YA of the Past, Present and Future

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How to Hang a Witch and Other Fall Books

So Hails Hearts Nyc has posted a Fall TBR with a Fall Reading Guide to come, and this got me thinking.  I’ve never really thought much about matching books o seasons, besides the two obvious notions of reading books where Christmas plays a significant role in the winter, and books about summer vacation in the summer.  And honestly, I don’t even consider those to be hard and fast rules.

Anyway, if I were asked to say what I thought entailed a fall story, I would likely point to tales with a bit of spookiness to them, and as it happens, I’ve actually read a couple of books lately that seem like perfect fits for the season. I’ll explain some of my reactions to these books in my next Ranking Recent Reads posts, but with this post we can see what some others have been saying about these and other similar books.

One book that I really liked was How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather. The story follows Sam Mather (a descendent of Cotton Mather, like the author), who moves to Salem and quickly runs afoul of the clique of students made up of descendants of the people executed during the Salem Witch Trials.  Ohana Reads found it a solid read, while abellafairytale also encouraged readers to pick it up.  Booktubers HollyByGollyBooks, Connor O’Brien, and Jbooklover all posted positive reviews as well.

The other book I recently read that seems like it would fit the mold of a “Fall book” is The Call, by Peadar O’Guilin, which was promoted as Hunger Games meets horror. The Call takes place in a world where every Irish teen is at some point called to the world inhabited by the faerie race called the Sidhe.  The Sidhe will hunt them mercilessly for twenty-four hours, at which point whatever is left of them is sent back to Ireland.  This interview with the author from YA Interrobang suggests that it’s a good summer fantasy.  I agree with the good part, though as noted, it seems to me like more of a fall read.  The Great Imaginations blog offered a very positive review for this novel.

Moving on to books I haven’t read (yet), the first book that jumps to mind as a fall story is The Graces by Laure Eve. It actually seems fairly similar to How to Hang a Witch, with a new loner girl in town becoming intrigued by the mysterious group or students who are rumoured to have magical powers.  The big difference being that the protagonist here is desperate to get herself into the world of The Graces, while Sam Mather just wanted The Descendants to leave her alone.  So far this seems to have been a very polarizing book.  Jess Hearts Books gives it a perfect five stars, while the Such a Novel Idea blog criticized the pacing and the characters, though admitting the story had a strong endingThe My Friends are Fiction blog wasn’t entirely sure what to make of the book.

In my last post I linked to a post at the Barnes & Noble Teen Blog by Alexandra Sirowy, talking about her dark books The Creeping and The Telling. I have to say they both sound like definite fall reads.  Check out the post and see for yourself!

Finally, coming September 20th, Kendare Blake will release a story about three sisters who must fight to the death for the right to become queen of Fennbirn.  Check out this book trailer from Epic Reads and tell me that it doesn’t seem like a Fall Book!

Books to Check Out

In a previous thread, I linked to Epic Reads list of most anticipated books coming in August.  The Barnes & Noble Teen Blog has posted its own list of 22 books they are looking forward to in August.  The Snuggly Oranges book blog has also posted about the books she is most anticipating getting her hands on in the coming month.

Snuggly Oranges also posted an early review of August release Nevernight by Jay Kristoff, one that is far less positive than the review I linked too in the aforementioned previous post.  But then A Reader of Fictions posted her own review that made it very clear she ranked Nevernight up there with her all-time favourites.

Another book coming in August is The Telling, by Alexandra Sirowy, and the Great Imaginations blog was kind enough to provide us with an early review.  If you’re looking for a creepy read, it sounds like you won’t go wrong by picking up this book once August second rolls around.

Turning to book that are already on the shelves, booktuber BooksandLala posted a review of Never Ever by Sara Saedi.  She has some negative comments, but her review is ultimately a positive one about the first book in a series that reimagines Peter Pan.

A video from Epic Reads sees the authors of the Tiny Pretty Things duology, Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton, play a game of Would You Rather.  This video won’t tell you much about their books, but I say that the duology about the dreams and schemes of the girls at a ballet school is a fun read, even though I found many of the characters difficult to like.  Heck, I found myself mostly sympathizing with Bette, who does something arguably unforgiveable just a few pages into the series.

Now looking beyond August, Epic Reads has a sneak peak of the upcoming October release Replica by Lauren Oliver.  The book tells the story of two girls, one of whom happens to be a clone, or replica.

Epic Reads also revealed news about a couple of recent book deals. Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows, who recently released My Lady Jane, have signed on for two spiritual sequels.  My Plain Jane will focus on Jane Eyre, while My Calamity Jane will tell an alternate story of Calamity Jane.

Valynne Maetani and Courtney Almeda will also collaborate on Seven Dead Gods, which their agent describes as An Ember in the Ashes and Daughter of Smoke and Bone meets Akira Kuroswa. At Publishers Weekly, the editor who acquired the book for Harper Collins has a different mash-up in mind; calling the book Mean Girls meets Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.  The story focuses on a bullied girl who learns she can communicate with demons.

Publishers Weekly posted a list of other recent book deals.  The list includes a graphic novel about a changeling and the human he was swapped with joining forces to save both their worlds, and the first book of a trilogy where a boy learns his camp is teaching magic along with survival tactics