Waiting on Wednesday: THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN by Roshani Chokski

I’m so excited about this YA Fantasy!

Waiting on Wednesday Theme: OMG I WANT THIS BOOK NOW

treat yo self parks

the star touched queen coverTitle: The Star-Touched Queen
Author: Roshani Chokski
Pub Date: May 3, 2016 from St. Martin’s Press
Goodreads: Your shelves NEED this book

Cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, sixteen-year-old Maya has only earned the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her world is upheaved when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. But when her wedding takes a fatal turn, Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Yet neither roles are what she expected. As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds friendship and warmth.

But Akaran has its own secrets – thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Beneath Akaran’s magic, Maya begins to suspect her life is in danger. When she ignores Amar’s plea for patience, her discoveries put more than new love at risk – it threatens the balance of all realms, human and Otherworldly.

Now, Maya must confront a secret that spans reincarnated lives and fight her way through the dangerous underbelly of the Otherworld if she wants to protect the people she loves.

The Star-Touched Queen is a lush, beautifully written and vividly imagined fantasy inspired by Indian mythology.

Truth time: I’ve been looking forward to this book since Roshani announced she signed with her agent on Querytracker with a YA Indian Inspired fantasy. I followed her on Twitter right after that and was SO stoked when the deal announcement came. THIS BOOK. I haven’t read it so this is just hypothetical flailing about how amazing I expect it to be.

brb singing about my feelings

I love fantasy, I’m Indian, I’m all for girls finding their voice and power, I love romance, I love secrets, and lush world building, and pretty words, and I kinda love the ‘forced relationship to love’ trope. So I’m convinced this book is made for me.

PLUS THAT COVER. Mega swoon. That has to be one of the most perfect covers ever.

Are you excited for THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN? The only acceptable answer is ‘gcujksvdfghb YES.’


Waiting on Wednesday: SCARLETT EPSTEIN HATES IT HERE by Anna Breslaw

I’m so excited to talk about this booK!

Waiting on Wednesday Theme: Nerdy Book of My Heart

vanessa excitement

Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here coverTitle: Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here
Author: Anna Breslaw
Pub Date: April 19, 2016 from Razorbill/Penguin Random House
Amazon: Pre-order it here!
B&N: or here!
Goodreads: Add it to your shelves!

Meet Scarlett Epstein, BNF (Big Name Fan) in her online community of fanfiction writers, world-class nobody at Melville High. Her best (read: only) IRL friends are Avery, a painfully shy and annoyingly attractive bookworm, and Ruth, her pot-smoking, possibly insane seventy-three-year-old neighbor.

When Scarlett’s beloved TV show is canceled and her longtime crush, Gideon, is sucked out of her orbit and into the dark and distant world of Populars, Scarlett turns to the fanfic message boards for comfort. This time, though, her subjects aren’t the swoon-worthy stars of her fave series—they’re the real-life kids from her high school. Scarlett never considers what might happen if they were to find out what she truly thinks about them…until a dramatic series of events exposes a very different reality than Scarlett’s stories, forever transforming her approach to relationships—both online and off.

I feel like I might have talked about my love for all things fangirly in my Waiting On post for Gena/Finn. Regardless, if you could not tell by now, I love fandom. I started writing through fanfiction, so stories about fanfic are always close to my heart.

I’m really intrigued to see how the fanfiction world will mesh with her ‘real’ life. The pitch just kind of hits everything need I need it to–except ‘annoyingly attractive’ best friend because why do we hardly have YA friendships where the MC does not feel overshadowed by her prettier friend? Hopefully that’s just the pitch being misleading and the actual book won’t disappoint me.


Waiting on Wednesday: A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE by Brittany Cavallaro

Check out what book we’re spotlighting this week!

Waiting on Wednesday Theme: Gender-Bending!

she's the man mustache

a study in charlotte coverTitle: A Study in Charlotte
Author: Brittany Cavallaro
Pub Date: March 1, 2016 from Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins
Amazon: Pre-order here!
B&N: Or here!
Goodreads: Add it to your shelves!

The last thing sixteen-year-old Jamie Watson–writer and great-great-grandson of the John Watson–wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s enigmatic, fiercely independent great-great-granddaughter, who’s inherited not just his genius but also his vices, volatile temperament, and expertly hidden vulnerability. Charlotte has been the object of his fascination for as long as he can remember–but from the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else.

Then a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Holmes stories, and Jamie and Charlotte become the prime suspects. Convinced they’re being framed, they must race against the police to conduct their own investigation. As danger mounts, it becomes clear that nowhere is safe and the only people they can trust are each other.

