Posts Tagged: poc character(s)

{Review} Anatomy of a Girl Gang by Ashley Little

October 9, 2013 Review 0


Anatomy of a Girl Gang by Ashley Little cover

//  BOOK INFO  //

Title: Anatomy of a Girl Gang
Author: Ashley Little
Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press
Release Date: October 15, 2013
Source: Publisher *received in exchange for an honest review
Pages: 254
Genres: New Adult — contemporary

A sharp and gritty novel told in multiple voices, Anatomy of a Girl Gang is the powerful story of a gang of teenage girls in Vancouver called the Black Roses, a.k.a. “the city’s worst nightmare”: Mac, the self-appointed leader and mastermind; Mercy, the Punjabi princess with a skill for theft; Kayos, a high-school dropout who gave birth to a daughter at age thirteen; Sly Girl, who fled her First Nations reserve for a better life, only to find depravity and addiction; and Z, a sixteen-year-old anti-establishment graffiti artist.

Cast out by mainstream society, the five girls lash out: they terrorize Vancouver with a raw, restless urgency, setting fire to the world around them to try to erase their painful pasts. As the Black Roses, they rob ATMs, cook crack on stoves, and savagely beat anyone who dares to harm them. Brutal and broken, they claw at the knot of darkness and violence that tightens around their lives.

Told in stark, vivid, and fearless prose, Anatomy of a Girl Gang is a narrative punch to the throat, a screaming, spray-painted portrait of urban gang culture: an unflinching story about lost girls struggling for power, voice and hope. 



//  COVER TALK  //

I like the bold, graphic style of the cover — I think it suits the novel very well, and the roses resemble the black roses tattoos that the girls get. I do think I’d like to see a more interesting font choice though.


I hadn’t heard about this book until the publisher reached out to me to offer it for review. However, I just KNEW I had to read it once I heard the pitch. Something just grabbed hold of me and wouldn’t let go!

//  MY THOUGHTS  // 

The summary does an apt job at describing this novel, saying it is a provides a “narrative punch to the throat”. This novel is so good and has affected me so much that it is making me anxious and nauseous just typing up this review. It is horrifyingly, vomit-inducing disturbing in a way that is uncomfortably realistic. I know I just used a bunch of horrible ways to describe this book, but in truth, it is one of those books that makes you sick in a good way. Now, I should say this book isn’t for everyone, and there are some MAJOR trigger warnings for: abuse, sexual assault, and addiction. This book doesn’t hold back, that’s for sure.

Anatomy of a Girl Gang tells the story of five young girls and their attempts to survive in Vancouver’s notoriously Downtown Eastside without giving up control of their bodies and money by creating a girl gang so that they can look out for each other. This new all girl gang, led by Mac, is a diverse group, and many of the girls have traumatic histories. There is Mercy, the “Punjabi Princess”, Kayos, who has had a daughter at a young age as the result of sexual assault, Sly Girl, an Aboriginal girl who has fled the violence and poverty of her reserve, and Z, a lesbian graffiti artist with overbearing parents. Each girl brings her own criminal talents to the gang, and as a group, they aspire to move out of the hell hole they live in, to a place where they feel safe, and can live as the family they are. However, the Downtown Eastside doesn’t easily let go of those who have fallen into its grip.

Despite these girl’s actions, I couldn’t help but love them. They’re sort of anti-heroes. I just wanted to give them a safe place to live, where they didn’t have to worry about their safety, making money, and could just be teen girls. Each had a unique voice and way of telling their story (for example, Z, the graffiti artist, tells her story in tags). I didn’t exactly have a favourite character, but they were all equally complex, and well-written. Vancouver, the city itself, was even one of the POVs, and this was a really interesting narrative tool. It allowed the story to pull back, and the reader to see the girls’ story in the bigger picture.  Ashley Little also did a good job of writing a story that shows how oppression is intersectional and experienced uniquely based on race, class, gender and sexual identity, etc. It’s not a happy, uplifting story (although there ARE moments of hope) but it is a story that is a sad reality for many inner-city youth in Canada and around the world. The book takes you on a rollercoaster ride, from riding highs on the lyrical, beautiful prose to the lowest, shocking, upsetting lows.

