Queer Girl YA: What’s Coming?

Hello all! Wow. It's has been a very long time since I posted anything on this blog. I've been kept pretty busy with the release of The Seafarer's Kiss and final edits for The Tiger's Watch. I also travelled to RTCon, which was amazing but has kept me pretty busy!

However, this blog's long dark spell is briefly over with this list of upcoming f/f YA books and why I'm excited about them! I was inspired to make a list by this, excellent post by Tasha at Cats and Paperbacks. It analysed f/f YA's popularity vs. m/m and m/f … and the results were pretty eye opening. I still remember a rejection I recieved when I first started querying Unicorn Tracks, asking me if I could please change the girls' relationship to friends because f/f couldn't sell. 

I think 2016/2017 have been really good years for f/f and lots of other LGBTQIA books that move beyond the G, but there's still a lot of work to be done. I realised looking at my own reading lists from last year that even as a bisexual woman, who writes MOSTLY f/f pairings, my reading list was dominated by m/f and m/m. That is something I am absolutely going to work on in the coming years. 

In order to work on it, I needed to know what books were coming! This list is not complete, especially for 2018 releases (one of my own included!) that don't have final synopsises or a goodreads page yet. BUT I've tried to pull together as complete a list as I can of upcoming YA books featuring queer, female main characters. A few of these books are told from multiple POVs, and in those cases, my criteria was that the queer female POV had to make up at least as much page space as any male narrating POVs.

Clicking on each book's cover will bring you to its goodreads page! 



Little & Lion

Release Date: August 8 2017

Brandy Colbert

Genre: YA Contemporary

Representation: Bisexual/Pansexual (unspecified but MC has feelings for multiple genders), POC: Black MC, POC: Asian-LI, Jewish MC, Bipolar brother.

Ownvoices: Yes

Brief Synopsis: When she comes home from boarding school in LA, Suzette struggles to fit in to her old life. Her brother Lionel, has bipolar disorder and needs her emotional support, but she soon finds herself falling for the same girl as her brother.

Why I'm Excited About it: My younger brother and I both have had a lot of mental health struggles, but his have been more severe.  I'm really interested in a story about a sibling relationship, that promises to be really messy and complicated. There are also so many intersectional identies in this book and the early reviews have said great things!


Little & Lion

Release Date: July 25 2017

Lauren Karcz

Genre: YA Contemporary/Magical Realism

Representation: Bisexual, Latinx MC

Ownvoices: Unknown

Brief Synopsis: Mercedes Moreno is an artist. At least, she thinks she could be, even though she hasn't been able to paint anything worthwhile since her award-winning piece Food Poisoning #1 last year. Despite Mercedes’s creative block, art starts to show up in unexpected ways. A piano appears on her front lawn one morning, and a mysterious new neighbor invites Mercedes to paint with her at the Red Mangrove Estate.

Why I'm Excited About it: I really love books about artists and I'm getting more and more into contemporary books with touches of magical realism. From the early reviews, it sounds like the prose in this book will be gorgeous.





New HoofPrints in the Snow

Release Date: September 5 2017

A.M. Burns and K.T. Spence

Genre: YA Contemporary

Representation: Lesbian, Wheelchair User (condition, post accident)

Ownvoices: No

Brief Synopsis: When Maia's family falls on hard times, she is forced to donate her horse to a rescue centre. The centre's owner's daughter, Emma, sees how heartbroken Maia is and offers to let her help at the farm. The two girls develop friendship, but Emma wants more. Can Maia overcome her family's prejudices and find happiness?

Why I'm Excited About it: I love horses. I've had a horse since I was twelve, and I would, and still would, do just about anything to keep him. This book also features a disabled character, who is helped through a Riding for the Disabled program. Up until last year, I part-leased my own horse to an RDA program and I've seen first hand how amazing it can be. Combine that with an f/f romance and I am totally here for it. 


Girls Made of Snow and Glass

Release Date: September 5 2017

Melissa Bashardoust

Genre: YA Fantasy

Representation: Lesbian

Ownvoices: Unknown

Brief Synopsis: Frozen meets The Bloody Chamber in this feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White fairytale. Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.

Why I'm Excited About it: LESBIAN SNOW WHITE RETELLING!!!!! I love Snow White, it's one of my favourite classic tales. That being said, I think there are so many undercurrents of misogyny in the original that whenever I think about it critically, my love starts to die. So, I am super excited for a feminist retelling where one of the MCs is a lesbian. I am such a retellings fiend and I will read any queer reinterpretation.



Things a Bright Girl Can Do

Release Date: September 7 2017

Sally Nicholls

Genre: YA Historial

Representation: Lesbian

Ownvoices: Unknown

Brief Synopsis: Through rallies and marches, in polite drawing rooms and freezing prison cells and the poverty-stricken slums of the East End, three courageous young women join the fight for the vote.

Why I'm Excited About it: With all the amazing illustrated young children's books that have come out this year about suffragettes, I've been WAITING for a YA book. This book is about three young women fighting for the vote in Britain … and May and Nell fall for each other. GAY SUFRAGETTES! 


27 Hours

Release Date: October 3 2017

Tristina Wright

Genre: YA Space Opera / Sci Fi

Representation: VERY diverse cast. I may miss a few things, so please also consult GoodReads. Pansexual MC, Bisexual MC, Deaf MC, Black MC, Latina MC, Trans MC.

Ownvoices: Yes

Brief Synopsis: When invading space gargoyles threaten their human settlement, a group of queer teens must save their civilization and bring peace to their planet.

Why I'm Excited About it: Well, I've already read this BUT I am super excited for you guys to read it and here is why: 

1) I shipped Nyx and Dahlia so hard.