Equal parts tender, thrilling, and hilarious, A Study in Charlotte is the first in a trilogy brimming with wit and edge-of-the-seat suspense.

I can’t wait for this book! I’ve heard nothing but good things about it from the book world and it seems like a great twist on the classic story of Sherlock Holmes.

I’m sure most of us are fans of the BBC show with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, but I’ve lost some of my love for it in the past few years. I haven’t been excited about Sherlock–both the show and the classic, in general–in a long time. That was, until I heard the premise for this! FEMALE SHERLOCK OMG YAY!–I’m so thrilled for it.

sherlock rather fun

Come on, you all knew this was coming, right?

A lot of people seem to get very defensive about how a Sherlock/Watson romance wouldn’t work–regardless of gender–because Sherlock is supposed to be this and Watson is that, but I am a romantic and I will ship almost anything that makes heart eyes, or annoyed eyes, at each other. ‘Tense energy between them’ ‘rivals’… I ship it already. I’m excited to see their dynamic play out, especially because Holmes/Watson are always friendly (I think?) in any reincarnation. I mean they may start out as reluctant allies, but never rivals.

I also love how the cover is kind of like a snapshot of all the detective work. I just imagine it as all the places they’re investigating/suspicious items they find. It’s so intriguing and I could look at it forever.

Are you excited for A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE? Are you a Sherlock Holmes fan?

Waiting on Wednesday: AFTER THE WOODS by Kim Savage

Check out what I’m waiting on this Wednesday!

Waiting on Wednesday Theme: Complex Lady Books

hug trish jessica jones

after the woods coverTitle: After the Woods
Author: Kim Savage
Pub Date: February 23, 2016 from Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Amazon: Pre-order here
B&N: or here!
Goodreads: Add it to your shelves!

Would you risk your life to save your best friend?

Julia did. When a paroled predator attacked Liv in the woods, Julia fought back and got caught. Liv ran, leaving Julia in the woods for a terrifying 48 hours that she remembers only in flashbacks. One year later, Liv seems bent on self-destruction, starving herself, doing drugs, and hooking up with a violent new boyfriend. A dead girl turns up in those same woods, and Julia’s memories resurface alongside clues unearthed by an ambitious reporter that link the girl to Julia’s abductor. As the devastating truth becomes clear, Julia realizes that after the woods was just the beginning.

This book sounds so twisty and haunting and I’ve been waiting for it for awhile!

  • Complicated girl relationships
  • Female relationships front and center
  • That cover almost looks like she’s in a womb, like she’s going through a rebirth/renewal/transformation –> like the woods will change her
  • Or it’s just a haunting image of an innocent girl

I want it. I want messy ‘unlikeable’ girls. I want girls that are anti-heroes. I want girls that screw up. I want selfish girls. And kind girls. And hard girls. And soft girls. And all the girls doing all the things.

Are you excited about AFTER THE WOODS?

Waiting on Wednesday: A CRIMINAL MAGIC by Lee Kelly

This wednesday take a look at a magical Realism novel I’m waiting on!

Waiting on Wednesday Theme: THOSE COMP TITLES OMG *dies*

waits patiently ouat

a criminal magic cover

Title: A Criminal Magic
Author: Lee Kelly
Pub Date: February 2, 2016 from Simon & Schuster
Amazon: Pre-order
B&N: Pre-order 
Goodreads: Add it to your shelves








THE NIGHT CIRCUS meets PEAKY BLINDERS in Lee Kelly’s new magical realism, crossover novel.

Magic is powerful, dangerous and addictive – and after passage of the 18th Amendment, it is finally illegal.

It’s 1926 in Washington, DC, and while Anti-Sorcery activists have achieved the Prohibition of sorcery, the city’s magic underworld is booming. Sorcerers cast illusions to aid mobsters’ crime sprees. Smugglers funnel magic contraband in from overseas. Gangs have established secret performance venues where patrons can lose themselves in magic, and take a mind-bending, intoxicating elixir known as the sorcerer’s shine.

Joan Kendrick, a young sorcerer from Norfolk County, Virginia accepts an offer to work for DC’s most notorious crime syndicate, the Shaw Gang, when her family’s home is repossessed. Alex Danfrey, a first-year Federal Prohibition Unit trainee with a complicated past and talents of his own, becomes tapped to go undercover and infiltrate the Shaws.

