Emma "EP" Presnell is a college sophomore who is best known for getting tattoos for every book she loves and non-stop talking about her hyperfixations. She specializes in Young Adult, LGBTQIA+ lit, Middle Grade and Romance books. You can always see what she's reading at her Bookstagram Emmas.Bookish.Things and she also runs the Carmichael's Young Adult Book Club.
OH MY GOSH GUYS. In my three years of obsessing over this book I never would have imagined getting a hardback collectors edition with a BONUS CHAPTER that takes place years into the future and from Henry's perspective! If you like this book this is a must have (or a great gift for the holidays!) and is going to come with so many amazing features including a foil stamp and art end pages by the lovely Venessa Kelly. You can read my review on "Red, White and Royal Blue" below and get prepared for this exciting October release!
Aiden Thomas has created one of the most captivating worlds set to a high paced story in his best novel to date. Using nostalgic aspects of modern Young Adult classics, Thomas pulls readers in and keeps them enraptured until the end. "The Sunbearer Trials" has no doubt solidified Thomas's spot as a legend of the genre! Pre-order this amazing YA book and then go to the author's social media for an amazing pre-order campaign! You won't want to miss one of the best YA books of the year!
Midsommar meets Halsey's Manic in this thrilling, gripping and haunting third book by Ryan La Sala. Grappling with the death of his sister, Mars returns to the summer camp they used to attend in search of answers, but what they find is much darker than she could ever anticipate. La Sala has elevated the story and inner thoughts of his character to a level that transcends the YA Genre. If you're looking for a sticky and haunting book, this is a must read.
If you're looking for a new rom-com, Mason Deaver's newest book delivers! Neil's night is ruined when his FWB says "I love you" right before the two are going to the same wedding, so to divert his attention he says that he and his roommate Wyatt are dating (but he actually hates him). Therefore, the two must fake date to make Neil's friends believe this very obvious lie, but the two actually come to have an understanding of sorts, and these very fake feelings may actually develop into something else. This book was impossible to put down and was just the right amount of fun and serious when it needed to be. Deaver continues to show their growth as a writer with this ridiculously fun third novel.
This is my favorite book in the world! Of all time! "Red, White & Royal Blue" is about the First Son of the United States, Alex, and the Prince of Wales, Henry, having to stage a fake friendship for the public appearance of their respective countries. Though they start as rivals, the two quicky realize they have more in common and if you know about anything fake relationships in books, I'm sure you can imagine where this is going. This book is full of heart and tackles themes like sexuality (featuring a 10 page bisexual crisis), family, status and growing into your own person beautifully while also having hilarious pop culture references and snarky jabs. I've read this book more times than I can count and always find something new and beautiful about it along the way. It's the perfect read and an absolute must you should add to your list.
This is the first book in quite possibly my favorite trilogy ever. "The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue" is about 3 teens in 1700s Europe who embark on a coming of age tour that turns into a chase through the continent, through the sea and underground. Not only does this book work perfectly as an adventure book, but it has amazing commentary on important issues from a 1700s lens such as sexuality, gender, education and mental health. On top of that, it's a trilogy AND has a novella! With a relatable cast of characters this trilogy just keeps on giving and will leave readers with a smile on their face. It's an absolute delight.
Perfect for fans of "Over the Garden Wall" and obviously the first one, "Garlic and the Witch" is an adorable and surprisingly deep early graphic novel. Garlic grapples with change and growing up making it incredibly relatable to an older audience while staying entertaining to a younger audience. There's honestly not a single part of this graphic novel that isn't perfect. Paulsen's art is at an all time high, the story and themes run and hit deep, and the direction the story takes is absolutely perfect. I could not put this down and can't wait to revisit it again soon!
In this Bachelor parody, anti-social tech genius Charlie is the prince charming looking for his bride to be, but he's having trouble being intimate with any of the girls. Dev, whose been working on the show for 6 years, is obsessed with the fairy tale romances that come from the show. Dev works on Charlie to shape him into the prince charming the show needs him to be, but what happens when the person Charlie falls for isn't one of the contestants? What ensues is a fun and wild ride between the two. This has to be one of my favorite books of all time! Cochrun has crafted such a sweet and loving tale that it's one you'll of those books you'll find yourself returning to year after year.
Of Oseman's novels, I think "I Was Born for This" might be my favorite. Telling the story between a fangirl and the lead singer of a boyband, this book takes you in directions you would never think of. This dual perspective novel discusses the line between fandom and fan and is a mind-boggling story from Oseman. I originally read this 4 years ago and have not been able to stop thinking about it. This is a great recommendation for anyone in the Oseman fandom and what a better time for it to release than the Holidays!