2) This book has the sweeping, incredible world-building I usually only see in Earth-centric fantasy. It reads like epic fantasy, but in space. It's beautiful.


The Tiger's Daughter

Release Date: October 3 2017

K. Arsenault Rivera

Genre: YA Fantasy

Representation: Lesbian, Asian MC and LI 

Ownvoices: Yes — for the lesbian representation.

Brief Synopsis: This is the story of an infamous Qorin warrior, Barsalayaa Shefali, a spoiled divine warrior empress, O-Shizuka, and a power that can reach through time and space to save a land from a truly insidious evil.

Why I'm Excited About it: I love sweeping epic fantasy, and a few of the bloggers I follow have LOVED this. I'm also always here for a badass warrior woman in love with an Empress — that pairing already gives me chills. 


Wild Beauty

Release Date: October 3 2017

Anna-Marie McLemore

Genre: YA Magical Realism/Historical

Representation: Bisexual, Latinx MC and LI

Ownvoices: Yes 

Brief Synopsis: For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens. The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself.

Why I'm Excited About it: I have read and loved all of Anna-Marie's previous books. Her writing is enchantingly beautiful. I've read some early reviews of this book — and all of them just GUSH about how brilliant and magical this book is. I am ready for feelings. This book isn't explictly f/f because the main character is bisexual, and the love interest is male. However, as it features a queer female protagonist I wanted to include it. I've seen a lot of negative rhetoric about how bisexual people can't be considered queer if they date the "opposite sex" (what does this binary nonsense even MEAN) — and I feel that this is gross, so I'm taking my stand by including this book.


That Inevitable Victorian Thing

Release Date: October 3 2017

E.K. Johnston

Genre: YA Alternative Historical/Near Future

Representation: Bisexual, Polyam*

Ownvoices: Unknown

Brief Synopsis: Victoria-Margaret is the crown princess of the empire, a direct descendent of Victoria I, the queen who changed the course of history two centuries earlier. The imperial practice of genetically arranged matchmaking will soon guide Margaret into a politically advantageous marriage like her mother before her, but before she does her duty, she'll have one summer incognito in a far corner of empire. In Toronto, she meets Helena Marcus, daughter of one of the empire's greatest placement geneticists, and August Callaghan, the heir apparent to a powerful shipping firm currently besieged by American pirates.

Why I'm Excited About it: I put a star next to the Polyam in the representation section of this book — because I have seen it in reviews, but not in reviews by reviewers I know. If it's true, that alone totally excites me! I am a polyamorous person myself, and I'm dying to see some good polyam rep in YA. I also love alt/historical novels, and anything Victoriana! This book sounds like a wild mashup of genres, but I trust EK Johnston to pull it off.


Echo After Echo

Release Date: October 10 2017

E.K. Johnston

Genre: YA Contemporary

Representation: Lesbian

Ownvoices: Unknown

Brief Synopsis: Debuting on the New York stage, Zara is unprepared—for Eli, the girl who makes the world glow; for Leopold, the director who wants perfection; and for death in the theater.

Why I'm Excited About it: I love theatre dramas — there's something about the mirroring of a story offstage and onstage that really appeals to me on an artistic level. I've also read some amazing reviews of this one and the prose promises to be gorgeous!


A Line in the Dark

Release Date: October 17 2017

Malinda Lo

Genre: YA Contemporary/Horror

Representation: Lesbian, POC: Chinese American MC

Ownvoices: Yes

Brief Synopsis: Jess Wong has a long, unrequited crush on her best friend Angie. She's okay with it, until Angie meets new girl Margot and starts to fall for her instead. As Angie drags Jess further into Margot’s circle, Jess discovers more than her friend’s growing crush. Secrets and cruelty lie just beneath the carefree surface of this world of wealth and privilege, and when they come out, Jess knows Angie won’t be able to handle the consequences.

Why I'm Excited About it: All the early reviews seem to agree that the book is creepy and sinister af. This makes my little Slytherin heart flutter. Apparently the narrator is also unreliable, which I love. I'm also interested in any book that talks about the line between love and obsession.


Like Water

Release Date: October 17 2017

Rebecca Podos

Genre: YA Paranormal

Representation: Bisexual, Latina MC, Huntington's Disease

Ownvoices: Yes

Brief Synopsis: In Savannah Espinoza’s small New Mexico hometown, kids either flee after graduation or they’re trapped there forever. Vanni never planned to get stuck—but that was before her father was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, leaving her and her mother to care for him. hat changes the day she meets Leigh. Disillusioned with small-town life and looking for something greater, Leigh is not a “nice girl.” She is unlike anyone Vanni has met, and a friend when Vanni desperately needs one. Soon enough, Leigh is much more than a friend. But caring about another person stirs up the moat Vanni has carefully constructed around herself, and threatens to bring to the surface the questions she’s held under for so long.

Why I'm Excited About it: There's a fucking mermaid waterpark — I needed this yesterday. As soon as I heard there was a bisexual performing mermaid in this book, there was literally nothing else I needed to know. 




The True Queen

Release Date: January 2 2018

Sarah Fine

Genre: YA Fantasy

Representation: Bisexual

Ownvoices: Unknown

Brief Synopsis: In this epic conclusion to the Impostor Queen series, Sarah Fine’s sweeping tale of two fierce leaders imbued with unimaginable power and called to unthinkable sacrifice finally answers the question: who has the strength to be the True Queen?

Why I'm Excited About it: Confession time: I haven't yet started this series. The first book sounded interesting, but as I hadn't heard it was queer it kind of got pushed down my TBR pile among the multitudes of straight white, fantasy books I seem to buy and never read. Then the second book came out, and everyone started talking about how there was an f/f pairing … and my interest peaked again. I definitely want to read more bisexual heroines, so I will be diving into this whole series sometime this year!


