Nine great YA duologies for the perfect amount of book

Nine great YA duologies for the perfect amount of book

I love a good series. Give me something epic that takes over 15 years to write and 12 books, and you’ve got me excited for a good long time. However, there’s some books that I wish were shorter and didn’t take decades of my life to wait and read. There’s tons of merit in a huge series, but there’s also something magical about keeping the series short.

That’s where duologies come in. They’re only two books, capture the story, and convey their message without having to worry that the author will die before they’re done writing it.

YA Fantasy seems to do duologies better than adult fantasy and I’m totally fine with that. While I love an epic YA fantasy, I would much rather keep those shorter and save my time for the bigger adult fantasy novels. So I’m sharing the few that I’ve adored and I think you will too. If you’re looking to get into a fantasy series, here’s a great way to start (and all the books are published, so no waiting for book 2 on these).

Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price―and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . . Kaz’s crew of six is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction―if they don’t kill each other first.

Crooked Kingdom
Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties.

Strange the Dreamer and Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer
The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around–and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was just five years old, he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the form of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.
What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? And who is the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams.

Muse of Nightmares
In the wake of tragedy, neither Lazlo nor Sarai are who they were before. One a god, the other a ghost, they struggle to grasp the new boundaries of their selves as dark-minded Minya holds them hostage, intent on vengeance against Weep.
Lazlo faces an unthinkable choice–save the woman he loves, or everyone else?–while Sarai feels more helpless than ever. But is she? Sometimes, only the direst need can teach us our own depths, and Sarai, the muse of nightmares, has not yet discovered what she’s capable of.
As humans and godspawn reel in the aftermath of the citadel’s near fall, a new foe shatters their fragile hopes, and the mysteries of the Mesarthim are resurrected: Where did the gods come from, and why? What was done with thousands of children born in the citadel nursery? And most important of all, as forgotten doors are opened and new worlds revealed: Must heroes always slay monsters, or is it possible to save them instead?

Crier’s War and Iron Heart by Nina Varela

Crier’s War
After the War of Kinds ravaged the kingdom of Rabu, the Automae, designed to be the playthings of royals, usurped their owners’ estates and bent the human race to their will.
Now Ayla, a human servant rising in the ranks at the House of the Sovereign, dreams of avenging her family’s death…by killing the sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier.
Crier was Made to be beautiful, flawless, and to carry on her father’s legacy. But that was before her betrothal to the enigmatic Scyre Kinok, before she discovered her father isn’t the benevolent king she once admired, and most importantly, before she met Ayla.
Now, with growing human unrest across the land, pressures from a foreign queen, and an evil new leader on the rise, Crier and Ayla find there may be only one path to love: war.

Iron Heart
For too long, Automae have lorded over the kingdom of Rabu, oppressing its human citizens. But the human revolution has risen, and at its heart is Ayla. Once a handmaiden, now a fugitive, Ayla narrowly escaped the palace of Lady Crier, the girl she would’ve killed if she hadn’t fallen in love first. 
Now Ayla has pledged her allegiance to Queen Junn, who can help accomplish the human rebellion’s ultimate goal: destroy the Iron Heart. Without its power, the Automae will be weakened to the point of extinction. Ayla wants to succeed, but can’t shake the strong feelings she’s developed for Crier. And unbeknownst to her, Crier has also fled the palace, taking up among traveling rebels, determined to find and protect Ayla.
Even as their paths collide, nothing can prepare them for the dark secret underlying the Iron Heart.

