Author Interview with Farah Naz Rishi of I Hope You Get This Message

DEBUT DISTRICT is a regular feature on Artsy Draft in which I post appreciation towards debut releases through author interview, book blitz, listopia, review, and other related content.

Hi, everyone! This week, I finished reading I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz Rishi and it’s instantly become a new favorite of mine. Farah’s genre-mixing of contemporary and science-fiction is a fresh breath of air, especially when both genres executed so well and balanced perfectly to deliver such a touching story. Today, I’m delighted to have a chat with Farah to discuss all about her debut, from the reason for choosing alien invasion to end humanity to the challenges of developing the three main characters’ arcs. Also, you can read my full review of I Hope You Get This Message here!


Q: Salaam, Farah! Thank you for chatting with me today! First of all, I want to congratulate you on your debut release, I Hope You Get This Message! Can you share what’s this story about and what inspired you to write it in the first place?

A: Thank you, Vinny! Well, I Hope You Get This Message is a story that envisions a hyperintelligent alien species that is currently debating whether or not to pull the kill-switch on humanity, which they’ve deemed a failed experiment. While these debates are happening, humans discover their plan to possibly destroy them all—a plan that could be executed in seven days—and of course, begin a worldwide panic. The story follows three very different teenagers in how they deal with this news, and what they do with their final seven days.

Q: Is there any particular reason for choosing an alien invasion to end the world in this story? Why not time-travel went wrong or AI gone mad?

A: I decided not to describe the aliens or really go in detail about who or what they are, and that’s because I wanted them to be seen more as a metaphor for our own collective Fear and Guilt and Anxiety about the current state of the world. Aliens felt like the perfect vessel for that end because to me, they represent the last great unknown to humanity that may in fact possibly exist—and therefore, possibly greatest fear of all.

Q: The three main characters in this story, Adeem, Cate, and Jesse, all struggled in some ways. What challenges you the most to develop each of their stories?

A: For me, the hardest part of developing any character is knowing how to balance how much of yourself to put in them, and how much to let them breathe on the page and be their own person. So for each of the three characters, I put a tiny piece of something I was personally struggling with at the time—with Cate, her relationship with her mother, with Jesse, his inability to open up, and Adeem, his relationship with his sibling—and then let it all loose on the page! It sounds cliché, but it really does feel like planting a seed and watching it grow, and more I wrote with each draft, the more those problems that were very much my own grew to be something more unique to the characters.

Q: In your author’s note, you shared an intimate behind the scene story during the process of writing this book. As a debut author, what other struggles that you had to face to bring this story alive?

A: Self-care is honestly the biggest and most important struggle with writing anything, but for me, it was absolutely imperative because I was also dealing with a series of losses. On one hand, there was this pressure to meet deadlines—personal and professional—but on the other, there was a desperate need to just…rest after everything that happened. In the end, I had to learn how to balance my priorities, and I was only able to do that with a lot of help from my support group. Especially as a debut, I felt a lot of anxiousness about hurrying up and getting the book out there—don’t we all want to see our name up in lights, if given the chance? But then I realized I only have one body, and nothing else mattered if I was just going to harm it in the process of trying to achieve my dreams. It was a humble and peaceful realization, honestly.

Q: One can’t deny that although this book featured the intensity of the end of the world as its main intrigue, you’ve left bits of wisdom here and there, whether it was a conversation between characters or their internal monologues. Which words of wisdom that you’re most connected with and why?

A: Honestly, I think my favorite bit in the book is when Adeem goes off at Ty and says, “Humans don’t make it easy for each other, and we kind of suck as a species, but we also do a lot of good, too. No matter how shitty things get, the moment we stop seeing the good and start treating each other like ants or some kind of failed experiment—that’s when the bad guys win.” I really believe that.

Q: Now, if these three friends are chilling during a summer break, which sci-fi movies that they’d most likely binge-watch?

