Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano

Waiting On Wednesday was created by Jill over at Breaking The Spine. It's a weekly post for you to share what upcoming books you can't wait for!

Title: The Glass Spare

AuthorLauren DeStefano
Release Date: October 24, 2017

A banished princess.
A deadly curse.
A kingdom at war.

Wil Heidle, the only daughter of the king of the world’s wealthiest nation, has grown up in the shadows. Kept hidden from the world in order to serve as a spy for her father—whose obsession with building his empire is causing a war—Wil wants nothing more than to explore the world beyond her kingdom, if only her father would give her the chance.

Until one night Wil is attacked, and she discovers a dangerous secret. Her touch turns people into gemstone. At first Wil is horrified—but as she tests its limits, she’s drawn more and more to the strange and volatile ability. When it leads to tragedy, Wil is forced to face the destructive power within her and finally leave her home to seek the truth and a cure.

But finding the key to her redemption puts her in the path of a cursed prince who has his own ideas for what to do with her power.

With a world on the brink of war and a power of ultimate destruction, can Wil find a way to help the kingdom that’s turned its back on her, or will she betray her past and her family forever?
(taken from

Why I Need It: 

First of all, I love the cover. Secondly, I love Lauren DeStefano. A book about kingdoms and political turmoil in a fantastical world BY Lauren DeStefano? Sign me up immediately.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

A Chat With Scott Reintgen, Author of Upcoming Release NYXIA

Scott Reintgen grew up in North Carolina, and took full advantage of the fact that he lived on the same street as fourteen of his cousins. It could be a little crowded, but he threw a few elbows and carved out a space for himself as the family storyteller.

He enjoyed the role so much that he decided to spend most of college and graduate school investing in the world of literature. This led to a career teaching English and Creative Writing in the great state of North Carolina, where he currently lives with his wife and family. To his great delight, the demand for stories and storytellers is alive and well.

As such, he can often be found at local coffee shops laboring over stories that he hopes his family, and fans, will love.
(taken from Reintgen's
Goodreads profile)

Have you always wanted to write a young adult novel?

Not always. Teaching changed that. Most of my early writing focused on writing adult fantasy and science fiction, but every new semester brought me into the lives of amazing students with some really great stories to tell. One great way to fight against bad literacy rates or students who aren't all that interested in more archaic literature? Find brilliant, high-interest books that they can fall in love with. So most of what I write is for my students.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what do you listen to?  

Absolutely. I need the noise. Most of the time I listen to Indie compilations that are on YouTube, all put together by someone named Alex Rainbird. Those stations have a lot of music I like, but by artists I really don't know. So it's good noise but I don't get distracted by familiar words. Occasionally, I'll turn to Hozier or Imagine Dragons or the Alabama Shakes for specific scene work. Totally depends on the day.

Are you more of a coffee or a tea person when writing?

Coffee. I'm a walking cliche. I sit down in coffee shops all over the Raleigh area to do my writing. I'm sitting in one right now. I always think of the clip from Family Guy where an author sits down in a coffee shop and talks REALLY loud about the fact that he's writing a novel and wants every one to know what he's doing.

What authors do you think have influenced you the most as a writer?

I'd say the three biggest have been J.K. Rowling (taught me to love reading), George R.R. Martin (made me want to be a writer), and Pierce Brown (a huge stylistic influence). But the list could go on endlessly. Other authors I love: N.K. Jemisin, Nnedi Okorafor, Pat Rothfuss, Marie Lu, Joe Abercrombie, Leigh Bardugo, Samuel R. Delaney, V.E. Schwab, Robin Hobb *TAKES DEEP BREATH* Ok. I'll stop there, but I could go on for a long, long time.

Did you have a writing schedule while you worked on Nyxia? What did your average day of writing look like?  

I was still working at the time as a teacher, so I wrote every single day from 3-5pm.

What is one underrated book you would like to recommend to everyone?

I'm not sure if this is underrated, but I know a lot of people who haven't read or heard about The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race. The book was edited by Jesmyn Ward and includes pieces from a wide variety of modern, black writers. I've gone back and read it three times now. I feel like I learn something new each time, so I'd highly recommend it.

About Reintgen's new release, which hits shelves this Tuesday:

Emmett Atwater isn't just leaving Detroit; he's leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.


Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden--a planet that Babel has kept hidden--where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.