Ultimately, this book left me wanting to curl up in a ball and sleep for a day. It took a lot out of me. However, it was an amazing reading experience, one that really challenged me as a reader, and as a person. I couldn’t help but root for a happy ending for the Black Rose girls. The diverse cast of complex characters is paired with gritty, raw, and at times, lyrical writing to make for a winning combination. Anatomy of a Girl Gang would be great to read with The Harem, which I also loved, as it reminded me a lot of that book, with similar themes and discussions to be had. While it’s certainly not for ever reader, or the faint of heart, I really hope this book makes its way into the hands of those that both need it and will love it. Without a doubt, I’ll be checking out Ashley Little’s other books (Prick: Confessions of a Tattoo Artist & The New Normal).


// Share your thoughts… Leave a Comment! //

Have you read Anatomy of a Girl Gang? Will you? Do you know of any other books that deal with girl gangs or are set in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside?


{Review} My Basmati Bat Mitzvah by Paula J. Freedman

September 30, 2013 Review 1



Title: My Basmati Bat Mitzvah
Author: Paula J. Freedman
Publisher: Amulet Books
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Source: NetGalley *received in exchange for an honest review
Pages: 256
Genres: Middle grade — contemporary

During the fall leading up to her bat mitzvah, Tara (Hindi for “star”) Feinstein has a lot more than her Torah portion on her mind. Between Hebrew school and study sessions with the rabbi, there doesn’t seem to be enough time to hang out with her best friend Ben-o–who might also be her boyfriend–and her other best friend, Rebecca, who’s getting a little too cozy with that snotty Sheila Rosenberg. Not to mention working on her robotics project with the class clown Ryan Berger, or figuring out what to do with a priceless heirloom sari that she accidentally ruined. Amid all this drama, Tara considers how to balance her Indian and Jewish identities and what it means to have a bat mitzvah while questioning her faith.


//  COVER TALK  //

The cover, along with the fun title, are what originally caught my eye. I LOVE how bright and creative the cover is and how it incorporates symbols of Indian and Jewish culture in the henna design. The model is also exactly how I imagined Tara! This cover is all sorts of amazing!


I don’t read a lot of middle grade, unless I’m rereading some favourites from my own childhood, but I decided to take a chance on this one. I was expecting a funny, heartfelt story of a young girl coming to terms with her cultural and religious identities.

//  MY THOUGHTS  // 

Tara is 12 and she has some biiiiiig things weighing on her mind: what does it mean to be Indian AND Jewish? Does she want to go through with her Bat Mitzvah? Why is her best friend, Ben-O, acting so weird lately? And is she losing her other best friend too?! Throughout My Basmati Bat Mitzvah Tara contemplates these questions among many others as she tries to figure out, ultimately, who she is and where she fits in the world. My Basmati Bat Mitzvah is SUCH a cute, but entertaining story! It has engaging and fun writing, great characters, and messages that are important,  but delivered in a way that is not preachy.

The characters in this novel are such vibrant individuals and many of them have a great sense of humour! I knew right from the first page that the I’d like the Feinstein family – we meet her dad, a math teacher,  right away and he is  wearing a Math Teacher’s Play By the Numbers t-shirt and he is in a Great Gatsby phase because his students are reading it (although Tara remarks that this is MUCH better than his steampunk phase, haha)!! How funny is that? Tara is a wonderful main character, funny and thoughtful, and I think she embodied the worries of a 12 year-old girl perfectly. She asked a lot of questions about life, religion and culture that I think are relevant at that stage in life. I loved her curiosity and how hard she thought things through! Ben-O was a great character too, and his attempts to take their friendship to the boyfriend/girlfriend level were embarrassingly cute. I liked how it was a progression, and not always a clear one either, and they were both concerned about how it would affect their friendship. I wasn’t as big of fans of Rebecca and Sheila, but I did like what they contributed to the story.