A: I think Adeem would force Jesse and Cate to watch The Expanse. You know he’d totally appreciate nerd out over the hard science of the show. I think Cate would enjoy it, but Jesse would secretly get super into it and start daydreaming about traveling through space. 

Q: The intense drama about life and hope that you delivered with this story was heartbreaking, but the miraculous sci-fi bits of Alma and how they conducted multiple trials to determine the faith of humanity was also scene-stealing! Are you planning to write more stories and mix contemporary and sci-fi again in the future? What can we expect in your next book?

A: I absolutely love playing around with genre, and my heart will always belong with sci-fi, but for my next book, I’m doing something a little different and writing an unapologetically Muslim rom-com. 😊

And that’s the end of my interview with Farah! If you’re looking forward to reading her book, you can find all of the details and information about it below!

43699608. sy475 I Hope You Get This Message
by Farah Naz Rishi

Seven days. Seven days. The Earth might end in seven days.

When news stations start reporting that Earth has been contacted by a planet named Alma, the world is abuzz with rumors that the alien entity is giving mankind only few days to live before they hit the kill switch on civilization.

For high school truant Jesse Hewitt, though, nothing has ever felt permanent. Not the guys he hooks up with. Not the jobs his underpaid mom works so hard to hold down. Life has dealt him one bad blow after another — so what does it matter if it all ends now? Cate Collins, on the other hand, is desperate to use this time to find the father she’s never met, the man she grew up hearing wild stories about, most of which she didn’t believe. And then there’s Adeem Khan. While coding and computer programming have always come easily to him, forgiveness doesn’t. He can’t seem to forgive his sister for leaving, even though it’s his last chance.

With only seven days to face their truths and right their wrongs, Jesse, Cate, and Adeem’s paths collide even as their worlds are pulled apart.
 
Thank you HarperTeen for providing me with an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

Title: I Hope You Get This Message | Series: N/A | Author: Farah Naz Rishi | Genre: Science FictionYoung Adult | Publication Date: October 22, 2019 | Purchase Links: AmazonBook Depository

Trigger Warning: Active shooter, anxiety, depression, homophobia, mention of suicide attempt, racism, violence.

Are you thinking about adding I Hope You Get This Message into your next reading list?

I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz Rishi

Your pain is where the light enters you.

DEBUT DISTRICT is a regular feature on Artsy Draft in which I post appreciation towards debut releases through author interview, book blitz, listopia, review, and other related content.

43699608. sy475 I Hope You Get This Message
by Farah Naz Rishi

Seven days. Seven days. The Earth might end in seven days.

When news stations start reporting that Earth has been contacted by a planet named Alma, the world is abuzz with rumors that the alien entity is giving mankind only few days to live before they hit the kill switch on civilization.

For high school truant Jesse Hewitt, though, nothing has ever felt permanent. Not the guys he hooks up with. Not the jobs his underpaid mom works so hard to hold down. Life has dealt him one bad blow after another — so what does it matter if it all ends now? Cate Collins, on the other hand, is desperate to use this time to find the father she’s never met, the man she grew up hearing wild stories about, most of which she didn’t believe. And then there’s Adeem Khan. While coding and computer programming have always come easily to him, forgiveness doesn’t. He can’t seem to forgive his sister for leaving, even though it’s his last chance.

With only seven days to face their truths and right their wrongs, Jesse, Cate, and Adeem’s paths collide even as their worlds are pulled apart.
 
Thank you HarperTeen for providing me with an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

Title: I Hope You Get This Message | Series: N/A | Author: Farah Naz Rishi | Genre: Science FictionYoung Adult | Publication Date: October 22, 2019 | Purchase Links: AmazonBook Depository

Trigger Warning: Active shooter, anxiety, depression, homophobia, mention of suicide attempt, racism, violence.

what is it about?