But Babel's ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won't forever compromise what it means to be human. (taken from

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: A Line in the Dark by Melinda Lo

Waiting On Wednesday was created by Jill over at Breaking The Spine. It's a weekly post for you to share what upcoming books you can't wait for!

TitleA Line in the Dark
Author: Malinda Lo
Release Date: October 17, 2017

The line between best friend and something more is a line always crossed in the dark.

Jess Wong is Angie Redmond’s best friend. And that’s the most important thing, even if Angie can’t see how Jess truly feels. Being the girl no one quite notices is OK with Jess anyway. While nobody notices her, she’s free to watch everyone else. But when Angie begins to fall for Margot Adams, a girl from the nearby boarding school, Jess can see it coming a mile away. Suddenly her powers of observation are more curse than gift.

As Angie drags Jess further into Margot’s circle, Jess discovers more than her friend’s growing crush. Secrets and cruelty lie just beneath the carefree surface of this world of wealth and privilege, and when they come out, Jess knows Angie won’t be able to handle the consequences.

When the inevitable darkness finally descends, Angie will need her best friend.

“It doesn’t even matter that she probably doesn’t understand how much she means to me. It’s purer this way. She can take whatever she wants from me, whenever she wants it, because I’m her best friend.”

A Line in the Dark is a story of love, loyalty, and murder. (taken from

Why I Need It: 

Like many of the people on Goodreads have been saying, I'm interested to read about a main YA character who is more dark than light. It's not often we find a girl like Angie who is seemingly the villain of the story. Interested to see where this will go!

Monday, September 4, 2017

ARC Review: Wild Bird by Wendelin Van Draanen

Title: Wild Bird 
Author: Wendelin Van Draanen
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers 
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Format: Paperback ARC 

Page Count: 311


3:47 a.m. That's when they come for Wren Clemens. She's hustled out of her house and into a waiting car, then a plane, and then taken on a forced march into the desert. This is what happens to kids who've gone so far off the rails, their parents don't know what to do with them any more. This is wilderness therapy camp.

The Wren who arrives in the Utah desert is angry and bitter, and blaming everyone but herself. But angry can't put up a tent. And bitter won't start a fire. Wren's going to have to admit she needs help if she's going to survive.

In her most incisive and insightful book yet, beloved author Wendelin Van Draanen's offers a remarkable portrait of a girl who too a wrong turn and got lost--but who may be able to find her way back again in the vast, harsh desert. (taken from

“Out here Mother Nature is my judge and jury, and no amount of objecting or redirecting or even being out of order will get me out of this. The only way to survive my sentence is to serve it.” 

I truly, truly enjoyed this novel. Having been through extremely tough experiences with people who are very similar to Wren and her fellow "inmates," Wild Bird touched me in a much deeper way that I expected it to. Van Draanen crafts a story that delves deeply into what makes us hurt and angry, as well as what helps us survive those emotions. 

Kudos to the author for actually creating a believable fourteen-year-old character. Seriously, how many YA novels do we read that have teenagers who more closely resemble hardened, mature thirty-year-olds than young people? I consistently find myself rolling my eyes at characters we are supposed to believe are authentic representations of teenagers. Wild Bird, however, is full of young people that actually seem young. They are scared, selfish, and extremely immature. And guess what? I loved it. Van Draanen's story is so raw and realistic, and I appreciated every bit of her characters' development. 

I think Van Draanen tackled a very tricky subject in a very adept manner. Writing about young girls, depression, drug abuse, and psychological dysfunction isn't easy. Too often, novels like this one come across as whiny or over-the-top. Wren isn't a devil, but she isn't a good person, either. I so so so appreciated that Van Draanen made it very clear that Wren isn't the victim here, but she is struggling and in pain. That's such a hard concept to portray, and I think she does it very well. 

The whole nature aspect of the story really appealed to me. Sure, I've read novels about survival in the wild many times, but there was something different about this one. Wren's experience in the desert is both psychological and physical, and I liked seeing those two components play off of each other. I'm actually traveling to Utah quite soon, so the descriptions of the desert landscape also fascinated me. 

Overall, I'd highly recommend Wild Bird to anyone in search of some quality realistic YA fiction. In fact, I'd recommend it to most teens, especially those who feel lost and alone. Not only is it informative and emotional, but it's also just downright entertaining at points. Two thumbs up! 

I firmly believe in the restorative qualities of nature and spending time in the outdoors. Wild Bird does an exemplary job of embodying that theme while tackling several others that are pertinent to many teenagers (and even some adults).