releases that I am excited to add to my bookshelves! This means I definitely need to get reading if I want to free up some sapce in my TBR Box! for those of you who aren’t familiar with my “To Be Read Box” system, it’s actually quite simply – I have a box (which fits about 6-8 books) where I keep my unread novels. I only allow myself to purchase a new book if there is room for it in the TBR Box – if not, I need to do some more reading before my trip to the bookstore!

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So what am I planning on reading in April? Well, as you can see above, I already have a full TBR box, so I will be focusing on tackling several of those books (especially the ARCs I received from Raincoast Books and HCC Frenzy!), in addition to a couple exciting new releases. This is a shorter list than usual, but I am trying to keep my expectations realistic!

  1. All the Wandering Light by Heather Fawcett (Release Date: December 8, 2019)
  2. Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer (Release Date: January 15, 2019)
  3. Superman: Dawnbreaker by Matt de la Pena (Release Date: March 5, 2019)
  4. Deathcaster by Cinda Williams Chima (Release Date: March 5, 2019)
  5. The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala (Release Date: April 23, 2019)
  6. Nocturna by Maya Motayne (Release Date: May 7, 2019)
  7. Kingsbane by Claire Legrand (Release Date: May 21, 2019)

WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO READING IN APRIL?