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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March 2020 #IndigoStaffPicks: Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie

Bone Crier’s Moon, set to release on March 3, 2020, is the newest Young Adult Fantasy novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Kathryn Purdie. Bone Crier’s Moon is the first book in a new, high-stakes fantasy duology flush with doomed romance and macabre magic.

Bone ​Criers have a sacred duty. They alone can keep the dead from preying on the living. But their power to ferry the spirits of the dead into goddess Elara’s Night Heavens or Tyrus’s Underworld comes from sacrifice. The gods demand a promise of dedication. And that promise comes at the cost of the Bone Criers’ one true love. Ailesse has been prepared since birth to become the matriarch of the Bone Criers, a mysterious famille of women who use strengths drawn from animal bones to ferry dead souls. But first she must complete her rite of passage and kill the boy she’s also destined to love. Bastien’s father was slain by a Bone Crier and he’s been seeking revenge ever since. Yet when he finally captures one, his vengeance will have to wait. Ailesse’s ritual has begun and now their fates are entwined—in life and in death. Sabine has never had the stomach for the Bone Criers’ work. But when her best friend Ailesse is taken captive, Sabine will do whatever it takes to save her, even if it means defying their traditions—and their matriarch—to break the bond between Ailesse and Bastien. Before they all die.

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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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February 2020 Reading List

Well, as January comes to an end (finally, might I add?), I find myself looking towards February – and debating what, exactly, I plan on reading throughout the upcoming month. And while I had a relatively successful month of reading in January (I read 6 books – yay!), there are still quite a few unread books staring at me accusingly from my To Be Read Box – making me feel even more guilty about my pre-orders that are already enroute!

So, as always, you’ll find that this list is a little bit of a mix of everything – older releases hoping to escape my To Be Read Box, new releases I can’t wait to pick up, and even a couple ARC’s I’m excited to crack open. Oh, and also? I still haven’t read Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon, but… one day, right?

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January 2020 #IndigoStaffPicks: A Curse So Dark And Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Released in North America on January 29, 2019, A Curse So Dark And Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer has everything you’d want in a retelling of a classic fairy tale. A Curse So Dark And Lonely is a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer and Sarah J Maas.

Not only that, but A Curse So Dark And Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer is also the Indigo Teen Staff Pick of the Month for January 2020!

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of A Curse So Dark And Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review. 

Fall in love, break the curse. It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope. Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world. Break the curse, save the kingdom. A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

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Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi

Released on December 3, 2019, Children of Virtue and Vengeance is the second installment in Tomi Adeyemi’s thrilling Legacy of Orïsha series. In what promises to be a stunning sequel, Zélie must save Orïsha from a devastating civil war, while also hoping not to lose herself in the process.

After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could’ve imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too. Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari’s right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy’s wrath. With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.

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The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh

The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh is the first in a sumptuous, sultry and romantic new series set in 19th century New Orleans where vampires hide in plain sight. Released on October 8, 2019, The Beautiful became an instant New York Times and Indie Bestseller – a testament to master storyteller Renée Ahdieh’s newest sultry romance and decadent, thrilling mystery, which is sure to enrapture fans of the genre, new and old.

In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans is a safe haven after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent in the middle of the carnival season, Celine is quickly enraptured by the vibrant city, from its music to its fancy soirées and even its danger. She becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s enigmatic leader, Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in Sébastien’s own lair – the second dead girl to turn up in recent weeks – Celine battles her attraction to Sébastien and suspicions about his guilt, along with the shame of her own horrible secret. After a third murder, New Orleans becomes gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose – one who has now set Celine in his sights. As the murderer stalks her, Celine finally takes matters into her own hands, only to find herself caught in the midst of an age-old feud between the darkest creatures of the night, where the price of forbidden love is her life.

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Most Anticipated Novels of 2020

With the New Year – and the New Decade – having finally arrived, it is time to turn my attention to the year ahead. And by that, I obviously mean which books I plan on reading this year. As usual, this list is predominantly YA Fantasy and/or Science Fiction, but since I am attempting to branch out (and as some of my favourite authors migrate to the Adult demographic), some other books have made it onto this list! That being said – this list is by no means inclusive, as it lists the novels I am most excited to read this year, not those which are (overall) most anticipated by the reading community at large.

*Please note that the following dates are based upon information provided by Indigo Books & Music Inc, and/or Goodreads, and that the below dates reflect the expected release date of a given book in Canada, as it is listed on January 1, 2020. Release dates are subject to change. 

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Indigo Teen Staff Picks of the Month 2019

If this happens to be the first time you are hearing about the Indigo Teen Staff Pick of the Month for the first time, you may be curious as to just what it is – as you should be! In short, Indigo Staff Picks of the Month is an initiative run by Chapters/Indigo Books & Music Inc., with the goal of featuring new and exciting book releases for various demographics and/or genres. The Indigo Teen Staff Pick of the Month focuses specifically on the Teen/Young Adult demographic, with books from various genres, including Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Contemporary.

Each month, 100 staff members read a number of teen and YA books, and then vote for their pick of the month! Each monthly pick is announced by Chapters/Indigo at the beginning of each month, and each of the picks are kept secret until then!

If you’re shopping in store, you can easily identify current, and past, Indigo Staff Picks of the Month by spotting the black, circular sticker on their cover (see below). If you’re shopping online, you can check out current and past Indigo Staff Picks of the Month here. If you happen to pick up your own copy of an Indigo Staff Picks of the Month book, please be sure to show it off on social media by using the hashtag #IndigoStaffPicks!

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