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Books by Women of Color that You Need to Read This Year

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If 2017 was the year of the woman, in 2018 women are keeping that momentum going and taking the world by storm. If the Golden Globes were any indication, women are finally (and rightfully) demanding to have their voices heard. And while we continue to show support from a social and political standpoint, we are also making sure we’re supporting women–especially women of color–in the way we know best: buying their books. Read on for 12 incredible books by women of color to add to your TBR’s this year!

 

A Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi

Atia Abawi is a foreign news correspondent that experienced the Syrian refugee crisis firsthand. While this is one family’s story, it is also the timeless tale of all wars, of all tragedy, and of all strife. When you are a refugee, success is outliving your loss. Coming January 23!

 

Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

Empress of a Thousand Skies is an epic sci-fi/fantasy space saga that follows two characters: one, a princess and the other, a fugitive. But together, they must confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy. Book two, Blood of a Thousand Stars comes out February 20!

 

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

When Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, she risks her life for the rebellion, acting as a spy within the Martial Empire’s military academy. There she meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier, and they soon realize their destinies are intertwined–and that they both are determined to fight against the tyranny of the Empire. The third book, A Reaper at the Gates, is coming this summer!

 

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson

Veronica Mars meets The Craft when a teen girl investigates the suspicious deaths of three classmates and accidentally ends up bringing them all back to life to form a hilariously unlikely–and unwilling–vigilante girl gang. With seven days until the spell expires, Mia must work with her misfit undead crew to get to the bottom of the mystery she set out to solve–who killed her best friend and why? Coming May 8!

 

If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson

Jeremiah feels good inside his own skin. That is, when he’s in his own Brooklyn neighborhood. But now he’s going to be attending a fancy prep school in Manhattan, and black teenage boys don’t exactly fit in there. So it’s a surprise when he meets Ellie the first week of school. In one frozen moment their eyes lock, and after that they know they fit together–even though she’s Jewish and he’s black. Their worlds are so different, but to them that’s not what matters. Too bad the rest of the world has to get in their way.

 

 

The Fall of Innocence by Jenny Torres Sanchez

The Lovely Bones meets Thirteen Reasons Why in this gorgeous, haunting, and tragic novel that examines the crippling–and far-reaching–effects of one person’s trauma on her family, her community, and herself. A compulsively-readable tragedy that reminds us of the fragility of human nature. You’ll want to grab a box of tissues for this one. Coming June 12!

 

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

This debut provides an enriching fantasy world complete with romance, mysterious darkness, and magic fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. Marie Lu says Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is a “richly developed fantasy world coupled with an ambitious anti-heroine of complex agency.” The sequel, Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix, hits shelves this fall!

 

Alex & Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz

‘Twas the night of the Grand Schuyler Ball… It was a dull night for young and beautiful Eliza Schuyler—until a handsome Colonel Alexander Hamilton waltzed in the room. When Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history. The sequel, Love & War, comes out April 17!

 

Between the Lines by Nikki Grimes

You may remember Nikki Grimes’ Bronx Masquerade, a beloved and award-winning novel. Over fifteen years later, Grimes is back with Between the Linesa thought-provoking companion novel that shows the capacity poetry has to express ideas and feelings, and connect us with ourselves and others. Coming February 13!

 

Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh

Flame in the Mist is a sweeping, action-packed YA adventure set against the backdrop of Feudal Japan. After Mariko, daughter of a prominent Samuri, is attacked, she dresses up as a boy and sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and track down those responsible for the target on her back. The conclusion, Smoke in the Sun, hits shelves June 5!

 

Warcross by Marie Lu

Emika Chen is a teenage bounty-hunter who hacks her way into the international Warcross Championships, something that’s never been done before by anyone. It doesn’t go unnoticed by the game’s creator, Hideo Tanaka. Cue romance, plus all the action and adventure you could want from a Marie Lu novel. The sequel (title to be unveiled!) comes out this fall.

 

Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly

Get ready to laugh out loud as you solve this thrilling mystery, and just maybe fall for the dashing and sassy Digby along the way. When a local teen goes missing, new girl Zoe somehow finds herself dragged into the case that Sherlock-wannabe Digby is determined to solve. The final book, Trouble Never Sleeps, is out April 24!

