March Wrap Up

What I’m Up To

March was a full month for me! The first half of March I was on spring break, but I came back to school on the 19th, which coincidentally was also my birthday. School has been busy, but it’s great to be around friends and semi-warm weather.

What I’m Reading

I don’t normally read nonfiction, but I was given this book as a Christmas gift and I’m always excited to learn more about art history. So far, I’ve been loving Krysa’s vibrant profiles of female artists, which are each paired with an artistic prompt for the reader to explore individually.

What I Blogged About

Reflections on Turning 16: I turned 16 on March 19, so I took the chance to reflect on my growth as a person and Book Reviews by Ava’s growth as a blog.

Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras: Contreras’ novel debut was incredible and her chronicle of two teenage girls during a time of intense civil conflict was both gripping and poignant.

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November Wrap Up

What I’m Up To:

 I’m writing this wrap up on my way back to school, ready for the dreaded two and a half weeks between Thanksgiving break and winter break. It’s time to get some work done, but as soon as it’s over, I’ll be back in New York to celebrate Christmas with my family, where I can get some reading done.

avleof What I’m Reading Right Now:

 I’m almost finished with A Very Large Expanse of Sea, Tahereh Mafi’s realistic fiction debut (which was long-listed for the National Book Award). I was a huge fan of Mafi’s fantasy series when it came out a few years ago, but her newest is both a thematic and stylistic departure. Gone are the flowery sentences and angsty action-packed chapters, replaced by sharp wit and politically-charged narratives. A Very Large Expanse of Sea follows Shirin, a Muslim teenager grappling with her identity in a post 9/11 world.

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September Wrap Up

What I’m Up To

I’m back at boarding school, working my way through sophomore year. I love school and the chance to be back with all my friends, but I miss being able to pick up a book and read whenever I wanted.

wwtawwtar.jpgWhat’s On My Bedside Table

Right now, I’m reading What we Talk About When We Talk About Rape by Sohaila Abdulali. Thanks to Mary Beard’s Women & Power which I read in July, I’ve been getting more into nonfiction recently. Abdulali’s account of her gang rape in India went viral in 2013. Now, she’s channelled many of the ideas she mentioned in her op-ed into her memoir/essay/research/manifesto about rape, which will be released later this month. As a young woman, I find Abdulali’s story is both unflinchingly terrifying and galvanizing.

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August Wrap Up

What I’m Up To

August was a month of relaxation for me. I’m only home for a few months every year, so I loved spending time with my family- especially by the pool. But, I’m so excited to start school next week.

Last school year, I really struggled with keeping up with my blogging schedule, so this year I’m making a change. I’ve scheduled posts to post automatically through November. In November, during Thanksgiving break, I’ll schedule posts up until winter break. I’m optimistic that this system will work fantastically, but if there’s any problems, feel free to reach out on my contact page.

pcWhat’s On My Bedside Table

Paperback Crush by Gabrielle Moss. Moss, a features writer at Bustle chronicles the history of 80’s and 90’s Young Adult cult classics, from Sweet Valley High to Goosebumps. Think: Everything after Forever but before Harry Potter. I’m only 100 pages in, but it’s so interesting to learn about an era of YA that I know almost nothing about. Check out my review soon and check out Paperback Crush when it hits shelves October 30.

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News Years Resolutions + What I’m Excited for in 2018

Year In Review

I can’t believe 2017 is over! It feels like just yesterday I was making new years resolutions for last year. It’s been a tough year, but I’ve grown from it and there’s been many moments I know I will cherish. For instance, the transition to boarding school was a welcome challenge and I cannot wait for the next four years. However, it can be easy to overlook big (and small) moments of joy when we are faced with the current news cycle. This year, I learned it is important now more than ever to use my voice to contact my representatives, stand up for what I believe in, and to fight for my rights.

“That’s the problem. We let people say stuff, and they say it so much that it becomes okay to them and normal for us. What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?” – Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give

 

bestofBest Young Adult Books of 2017

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway. It is hard to imagine any “best books” list without Benway’s National Book Award winning Far From the Tree. This story of three siblings begins with middle child Maya grappling with giving her baby up for adoption just as she was given up for adoption sixteen years ago.

Warcross by Marie Lu. Lu’s sci-fi thriller was an unexpected favorite. I am not usually drawn to either genre, but something about heroine Emika Chen was immediately compelling.

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July Wrap Up

What Happened This Month

I cannot believe it’s August already! July seems to have flown by. Many books I’m excited about came out this month, such as Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana. Also, at the bookstore I worked at, I worked an event with Joyce Carol Oates, which was incredible.