I also learned a lot about Indian culture & Judaism while reading this book. It was fun getting to learn the foods, customs and stories of both cultures. I love how both Hindi, and Hebrew/Yiddish words were incorporated into the story and there was a great glossary written by Tara at the back! Tara was also pretty in tune to issues of race and would call out racism and bullying by her classmates which was fantastic. She was a very empathetic and caring individual but also stood up for her beliefs and friends when needed.

All in all, even though I don’t consider myself a religious person, I thought this was a very well-done middle-grade story that featured a lot of diversity, in race, culture and religion. Funny, but also thought-provoking My Basmati Bat Mitzvah asks questions that are relevant to every child growing up: who am I and what does that mean to the world?  As one reviewer put it, it’s sort of the modern version of Are You there God, It’s Me Margaret? I think this would be a great book to have in classroom libraries, as well as to give as a gift to tweens. It could spark some interesting discussions, but also help remind them that the anxieties they have about growing up and life are completely normal.


// Share your thoughts… Leave a Comment! //

Do you read middle grade books? Are you Indian or Jewish/do you know a lot about Indian or Jewish customs? Will you be picking up My Basmati Bat Mitzvah?


{Review} Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac

September 19, 2013 Review 4


killer of enemies cover_thumb[2]

//  BOOK INFO  //

Title: Killer of Enemies
Author: Joseph Bruchac
Publisher: Tu Books
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Source: Edelweiss *received in exchange for an honest review
Pages: 400
Genres: YA — science fiction, dystopia

Years ago, seventeen-year-old Apache hunter Lozen and her family lived in a world of haves and have-nots. There were the Ones—people so augmented with technology and genetic enhancements that they were barely human—and there was everyone else who served them.

Then the Cloud came, and everything changed. Tech stopped working. The world plunged back into a new steam age. The Ones’ pets—genetically engineered monsters—turned on them and are now loose on the world.

Lozen was not one of the lucky ones pre-C, but fate has given her a unique set of survival skills and magical abilities. She hunts monsters for the Ones who survived the apocalyptic events of the Cloud, which ensures the safety of her kidnapped family. But with every monster she takes down, Lozen’s powers grow, and she connects those powers to an ancient legend of her people. It soon becomes clear to Lozen that she is not just a hired gun.

As the legendary Killer of Enemies was in the ancient days of the Apache people, Lozen is meant to be a more than a hunter. Lozen is meant to be a hero. 


//  COVER TALK  //

LOOK AT THAT COVER! We have a woman of colour, in an action scene, with realistic clothing on AND she’s not in a ridiculous sexualized pose. WAY TO GO TU BOOKS!! There is also the giant bird, in the corner, which is both part of some Native American oral stories, and relevant to the novel. Basically, THIS is how you do a cover!


I wasn’t sure what to expect, because this one just caught my eye on Edelweiss because of it’s awesome cover. When I learned it combined Apache Native American oral stories into a dystopian tale with what sounded like a butt-kicking main female character, I knew I had to read it!

//  MY THOUGHTS  // 

Killer of Enemies is set in a dystopian future, where we’ve plundered away many of the Earth’s natural resources, and relied so heavily on technological advances (even to our bodies – with eyeball and brain enhancements that let us open and close doors, etc.) that it nearly kills us once a strange, silver cloud settles over the atmosphere, causing all modern technology to malfunction. Lozen, a young Apache woman, is living in this new and brutal time in Haven, one of the communes that has been established by the Ones, the cruel elites who didn’t die, but managed to take power. Forced to live there, along with what is left of her family, Lozen’s superb fighting skills are used to fight the genetically modified creatures, or gemods, that roam the land outside of Haven. As Lozen’s powers grow, she is sent on increasingly dangerous, and near impossible missions, all the while trying to figure out a way to escape, along with her family, to live free once more.