 

The Reader by Traci Chee

What if there were no books? Set in a world without reading, The Reader is a stunningly written fantasy full of swashbuckling pirates, merciless assassins, and an odd rectangular object that young Sefia will come to realize is a book. Book two, The Speaker, is now out, and the third book (title to be unveiled!) comes out this fall.

 

 

 

Looking for more recommendations? Check out this list of books coming early this year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#ShelfGoals

10 Love Stories Gone Wrong

We all love a good love story…but not all love stories necessarily have smooth courses (or happy endings). Come to think of it, a lot of love stories have a few bumps (or 200) along the way. Here are 10 love stories that don’t go quite as you’d expect!   The Love that Split the World by … Continued
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12 Books to Read If You’re Obsessed With Musical Theater

Do you sing Hamilton in the shower? Wicked in your car? Geeking out to Six the Musical on a regular basis? Here are the musical theater books for you.   The Alex and Eliza Trilogy by Melissa de la Cruz Hey Hamilton lovers, this one is for you. The Alex and Eliza Trilogy is the love story … Continued
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Excerpt Alert: Rebelwing

Happy #FridayReads! Did someone say robot dragons?! This week, we’re reading Rebelwing by Andrea Tang. Read the excerpt below! Chapter 1   The Drop   The whole mess was a long time coming, but the drama really began when the long, sleek snout of a plasma gun interrupted Pru’s breakfast.   “Good morning,” said Alex, black-eyed gaze intent over … Continued
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7 Alternate Histories to Answer Your Biggest “What If’s…”

Historical fiction is great, but sometimes you need your history with a twist. What if one thing had changed about your favorite historical time period? We’ve rounded up 7 reads that answer some of our favorite “what if’s”.   What if America had lost the Revolutionary War? The Inventor’s Secret by Andrea Roberton (Cremer) After years … Continued
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Excerpt Alert: The Small Crimes of Tiffany Templeton

Excerpt alert! This week we’re reading The Small Crimes of Tiffany Templeton by Richard Fifield. The Serpent King meets Girl in Pieces in this moving and darkly funny story about a teenage girl coming of age and learning how to grieve in small-town Montana. Scroll down to start reading! The court-appointed advocate dropped me off at two o’clock in the morning. … Continued
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6 Books to Cuddle Up With

Winter is the best time to be a reader because no one tries to force you to go outside and be “active,” leaving you with plenty of time to cuddle up with a cup of hot cocoa and a good book. Below are a few of our favorites to get all snuggly with, and the … Continued
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4 O.G. YA Romances That Must Be Remembered

For many of us book nerds, YA romances were what helped us start to learn what love is. (The PINING. Oh, that unforgettable PINING. 💔) If you’re looking for some romances to cozy up with indoors right now, then we’re here to remind you of some of the ORIGINAL YA romances that some of us … Continued
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Excerpt Alert: A Phoenix First Must Burn

A Phoenix First Must Burn is a collection of sixteen tales by bestselling and award-winning authors that explore the Black experience through fantasy, science fiction, and magic. Evoking Beyoncé’s Lemonade for a teen audience, these authors who are truly Octavia Butler’s heirs, have woven worlds to create a stunning narrative that centers Black women and gender nonconforming individuals. A … Continued
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10 Books That Will Destroy Your Heart (And Help You Heal)

As the incomparable Mara from Aaron Starmer’s explosive novel Spontaneous sagely said, “No one buying a book cares about metaphors and all that crap. All they want to do is cry.” We all have that book that we sobbed through, or books we return to when we’re in need of a good old fashioned feels … Continued
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Top Dragon Book Recommendations…by Author Andrea Tang!

Andrea Tang’s debut, Rebelwing, is hitting shelves THIS.MONTH. We are so psyched to join Prudence Wu on the back of a cybernetic dragon in an epic escape from a smuggling deal gone VERY wrong. If you are here for dragons, dystopia, or action-packed plot, make sure to add this one to the top of your February TBR! … Continued
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