It’s seven days before the world ends because of an alien invasion as our three characters tried their best to deal with it in their own ways. Adeem tried to seek for his runaway sister. Cate tried to seek the shadow of a father she never met. And Jesse tried to seek for a way to get him and his mom out of debts. But maybe, these three strangers weren’t that different, as the three of them seek nothing but the truth for their unanswered questions. And maybe, they weren’t a stranger to each other after all.

what do I think about it?

I Hope You Get This Message is one of the most heartfelt books that I read this year, and I swear that I’m not being overdramatic when I’m stating this. What really piqued my interest at first to start reading this book is the urgency behind ‘the world is ending in seven days’ as the three characters tried to redeem whatever it is that they’ve been struggling with. It is really interesting when you’re thinking about it. What you’re going to do if you know that you only have seven days left to be alive? What’s your deepest desire? What’s your unanswered question?
 
Obviously, just from its short blurbs, this book is very heavily centered on its characters and their relationships. Although not going to lie, the science-fiction bits of the alien invasion was also very well-written and detailed, and I really enjoyed that they did trial after trial to determine the faith of human being. I certainly didn’t expect the aliens to be highly considerate, but I was touched. If Rishi’s going to write sci-fi for her next book, then I can assure you that I’d be the first in line to pre-order it.

But the thing about the end of the world was this: either everything mattered, or nothing did.

Even days after I read this book, I’ve been thinking about it a lot. As I mentioned before, human interactions and relationships were the highlights of this story. I thoroughly enjoyed each journeythat the characters went through in order to face the end of the world. Adeem is the character that I could relate to the most, as we’re both Muslims and we both have siblings. His back and forth intention for looking at his runaway sister was understandable, and I applaud Rishi for being able to convey the complexity of brother-sister relationships. As for Cate, I feel deeply upset about her struggles. One is too young to deal with a mother who suffered schizophrenia while also at loss for a figure of a father. Her guilts for not doing enough, either for taking care of her mother during their last days on Earth or for not seeking her father, was heartbreaking. And as for Jesse, his daily struggles to simply stay alive with his mother while also dealing with anxiety and depression were too much to bear for a young man, or even for anyone, really.

Be kind, Adi. Life’s too exhausting as it is to hold on to anger so tightly.

The message that really shined through this story that also has been sitting in the back of my mind for the past couple days, is how people going to fully lean on hope when they realized that they don’t have anything else to lean on. And that they are willing to give their everything to brings up their hope as high as possible. Although it might seem foolish at glance, but it’s the reality of human beings.
 
I Hope You Get This Message is a sincere and powerful debut that will tear down your emotions. Among its intensity, Rishi also successfully served witty banter and words of wisdom among its characters that will be hard to forget.

what’s the verdict?

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 6cKMOSK.png

enjoy the review? pin it!

what did others say about this book?

  • Angela @ BookPage said: “This nuanced and realistic story (with a twist of science fiction) is driven not merely by Jesse, Cate and Adeem’s journeys, but by the moments where those journeys intersect.”
  • Lili @ Utopia State of Mind said: “I Hope You Get This Message is quiet, introspective, character driven. It’s about family and forgiveness in the shadow of the end of the world.”
  • Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight said: “The story itself is powerful and moving, even hopeful in spite of the circumstances.”

Are you thinking about adding I Hope You Get This Message into your next reading list?

Blog Tour: The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah

Fear has immobilized us. And it might be turning us into monsters.

DEBUT DISTRICT is a regular feature on Artsy Draft in which I post appreciation towards debut releases through author interview, book blitz, listopia, review, and other related content.

Hi everyone! I’m so excited today to post my review for the blog tour of The Light at the Bottom of the World! I was lucky enough to be chosen as the part of the street team to celebrate the release of this incredible debut from London Shah. Be sure to check out the full schedule of this tour at the bottom of this post and feel free to visit everyone’s posts!

43885674The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah

Hope had abandoned them to the wrath of all the waters.