Truth be told, I wasn’t a big fan of this book at the start. Lozen is a bit stand-offish (although, understandably – the Ones had her father and uncle killed and the rest of her family dragged back to the Haven and they use her) in her internal dialogue, and the writing was a bit awkward and stilted. Fortunately, after a little while, these issues cleared themselves up and I came to really love Lozen and I was drawn in by this cruel new world, full of terrifying creatures that she is sent out to kill. I loved how smart and strong Lozen was, both physically and emotionally, as she is dealt a lot, but always managed to kick some serious butt! The other characters were well done — ranging from her sweet sister and brothers, her wise and caring mother, to the sadistic guards and Ones who made my stomach turn. There is also a little bit of romance, that I thought was very well done too! It didn’t overshadow the story, like it can and does in some other dystopians I’ve read about.

I think my favourite part of the book was the inclusion of Lozen’s Native American history, ancestors, and culture. The author includes real Native American history, specifically, that of the Chiricahua Apaches, as well as imagined history that is created for the purposes of the dystopian setting. Lozen was very centered in her culture, which she gained strength from in the jobs she was sent out to do. For example, after killing a gemod, she would pray for the animal’s spirits to be returned back to the Creator. I really liked how even though she was forced to kill, she wasn’t a violent character, if that makes any sense? Many of the gemods were also inspired by the oral stories of America’s indigenous peoples. The most terrifying one to me was the ENORMEOUS anaconda/boa snake gemod! EEEK! There is even the inclusion of Bigfoot, who becomes an ally of Lozen, and actually was one of my favourite “characters”.

Aside from the focus on Native American characters and cultures, there are also other races represented in the Haven — I believe Hussein was Muslim and that there were references to African-American residents. Killer of Enemies also offers up critiques of gender inequality, classism and environmental destruction, but not in a way that is preachy at all!

If I had any criticisms, other than the bit of an awkward start, it would be that I sometimes wondered if it was at a YA reading level. There were quite a few words and terms that even I didn’t know/understand. In addition, the book is a bit slow, not necessarily due to lack of action, but just because of the writing style. This wasn’t a bit problem for me though, after I got used to it. 

There is SO much more I’d love to talk about, but then I’d ruin all the fun in reading Killer of Enemies for yourself! This book definitely surprised me after a bit of a rocky start, and I’m very glad to continue on. Lozen is a character that I’m sad to part with, as she really grew on me! If you are looking for a dystopian that is very unique, and offers a diverse cast of characters, then I highly recommend you pick up Killer of Enemies and give it a go!


// Share your thoughts… Leave a Comment! //

Have you read or heard of Killer of Enemies? Is it a book you’d read? Do you have any other YA stories that feature indigenous characters or stories? What do you think of the cover?


Review: Huntress by Malinda Lo

September 23, 2012 Review 8

Malinda Lo
Published: April 2011
Format: Paperback
Pages: 384
YA, fantasy, romance, LGBTQ
Goodreads | Amazon| Book Depository

Nature is out of balance in the human world. The sun hasn’t shone in years, and crops are failing. Worse yet, strange and hostile creatures have begun to appear. The people’s survival hangs in the balance.

To solve the crisis, the oracle stones are cast, and Kaede and Taisin, two seventeen-year-old girls, are picked to go on a dangerous and unheard-of journey to Tanlili, the city of the Fairy Queen. Taisin is a sage, thrumming with magic, and Kaede is of the earth, without a speck of the otherworldly. And yet the two girls’ destinies are drawn together during the mission. As members of their party succumb to unearthly attacks and fairy tricks, the two come to rely on each other and even begin to fall in love. But the Kingdom needs only one huntress to save it, and what it takes could tear Kaede and Taisin apart forever.

