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12 Things to Remember About The Brilliant Death Before You Start Reading The Storm of Life


We are SO excited that The Storm of Life is officially on shelves! But in case you need a quick refresher since reading The Brilliant Deathwe asked author Amy Rose Capetta to recap the major stuff! Read her recap below!


1. Teodora di Sangro is a strega. A strega is a witchy-type of person, each one with a slightly different power. Teo’s power is the ability to change people into objects (music boxes, rose plants, owls when she’s really angry.)


2. Cielo is also a strega! Cielo has the ability to change form, appearing in two different human variations, as well as taking on the shape of a bird, a wolf, a wind blowing over the mountain…you get the idea. Cielo has an enchanted book created to control the changes. With a flick of the pages, Cielo’s form shifts.


3. Teo and Cielo are in love. Sometimes they try to out-stubborn each other. Sometimes they just make out instead.


4. Teo cares about her family. A lot. As a child of one of the mafia-like five families, she’s been taught to be loyal to the di Sangro line above all. As a child, her father always told her “family is fate” and she took this very literally for a long time.


5. Case in point: When Teo’s father was poisoned by a letter (!) from the new ruler of Vinalia which required the family to send a new leader to the capital city, Teo made it her mission to answer the summons, using her magic to appear as a boy and save her family.


6. As it turns out, Teo did more than save her family by spending time as a boy. She also started to explore some feelings about gender through magic! (Get ready for more gender exploration in the second book!)


7. As it turns out, Teo isn’t the only strega in her family. At the end of The Brilliant Death, we learned that Teo’s father has been hiding the fact that he’s a strega healer from the rest of the five families for his entire life.


8. Which makes sense, because the five families can be a lot. The current crop of young family heads include: Ambrogio, who was engaged to Teo’s sister Mirella (and got her pregnant!) but turned out to be a traitor; Lorenzo, who has to fight to be with his true love, Mimi, instead of making a political match in the families; Vanni, who’s kind of ridiculous; and Pasquale, who doesn’t like Teo because she flirted with his fiancé and she transformed him into a shoehorn once. Also he’s a misogynist so that doesn’t help.


9. The five families are fighting against the ascendance of the Capo, a military leader who managed to unify all of Vinalia under one flag. (He’s also Cielo’s uncle: surprise!) He says he’s pro-strega, but what he actually means is that he wants to control the power of Vinalia’s streghe and use it for his own ends. To do that, he recruited two magical sisters and secretly fed them other peoples’ power, one dead strega at a time. Those sisters are dead now, and Teo carries their magic, and the magic of everyone who was killed to make them stronger. What I mean is, Teo is carrying SO MUCH MAGIC.


10. Right before the end of The Brilliant Death, Teo walked away from her family, because her father wouldn’t let her be his heir unless she only used her magic to remain in a boy’s form, forever. Having found freedom in her genderfluidity and her magic, she wants to be true to all parts of who she is. So she’s running away with Cielo! Sorry, Dad!


11. Remember how Teo sometimes turns people into owls when she’s mad? One time when she did that to her terrifying brother, Beniamo. He’s human again, but he remembers being an owl, and he definitely remembers hating Teo. So add that on top of all of her other problems.


12. Oh, and thanks to the Capo, a war is brewing. And Teo might be the only one who has enough power to stop it.




Looking for more addictive reads? Check out every book hitting shelves in February here!


The Hidden Histories of the Titanic with Stacey Lee

Shining A Light On A Hidden History By Stacey Lee, author of Luck of the Titanic   Even after a hundred and nine years, the infamous sinking of the Titanic continues to ignite our collective imagination, engendering hundreds of movies, cartoons, plays, poetry, books, even video games. Most are familiar with the basic elements: a spanking … Continued
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A Beginner’s Guide to Nina LaCour Books

One of our favorite reads of this year is Watch Over Me by Nina LaCour, a modern ghost story about trauma and survival, chosen family and rebirth. Nina LaCour novels bring out the feels in a special way. So If you’ve somehow missed Nina’s books until now, read on for a beginner’s guide to Nina LaCour and where we recommend … Continued
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Penguin Teen on Tour!

Not one, not two, but THREE internationally bestselling authors are coming together for the book tour of a lifetime! From historical fantasy, to royal intrigue, to dystopian survival, authors Marie Lu, Melissa de la Cruz, and Astrid Scholte are ready to celebrate some of 2020’s biggest books, and you’re invited! Check below to see if they’re coming … Continued
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Unsolved Mysteries that inspired HOUSE OF HOLLOW by Krystal Sutherland

We asked Krystal Sutherland about her favorite unsolved mysteries that served as inspiration for writing House of Hollow, and BOY did she have answers! So put on your detective hats and scroll down, because these unsolved cases left us BAFFLED. The Unsolved Mysteries that Inspired House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland   At the heart of House … Continued
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A Beginner’s Guide to #Wibbroka

You may have seen a lot of talk on the internet about the cutest writing couple ever that is #Wibbroka. They are Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka. They write adorable YA rom coms and are #CoupleGoals themselves. Anyway, in case you’re new here, here’s your starter guide to all the #Wibbroka books!   Always Never … Continued
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A Q&A with Adib Khorram

We are IN LOVE with the cover for Darius the Great Deserves Better, and it got us thinking about some questions we have both about the cover and what to expect going into book 2! Luckily, Adib Khorram was kind enough to answer our questions. Scroll down for the Q&A! A Q&A with Adib Khorram! Q: We … Continued
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Plotting with Rosaria Munda

If you’ve been paying attention to the goings on of YA, you’ve probably have noticed a whole lot of chatter about the amazingness that is Fireborne by Rosaria Munda and its sequel Flamefall. Between the dragons, political intrigue, and wildly complex relationships of characters that had our hearts absolutely aching, Rosaria Munda pretty much captivated fantasy shelves everywhere. And that’s … Continued
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5 Deleted Scenes That Were Cut From THE MERCILESS II Because They Were Too Scary

Don’t be deceived by the pretty pink cover: the insides of The Merciless are twisty, creepy, gory, and sometimes downright terrifying. Book 2 is no exception. We checked in with author Danielle Vega to get the inside scoop on writing the series, and boy did she deliver. Here are 5 scenes from the The Merciless II that got cut. Think you can … Continued
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Listen to the FLYY GIRLS Playlist by Ashley Woodfolk!

We asked Ashley Woodfolk, author of Flyy Girls, what her characters would listen to–and she delivered! Read a bit from Ashley below and enjoy the tunes! Writing the Flyy Girls Series has been as much of a challenge as it has been a joy. Getting to know each girl intimately enough to tell her story while … Continued
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9 1/2 Things We Learned and Loved From Taylor Swift’s Miss Americana Documentary

If you found yourself deeply emotionally invested in Taylor Swift’s recent Netflix documentary, you’re not alone. And luckily, our fav YA couple IRL, Austin Siegemund-Broka & Emily Wibberley (Wibbroka, if you will) are also HUGE fans. So, they sat down to recap their top nine (and a half) things we learned (and loved) from Taylor Swift’s … Continued
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