I don’t know about you, but quarantine is getting to me and I’ve started buying books on eBay in the middle of the night. Because what else do you do after 80 days of not being around anyone but your cat? Whatever we need to cope in these wild times, I guess.
As always, I want to reiterate that you do not need to buy and own a lot of books in order to be considered a book blogger or lover. I am quite frugal with everything else so that I can buy books because I love them, but I do not ever want to make you feel bad if you cannot afford to buy books or have poor access where you live.
Physical Book Haul
Firefly: The Ghost Machine by James Lovegrove
Publisher: Titan Books | Release Date: April 28, 2020 | Pages: 336
Genre: Adult, Science Fiction, Space Opera
Mal and the crew take receipt of a sealed crate which they are being paid to transport to Badger, no questions asked. Yet once their cargo is safely stowed aboard, River insists Mal should “space” it out of the airlock, for it contains, she insists, ghosts. With supplies running low, the crew desperately need another pay day, but soon find themselves paralysed by hallucinations of their deepest hopes and desires, so vivid they cannot be distinguished from reality. River is the only one unaffected, and desperately tries to awaken her crew mates, while the fantasies turn sour, and the ship begins to spin out of control.
Color me surprised when this book came out! The third book, Generations by Tim Lebbon, was supposed to come out last fall but was pushed back to later in 2020. I didn’t realize that this book was pushed ahead of it! I still need to read The Magnificent Nine, but now that I have the next book I am more likely to cozy back into the Verse.
The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends | Release Date: February 25, 2020 | Pages: 326
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
1) Woo the Shadow King.
2) Marry him.
3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.
No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King’s power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves, and she’s going to do everything within her power to get it.
But Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. As attempts on his life are made, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen—all while struggling not to lose her heart. After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?
I loved this book so much when I read the ARC, so I had to buy a finished copy for my shelves! I also just love the aesthetic of the cover and overall Slytherin vibes.
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
Publisher: B&N | Release Date: June 5, 1967 | Pages: 417
Genre: Adult, Magical Realism
Out of Print Leatherbound Edition! I’ve been searching for this edition for years, and found a copy in excellent condition on eBay at 2 in the morning for a good price.
I read a tattered paperback edition of this book when I was backpacking in Peru back in 2014, and one of the biggest regrets I had was trading it in a hostel library. I’m looking forward to re-reading it at some point since I didn’t write a review for it back then.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Publisher: Del Rey | Release Date: March 19, 2015 | Pages: 435
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.
Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.
But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.
This was another eBay find… but this one I arguably didn’t need as I have this as an eBook and still haven’t read it. But when I earned enough Penguin Points for a free book, I got in my head that I wanted this hardcover… but it is out of print. The heart wants what the heart wants, and it looks nice next to my unread copy of Spinning Silver.
One of Us is Lying (One of Us is Lying #1) by Karen M. McManus
Publisher: Delacorte Press | Release Date: May 30, 2017 | Pages: 361
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
Pay close attention and you might solve this.
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.
Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.
I’ve been on a bit of a thriller kick lately, so I decided to finally pick this one up.
Girls Save the World in This One by Ash Parsons
Publisher: Philomel Books | Release Date: April 14, 2020 | Pages: 361
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Horror
And when they arrive everything seems perfect, though June has to shrug off some weirdness from other fans—people shambling a little too much, and someone actually biting a cast member. Then all hell breaks loose and June and her friends discover the truth: real zombies are taking over the con. Now June must do whatever it takes to survive a horde of actual brain-eating zombies—and save the world.
This was the Mysterious Galaxy Fantastic Firsts book for April, and I’m pretty excited about it as I hadn’t heard anything about it!
Yes, I bought the cringey Twilight movie tie-in paperback editions secondhand and they bring me an unexpected amount of joy on my shelf. Some of my friends and I decided to do a group
hate re-read, and I thought it would be fun to annotate them. The best part? All but Twilight have the movie poster still inside, and they are iconic. 👌👌👌
As a note: we all know that these books are problematic. They are poorly written and encourage unhealthy romantic ideals; but sometimes I like to read trash.
eBook Purchases (Kindle deals)
An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes #1) by Sabaa Tahir
Publisher: Razorbill | Release Date: April 28, 2015 | Pages: 446
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.
I’ve been wanting to read this series since meeting Sabaa at The Beautiful event last fall, but am annoyed because of the cover shift so I’ve been putting it off. The eBook went on sale, so I snapped it up!