— Cover Critique —
I really like the cover – it is quite rare to have an Asian model on YA covers so it is great that the cover hasn’t been whitewashed, as this is something that has happened with other books before. I love the snowy background, hints of purple, blue and grey in the backdrop! Also, by the young woman’s stance you can tell she is determined, strong and a fighter!

— Expectations —

Earlier this year I read Ash by Malinda Lo, and I really enjoyed it, so I thought I’d give Huntress a try. I was very lucky, and won a signed copy during Christa’s YA Pride event at Hooked on Books, so I was even more excited to dig into Huntress.

— Review —

Huntress is a prequel of sorts to Ash, although it is noted that this story takes place many centuries earlier and that there are some cultural differences (Huntress is more Chinese-inspired). While I can see the similarities between Ash and Huntress, I found it easier to read the book as if the two weren’t loosely connected. With that said, I think overall I enjoyed Ash a bit more, but Malinda Lo was again able to write a beautiful book, with strong lesbian female characters, so I can’t complain too much!
Huntress tells the story of Kaede and Taisin, two young women who depart on a journey of upmost importance, to journey to meet with the Fairy Queen in order to discover what has caused the natural balance to be so disturbed over the past few years. The Kingdom is relying on these two women and their small party, as they cannot survive through many more months, let alone years, of failed crops, and an almost perpetual winter. Taisin has had an unsettling vision, however, and she is worried about what she saw and felt – Kaede leaving her, and a most painful breaking of her heart. How will this influence their journey, and will it ultimately come true?
The book starts out with this retrospective scene of Taisin’s vision of Kaede leaving her, which I loved. It was beautifully written and it started out the story with such emotion! I think it gave a great glimpse to the book overall, as it is beautifully written and is centered around these two young women falling in love. Just as in Ash the romance between the two female characters is introduced so naturally and without over explanation or celebration, just acceptance, which I love! The romance between Taisin and Kaede is timid, slow-building and sweet. You couldn’t help but root for Kaede to recognize her feelings for Taisin!

Like I said, the book is beautiful overall – from the cover to the illustrated map, dividers and of course, the writing. I would often just stop and stare at the pages, or go back and flip through to the map and examine it. Here’s a glimpse into the beauty of this book:

I even bookmarked some passages, and I particularly enjoyed the exchange near the beginning between Kaede and the Mistress of the Academy, as it had a feminist feel to it, the discussion of female agency as Kaede is stuck between her father choosing her future (marriage for political gain) or the Academy telling her she will accept the quest that has been put before her. Kaede speaks out, saying:

I have been here for almost six years. Not the best student, but I have paid attention. And the one thing that has always made sense to me is the teaching that every individual has the right to make choices about their lives. Every minute of every day, we make choices. Why would you take that away from me now?”… From across the table, Sister Yuna said softly, “She is right. She deserves to choose her own path.”. (20)

However, as much as I enjoyed the writing, the diversity of the characters and the romance between Kaede and Taisin, I encountered a few of the same problems I had with Ash. It is at times hard to connect with the characters because of the third person narrative that shifts between the two characters. I would have liked to experience their emotions as they experienced them! In addition, the story has a very slow pace for the most part. For more than 240 pages the characters are setting out on their journey, riding their horses and camping. While they do encounter challenges along the way, it did seem a little too drawn out. A girl can only take so many descriptions of the woods and horseback riding, haha! Despite these two drawbacks, I did enjoy the magical elements that the Xi (fey) brought to the story, and there were some rather exciting scenes, such as when a huge pack of mystical wolves attacks the camp.
Overall, while I enjoyed Ash a bit more than Huntress, it is a story that can still be appreciated for its unique story, strong female characters, and beautiful writing. While reading it often reminded me of Graceling by Kristin Cashore (and not just because of all the horseback riding scenes, I swear!), so if you loved that one, I’d recommend this one to you.

rating 3.5

This post has been part of the A More Diverse Universe blog tour, which celebrates books by authors of color WITH characters of color. Be sure to check out the schedule of reviews going up this week to help support diversity in speculative fiction!