Reign of the Fallen

Release Date: January 23 2018

Sarah Glenn Marsh

Genre: YA Fantasy

Representation: Lesbian

Ownvoices: Unknown

Brief Synopsis: Odessa is one of Karthia's master necromancers, catering to the kingdom's ruling Dead. A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa's necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead–and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer's magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?

Why I'm Excited About it: Necromancers! Magic! Zombies! Ahhh!! This fantasy world where the dead are able to rule sounds so compelling and unique. Although the synopsis doesn't give many details, apparently there is a strong f/f romantic subplot. I am ready!



Release Date: April 10 2018

Dawn IUS

Genre: YA Contemporary

Representation: Lesbian, MC suffers chronic pain and blackouts.

Ownvoices: Unknown

Brief Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Lizzie Borden has never been kissed. Polite but painfully shy, Lizzie prefers to stay in the kitchen, where she can dream of becoming a chef and escape her reality. Enter the effervescent, unpredictable Bridget Sullivan. Bridget has joined the family's B&B’s staff as the new maid, and Lizzie is instantly drawn to her artistic style and free spirit—even her Star Wars obsession is kind of cute. The two of them forge bonds that quickly turn into something that’s maybe more than friendship.

Why I'm Excited About it: When I first saw the cover, before I read the synopsis, I genuinely thought this one was a historical — but the synopsis on GoodReads talks about Star Wars, so I'm guessing that's not true! The way the synopsis describes Lizzie's health condition does make me a little unsure of how that will be represented, but it can be difficult to tell by the synopsis how it will be in the book. Anyway — I love shy girl/nerd love, so I'm hoping this is really cute! 


Love and Other Carnivorous Plants

Release Date:  Spring 2018

Florence Gonsalves

Genre: YA Contemporary

Representation: Lesbian, Eating Disorder, Anxiety

Ownvoices: Unknown

Brief Synopsis: The story features a disillusioned 19-year-old who takes a break from the pre-med grind at Harvard, only to confront the risk of being consumed by her eating and anxiety disorders – and her growing affection toward an edgy, older girl.

Why I'm Excited About it: This sounds like its technically a NA story, although it's being pitched as YA. Still, I'm super interested in college stories because it's such a time of self-discovery. I haven't seen any reviews of this yet, but keeping my eye out! The title is amazing.



Release Date:  Spring 2018

Audrey Coulthurst

Genre: YA Fantasy

Representation: Bisexual

Ownvoices: Yes

Brief Synopsis: Asra is a demigod with a dangerous gift: the ability to dictate the future by writing with her blood. To keep her power secret, she leads a quiet life as a healer on a remote mountain, content to help the people in her care and spend time with Ina, the mortal girl she loves. But Asra’s peaceful life is upended when bandits threaten Ina’s village and the king does nothing to help.

Why I'm Excited About it: Audrey Coulthurst's debut, Of Fire and Stars, was a beautiful f/f fantasy romance. My only quibble with it was that I wished it were more brutal / battle oriented (I'm a Slytherin). So when I saw that Audrey's second novel is about a lesbian demigod taking revenge on a tyrannical king — I knew I needed this book in my life!






LATER 2018

The Summer of Jordi Perez

Release Date:  2018

Amy Spalding

Genre: YA Contemporary

Representation: Lesbian, Fat MC

Ownvoices: Yes

Brief Synopsis: Seventeen, fashion-obsessed, and gay, Abby Ives has always been content playing the sidekick in other people's lives. While her friends and sister have plunged headfirst into the world of dating and romances, Abby has stayed focused on her plus-size style blog. When she lands a prized internship at her favorite local boutique, she’s thrilled to take her first step into her dream career. She doesn't expect to fall for her fellow intern, Jordi Perez. Abby knows it's a big no-no to fall for a colleague. She also knows that Jordi documents her whole life in photographs, while Abby would prefer to stay behind the scenes.

Why I'm Excited About it: I can tell from the synopsis alone that I am going to enjoy the fat rep in this book. Having Abby be a career-driven, fashionista who runs a style blog as a plus-sized girl turns so many negative, incorrect sterotypes on their heads, and I am so excited about this.



Release Date:  2018

Robin Talley

Genre: YA Historical

Representation: Lesbian

Ownvoices: Yes

Brief Synopsis: About a closeted teen in the 1950s finding a way to express herself by writing a lesbian pulp novel and a contemporary out-and-proud lesbian who discovers the book years later and becomes fascinated by its pseudonymous author.

Why I'm Excited About it: While I've really enjoyd a lot of Robin Talley's later books, I feel like historical fiction is her strength and I'm excited to see her returning to that genre. I am also intrigued by the cross-over of timeperiods between the protagonists! 


Ship It

Release Date:  2018

Britta Lundin

Genre: YA Contemporary

Representation: Lesbian, Gay

Ownvoices: Yes

Brief Synopsis: The story of a fanfic writer named Claire who just knows the two male characters on her favorite show are in love, and tries to convince the showrunner to make the relationship happen on screen when she's invited on a Comic Con tour with the cast. 

Why I'm Excited About it: I'm really interested in stories about geekery recently — fanfiction, conventions — give me all of it! I initially didn't think this book would be f/f, but the author approached me to let me know that Claire's romance is with another girl. I'm interested to see how the writing of m/m fanfiction is handled from the perspective of a queer girl protagonist. 


#ReadProud: Week 4!

Thanks to the outpouring of support for #ReadProud, I'm starting a different blog post for each week to keep things a little bit more organised. You can read about the overall structure of the event here. You can also find out about the prizes there! 

Remember, each week there are two categories. Participating in one category and reading one book per week makes you eligible for the Silver Prize Draw. Participating in both categories and reading two books (or more!) per week makes you eligible for Gold Prize Draw!

