The standalone young adult novel Bright Burning Stars by A.K. Small hits shelves next Tuesday, May 21, but we’re celebrating a little early with a sneak peak at the contemporary ballet drama!
Set at a prestigious ballet school in Paris, Bright Burning Stars is a lushly written boarding school drama about two best friends who will do whatever it takes to win “the Prize” … even if it means losing each other on their way to the top.
Ready to learn more about Small’s debut novel? Keep reading for an excerpt from the very first chapter, and pre-order a copy today!
Spoilers: we gave this one a five on Goodreads, so you’re in for a treat.
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Lovelace’s second –and in my opinion superior — poetry collection in the Women Are Some Kind of Magic series is a love letter to feminism and all the nasty women of the world. Once again split into four parts (The Trial, The Burning, The Firestorm and the Ashes), this time around Lovelace takes aim at a broken patriarchal system through the lens of a witch hunt, inspiring and motivating readers through her quotable poetry.
This short story follow up to The Raven King focuses on Ronan (the best raven boy), Adam (the okayest raven boy) and their dream made sort of love child Opal as the trio plans to create a brand-new Cabeswater. Told from Opal’s perspective, this is the coda The Raven Cycle deserved, now with 100% more adorably domestic Ronan/Adam moments.
Every summer in the town of Sparrow three accused witches return from the dead to seek their revenge, taking over the bodies of three young girls and luring men to their deaths. Moody, suspenseful and atmospheric, The Wicked Deep is set in the seemingly magical town of Sparrow (they sell cakes that make you forget), whose dark past is now a successful tourist attraction. One room facing the haunted ocean please!
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Beautifully illustrated by Emily Carroll, this graphic novel adaptation of Speak re-imagines the classic novel for a new generation, complete with modern technology. Perfect for fans of the original, or someone who has yet to read the prose version, Anderson’s young adult story about finding your voice is even more prevalent for those growing up in the midst of the Time’s Up and Me Too movements.
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (★★★☆☆½)
Sadly, Exit West was not what I anticipated. I was super excited to read about magical doors that take their users to far away places (the main reasons I picked up this novel), but was disappointed when the doors did not go to other dimensions. But mostly, I just found the overly extended sentences to be tiresome.
Glitter by Aprilynne Pike (★★★★☆)
Despite having a somewhat unlikable heroine who makes the worst decisions imaginable, Glitter is still an exciting ride that combines the decadence and fashion of Marie Antoinette’s court with fun, futuristic technology. Does this combo make any sense? Not really. Is it still an enjoyable and fast-paced read regardless? Absolutely.
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My first read of 2018 took me by surprise, mostly because I had no idea it was a murder mystery. Thankfully, I wanted to watch the HBO series and I’m a read it first kind of girl. Due in large part to the suspenseful nature of the novel (who done it and who!?!) I flew threw this Australian contemporary drama. Read: Pretty Little Liars for adults.
A dark fantasy set in the world of faerie, The Cruel Prince hits the ground running with a brutal double murder. What follows is a tale of revenge, beautiful dresses, crosses and double crosses, courtly drama, cruel faeries, even more murder, and magic, proving that this novel is deserving of all the online hype. Could it be Holly Black’s best faerie story yet? Damn straight it is!
I could read 8,000 more books set in the worlds (plural) of Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series, which takes place at a boarding school for children forever changed after their adventures in other dimensions. The first two books are amazing in their own right, but Beneath the Sugar Sky is my favorite due to its multiple settings, including an underworld inhabited by the dead and a land made entirely of sugary treats. A candy land if you will.
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Nevernight by Jay Kristoff (★★★★☆½)
Be warned, Nevernight is not your grandma’s fantasy revenge novel. The first in a new series from Jay Kristoff, Nevernight follows a bad ass orphan named Mia who is on a quest to avenge her family. A quest that takes her to the famed Red Church, where would-be assassins are trained by the world’s deadliest killers. It’s basically if Arya went to Hogwarts, but with even more murder. And more humorous footnotes.
The sequel to The Thousandth Floor, The Dazzling Heights is a slightly less fun version of its predecessor, but is still 100% future Gossip Girl. From an intriguing new character to a new murder mystery, McGee’s latest novel is a fun and frothy diversion from real life that suffers from too many POVs and the loss of the best character in the series (because they didn’t survive book one).
Invictus by Ryan Graudin (★★★★★)
This standalone young adult novel — are those making a comeback!?! — from Ryan Graudin has it all: time travel heists, period clothing, paradoxes, teen romances and red pandas. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and for once, you’ll be upset that it’s only one book. Don’t let the cover scare you away, Invictus is the super fun and super smart young adult novel you should have read yesterday.
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