If you're a fan of TJ Klune and need more of his found family wholesomeness, "The Guncle" should be your next read! "The Guncle" follows Patrick, a somewhat-faded Golden Globe winning actor, as he is forced out of his isolation to take care of his brother's kids after their mother dies of cancer. Forced to take care of the kids, Patrick works with them through their grief and learns how to take care of them. It's a beautifully written story that is at times funny, and at others, a bittersweet reflection on losing someone so important to you. If you're a fan of audiobooks, I highly recommend checking out the audiobook, as Steven Rowley himself narrates it! I flew through this book in three days and have a feeling it will be at the top of my books for the year!
Everybody get ready because Casey is back at it with another amazing book and this time, they're making their YA debut! "I Kissed Shara Wheeler" is a thrilling story about the school's it-girl Shara Wheeler who disappears after prom and after having kissed three people: her boyfriend, the stoner next door, and Chloe Green. After leaving a trail of pink notecards around for each of these three people, they must team up to find out where Shara went and why she disappeared in the first place. It's a thrilling debut and a lot of fun, with no character lacking and an exciting story for them to experience. McQuiston knocks it out of the park with this book which will surely be one of the best of the genre this year!
"The Witch King" is the perfect read if you're looking for a tropey, queer, fantasy book. The story follows Wyatt, a transgender teen who is dragged back into his world of fae and witches, one that he has deliberately left behind. Bringing his best friend Briar with him, he reunites with his fiance (of an arranged marriage) and must confront the troubles he's left behind. Angsty at times and all around exciting, this book was impossible to put down and with the sequel coming out at the end of May, now is the perfect time to dive in!
Coming from someone who doesn't read a lot of thriller, I can't express how wild this book was and how much I loved it. Oliver is in a hard place in his life. He's in a 5 year long relationship but isn't completely happy, but his sobriety is dependent on the relationship. In an act of rebellion, he goes to a Bath Haus to have anonymous sex, but is almost strangled to death within the establishment. What launches is an insane chain of events that is as thrilling as it is mysterious. "Bath Haus" is a gripping story about shame, want, and relationships that make up the human experience. You won't be able to put this book down!
I. Love. Phil. Stamper. And I can't recommend him enough. Stamper's third book continues to prove his place in the YA genre as a great author who continues to grow with each book. In "Golden Boys," we follow four high school friends (Reese, Heath, Sal and Gabriel) as they spend the summer between junior and senior year in different parts of the world. As they each venture out into the world, they have time to reflect on their own lives, paths and relationships both old and new. This book will gut punch people out of college reflecting on their old friend groups and how those relationships change while growing up. "Golden Boys" is brilliant and a must read for the genre!
Alice Oseman's amazing novel "Loveless" has finally been published in the US and with a beautiful cover and bonus story to go with it! "Loveless" follows Georgia, a college/university freshman who loves romance, but can't find any luck for love for herself. After a horrible first kiss, she starts to wonder why nobody has ever caught her eye, and what launches is a beautiful, funny, and messy story of self discovery. Great representation and filled with fun pop culture references, this book deserves your time and education!
This YA dystopia/contemporary book is both a genre bender and a delightful (yet horrifying) story of two teens navigating the appocalypse. I had no idea what to expect going in but was absolutely delighted by Brown's debut novel. Andrew and Jamison are stuck as the last ones alive in their family, and after Andrew stumbles into Jamison's cabin in the woods, the two boys are forced to trust each other against the world with hardly any hope left. It's, at times, scary, funny and will have you flying through it. Brown is an upcoming author with a great start!
Adib Khorram can't write a bad book and this book continues to prove that statment! "Kiss & Tell" furthers the trend of boy band YA books but makes it diverse. Hunter is in a Canadian boy band and is the only gay member of the band. After a very public breakup, he is forced to play damage control from the label to fit the role of a perfect boy band member, but it all starts to become too much. Pulled in one direction from his own self interests, one from his label, one from a cute new boy and another from his role in society, he must decide what he wants to do and where to go from there. If you liked the Darien duology you'll be sure to fall back in love with Khorram's writing!
Three words: Legally Blonde Retelling. What more do you need? Robbie Couch's sophomore novel is a light hearted retelling of "Legally Blonde" following Blaine, a high school junor who is on top of the world. He is certain his boyfriend, the senior class president, is going to invite him on his family vacation, but instead gets dumped on their one year anniversary. Heartbroken, he is motivated to run for senior class president to win back his ex, but instead he is launched into his own journey and takes the chance to be a great class president. "Blaine for the Win" is a quick and fun ride with plenty of nods to the movie it's based on. A must read this year for fans of YA!