My Top TEN Most Anticipated September Releases

August 31, 2012 Most Anticipated 3


Each month I will be listing five books (uhh… except that this month there were WAY too many so I’ve listed TEN!) that will be releasing that month that I am most looking forward to. This is my top five list for September, in order of release. It looks like a great month for paranormal/historical YA books!

Note: I’m trying out a new javascript feature – if you want to read the description for one of the books listed below hit “Click for Description” and it should drop-down. Let me know if you like this feature or not!


The Dark Unwinding
by Sharon Cameron
September 1, 2012

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Click for Description

A spine-tingling tale of steampunk and spies, intrigue and heart-racing romance!

When Katharine Tulman’s inheritance is called into question by the rumor that her eccentric uncle is squandering away the family fortune, she is sent to his estate to have him committed to an asylum. But instead of a lunatic, Katharine discovers a genius inventor with his own set of rules, who employs a village of nine hundred people rescued from the workhouses of London.

Katharine is now torn between protecting her own inheritance and preserving the peculiar community she grows to care for deeply. And her choices are made even more complicated by a handsome apprentice, a secretive student, and fears for her own sanity.

As the mysteries of the estate begin to unravel, it is clear that not only is her uncle’s world at stake, but also the state of England as Katharine knows it. With twists and turns at every corner, this heart-racing adventure will captivate readers with its intrigue, thrills, and romance .

Why I’m excited: This one has a bit of everything – mystery, historical fiction, and romance – and I’m very intrigued by this “peculiar community” that the summary talks about!


by Holly Bennett
September 1, 2012

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Click for Description

Rowan is the sole survivor when his entire family is struck down by the plague. Alone and grief-stricken, Rowan ekes out a living by playing music on his button box in the small towns and villages of Prosper. He lives and travels in his family’s old caravan, half starved and in despair. One day, he finds he has competition: a young man playing a violin. Rather than make an adversary, Rowan suggests they travel and play together, but he regrets his offer when he finds out that Samik is from the Tarzine Lands, beyond the volcanoes, and is being pursued by a vengeful warlord. And that’s not all. Samik also claims to have the Sight–and what he sees (and hears) is Rowan’s dead sister, Ettie. As they travel from town to town, they form an uneasy alliance, which gradually evolves into a friendship that will be tested to its limits when Samik is captured.

Why I’m excited: I previously talked about my love for Holy Bennett’s books in this post about my favourite Canadian reads. This one sounds very intriguing, what with a plague, magic, etc. I can’t wait to delve into this new world!


by Chase Novak
September 4, 2012

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository


Click for Description

Alex and Leslie Twisden lead charmed lives-fabulous jobs, a luxurious town house on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, a passionate marriage. What they don’t have is a child, and as they try one infertility treatment after the next, yearning turns into obsession. As a last-ditch attempt to make their dream of parenthood come true, Alex and Leslie travel deep into Slovenia, where they submit to a painful and terrifying procedure that finally gives them what they so fervently desire . . . but with awful consequences.

Ten years later, cosseted and adored but living in a house of secrets, the twins Adam and Alice find themselves locked into their rooms every night, with sounds coming from their parents’ bedroom getting progressively louder, more violent, and more disturbing.

Driven to a desperate search for answers, Adam and Alice set out on a quest to learn the true nature of the man and woman who raised them. Their discovery will upend everything they thought they knew about their parents and will reveal a threat so horrible that it must be escaped, at any cost.

Why I’m excited: This one sounds creepy, weird and very unique!


by Ellen Hopkins
September 11, 20

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Click for Description

Three teens, three stories—all interconnected through their parents’ family relationships. As the adults pull away, caught up in their own dilemmas, the lives of the teens begin to tilt….

Mikayla, almost eighteen, is over-the-top in love with Dylan, who loves her back jealously. But what happens to that love when Mikayla gets pregnant the summer before their senior year—and decides to keep the baby?