Dread Nation and Deathless Divide by Justina Ireland

Dread Nation
Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania—derailing the War Between the States and changing the nation forever.
In this new America, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Education Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead.
But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.
But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose.
But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

Deathless Divide
After the fall of Summerland, Jane McKeene hoped her life would get simpler: Get out of town, stay alive, and head west to California to find her mother. But nothing is easy when you’re a girl trained in putting down the restless dead, and a devastating loss on the road to a protected village called Nicodemus has Jane questioning everything she thought she knew about surviving in 1880s America.
What’s more, this safe haven is not what it appears—as Jane discovers when she sees familiar faces from Summerland amid this new society. Caught between mysteries and lies, the undead, and her own inner demons, Jane soon finds herself on a dark path of blood and violence that threatens to consume her. But she won’t be in it alone. Katherine Deveraux never expected to be allied with Jane McKeene.
But after the hell she has endured, she knows friends are hard to come by—and that Jane needs her too, whether Jane wants to admit it or not. Watching Jane’s back, however, is more than she bargained for, and when they both reach a breaking point, it’s up to Katherine to keep hope alive—even as she begins to fear that there is no happily-ever-after for girls like her.

Warcross and Wildcard by Marie Lu

Warcross
For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down Warcross players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty-hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. To make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.
Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

Wildcard
Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo’s new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she’s always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side.
Determined to put a stop to Hideo’s grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone’s put a bounty on Emika’s head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn’t all that he seems–and his protection comes at a price.
Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?

This Savage Song and Our Dark Duet by VE Schwab

This Savage Song
Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music.When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

Our Dark Duet
Kate Harker is a girl who isn’t afraid of the dark. She’s a girl who hunts monsters. And she’s good at it. August Flynn is a monster who can never be human. No matter how much he once yearned for it. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.Nearly six months after Kate and August were first thrown together, the war between the monsters and the humans is a terrifying reality. In Verity, August has become the leader he never wished to be, and in Prosperity, Kate has become the ruthless hunter she knew she could be. When a new monster emerges from the shadows—one who feeds on chaos and brings out its victim’s inner demons—it lures Kate home, where she finds more than she bargained for. She’ll face a monster she thought she killed, a boy she thought she knew, and a demon all her own.

Fable and Namesake by Adrienne Young

Fable
Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men.
As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home seventeen-year-old Fable has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.
But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive.

Namesake
With the Marigold ship free of her father, Fable and its crew were set to start over. That freedom is short-lived when she becomes a pawn in a notorious thug’s scheme. In order to get to her intended destination she must help him to secure a partnership with Holland, a powerful gem trader who is more than she seems.
As Fable descends deeper into a world of betrayal and deception, she learns that the secrets her mother took to her grave are now putting the people Fable cares about in danger. If Fable is going to save them then she must risk everything, including the boy she loves and the home she has finally found.

We Hunt the Flame and We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal

We Hunt the Flame
Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the sultan. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways. Both Zafira and Nasir are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.
War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the sultan on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

We Free the Stars
The battle on Sharr is over. The Arz has fallen. Altair may be captive, but Zafira, Nasir, and Kifah are bound for Sultan’s Keep, determined to finish the plan Altair set in motion: restoring the hearts of the Sisters of Old to the minarets of each caliphate, finally bringing magic to all of Arawiya. But they are low on resources and allies alike, and the kingdom teems with fear of the Lion of the Night’s return.
As the zumra plots to overthrow Arawiya’s darkest threat, Nasir fights to command the magic in his blood. He must learn to hone his power, to wield it against not only the Lion but his father as well, trapped under the Lion’s control. Zafira battles a very different darkness festering in her through her bond with the Jawarat—it hums with voices, pushing her to the brink of sanity and to the edge of a chaos she dares not unleash. In spite of everything, Zafira and Nasir find themselves falling into a love they can’t stand to lose . . . But time is running out, and if order is to be restored, drastic sacrifices will have to be made.

Spin the Dawn and Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim

Spin the Dawn
Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.
Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.
And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

Unravel the Dusk
Maia Tamarin’s journey to sew the dresses of the sun, the moon, and the stars has taken a grievous toll. She returns to a kingdom on the brink of war. Edan, the boy she loves, is gone–perhaps forever–and no sooner does she set foot in the Autumn Palace than she is forced to don the dress of the sun and assume the place of the emperor’s bride-to-be to keep the peace. When the emperor’s rivals learn of her deception, there is hell to pay, but the war raging around Maia is nothing compared to the battle within. Ever since she was touched by the demon Bandur, she has been changing . . . glancing in the mirror to see her own eyes glowing red; losing control of her magic, her body, her mind. It’s only a matter of time before Maia loses herself completely, and in the meantime she will stop at nothing to find Edan, protect her family, and bring lasting peace to her country.