If you're looking for something that will just put a smile on your face the entire day, might I recommend "Heartstopper" by Alice Oseman. "Heartstopper" centers on Nick and Charlie, two boys who quickly become the best of friends and fall for each other in the cutest graphic novel you'll ever read. Oseman has a gorgeous art style that evolves over the course of the novel's duration and is completed with the greenish-blue color scheme that's exclusive to the US edition. Not only are Nick and Charlie main characters to fall for, but their friends all add diverse perspectives that creates easy to understand commentary on different topics including mental health and being members of the LGBTQ+ community. I can't stress how lovely this story is!
Despite its size, "The Magic Fish" is a powerful and magical tale that connects four stories togther to create a beautiful graphic novel. Using two fairytales, Tiâãen's story and his mother's, Trung Le Nguyen intertwines these vastly different stories to show how all the stories are connected in a beautiful and almost poetic way. I loved the illustrations, especially the way the mermaids and princesses were done, and found myself unable to put it down. While more serious, I think this is an amazing graphic novel and perfect for any fans of the young adult genre. Don't pass this one up!
Pride month may be over but Phil Stamper's middle grade debut is a delight to be enjoyed year round! Jake is inspired by a game (similar to Stardew Valley) to throw his town's first pride festival. The only problem is that his small village in Ohio is run by a mayor who wants to "keep the peace" for the people who are in opposition to it. Jake must team up with his best friend and the mayor's son (who may or may not be his crush) to fight against the backlash and discover what it means to have pride in their village. "Small Town Pride" is a great and quick read for any age!
"Chef's Kiss" was an unexpected delight! Ben is fresh out of college with an English degree but can't land a job without some professional experience. Therefore he jumps at the first chance for a job which just so happens to be at a vegan restaurant with an adorable pig (who really runs the place) and some sweet (and attractive) chefs. Ben has to complete 3 rounds of tasks to keep his job while also balancing life with his friends and the lie he's telling to his parents about his employment status. This graphic novel is about chasing your dreams and learning how to balance your life as you get older. If you liked "House in the Cerulean Sea" this should be your next read!
If you have met me, you may know I am very picky and particular about books that are very popular and especially when I read them after they've become popular. With that in mind, I can safely say "Crooked Kingdom" and the Six of Crows duology as a whole is one of the greatest duologies in the YA genre. While "Six of Crows" is a very plot driven book, "Crooked Kingdom" dives deep into the characters and all of their stories, dreams, fears and more. Bardugo manages to top an amazing book with its sequel by creating a book you won't be able to put down. I genuinely couldn't stop thinking about this book when I wasn't reading it and still can't stop thinking about these characters. If you've seen they hype for this book, know it is absolutely worth it!
If you're looking for a book that's right in the middle for spooky and sweet for this Halloween season, might I recommend "The Witch Haven" by Sasha Peyton Smith! Frances is a young tailor who accidentally kills her horrible boss but doesn't know what happened. The next day she is taken away to Haxahaven Academy where she gets to learn magic! But it's underwhelming and she hates it. Her time starts to get interesting though when notes start getting left regarding her late brother's death, a case she felt never got enough attention or closure about. This book is the first in a duology and is a wild ride from beginning to end. With the new one coming out soon, it's the perfect time to dive in!
When I first read this book I didn't love it, but after revisiting this book, I can safely say I actually really loved it! If you love fake dating tropes this book is right up your alley. Luc and Oliver both need boyfriends for things they both have to deal with so they decide to mutually fake date, but as always feelings can never stay fake in these types of books. Hall creates a very fun book with "Boyfriend Material" that continues with the second installment about them, "Husband Material!" I highly recommend listening to it on Libro.FM as the narrator is amazing!!
Racquel Marie debuts with an absolutely adorable novel. Ophelia (who is indeed names after the Shakespeare character) is obsessed with flowers and her garden and has always been called her parent's "boy crazy daughter" but as high school comes to an end, she starts to question all these different aspects of her life, including if she only likes boys. This book has so much care put into it that is evident through Marie's writing. Whether you're in high school currently going through this stage of life or reflecting on it, "Ophelia After All" is a charming book that is sure to keep readers enchanted until the end.
After finishing Crooked Kingdom, you will not want to miss the third installment of series/duologies to the Grishaverse. "King of Scars" combines the Shadow and Bone trilogy and the Six of Crows duologie by following Alina's former allies (Nikolai, Genya, Zoya) and Nina from SoC as they work towards creating a unified Rovka with the demons that figuratively and literally haunt them. This fast paced addition to the world Bardugo has created is thrilling and never disappoints. I was pleasantly blown away by this book and cannot wait for the next one.
Although I highly recommend this book, it needs a warning that it is heavy and will make you cry. I'm not sure I trust you if you don't cry during this. Wallace spends his life only worried about working and making money, and when he dies unexpectedly, he has nobody show up to celebrate his life well lived. When a reeper takes him to a cozy tea shop in the middle of the woods and he is forced to confront a life of relaxation and slows down to realize he wasn't happy with his life. It's a beautiful way to imagine the afterlife and a heavy, yet encapsulating book on how we live our lives. I loved it from beginning to end and recommend it to anyone who loved Klune's writing and/or is looking for a deep read that will make you wonder about the balance of life and death.