Shane turns sixteen that same summer and falls hard in love with his first boyfriend, Alex, who happens to be HIV positive. Shane has lived for four years with his little sister’s impending death. Can he accept Alex’s love, knowing that his life, too, will be shortened?

Harley is fourteen—a good girl searching for new experiences, especially love from an older boy. She never expects to hurdle toward self-destructive extremes in order to define who she is and who she wants to be.

Love, in all its forms, has crucial consequences in this standalone novel.

Why I’m excited: I have ventured into verse novels this year and am loving them! Ellen Hopkins writes amazing novels, and this one has a very diverse sounding cast of characters, and situations!


What’s Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles #1)
by Kat Zhand

September 18, 2012
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Click for Description

Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else—two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading?

The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t…

For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable–hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet…for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything.

Why I’m excited: Again, another amazing sounding book! I will admit, the cover really has drawn me in, and I have a case of cover lust. I like the idea that there are two people living in one body, which is outlawed, and there is this internal/external struggle going on.


by Gretchen McNeil
September 18, 2012
 Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Click for Description

And their doom comes swiftly.

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.
But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

Why I’m excited: OK, I’ll admit it – when I first heard of this one I wasn’t too excited by it. It sounded a bit too much like Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, which I didn’t particularly enjoy. But somehow this book has grown on me, and I really love the author’s personality after watching a few of her YouTube videos so I’m giving this one a chance! I hope it impresses me with a fun, spooky story.


The Diviners
by Libba Bray
September 18, 2012
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository 

Click for Description

Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City–and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult–also known as “The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies.”

When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer–if he doesn’t catch her first.

Why I’m excited: It feels like I’ve waited FOREVER for this book ! I’m so so so excited for it, and have heard many good things so far. It’ll also be my first Libba Bray book!


by Erin Jade Lange
September 18, 2012
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Click for Description

A lonely obese boy everyone calls “Butter” is about to make history. He is going to eat himself to death-live on the Internet-and everyone is invited to watch. When he first makes the announcement online to his classmates, Butter expects pity, insults, and possibly sheer indifference. What he gets are morbid cheerleaders rallying around his deadly plan. Yet as their dark encouragement grows, it begins to feel a lot like popularity. And that feels good. But what happens when Butter reaches his suicide deadline? Can he live with the fallout if he doesn’t go through with his plans?

Why I’m excited: Although this one sounds sad and disturbing, I’m oddly intrigued. It sounds like it could tackle a few hard-hitting, important issues as well.


by Emma Cornwall
September 18, 2012

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In the steampunk world of Victorian London, a beautiful vampire seeks out the author of Dracula–to set the record straight . . . If one is to believe Bram Stoker’s legendary vampire tale, Lucy Weston is Dracula’s most wanton creation, a sexual creature of the night who preys on innocent boys. But the real-life Lucy is nothing like her fictional counterpart—and she demands to know why the Victorian author deliberately lied. With Stoker’s reluctant help, she’s determined to track down the very fiend who transformed her—from the sensual underworld where humans vie to become vampires, to a hidden cell beneath a temple to madness, and finally into the glittering Crystal Palace where death reigns supreme.

Haunted by fragmentary memories of her lost life and love, Lucy must battle her thirst for blood as she struggles to stop a catastrophic war that will doom vampires and humans alike. Ultimately, she must make a choice that illuminates for her—and for us—what it means to be human.

Why I’m excited: I’m really digging the take on Dracula this is describing, especially how it is from Lucy’s point of view, who played a lesser character in the original book!


The Casual Vacancy
by J.K Rowling
September 27, 2012

Goodreads| Amazon | Book Depository

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Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?

Why I’m excited: Umm… hello, it’s J.K Rowling?! I’m not exactly sure what to expect, but I sure am looking forward to trying it out!


WHEW! That’s all for me – but what about YOU? What books are releasing this month that have you excited? Let me know in the comments!