For your book to count towards the draw, you have to leave a review on GoodReads and at least one retailer website. If you're not comfortable posting reviews, you can still participate, but unfortunately you won't be eligible for a prize draw. Leave links to your reviews in the comments for the Week!




Category A:  GAY YA

What I'll Be Reading: We Are the Ants by Shawn David Hutchinson

Bender by Gene Gant

Suggested Titles: 

JERKBAIT by Mia Seigert 


DAGGER by Steven dos Santos

BOY MEETS BOY by David Levithan

FJORD BLUE by Nina Rossing


Category B: WILDCARD 

Surprise me. Surprise us all. As long as it's LGBTQIA. I'd LOVE people to bring forward some terrific Asexual, Bisexual and Non-binary books. 


1) Jerkbait … Jamie

2) Bender … Julia 

3) False Hearts … Julia

4) We Are the Ants … Bhavya 

5) Bender … Laura

6) Waiting for the Flood … Laura

7) None of the Above … Nicole

8) Boy Meets Boy … Serena

9) Aristotle and Dante Discover the Universe … Rebecca

10) Symptoms of Being Human … Nina

11) Fun Home … Becky

12) We Awaken … Jamie 

13) Daybreak Rising … Jamie 

14) Wonders of the Invisible World … Serena

15) Five Stages of Andrew Brawley … Chasia

16) Noble Falling … Chasia

17) Out on Good Behavior  … Rebecca

18)  Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda … Bhavya

19) Jerkbait … Bhavya

20) Alex as Well … Bhavya

21) One Man Guy … Amber

22) This Song is Not For You … Amber

23) Strong Signal … Lauren

24) Simon Vs … Bogi

25) Half Bad … Meredith

26) A Distant Soil … Meredith

27) Freakboy … Bogi

28) None of the Above … Michelle



#ReadProud Week 2!

Thanks to the outpouring of support for #ReadProud, I'm starting a different blog post for each week to keep things a little bit more organised. You can read about the overall structure of the event here. You can also find out about the prizes there! 

Remember, each week there are two categories. Participating in one category and reading one book per week makes you eligible for the Silver Prize Draw. Participating in both categories and reading two books (or more!) per week makes you eligible for Gold Prize Draw!

For your book to count towards the draw, you have to leave a review on GoodReads and at least one retailer website. If you're not comfortable posting reviews, you can still participate, but unfortunately you won't be eligible for a prize draw. Leave links to your reviews in the comments for the Week!


Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 09.28.28

#ReadProud Week 2!



What I'll be Reading: 

TREMONTAINE by Ellen Kushner *et all – Serial


Suggested Titles: 

UNICORN TRACKS by Julia Ember (meeee!)


THE RENEGADE by Amy Dunne 

THE SECOND MANGO by Shira Glassman

OF FIRE AND STARS by Audrey Coulthurst

ASH by Malinda Lo

NOBLE FALLING by Sarah Gaines

MY LADY KING by Kayla Bashe


(you may read any other book of your choice that falls into this category)


Category B:  LGBTQ Middle Grade or Younger

What I'll be Reading: 

GEORGE by Alex Gino

Suggested Titles: 

RED: A CRAYON'S STORY by Michael Hall

AND TANGO MAKES THREE by Justin Richardson 


10,000 DRESSES by Marcus Ewert 

I AM JAZZ by Jessica Herthel 

(you may read any other book of your choice that falls into this category)


Update us on your progress in the comments! 



1) The Abyss Surrounds Us … Jamie 

2) Lumberjanes Vol 3 … Jamie 

3) Red: A Crayon's Story … Bhavya

4) And Tango Makes Three … Bhavya

5) George … Nicole

6) Unicorn Tracks … Laura

7) Tango Makes Three … Laura

8) George … Becky

9) The Second Mango … Serena

10) George … Lauren

11) George … Serena

12) Donovan's Big Day … Crystal

14) Tremontaine … Rebecca

15) Fairest … Chasia

16) George … Chasia

17) George … Nina

18) I Am Jazz … Bhavya

19) The Abyss Surrounds Us … Bhavya

20) Unicorn Tracks … Bhavya

21) George … Mia Siegert 

22) George … Bhavya

23) Introducing Teddy … Rebecca

24) Unicorn Tracks … Kara

25) George … Kara

26) Tremontaine … Julia

27) Women Were Warriors … Becky

28) Unicorn Tracks … Michelle

29) The Second Mango … Meredith

30) George … Amber

31) The Abyss Surrounds Us .. Bogi

32) The Abyss Surrounds Us … Amber

33) George … Amber

34) The Manny Files … Meredith

35) How it Feels to Have a Lesbian or Gay Parent … Bogi

36) Graveyard Sparrow … Shira

Reading Wrap Up – March and April


Reading Wrap Up – March and April 

Shockingly, despite April being my debut novel month — I've managed to read quite a few new books over the past two months! Part of this has been my excitement over friends' new books and debuts. Part of the experience of being a new author is making writer friends and sharing in their successes. It's an intoxicating thing and I easily get swept up in the new release craze. 

So, a by the numbers update:

In 2016, I have read 39 books/novellas/stories. 

21/39 were Young Adult. 

7/39 Featured an LGBTQIA protagonist — a percentage that is shockingly down from last year and one that I intend to fix in the coming months. 

6/39 Featured a POC of colour — again, something I need to fix in the coming months. 

7/39 were Adult or New Adult Fiction. 

5/39 were Children's fiction for under 12s. 

3/39 were Non-Fiction

19/39 were High Fantasy


Favourites from MAR-APR


I read Shadow and Bone some time ago. I loved it, but the story itself seemed quite complete at its end, so I wasn't desperate to read the next two in the trilogy. I should have jumped in. I absolutely loved the new cast of characters in the trilogy's second and thid installments. 