I didn't grow up always listening to the Foo Fighters, but they were part of my rotation and I was eager to get my hands on this book. I can safely say that this has to be the best memoir I have ever read. Grohl is a natural storyteller and he cleverly takes readers through his life with snapshots of a crazy life lived. Not only does Grohl have fascinating stories, but he tells them in such an entertaining and meaningful way. If you love rock music, this is a must read!
If you're looking for a quick and cute fall read, Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks's "Pumpkinheads" is just the read! Set on the last day of a pumpkin patch's season, Deja is determined to make her friend Josiah confess his feelings to his mystery girl. This launches them into a hunt around the patch where along the way they talk about life, the patch, and eat many fall snacks along the way. Curl up with a hot chocolate (or cider) and your favorite fall snacks because this book will leave you craving them all!
Both of Ryan La Sala's books are absolute joys, but "Be Dazzled" takes the cake. The story flips between the past and present as Raffy and Luca grow from a young couple in love to hardly speaking. All of this takes place with the backdrop of cosplay and conventions which makes this book so unique. Raffy and Luca have a genuinely interesting story that had me swooning and hoping the best for them, while also breaking knowing their destined ending. This book shines like it's covered in turquoise sequins and will have you flying through it to see if there's anything left for this lovely pair.
Phil's second novel has a beautiful new paperback cover which is the best opportunity to launch into it! Stamper's sophomore novel is an amazing follow-up from his first novel that talks about travel, growing into maturity and figuring yourself out along the way. For anybody who feels like they're finding themselves and needs to ust jump in and do something crazy, this is the book for you! After this, follow it up with "Golden Boys" and keep the ball rolling! Stamper only gets better the further in you get!
I'm not usually one for huge books, and while it has taken me quite a while to complete, "Legendborn" is worth the read. This first installment in Deonn's series follows Bree after her mother's untimely and mysterious death that leaves her searching for answers in places she didn't know existed. When she finds out the legendary Arthur exists and the stories are real, she is thrust into a terrifying world that may have to do with her mother's death. With themes of blackness in the south and holding your ground, this book covers so much and in a tasteful story that is continuing with book 2 and soon, book 3.
Persephone and Hades retellings seem to be very overdone at this point, but I stumbled across "Lore Olympus" and found one definitely worth the hype. Rachel Smythe's beautiful art tells the story of modern Greek Gods as they navigate the beginnngs of Hades and Persephone's story. Persephone is a young 19 year old who is learning how to navigate college and being on her own, and Hades (who is to die for!!) is lonely in the underworld but finally has a chance at something with her. It's one you won't want to end and is a great gift for a friend this holiday season!
If you're looking for some good queer representation (including some demisexual rep!) "Never Been Kissed" is a fun, sweet read to kick off the summer. Wren has (as the title says) never been kissed, and he's saving this moment for someone special. He's come close though, and has had many almost kisses, experiences he's written about, and one night he drunkingly sends out these emails to all of his past crushes. The next day, he hears from one of them, his old crush Derick and is desperate to stay away from him. Luck is not on Wren's side though, as Derick is recruited to work at the drive-in theater that he works at. A fun story about second chances, nostalgia and learning about yourself, "Never Been Kissed" is an easy and sweet debut novel that will have you rooting for them until the end.
An arranged marriage book set in outer space between two people who don't know anything about each other but must work against all odds to come together? You had me at the first three words. Kiem is the least favorite grand-son of the Emperor. Deemed useless, he is set to be married off to Jainan to keep help with singing a treaty. After the two wed it's clear this will be a wedding of convenience, but when rumors start to pop up that Jainan's ex-husband (Taam) may have been murdered and that he was comitting crimes on Taam's main project, they realize they're going to need each other more than they know. Dspite being a slow burn, I absolutely loved this book. It's heartwarming and a beautiful tale about falling for someone and learning to move on from past trauma. Each of these characters grow so much from where they start which makes a book you'll remember for weeks to come.
Do yourself a favor and get started on "The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue" so you can read this outstanding finale to the trilogy. In the third and final installment of the "Montague trilogy" by Mackenzi Lee, the Montague baby from the first one (little goblin/Adrian) is engaged and ready to take over his father's estate but after his mother myseriously dies and leaves behind a spy glass she never removed, he goes hunting for answers and finds a lot more than he could have anticipated. This story revisits every part of the first two books you loved and has familiar face after familiar face. It's one of the best endings you could ask for in a trilogy and, if you love these characters as much as I do, will leave you in tears.