At the end of the twenty-first century, the world has changed dramatically, but life continues one thousand feet below the ocean’s surface. In Great Britain, sea creatures swim among the ruins of Big Ben and the Tower of London, and citizens waver between fear and hope; fear of what lurks in the abyss, and hope that humanity will soon discover a way to reclaim the Earth.

Meanwhile, sixteen-year-old Leyla McQueen has her own problems to deal with. Her father’s been arrested, accused of taking advantage of victims of the Seasickness-a debilitating malaise that consumes people,often claiming their lives. But Leyla knows he’s innocent, and all she’s interested in is getting him back so that their lives can return to normal.

When she’s picked to race in the action-packed London Submersible Marathon, Leyla gets the chance to secure his freedom; the Prime Minister promises the champion whatever their heart desires. The race takes an unexpected turn, though, and presents her with an opportunity she never wanted: Leyla must venture outside of London for the first time in her life, to find and rescue her father herself.

Now, she’ll have to brave the unfathomable waters and defy a corrupt government determined to keep its secrets, all the while dealing with a secretive, hotheaded companion she never asked for in the first place. If she fails, or falls prey to her own fears, she risks capture–and her father might be lost forever.

 
Thank you to the author for providing me with an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

Title: The Light at the Bottom of the World | Series: The Light at the Bottom of the World #1 | Author: London Shah | Genre: FantasyScience FictionYoung Adult | Publication Date: October 29, 2019 | Purchase Links: AmazonBook Depository

Trigger Warning: Abduction, claustrophobia, violence.

what is it about?

Set in the post-apocalyptic underwater London, The Light at the Bottom of the World follows the story of Leyla McQueen, sixteen years old British/Afghan Muslim racer who was seeking for the truth about his falsely charged father by the government. With the belief that her father was innocent, she joined an annual marathon event to win the first place and trade her winning with freedom for her father. Unfortunately, with the continuous attacks from genetically modified humans, corrupted government, political intrigues, and only a little to almost no clue about the truth, Leyla must risk everything if she wants to reunite with her beloved father again.

what do I think about it?

The first impression that came into my mind when I started reading this book is Shah’s eloquent and grace for building, describing and developing this daunting future of London after the world got hit by an asteroid. So, we might as well start the review from that aspect. I wouldn’t be the one to criticize much about the writing in this book. It was cinematic and incredibly vivid. Although I was having difficulty to percept a few things, especially all about the technical bits from the buildings that people used as their home, to the subs that they used to transport underwater, I’d say that it’s a personal issue of mine due to the case of unfamiliarity. Other than that, I was having an exceptional time, exploring the underwater London and its long-gone monumental buildings with exciting creatures swam in between it.
 
Shah captured the perfect balance of portraying the vast ocean as something that — of course, mesmerizing — but also frightening. I personally share a common phobia with Leyla, the fear of the deep, unknown water. The terror of not knowing what’s lurking inside the ocean will always make me anxious. But, lucky me to be living in the land. Well, not so lucky Leyla to be living exactly within her own fear.
 
Now, moving on to the characters and their quest in this story. Leyla was definitely a young, naive teen, yet it was the reason why I’d find her characterization as highly relatable. She was your typical stubborn heroine who loved too much, and for that, willing to risk just about everything for her love. In this case, her falsely charged father. She was also incredibly brave for her age, although some might perceived her courageous acts as being careless. But, I’d say that it wasn’t the correct term for her case. Can you imagine to be living deep underwater, when you’re not supposed to as a human, as a sixteen years old girl who lost her father for a vague reason that not even the minister can answer it for you? I’d for sure lost my mind.
 
The other things that I enjoyed from this book come from various aspects, from the fun fact that Leyla had a pet named Jojo, a goofy white fur ball who’s too cute to be living in the deep, dark ocean, the mysterious Ari aka Leyla’s companion during her quest of finding the truth, to Leyla’s freshly installed housemaid/navigator in the form of holographic Osca Wilde which seems to be even more confident than me!
 
