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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

Read an excerpt of IMAGINARY BORDERS!

We’ve been spotlighting some of our favorite reads by Latinx authors in honor of #LatinxHeritageMonth, and today we’re sharing an excerpt of Imaginary Borders by Xiuhtezcatl Martinez. In this personal, moving essay, environmental activist and hip-hop artist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez uses his art and his activism to show that climate change is a human issue that can’t be ignored. … Continued
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Excerpt Alert: VICIOUS SPIRITS by Kat Cho

We fell completely in LOVE with Kat Cho’s Wicked Fox last year. And we may be even more in love with its stunning companion novel, Vicious Spirits! Scroll down to read an excerpt! PROLOGUE As with any tragedy, it came about because he loved. When he was on the cusp of manhood, a young man met a … Continued
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Sci-Fi & Fantasy reads to move up on your TBR asap

2020 has brought a LOT of amazing reads to our shelf. Here are just a few of our favorite sci-fi/fantasy reads you’ll want to make sure you didn’t miss!   Want to win them all? Click here to enter our sweepstakes! The Kinder Poison by Natalie Mae You will laugh. You will cry. You will … Continued
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Excerpt Alert: WE ARE NOT FROM HERE

We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez is a poignant novel of desperation, escape, and survival across the U.S.-Mexico border, inspired by current events. Scroll down to read an excerpt! PROLOGUE   When you live in a place like this, you’re always planning your escape. Even if you don’t know when you’ll go. Even if … Continued
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Start reading HARROW LAKE by Kat Elis

Calling all horror movie fans! Harrow Lake is a can’t-put-down, creepy thriller about the daughter of a horror film director who’s not afraid of anything–until she gets to Harrow Lake. Scroll down to start reading! Transcript of interview with Nolan Nox, Director of Nightjar, for Scream Screen magazine (Nightjar twentieth-anniversary special feature) CJL: C. J. Lahey, columnist with Scream Screen NN: Nolan … Continued
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What to read if you’re not over The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

If you’ve binge re-read the entire Hunger Games series and flew through the new prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, we’ve got some recommendations for what to pick up next! From the Katniss energy of standing up to oppressive governing forces, to death-defying, high-stakes competitions, let’s get started!   The Kinder Poison by Natalie … Continued
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Read an excerpt of When I Am Through With You

When I Am Through With You by Stephanie Kuehn is a gripping story of survival and the razor’s-edge difference between perfect cruelty and perfect love. Ben Gibson is many things, but he’s not sorry and he’s not a liar. He will tell you exactly about what happened on what started as a simple school camping trip … Continued
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Start Reading CHEMICAL HEARTS by Krystal Sutherland!

Chemical Hearts is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video and we are SO excited to see Krystal Sutherland’s gorgeous novel come to life on screen. But in case you still have some catching up to do on reading the book, here’s an excerpt to get you started! About Chemical Hearts: Henry Page has never been in love. He … Continued
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Books to Read for Latinx Heritage Month

September 15-October 15 is Latinx Heritage Month. We’re inviting you to join us in reading stories by Latinx authors–and if you don’t know where to start, here are a few of our recommendations!   We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez A poignant novel of desperation, escape, and survival across the U.S.-Mexico border, … Continued
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10 Swoony Romances to Read Before Summer Ends!

Summer has been a whirlwind, but there are a few summer romances we recommend you pick up to read in the sunshine before summer is over!   Beyond the Break by Heather Buchta For fans of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han, Beyond the Break is a funny and gorgeous debut about a girl experiencing her first love. Well, second, … Continued
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