Sturmhand was undoubtedly my favourite. I loved the combination of wit, playfulness and shrewd calculation in his personality. Leigh Bardugo has a real knack for writing witty, genuinely funny dialogue — and that shone in Sturmhand. I could have read his flirations with Alina forever. 

Then of course, there's the Darkling. I found him smouldering in the first book, but the second two books added a real depth to his character. His relationship with his mother fascinated me, as did the connection between him and Alina. I'm a massive sucker for a sexy bad guy. Always have been, and it'll always be my achilles heel. 

Despite that, I rooted for Alina and Mal throughout — which is a testament to how well Bardugo paired them up. 

The Russian-inspired Fantasy setting is breathtaking. The writing is fast-paced, simaltaneously chilling and beautiful. I rated them 5* on GoodReads and I couldn't recommend these books higher!



I stumbled upon this little story by accident when I was surfing through Kindle deals looking for something to read. I'm so glad I did.

This novellete is a totally fascinating blend of mythology and modernity. This is a super quick read novella read with a unique and interesting cast of characters. Beautifully written and easily readable in an hour. 

I loved the way the story talked about hell and reincarnation. It's not always a peaceful process, but something that a lot of the souls dread. Siew Tsin's naivety made her a perfect narrator. I rated this 5* on GoodReads. 



This was recommended to me SUPER HIGHLY by Nori from Read Write Love28 who basically said I needed to drop everything to read this book. I'm happy I listened to her. 

Let me just fangirl for a moment about my love of Travis, because when I was still in High School, I would have had the biggest crush ever on him, and if there is a mid-twenties male equivalent of him lurking about on GoodReads … Just know that you're a catch. I loved him as a gentle giant with his staff and Viking obsession. I loved his online forum posts and how his crush on Amelia developed. 

The differences between all three perspective characters were striking and really made this book. Jeff's writing has a really raw quality to it … And I loved that. He captured three distinct voices so magnificently. 

I like a bit of cult crazy in my books, so I was equally fascinated and repulsed by Dill's family. On the one hand, as a secular person living in quite a secular place, it's hard for me to conceive of people that nuts being real. It's easy to imagine religious sub-groups like that as comedic. But on the other, when I try to imagine it as real, I'm horrified. Poisonous snakes? Battery acid?? Whattttttttt

The only thing that didn't quite work for me all the time was Lydia. Sometimes I felt like her character was quite flat compared to the two boys. I felt that Dill and Travis had more richly imagined emotions and interior lives. I'm not sure if this was because Lydia had fewer hurdles to overcome or if the author was simply more invested in the others. 

But Travis … Aww, you big lovely snuggly bunny <3

I rated this 4.5/5 on GoodReads. 


When I first read the synopsis for this, I'll admit that I wasn't sure the book was going to be for me. I'm probably the only person I know who hates The Walking Dead, so I was a bit apprehensive about a dystopian plot with a mass epidemic.

Nat lives with her grandparents in a giant zombie-proof bubble, complete with a thriving forest of trees for oxygen, a learning institute and guaranteed job placement. It sounds a bit like a utopia, but the local authorities are actually sinister and authoritarian. There is a bit of a Stepford Wives vibe going on … where things are made to look perfect and rebellion is swept under the rug. 

Initially, I think is was the sinister government element that interested me. I wanted to know what The Order was hiding and what was happening to the people left outside The Dome. Then, I came to love Nat as a character and her burgeoning relationship with Evan. 

There were a few elements that seemed a bit overly 'canon' and I would have liked to see expanded a bit beyond the more common tropes, such as the symptoms of the disease itself. 

Overall, this is a really interesting and face-paced read that may completely go against your expectations. If you're a Walking Dead hater like me, but want to try out another disease-apocalypse based dystopia, I recommend this!



Those are my top picks for the last two months! What have you been reading? Tell me about it in the comments!

Of course, the major life event for me is that my own book has been published! Unicorn Tracks is a lesbian YA Fantasy Romance. It tells the story of Mnemba, a safari guide and tracker, who falls in love with a Unicorn Naturalist who visits her country. When the unicorns Kara loves are abducted and enslaved to build a railway, the two girls have to find a way to save them, while trying to resist each other. 





YA Scavenger Hunt — Introducing Amy McNulty



Hello! My name is Julia Ember and I have the pleasure of hosting Amy McNulty on my blog for the Spring 2016 YASH! We are both very excited to be part of the pink team!

You can find a full listing of all the teams as well as further details about how to enter via Yash.rocks  

Make sure you scroll all the way to the end so you don't miss this blog's special individual giveaway. I will highlight the special number in pink. 


I am a debut author in 2016. My first book, Unicorn Tracks, will be released from Harmony Ink Press on April 21! When I'm not writing I also love riding horses, snuggling with my cats and talking incessantly about fan fiction and online gaming. 


And now to introduce the featured author! 

Amy McNulty is a freelance writer and editor from Wisconsin with an honors degree in English. She was first published in a national scholarly journal (The Concord Review) while in high school and currently writes professionally about everything from business marketing to anime. In her down time, you can find her crafting stories with dastardly villains and antiheroes set in fantastical medieval settings.

Her YASH bonus is this deleted scene from Nobody’s Goddess, the first book in The Never Veil Series. (Nobody’s Lady is Book Two.) In my original draft, Noll was twelve years old for much longer than just the prologue—probably about a quarter of the book. The Returning ceremony detailed in the beginning was for Vena and Elweard, two minor characters, instead of Jurij and Elfriede, two much more important characters. You can see some of the skeleton of the scene made it into the final version, though. Enjoy!