The Light at the Bottom of the World is a story of hope and unrequited love, twisted within truths. If you’re craving for an original underwater dystopian universe that meets corrupted politics, then you don’t want to miss this terrific debut.

what’s the verdict?

enjoy the review? pin it!

what did others say about this book?

  • Ashley @ Cromulent Book Review said: “I love this – it would be easy for a YA protagonist to become cynical and bitter (adolescents, am I right?) but Leyla perseveres, despite her fears.”
  • Nadia @ Headscarves and Hardbacks said: “Shah’s writing is captivating in a way that allows the reader to fully submerge themselves in a unique underwater world and be swept away by the characters and the story.”
  • Olivia @ One Mused said: “The world-building here is top notch, and I really felt like I could imagine this future and the people in it.”

tour schedule

October 20th – Utopia State of Mind
October 21st – Tomes and Textiles
October 22nd – Reader Voracious
October 23rd – Hollibrary Books
October 24th – Julia Fleur
October 25th – YA Book Corner
October 26th – Headscarves and Hardbacks
October 27th – Artsy Draft (It’s me!)
October 28th – The Tsundoku Chronicles

Are you thinking about adding The Light at the Bottom f the World into your next reading list?

Blog Tour: Fireborne by Rosaria Munda

And as she turned, it was revealed by her tread that she was fireborne.

Game of Thrones meets Red Rising in a debut young adult fantasy that’s full of rivalry, romance… and dragons.

Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone—even the lowborn—a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders.

Now they are both rising stars in the new regime, despite backgrounds that couldn’t be more different. Annie’s lowborn family was executed by dragonfire, while Lee’s aristocratic family was murdered by revolutionaries. Growing up in the same orphanage forged their friendship, and seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragonriding fleet.

But everything changes when survivors from the old regime surface, bent on reclaiming the city.

With war on the horizon and his relationship with Annie changing fast, Lee must choose to kill the only family he has left or to betray everything he’s come to believe in. And Annie must decide whether to protect the boy she loves . . . or step up to be the champion her city needs.

From debut author Rosaria Munda comes a gripping adventure that calls into question which matters most: the family you were born into, or the one you’ve chosen.
 
 
Thank you The FFBC for providing me with an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review. Fireborne will be published on October 15, 2019 and available on Amazon, Book Depository, and other book retailers.

what is it about?

Fireborne follows the story of Lee and Annie, two childhood friends who grew up together and their journey during the new regime in Callipolis. Although both of them were from the same orphanage and shared common goals when they were younger, the differences in their family backgrounds were too big to fill in the gap that started to arise as they grew older. Fueled by personal ambitions, fierce competitions, twisted lies, political intrigues, and emerging wars, Lee and Annie must choose between the family that they were born into or the one that they found along the way.

what do I think about it?

Hands down, Fireborne is one of the most solid debuts that I read this year. I’ve been discovering a lot of good books lately, but this one is truly a gem. I’m also incredibly excited since I buddy read this book with Shealea @ Shut Up, Shealea and we had a great time discussing and swooning over it! Today’s review is going to be a bit different than my usual format because there are a lot of areas that I want to cover and talk about without causing any confusion, in case you haven’t got a chance to devour into this epic universe yet.
 