What’s a favorite duology of yours?

Seven Fantasy Books Based on Greek Mythology

Seven Fantasy Books Based on Greek Mythology

I recently started watching this documentary series called Great Greek Myths where they share all the tales of Greek mythology in a way that’s digestible and offers all the kinds of iconography and art dedicated to the gods. It made me really fall in love with Greek myths and also a better visualization than what I learned in school. I’ve been collecting stories based off Greek mythology for years, but something about these stories never sticks with me when I read them. Maybe it was my lack of understanding these stories that I couldn’t fully appreciate it. But now, I’m ready to tackle them again and wanted to share a few with you too. It may have taken me my entire life to finally appreciate Greek mythology, but I’m here now and I’m ready to read all the Greek mythology retellings. *This post may have affiliate links.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school…again. And that’s the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy’s Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he’s angered a few of them. Zeus’ master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus’ stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

As Princesses of Crete and daughters of the fearsome King Minos, Ariadne and her sister Phaedra grow up hearing the hoofbeats and bellows of the Minotaur echo from the Labyrinth beneath the palace. The Minotaur – Minos’s greatest shame and Ariadne’s brother – demands blood every year.

When Theseus, Prince of Athens, arrives in Crete as a sacrifice to the beast, Ariadne falls in love with him. But helping Theseus kill the monster means betraying her family and country, and Ariadne knows only too well that in a world ruled by mercurial gods – drawing their attention can cost you everything.

In a world where women are nothing more than the pawns of powerful men, will Ariadne’s decision to betray Crete for Theseus ensure her happy ending? Or will she find herself sacrificed for her lover’s ambition?

Ariadne gives a voice to the forgotten women of one of the most famous Greek myths, and speaks to their strength in the face of angry, petulant Gods. Beautifully written and completely immersive, this is an exceptional debut novel

Circe by Madeline Miller

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child – not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power – the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia to be raised in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles. “The best of all the Greeks”—strong, beautiful, and the child of a goddess—Achilles is everything the shamed Patroclus is not. Yet despite their differences, the boys become steadfast companions. Their bond deepens as they grow into young men and become skilled in the arts of war and medicine—much to the displeasure and the fury of Achilles’ mother, Thetis, a cruel sea goddess with a hatred of mortals.

When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece, bound by blood and oath, must lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice.

Built on the groundwork of the Iliad, Madeline Miller’s page-turning, profoundly moving, and blisteringly paced retelling of the epic Trojan War marks the launch of a dazzling career.

Lore by Alexandra Bracken

Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.
Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family’s sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory. For years she’s pushed away any thought of revenge against the man–now a god–responsible for their deaths.

Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods.

The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost–and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

The ancient city of Troy has withstood a decade under siege of the powerful Greek army, which continues to wage bloody war over a stolen woman—Helen. In the Greek camp, another woman—Briseis—watches and waits for the war’s outcome. She was queen of one of Troy’s neighboring kingdoms, until Achilles, Greece’s greatest warrior, sacked her city and murdered her husband and brothers. Briseis becomes Achilles’s concubine, a prize of battle, and must adjust quickly in order to survive a radically different life, as one of the many conquered women who serve the Greek army.

When Agamemnon, the brutal political leader of the Greek forces, demands Briseis for himself, she finds herself caught between the two most powerful of the Greeks. Achilles refuses to fight in protest, and the Greeks begin to lose ground to their Trojan opponents. Keenly observant and coolly unflinching about the daily horrors of war, Briseis finds herself in an unprecedented position, able to observe the two men driving the Greek army in what will become their final confrontation, deciding the fate not only of Briseis’s people but also of the ancient world at large.