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Deleted Scene: 



Today the butcher and his family wore their finest. Today they would close early. There was a long-awaited Returning to attend to—two of the village’s most beloved figures, Elweard the tavern keeper and his wife Vena—really, the one who ran the tavern. A private couple they were not, and there had been much joking about how Elweard’s Returning had been delayed by a number of years, as it took a while for Vena to decide she loved her husband almost as much as she loved barking out orders he had no choice but to obey. Luckily for her, after she Returned to him, Elweard would still be devoted and smitten. But there was something to be said for the power a goddess had over her man before a Returning: he literally had no choice but to obey her commands.

Marden stopped pulling on the sign long enough to stand and wipe her brow. She looked over at us.

Darwyn moved to step forward. I grabbed his hand and pulled him back, as hard as I could. I wasn’t going to lose another friend.

“Good day, Noll!” called Marden. She noticed the wolf face boy standing next to me for the first time. “Oh, Darwyn, is that you?” she asked. “Help me carry this sign, would you?”

Darwyn ripped his hand free from mine and went to obey his goddess.

So there it was. I should have expected it. It struck them all, although I could never guess when. But sometime around our age, the boys’ voices cracked, shifting from high to deep and back again in a matter of a few words. The boys grew from little masked stray dogs lapping at my feet to wooden faces that forced me to crane upward to see them. And one day, at one moment, at some age, earlier for some and later for others, they took one look at a girl they’d probably seen thousands of times before and simply ceased to be. At least, they weren’t who I knew them to be.

And like all of the boys before him who had been the little elf queen’s retainer one day and a goddess worshipper the next, never again could I call that boy my friend.




In the great hall, all was quiet.

The two figures that drew everyone’s attention held hands and stared into each other’s eyes—or in Elweard’s case, the black holes covering his eyes. Since Elweard was often the master of such ceremonies, there was no one to narrate the occasion, but the two did not need words to convey the exchange of love that occurred between them. Moments passed. I could hardly hear a breath. Elweard ripped off his ceremonial Returning mask—the mask that looked like a simplified wooden rendition of an unmasked man’s dark face and pointed ears—and the two shared their first kiss, forever sealing their union.

The crowd exploded. Shrieks and cries echoed throughout the space, hurting my ears.

Unmasked men and women melted into each other’s arms. Mama and Papa were among them. “Aubree!” called Papa, devotion pouring into both syllables of Mama’s name, over and over between kisses. Gross. I looked away when they did that. Which was just about every moment they were together. Elfriede, my sister, stood up with them, clapping the whole time. No doubt she pictured herself at the center of this ceremony one day. She could have it. A little more than a year my elder, she was bound to find herself there sooner than I.

There were few who remained seated. Even some of the masked boys embraced the girls beside them. Those were the boys waiting for their goddesses to turn seventeen, no doubt. Love had already Returned to them, but their goddesses were not old enough to perform the Returning. I looked away sharply when I saw the wolf faced boy and the butcher’s daughter wound tightly around each other.

As he tried to stand from the spot on the floor next to me to join the celebration, Jurij felt my hand squeeze his tightly. He turned his snake face to meet mine and sat back down on the ground beside his owl mask papa and his sour-faced mama. I yearned to cast aside the snake mask and unearth the kitten I knew lay inside.


#   (let us take this section break to note, the number you'll need is 75!)


 “Half the village is here,” observed Master Tailor.

Half the village was not there. There were only a few hundred people at most. I bet everyone just wanted free drinks. When Mama or Papa let me have a taste of wine once, I spit it out. I didn’t know how anyone could drink such sour stuff.

After the Returning, everyone had filed up to the coupling to smile and pretend like they cared for the happiness of a man and goddess not their own. To celebrate, Elweard was offering free wine and ale.

“How many years have they been married?” asked Mama. She was keeping me from running off by ripping her fingers through my hair, claiming she was trying to untangle the knots. She was not too happy to have me show up for the Returning in my finest clothing, torn and muddied. But it was either embark on a quest to defeat an old, loony crone who wants to squeeze you to death, cause the ground to shake by looking at the castle forbidden to all women, and get an earful from some mean old quarry workers and Papa—or spend all morning with Mama and Elfriede as they brushed their golden hair and wove it into braids to sit delicately against their temples in contrast to their pale oak skin. So, you know, I chose the old crone.

Papa had one arm around Mama’s shoulder and the other stuck firmly across the front of her waist. It was rather annoying that every time Mama ripped through a particularly stubborn knot, my head bounced back and brushed his arm.

“A few,” said Papa. “I know Vena’s at least five and twenty.”

Jurij made a choking sound.  I wondered if he was gasping behind his slithery mask. “So it’s not too late for you, Papa!”

Master Tailor laughed. “Your mother’s a bit older than five and twenty, sweetheart. But don’t tell her I told you that.”

My gaze turned toward Mistress Tailor. She stood across the room at the table with the glasses of wine, drinking first one and then another. No one spoke to her. There was some shame in what she did, after all.

She would not Return love to her husband.

The ‘magic’ that possessed the men of our village led them to live for love. And love every man did—if by ‘love,’ you meant obsession. Worship. Viewing a woman as his goddess. A man only loved one woman. And every woman always got her one man, even if she had to wait years for him to be born and grow old enough to love her. Or even if he was born years before her, and he had to wait for her to grow old enough for him to see it.

Women were not forced by nature to love. When we loved, we did so of our own will.

But even so, that meant a woman only had three choices: love at once, learn to love or never love at all.

There was no room for love to be given where it was not wanted.

The women who fell in love with their men early on could perform the Returning before they got married. Papa and Mama boasted that they loved one another before Mama turned seventeen, and it was on the dawn of Mama’s seventeenth birthday that they had their Returning and Papa threw away his mask. They got married that afternoon, as Papa was a year older.