➤ Let’s start with how this book pitched as Aegon Targaryen and Hermione Granger with dragons. I don’t think if there’s any precise statement to explain this book aside from this one. If you’re intrigued to read this book after looking at that bold statement, let me convince you why you should continue your intention. The resemblance of Aegon Targaryen on Lee comes from Lee’s bloodline as the aristocratic family, commonly known as Dragonlords during the old regime. In this regime, Dragonlords are highborn in society and they had the birthright to ride dragons. After his family was murdered by revolutionaries and the regime changed, Lee joined the training to prove his worth to ride the dragons, but oftentimes, he still pondered whether he must compete for a title that should be his birthright. There are more resemblance of Aegon on Lee when the story got deeper, but I can’t really mention it without dropping spoilers! Meanwhile, the resemblance of Hermione Granger on Annie comes from Annie’s intelligence, hard works, and determination. Although she often got underestimated by her fellow classmates, even her teachers (it’s basically how Snape taking points from Gryffindor every time Hermione answered his questions in class!), for being a lowborn (um, Mudblood?!), she continuously improved herself to achieve her goals. #HustleHard

Because Firstrider is a title I’ve wanted since before the Revolution. It would be all the recognition, power, and respect that my family lost over the course of a single bloody month when I was eight years old, regained.

But maybe, you don’t care about Aegon or Hermione. Maybe, you’re just fond of the dragons. That’s alright, too. Because if you do, Fireborne is the story set in a dragon land that you don’t want to miss. The dragons featured heavily in this story and I can assure you that you’ll enjoy every single second of it. My favorite part is the fact that the dragons weren’t just appeared for the sake of ‘coolness’ for being a dragon, but rather how it was blended so naturally with the characters, the plot, and the overall worldbuilding. We got a glimpse of the existence of dragons during the old regime through the characters’ throwback, a glimpse of how they choose their rider (much like how the wands choose the wizard!) through their first encounter, and a glimpse of how they become emotionally connected with their riders through the competition to become the Firstrider, 

“Now tell me again why you want to make Firstrider?”
“Because I’d be good at it.”

➤ And lastly, character-wise, plot-wise, and writing-wise, Fireborne is truly a masterpiece. I couldn’t find anything that I dislike about this book. I enjoyed every scene that was delivered, every intrigue and secret that was revealed, and every character that was involved. There’s no wasted potential in this debut. The complicated relationship between Lee and Annie was delivered beautifully. It was a slow-burn romance that I’m longing to read. The convoluted political intrigue which was the major plot in this story was extremely well-built, as they were no rights or wrongs because everyone has their own motives and reasons to be avenged. And Munda delivered all of these gracefully through her dazzling writings. This entire book is an absolute golden, but I always enjoyed the quotation that the characters took from the fictional literature in this story, which also the title of this series, The Aurelian Cycle. These proses give me chills and I wish I could read the book itself (especially now that it is banned in Callipolis!).

Bring what fury you have and I will answer it with ours.

The bottom line, Fireborne is an epic fantasy that you don’t want to miss. It’s an incredible first of the series that will leave you craving for more dragon duel, political secrets, and swoon-worthy romance.

what’s the verdict?


pin this post!


tour schedule


giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveawayhttps://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Are you thinking about adding Fireborne to your next reading list?

16 debut authors to be watched this october 2019

Today’s post is a bit late than my usual schedule but I’m still as excited to bring you the list of my most anticipated debut releases for this month! There are a lot of debut releases this month, let me tell you. So, you can imagine how hard it is to narrow it down into these 16 titles! Regardless, I hope you find something to be added from this list to your overflowing TBR.

I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz Rishi
Add to Goodreads • Buy on Book Depository
When the news about Earth that might end in seven days spread, the paths of three high-schoolers crossed each other. Struggling with each of their own problems, getting to know one another while trying to survive the end of the world might not what they were expected to do during their last week on Earth.

Tarnished Are the Stars by Rosiee Thor
Add to Goodreads • Buy on Book Depository
Three strangers must overcome their differences in the game of lies and twists and work together to put an end to a deadly epidemic in this queer #OwnVoices science-fantasy novel from debut author, Rosiee Thor.

The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah
Add to Goodreads • Buy on Book Depository
At the end of the twenty-first century, life continues one thousand feet below the ocean’s surface after an asteroid hit the Earth. When her father captured by the authority with vague reasoning, Leyla McQueen realized that she will risk everything to bring her father back, including joining a deadly sub-race or getting out of London illegally and explore the wild ocean for the very first time.