Briseis is just one among thousands of women living behind the scenes in this war—the slaves and prostitutes, the nurses, the women who lay out the dead—all of them erased by history. With breathtaking historical detail and luminous prose, Pat Barker brings the teeming world of the Greek camp to vivid life. She offers nuanced, complex portraits of characters and stories familiar from mythology, which, seen from Briseis’s perspective, are rife with newfound revelations. Barker’s latest builds on her decades-long study of war and its impact on individual lives—and it is nothing short of magnificent

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

Piranesi’s house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house.

There is one other person in the house—a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known.

5 Funny Sci-Fi Novels That’ll Make You Fall in Love with Space

Not all science fiction needs to be difficult to read. Sometimes sci-fi just means it’s a story that takes place in space rather than trying to bend the laws of physics to the author’s will. And sometimes all you need is a little laughter especially when it comes to the terrifying reality of space.

Here’s a few books I think you’ll enjoy if you want to get into science fiction without all the drama of science fiction.

Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell

This book has been called a mix of Ancillary Justice meets Red, White, and Royal Blue. In my mind, that says funny and awkward rom-com moments that take place in space. I know it’s high on my reading list, so I’ll have to check it out.

While the Iskat Empire has long dominated the system through treaties and political alliances, several planets, including Thea, have begun to chafe under Iskat’s rule. When tragedy befalls Imperial Prince Taam, his Thean widower, Jainan, is rushed into an arranged marriage with Taam’s cousin, the disreputable Kiem, in a bid to keep the rising hostilities between the two worlds under control.

But when it comes to light that Prince Taam’s death may not have been an accident, and that Jainan himself may be a suspect, the unlikely pair must overcome their misgivings and learn to trust one another as they navigate the perils of the Iskat court, try to solve a murder, and prevent an interplanetary war… all while dealing with their growing feelings for each other.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Probably one of my favorite authors for great sci-fi that will keep you happy is Becky Chambers. I couldn’t talk about this book any more than I already have, but I will. Becky Chambers is not only incredibly funny with her quirky ragtag space crew, but she’s also able to capture human life and connection across the stars.

Follow a motley crew on an exciting journey through space-and one adventurous young explorer who discovers the meaning of family in the far reaches of the universe-in this light-hearted debut space opera from a rising sci-fi star.

Rosemary Harper doesn’t expect much when she joins the crew of the aging Wayfarer. While the patched-up ship has seen better days, it offers her a bed, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and most importantly, some distance from her past. An introspective young woman who learned early to keep to herself, she’s never met anyone remotely like the ship’s diverse crew, including Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot, chatty engineers Kizzy and Jenks who keep the ship running, and Ashby, their noble captain.

Life aboard the Wayfarer is chaotic and crazy—exactly what Rosemary wants. It’s also about to get extremely dangerous when the crew is offered the job of a lifetime. Tunneling wormholes through space to a distant planet is definitely lucrative and will keep them comfortable for years. But risking her life wasn’t part of the plan. In the far reaches of deep space, the tiny Wayfarer crew will confront a host of unexpected mishaps and thrilling adventures that force them to depend on each other. To survive, Rosemary’s got to learn how to rely on this assortment of oddballs—an experience that teaches her about love and trust, and that having a family isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the universe.

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

I recently picked up All Systems Red by Martha Wells expecting it to be one of those gritty sci-fi novels about how hard space life can be and I was pleasantly surprised. This will definitely make you an instant fan of Murderbot.

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid—a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdez

If you need some quirky happenings in space that also include a royal prince intent on marrying the main character and bunch of space cats, then this might be the book for you.

A hilarious, offbeat debut space opera that skewers everything from pop culture to video games and features an irresistible foul-mouthed captain and her motley crew, strange life forms, exciting twists, and a galaxy full of fun and adventure.

Captain Eva Innocente and the crew of La Sirena Negra cruise the galaxy delivering small cargo for even smaller profits. When her sister Mari is kidnapped by The Fridge, a shadowy syndicate that holds people hostage in cryostasis, Eva must undergo a series of unpleasant, dangerous missions to pay the ransom.