The women who chose to learn to love married their men because they knew that no one else would ever love them. If they wanted to have a family or even the smallest hope of knowing love, they had to marry their man. Of course, it was expected that one day, they would perform the Returning. That’s what Vena did. But some women took so long, people began to wonder if they would ever perform the Returning. What were they waiting for? No other man would ever love them. They ought to be ashamed. Mistress Tailor did not have many friends.

The women who never loved doomed their men forever. Few that they were, the husbandless goddesses occupied themselves with trade or hobby, unable to even grant their men a loveless marriage. They fared far better than the men who loved them. These men withered away, pining for their goddesses from afar, masked to all women not of blood relation, masked by choice to other men because they found no energy to remove their coverings, torn as they were forever from their goddesses. They formed a small commune near the crop fields on the western outskirts of the village, doing no good for anyone and barely summoning the will to eat or drink. No adult liked to speak of them, and we were not to interact with them, but the other children and I had no qualms about spying on the men who lived there. They were funny when you didn’t have to worry about living there yourself. Well, I found them funny. Elfriede would have rather I told her about the monsters I pretended to battle with my friends than the actual monsters who walked among the living in the commune.

Mama patted the top of my head. Perhaps she had given up on the idea that she could ever tame the wild tresses that grew there.

“Elfriede is outside with her friends,” explained Mama. “Why don’t you go join them?”

“Let’s go, Jurij,” I said, reaching out to grab his hand.

As I spoke, Jurij’s mama appeared behind him. One grunt from her was all either of us needed to know that Jurij was going nowhere with me just now.

“Jurij needs to change his mask,” said Mistress Tailor. If words could stab, she needed only a few to leave you dead. “Come with us, Coll,” she barked. Master Tailor dropped his mug on the ground and lined up behind Mistress Tailor and Jurij. Mistress Tailor’s eyes fell upon the shattered mug on the ground and winced, and then the family turned to leave.

Mistress Tailor sighed. “Say farewell to the Carvers, Coll.”

Master Tailor did not turn to face us. “Farewell to the Carvers, Coll!”

Jurij and I giggled. Mama rapped me quickly on the back of the head.

Mistress Tailor shook her head. “Let’s go, Coll.” By then, her words were less lethal and much more tired.

The family retreated. I watched Jurij go, trailing helplessly after his much-faster mama.

Sometimes I wished I was Jurij’s goddess, just so I could get him to obey me. But I wouldn’t have wanted all of that kissing. Yuck.

Before they exited out the great hall door, a small crowd of girls broke through the crowd from outside. Jurij stood still, wrenching his mama’s arm backward as he did. He did not respond to her cry of pain or the lecture forming soundlessly on her grim mouth.

As Elfriede passed him, the summer breeze with the wavy gold hair she shared with our mama broke into a smile. The smile was not for the small, pathetic boy wearing the ill-fitted snake mask. It was not the only smile among the small group of girls or among the many unmasked in the great hall.

But for my dearest, my last and most special friend of all, the smile was the way he vanished, doomed to live or die by the choice of the little girl who wore it.


Continue the Hunt on A. Lynden Rolland's Website!


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2015 Snarky Reader Awards (or my Top Picks)


My 2015 Reader Roundup (and Top Picks!)

Rather than do a standard "top 10" I've decided to give out top picks and runner's up in several categories!

My goals for 2016 are to continue to read as widely as possible, especially reading more adult fiction, MG, and PBs! I've definitely been on a bit of a YA bender this year. I am also going to try to post more substantive reviews on GR. I read A L OT of good books this year. I hope you find a few new authors by flicking through this list!


By the numbers … 

There will be some overlap counts in these statistics by the nature of genres/sub genres/age groups etc. 

I read 69 books in 2015 out of a GoodReads challenge of 60. 

35/69 books were Young Adult. 

23/69 books featured a LGBTQIA protagonist. 

27/69 books were Fantasy.

13/69 were Paranormal or Sci-Fi

10/69 were Picture Books (not necessarily for kids). 

10/69 were Contemporary. 

8/69 were Novellas or Novelettes. 



Click the covers to visit the GR pages!

Y O U N G   A D U L T










F A N T A S Y 


R U N N E R S – UP 





P A R A N O R M A L or SCI-FI 



R U N N E RS    UP






















It's a dark and dreary Sunday here in Scotland. Our days have gotten so short you'd almost miss them in a blink. BUT on the plus side, I've nearly finished with my 2015 GoodReads Challenge. 

I have just two more books to go until I will have read sixty books this year. I'm quite proud of that and will be doing a "Best of 2015" round-up as soon as I've finished! 

Since starting my "journey" towards trying to get published last August, I've definitely become a lot more aware of up-and-coming books rather than just picking things up as I find them. Certainly since getting a contract for Unicorn Tracks, I've been really curious about other books coming out in 2016! 

I've made a list of the SPRING/SUMMER 2016 titles I'm most excited about. As always, if you see the little the We Need Diverse Books Box under a book's description, it means that the protagonist is LGBTIQA or a POC.


GoodReads Summary:

Return to the darkly beautiful world of The Sin Eater's Daughter with a sequel that will leave you awed, terrified . . . and desperate for more.

Ever since her brother Lief disappeared, Errin's life has gone from bad to worse. Not only must she care for her sick mother, she has to scrape together rent money by selling illegal herbal cures. But none of that compares to the threat of the vengeful Sleeping Prince whom the Queen just awoke from his enchanted sleep.

When her village is evacuated as part of the war against the Sleeping Prince, Errin is left desperate and homeless. The only person she can turn to is the mysterious Silas, a young man who buys deadly poisons from Errin, but won't reveal why he needs them. Silas promises to help her, but when he vanishes, Errin must journey across a kingdom on the brink of war to seek another way to save her mother and herself. But what she finds shatters everything she believed about her world, and with the Sleeping Prince drawing nearer, Errin must make a heartbreaking choice that could affect the whole kingdom.