Electronic ARC Approvals
Hahahaha… about that ARC ban. Oops.
Forest of Souls (Shamanborn #1) by Lori M. Lee
Publisher: Page Street Kids | Release Date: June 23, 2020 | Pages: 400
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Sirscha Ashwyn comes from nothing, but she’s intent on becoming something. After years of training to become the queen’s next royal spy, her plans are derailed when shamans attack and kill her best friend Saengo.
And then Sirscha, somehow, restores Saengo to life.
Unveiled as the first soulguide in living memory, Sirscha is summoned to the domain of the Spider King. For centuries, he has used his influence over the Dead Wood—an ancient forest possessed by souls—to enforce peace between the kingdoms. Now, with the trees growing wild and untamed, only a soulguide can restrain them. As war looms, Sirscha must master her newly awakened abilities before the trees shatter the brittle peace, or worse, claim Saengo, the friend she would die for.
Lobizona (Wolves of No World #1) by Romina Garber
Publisher: Wednesday Books | Release Date: August 4, 2020 | Pages: 400
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Lobizonas do NOT exist.
Both of these statements are false.
Manuela Azul has been crammed into an existence that feels too small for her. As an undocumented immigrant who’s on the run from her father’s Argentine crime-family, Manu is confined to a small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida.
Until Manu’s protective bubble is shattered.
Her surrogate grandmother is attacked, lifelong lies are exposed, and her mother is arrested by ICE. Without a home, without answers, and finally without shackles, Manu investigates the only clue she has about her past–a mysterious “Z” emblem—which leads her to a secret world buried within our own. A world connected to her dead father and his criminal past. A world straight out of Argentine folklore, where the seventh consecutive daughter is born a bruja and the seventh consecutive son is a lobizón, a werewolf. A world where her unusual eyes allow her to belong.
As Manu uncovers her own story and traces her real heritage all the way back to a cursed city in Argentina, she learns it’s not just her U.S. residency that’s illegal. . . .it’s her entire existence.
This Is How I Lied by Heather Gudenkauf
Publisher: Park Row | Release Date: May 12, 2020 | Pages: 336
Genre: Adult, Mystery
Everyone has a secret they’ll do anything to hide…
Twenty-five years ago, the body of sixteen-year-old Eve Knox was found in the caves near her home in small-town Grotto, Iowa—discovered by her best friend, Maggie, and her sister, Nola. There were a handful of suspects, including her boyfriend, Nick, but without sufficient evidence the case ultimately went cold.
For decades Maggie was haunted by Eve’s death and that horrible night. Now a detective in Grotto, and seven months pregnant, she is thrust back into the past when a new piece of evidence surfaces and the case is reopened. As Maggie investigates and reexamines the clues, secrets about what really happened begin to emerge. But someone in town knows more than they’re letting on, and they’ll stop at nothing to keep the truth buried deep.
Warmaidens (Gravemaidens #2) by Kelly Coon
Publisher: Delacorte Press | Release Date: October 20, 2020 | Pages: 352
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
In the refuge city-state of Manzazu, Kammani has built a thriving healing practice and a life she’s proud of with her siblings, the maidens, and her love, Dagan.
But when an assassin murders a healer he believes is Kammani and attempts to kill Arwia, the displaced queen of Alu, they realize they’re not safe in their safe little haven anymore. Uruku, the usurper to Alu’s throne, has found out they escaped the tomb and must kill them to protect his newly acquired power.
Burning for retribution, the ruler of Manzazu wants to unleash her fiercest weapons on Alu–her warmaidens. But when Kammani’s best friend, Iltani, is captured, Kammani must use her intuition and her heart to restore Arwia to the throne before the life she’s built–and a future with Dagan–burn up in the flames of war.
Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
Publisher: Amulet Books | Release Date: August 18, 2020 | Pages: 368
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Nothing is more important than loyalty.
But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?
Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood. That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But The Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: Kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself? With extraordinary world-building and breathtaking prose, Raybearer is the story of loyalty, fate, and the lengths we’re willing to go for the ones we love.
Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA | Release Date: July 7, 2020 | Pages: 400
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling
Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . .
This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them.
Physical Review Copies
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Publisher: Swoon Reads | Release Date: September 1, 2020 | Pages: 352
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy, LGBTQIAP+
When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.
However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.
Do we have any books in common? What books should I read first? Let’s talk book acquisitions in the comments, friends!
Let’s go on another adventure together!