But Eva may lose her mind before she can raise the money. The ship’s hold is full of psychic cats, an amorous fish-faced emperor wants her dead after she rejects his advances, and her sweet engineer is giving her a pesky case of feelings. The worse things get, the more she lies, raising suspicions and testing her loyalty to her found family.

To free her sister, Eva will risk everything: her crew, her ship, and the life she’s built on the ashes of her past misdeeds. But when the dominoes start to fall and she finds the real threat is greater than she imagined, she must decide whether to play it cool or burn it all down.

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

It surprised me when Brandon Sanderson started writing YA sci-fi, but he was able to deliver a genuine story that feels like you’re watching Top Gun in space. Oh, and it’s humorous with even a little doomslug.

Spensa’s world has been under attack for decades.

Now pilots are the heroes of what’s left of the human race, and becoming one has always been Spensa’s dream. Since she was a little girl, she has imagined soaring skyward and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with that of her father’s—a pilot himself who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, leaving Spensa the daughter of a coward, her chances of attending Flight School slim to none.

No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, yet fate works in mysterious ways. Flight school might be a long shot, but she is determined to fly. And an accidental discovery in a long-forgotten cavern might just provide her with a way to claim the stars.

Seven Books with an Ensemble Cast

Seven Books with an Ensemble Cast

I’m close to finishing Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard. It’s cunning, intriguing, and definitely one of those books I’ll be following along as each book publishes. One of its unique features is that it has multiple POVs creating an ensemble cast of characters for you to follow throughout the story.

I don’t know about you, but I’m a huge fan of books that have an ensemble cast. It can be two characters or seven characters, I will read them. You can also consider this multiple POV, but if there’s more than two or three main characters and each of them gets the same amount of love throughout the story, then it makes the books so much more fun for me to read. I think of books like Game of Thrones where each character is plotting their way to the top of the royal food chain and each does so in their own various ways. There’s always overlap or the characters come together eventually in one big reveal or twist of some sort. It may get tricky to remember each character and what their specific plot is, but just the sheer ability of authors to compartmentalize their characters and seamlessly create a story that gathers them all in the end is truly my favorite part of these books.

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.

It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them.

One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.

Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by over-powering visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.

Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan’s motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.

The result of over ten years of planning, writing, and world-building, The Way of Kings is but the opening movement of the Stormlight Archive, a bold masterpiece in the making.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .

A convict with a thirst for revenge

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager

A runaway with a privileged past

A spy known as the Wraith

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes

Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokski

It’s 1889. The city is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. Here, no one keeps tabs on dark truths better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. When the elite, ever-powerful Order of Babel coerces him to help them on a mission, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To hunt down the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin calls upon a band of unlikely experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian banished from his home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in arms if not blood.

Together, they will join Séverin as he explores the dark, glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the course of history–but only if they can stay alive.

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett

‘Armageddon only happens once, you know. They don’t let you go around again until you get it right.’

People have been predicting the end of the world almost from its very beginning, so it’s only natural to be sceptical when a new date is set for Judgement Day. But what if, for once, the predictions are right, and the apocalypse really is due to arrive next Saturday, just after tea?

You could spend the time left drowning your sorrows, giving away all your possessions in preparation for the rapture, or laughing it off as (hopefully) just another hoax. Or you could just try to do something about it.

It’s a predicament that Aziraphale, a somewhat fussy angel, and Crowley, a fast-living demon now finds themselves in. They’ve been living amongst Earth’s mortals since The Beginning and, truth be told, have grown rather fond of the lifestyle and, in all honesty, are not actually looking forward to the coming Apocalypse.

And then there’s the small matter that someone appears to have misplaced the Antichrist…

The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin

This is the way the world ends. Again.

Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze — the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years — collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.

Now Essun must pursue the wreckage of her family through a deadly, dying land. Without sunlight, clean water, or arable land, and with limited stockpiles of supplies, there will be war all across the Stillness: a battle royale of nations not for power or territory, but simply for the basic resources necessary to get through the long dark night. Essun does not care if the world falls apart around her. She’ll break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

When The Two Rivers is attacked by Trollocs-a savage tribe of half-men, half-beasts- five villagers flee that night into a world they barely imagined, with new dangers waiting in the shadows and in the light.