Through different paths, Joan and Alex tread deep into the violent, dangerous world of criminal magic – and when their paths cross at the Shaws’ performance venue, despite their orders, and despite themselves, Joan and Alex become enchanted with one another. But when gang alliances begin to shift, the two sorcerers are forced to question their ultimate allegiances and motivations. And soon, Joan and Alex find themselves pitted against each other in a treacherous, heady game of cat-and-mouse.

A CRIMINAL MAGIC casts a spell of magic, high stakes and intrigue against the backdrop of a very different Roaring Twenties.

I am so excited for this book because:

  1. PEAKY BLINDERS. I devoured that show in a day. Season 1 was basically perfection to me.
  2. THE NIGHT CIRCUS. The book is also basically perfection to me.
  3. Alex sounds like my Amazing Grace from Peaky Blinders.
  5. One of my favorite tropes is In Love With the Mark & and then of course THEY CAN’T BE TOGETHER BECAUSE THEY’RE ON OPPOSITE SIDES.
  6. Ummm, that strangely epic cover.
  7. Just that entire blurb again.
  9. Seriously what else is there? (insert Derek from Swan Princess stammering “…what…else…is…there?” ;D)


Waiting on Wednesday: SALT TO THE SEA by Ruta Sepetys

Today we’re Waiting on SALT TO THE SEA, an epic historical fiction novel.

Waiting on Wednesday Theme: Free Day

salt to the sea coverTitle: Salt to the Sea
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Pub Date: February 2, 2016 from Philomel Books
Amazon: Pre-order
B&N: Pre-order 
Goodreads: Add it to your shelves






The author of Between Shades of Gray returns to WWII in this epic novel that shines a light on one of the war’s most devastating—yet unknown—tragedies.

In 1945, World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer toward safety.

Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.

Ruta Sepetys is a phenomenal writer and she takes periods of history and brings them to life. I am so excited for her newest novel, Salt to the Sea! I also adore the title. The alliteration, the sound, the words. I don’t know. I’m weird, okay.

it's art yelling

I read Between Shades of Gray years ago, when it first came out. I didn’t fall in love with it, but the writing was beautiful and I appreciated getting to learn more about a period of history I hadn’t known about. I’d had no clue about the deportations Lithuanians suffered in WW1.

I read Ruta’s next novel Out of the Easy and that is when I became a believer. I loved every second of Out of the Easy. Every word, every character, every second I lived in that book. This time the stakes were less dire, but no less personal. Discovering 1950s New Orleans was fascinating. I heartily recommend this book to everyone.

And now I’m here, waiting for Salt to the Sea. I’m nervous it’ll fall more towards the Shades of Gray spectrum (although for many people, obviously that means they’ll love it), but I’m hopeful that I’ll enjoy it as mush as I did Out of the Easy.

Plus, it has water. It doesn’t take much to hook me when there’s water involved.

water tribe atla

Waiting on Wednesday: MY LADY JANE by Jodi Meadows, Cynthia Hand, and Brodi Ashton

Welcome to the last Waiting on Wednesday of 2015!

Waiting on Wednesday Theme: YA Historical

 I need more ‘historical’ gifs

my lady jane coverTitle: My Lady Jane
Authors: Jodi Meadows, Cynthia Hand, and Brodi Ashton
Pub Date: June 7, 2016 from HarperTeen
Amazon: Pre-order!
B&N: Pre-order!
Goodreads: Add it to your shelves!








The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey. In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.

At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane gets to be Queen of England.

Like that could go wrong.

I love history! I’m a total history nerd, which is why I’m currently studying it in college and love me a good YA historical. I just read Blackhearts (swoony review to come soon!) and it reminded me of my love for a good historical. I read two this year–Under and Painted Sky and This Monstrous Thing–and I’m always eager for another good one. (How many times can I use good in one paragraph?)

Which is why I’m so excited about My Lady Jane. I took a class called The World of Queen Elizabeth three semesters ago. It was fascinating. I’m excited to return to the Tudor era and explore the story of Jane Grey, who I assume most people don’t know about. Plus, pitch anything with The Princess Bride in it and I will perk up. That book and movie are sacred to me.

hahahaha falls down dead princess bride

And, I mean, that cover! There’s so much sass and voice in it, which I didn’t know was possible. if the book is anything like that cover suggests, I’m so ready.

The pitch makes it clear this is totally a re-imagining, which I appreciate. I’m so excited to read whatever ride these three amazing authors have come up with for us. History is so amazing because it’s kind of like a fantasy, transporting us to a world that feels totally foreign, but is actually our own!

Are you excited for MY LADY JANE? Do you enjoy historicals? What’s your favorite?