40B239F2-556B-4B10-96B9-99D9C85906A4.jpgWhat I’m Reading Right Now

I’m reading When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. I’ve been searching for the perfect summer read and I think I’ve just about found it. Unexpectedly funny and heartfelt, Menon’s debut is perfect for a beach day. Although I’m not done with When Dimple Met Rishi, I have high hopes. Stay tuned!

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June Wrap Up

What Happened in June

June was an insanely busy month for me, so I hope you can understand why my blog posting has not been as consistent as I would like. I had finals the first week, then was immediately off to Rabat, Morocco for a month, which is where I am writing from now. I’m really looking forward to a calmer July.

Debut Author I Loved

I have written this before, but I will write it again. I have been overwhelmingly disappointed by the lack of debut authors in Young Adult recently. Of the debut authors I read this month (only one, out of six authors) I felt dissatisfied with their work. I am hopeful Fall will bring talented new names, but it looks like the forecast for summer will be same old, same old. Here’s to being proven wrong.

What I’m Reading

Right now, I’m about 150 pages into The Burning Girl by  professor Claire Messud. Friends haven’t enjoyed it, but I really have. Her prose can get a little excessive and windy, but that’s one of my favorite parts of the novel.

What I Blogged About

Blog: The Best Books to Bring on a Long Flight

Review: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Review: This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab

What I’m Excited for in July

July 4: The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy hits shelves. Something about the soupy summer air always bodes well for chilling thrillers set in small Midwestern towns.

July 9: Oblong Books in Rhinebeck, NY hosts Adele Griffin, Morgan Matson, and Jenny Han.

July 11: The Lake Effect by Erin McHanan comes out. Set of the shores of Lake Michigan, this coming of age novel is the perfect beach read.

July 18: The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana is released. With an absolutely stunning cover and a backdrop of Indian mythology, I’m excited to see what Khorana’s debut has in store.

May Wrap Up

What Happened in May?

May went by in a blink of an eye! Whether it was the stress of school and final exams, or the anticipation of my trip to Morocco, this month flew by for me. In terms of books, there were a lot of sequels coming out, but not many debuts or stand alones. Hopefully we’ll begin to see more new authors, because it sometimes feels tiring to see the same ten names every month.

Debut Author I Loved

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Karen McManus’s debut mystery was pitched as Pretty Little Liars meets the Breakfast Club, a description which it certainly lives up to. Sometimes trashy, always page-turning, this debut is perfect for a long flight or rainy day.

What I’m Reading

Right now, I’m reading Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Next up is A Million Junes, Emily Henry’s much anticipated second novel.

What I Blogged About

Review: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

Blog: 5 Great Books About School

Review: Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Review: Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

What I’m Excited for in June

June 4: Oblong Books in Rhinebeck hosts Laini Taylor and Victoria Schwab

June 6: Once and For All by Sarah Dessen comes out. Dessen’s novels are perfect beach reads, light, funny, and always sweet.

June 6: Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley is released. Another romance, Crowley’s debut takes place in a bookstore. What’s better than that?

February Wrap Up

What Happened in February?

February was a mellow month for me. I tried to focus on schoolwork and avoid thinking about my boarding school applications which I had submitted in January and would hear about in March. I have also found that I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump. Many of the new releases I read in February were a little lackluster. Hopefully spring will bring better books.

Debut Author I Loved- Ibi Zoboi, American Street

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Zoboi draws upon her own experiences to write American Street, a novel about Haitian immigrant, Fabiola. This timely debut is not to be missed!

What I Blogged About

Review: Tell Me Something Real by Calla Devlin

List: 5 Sunny Reads to Transport You Away from the Cold

Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Review: Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

What I’m Excited for in March

March 7- The Inexplicable Logic of my Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz hits shelves.

March 19- My birthday! I turn 14.

March 21- Feminist author Rebecca Solnit speaks at Oblong Books and Music in Rhinebeck, NY.

March 28- A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi comes out. Check out my review of her debut.

March 28- Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor is released. Click on the title to see my review.

 

October Wrap Up

What Happened in October?

October was a pretty mellow month. The only big event was Halloween- I was Wednesday Addams.

Debut Author I Loved

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Sarah Everett’s debut is a relief from all the fantasy novels coming out recently. This realistic fiction follows teen Addison Sullivan before and after a bus crash that changed her life. Right before the crash, she was talking to a boy- who no one else could see. Maybe it has something to do with her stay at Overton, a shady medical facility.

What I Blogged About

October 5- You in Five Acts by Una LaMarche

October 11- 8 Things About Me and 8 New Books to Read

October 19- Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

October 25- The Rose and the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh

What I’m Excited for in November

November 1- The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

November 1- Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

November 1- The Amateurs by Sara Shepard

November 22- Scythe by Neal Shusterman