Shadow Frost by Coco Ma
Add to Goodreads • Buy on Book Depository
Going on a demon hunt to protect her kingdom, Asterin never imagined that she will unearth a plot to assassinate herself, The Princess, instead. Asterin and her companions begin to wonder how much of their lives have been lies, especially when they realize that the center of the web of deceit might very well be themselves.

A River of Royal Blood by Amanda Joy
Add to Goodreads • Buy on Book Depository
A River of Royal Blood is an enthralling debut set in a lush North African inspired fantasy world that subtly but powerfully challenges our notions of power, history, and identity. 

Crier’s War by Nina Varela
Add to Goodreads • Buy on Book Depository
An impossible love between two girls—one human, one Made—whose romance could be the beginning of a revolution in this epic fantasy duology from debut author, Nina Varela.

The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis
Add to Goodreads • Buy on Book Depository
Following the escape trip of five enslaved girls in their journey of finding freedom in the vicious land of Arketta, where people divided into ones with shadow and ones without one and demonic creatures and spirits wandered around.

The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy
Add to Goodreads • Buy on Book Depository
In the city of Craewick, memories are the currency, citizens are divided by ability, and Gifted individuals can take memories from others through touch as they please. Trying to save her threatened mother, Etta will do whatever it takes, even if it means rejoining the rebel group she swore off in the wake of the accident years earlier and steal a map of prison created by the bloodthirsty ruler of a neighboring Realm.

Fireborne by Rosaria Munda
Add to Goodreads • Buy on Book Depository
When two childhood friends grow up together and the war is just over the edge, they must choose between the families they were born into or the one that they founded in each other.

Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon
Add to Goodreads • Buy on Book Depository
Gravemaidens is the start of a fierce fantasy duology about three maidens who are chosen for their land’s greatest honor…and one girl determined to save her sister from the grave.

The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake
Add to Goodreads • Buy on Book Depository
Epic, funny, and sweepingly romantic, The Last True Poets of the Sea is an astonishing debut about a missing piece of family history, weathering the storms of life, and the strength it takes to swim up from a wreck.

The Library of the Unwritten by A. J. Hackwith
Add to Goodreads • Buy on Book Depository
In the first book in a brilliant new fantasy series, books that aren’t finished by their authors reside in the Library of the Unwritten in Hell, and it is up to the Librarian to track down any restless characters who emerge from those unfinished stories.

Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett
Add to Goodreads • Buy on Book Depository
In a community that isn’t always understanding, an HIV-positive teen must navigate fear, disclosure, and radical self-acceptance when she falls in love–and lust–for the first time.

Michigan vs. the Boys by Carrie S. Allen
Add to Goodreads • Buy on Book Depository
Michigan Manning lives and breathes hockey and her future depends on it, but when the girl’s team dismissed due to the budget cut, she was determined to find a way to keep playing, even if it means joining the boy’s team. Facing a culture of toxic masculinity, Michigan must weigh the consequences of speaking up – even if it means putting her future on the line.

Scars Like Wings by Erin Stewart
Add to Goodreads • Buy on Book Depository
Relatable, heartbreaking, and real, this is a story of Ava Lee who has lost everything there is to lose: Her parents. Her best friend. Her home. Even her face. But when Ava meets a fellow survivor named Piper, she begins to feel like maybe she doesn’t have to face the nightmare alone.

The Library of Lost Things by Laura Taylor Namey
Add to Goodreads • Buy on Book Depository
Darcy Wells has spent most of her time living in the worlds of her books. But when her only home suddenly hangs in the balance and her mother’s compulsive shopping habit pressure her even more, Asher Fleet, a former teen pilot with an unexpectedly shattered future, walks into the bookstore where she works… and straight into her heart.

Which books that you’re the most excited to read this month?