Book Details: 

Author: Melinda Salisbury

(  www.melindasalisbury.com /@AHintofMystery)

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Publication Date: April 26th 2016




** Note: I've already gotten my hands on this one and I KNOW it's fabulous. You want this one, guys. TRUST ME **

GoodReads Summary:

For Cassandra Leung, bossing around sea monsters is just the family business. She’s been a Reckoner trainer-in-training ever since she could walk, raising the genetically-engineered beasts to defend ships as they cross the pirate-infested NeoPacific. But when the pirate queen Santa Elena swoops in on Cas’s first solo mission and snatches her from the bloodstained decks, Cas’s dream of being a full-time trainer seems dead in the water. 

There’s no time to mourn. Waiting for her on the pirate ship is an unhatched Reckoner pup. Santa Elena wants to take back the seas with a monster of her own, and she needs a proper trainer to do it. She orders Cas to raise the pup, make sure he imprints on her ship, and, when the time comes, teach him to fight for the pirates. If Cas fails, her blood will be the next to paint the sea.

Book Details:

Author: Emily Skrutskie

(http://skrutskie.com  /@skrutskie)

Publisher: Flux 

Publication Date: February 8th 2016





Goodreads Summary: 

When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Along the way, her path collides with that of a mysterious boy who could be vital to her mission . . . or the key to Hope’s undoing.      

Addictive, romantic, and rich with historical detail, Into the Dim is anOutlander for teens. 

Book Details:

Author: Janet Taylor

(www.janetbtaylor.com@Janet_B_Taylor )

Publisher: HMH for Young Readers

Publication Date: March 1st 2016



Summary from GoodReads:

San Francisco, 1906: Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty in Chinatown, and an education at St. Clare’s School for Girls is her best hope. Although St. Clare’s is off-limits to all but the wealthiest white girls, Mercy gains admittance through a mix of cunning and a little bribery, only to discover that getting in was the easiest part. Not to be undone by a bunch of spoiled heiresses, Mercy stands strong—until disaster strikes.

On April 18, an historic earthquake rocks San Francisco, destroying Mercy’s home and school. With martial law in effect, she is forced to wait with her classmates for their families in a temporary park encampment. Mercy can't sit by while they wait for the Army to bring help. Fires might rage, and the city may be in shambles, yet Mercy still has the 'bossy' cheeks that mark her as someone who gets things done. But what can one teenaged girl do to heal so many suffering in her broken city?


Book Details: 

Author: Stacey Lee

(http://www.staceyhlee.com/@staceyleeauthor )

Publisher: G.P. Putnam 

Publication Date: May 24th 2016





Goodreads Summary:

Raised in the closed cult of Mana’s Hearth and denied access to modern technology, conjoined sisters Taema and Tila dream of a life beyond the walls of the compound. When the heart they share begins to fail, the twins escape to San Francisco, where they are surgically separated and given new artificial hearts. From then on they pursue lives beyond anything they could have previously imagined.

Ten years later, Tila returns one night to the twins’ home in the city, terrified and covered in blood, just before the police arrive and arrest her for murder—the first homicide by a civilian in decades. Tila is suspected of involvement with the Ratel, a powerful crime syndicate that deals in the flow of Zeal, a drug that allows violent minds to enact their darkest desires in a terrifying dreamscape. Taema is given a proposition: go undercover as her sister and perhaps save her twin’s life. But during her investigation Taema discovers disturbing links between the twins’ past and their present. Once unable to keep anything from each other, the sisters now discover the true cost of secrets.

Book Details: 

Author: Laura Lam

( http://www.lauralam.co.uk@LR_Lam)

Publisher: Tor Books

Publication Date: June 14th 2016





Summary from GoodReads: 

Nix’s life began in Honolulu in 1868. Since then she has traveled to mythic Scandinavia, a land from the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, modern-day New York City, and many more places both real and imagined. As long as he has a map, Nix’s father can sail his ship, The Temptation, to any place, any time. But now he’s uncovered the one map he’s always sought—1868 Honolulu, before Nix’s mother died in childbirth. Nix’s life—her entire existence—is at stake. No one knows what will happen if her father changes the past. It could erase Nix’s future, her dreams, her adventures . . . her connection with the charming Persian thief, Kash, who’s been part of their crew for two years. If Nix helps her father reunite with the love of his life, it will cost her her own.

Book Details:

Author: Heidi Heilig

(heidiheilig.com / @heidiheilig)

Publisher: Greenwillow Books 

Release Date: February 16 2016



Summary from GoodReads:

Jane Austen meets X-­Men in this gripping and adventure-­filled paranormal romance set in Victorian London.

England, 1882. Evelyn is bored with society and its expectations. So when her beloved sister, Rose, mysteriously vanishes, she ignores her parents and travels to London to find her, accompanied by the dashing Mr. Kent. But they’re not the only ones looking for Rose. The reclusive, young gentleman Sebastian Braddock is also searching for her, claiming that both sisters have special healing powers. Evelyn is convinced that Sebastian must be mad, until she discovers that his strange tales of extraordinary people are true—and that her sister is in graver danger than she feared.

Book Details:

Author: Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas

(@tkshanker ! @KellyZekas

Publisher: Swoon Reads

Release Date: February 9 2016




Goodreads Summary:

For fans of The Princess Bride comes the comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey.

Lady Jane Grey, sixteen, is about to be married to a total stranger—and caught up in an insidious plot to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But that’s the least of Jane’s problems. She’s about to become Queen of England. Like that could go wrong.


Book Details: 

Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows

Publisher: HarperTeen

Publication Date: June 7th 2016


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