A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

Seven Dark Academia-style Books To Take You Back to School

Seven Dark Academia-style Books To Take You Back to School

If you’re not sure what Dark Academia is, it’s basically an Internet trend. At the beginning of the pandemic and quarantine, some TikTok folks were creating new aesthetics with the items they have in their house. There’s many different aesthetics from cottagecore (people who were baking bread and doing handcrafts) to dark academia (academic types, but with a little bit of darkness). For me, I think I’m a mixture of both?

Ah, academia. The years I spent in school were definitely not the kinds I read in books. The ones I read in books are filled with intrigue and suspense. The moment you pick up a dark academia book, you can feel the tension between the pages. You know they’re fraught with bad decisions and college essays. The difference between a book about a kid in school and dark academia is that there’s always this paranormal element to turn the story on its head. It’s dark, it’s moody. It’s everything you were when you were a teenager.

I love imagining myself waiting outside the astronomy tower with my books and going over the sacred text book I nabbed from the library the other night. Or heading to class wearing my “Join the Demon’s Army Today!” pin on my jacket because I have convictions and things I care about and they also just happen to support the devil. Or riding my bike across campus at 5 in the morning because the midnight ritual went a little haywire and the corpse escaped so now I have an hour before my first class.

The only thing is, I don’t want to go to a dark academic school! LOL. While imagining being in a school like that is one thing, actually being in a school like that is another. Death around every corner. Failing GPAs. Hidden agendas among the faculty. I’m good. I’m happy with just reading about it.

And it’s a fun genre of books! I would say it’s more a sub-genre as the dark academia aesthetic is used in many different genres and in different ways. Some are schools for girls who never leave. Others are blue blooded legacy kids who also dabble in the dark arts. But they always leave a good impression in my eyes and I hope they do the same for you. Here’s a list of some dark academia books to get you started!

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug-dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. In fact, by age twenty, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most prestigious universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. Their eight windowless “tombs” are the well-known haunts of the rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street’s biggest players. But their occult activities are more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive. They tamper with forbidden magic. They raise the dead. And, sometimes, they prey on the living.

Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas

Catherine House is a school of higher learning like no other. Hidden deep in the woods of rural Pennsylvania, this crucible of reformist liberal arts study with its experimental curriculum, wildly selective admissions policy, and formidable endowment, has produced some of the world’s best minds: prize-winning authors, artists, inventors, Supreme Court justices, presidents. For those lucky few selected, tuition, room, and board are free. But acceptance comes with a price. Students are required to give the House three years–summers included–completely removed from the outside world. Family, friends, television, music, even their clothing must be left behind. In return, the school promises a future of sublime power and prestige, and that its graduates can become anything or anyone they desire.

Among this year’s incoming class is Ines Murillo, who expects to trade blurry nights of parties, cruel friends, and dangerous men for rigorous intellectual discipline–only to discover an environment of sanctioned revelry. Even the school’s enigmatic director, Viktória, encourages the students to explore, to expand their minds, to find themselves within the formidable iron gates of Catherine. For Ines, it is the closest thing to a home she’s ever had. But the House’s strange protocols soon make this refuge, with its worn velvet and weathered leather, feel increasingly like a gilded prison. And when tragedy strikes, Ines begins to suspect that the school–in all its shabby splendor, hallowed history, advanced theories, and controlled decadence–might be hiding a dangerous agenda within the secretive, tightly knit group of students selected to study its most promising and mysterious curriculum.

Combining the haunting sophistication and dusky, atmospheric style of Sarah Waters with the unsettling isolation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, Catherine House is a devious, deliciously steamy, and suspenseful page-turner with shocking twists and sharp edges that is sure to leave readers breathless.

Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M Danforth

Our story begins in 1902, at the Brookhants School for Girls. Flo and Clara, two impressionable students, are obsessed with each other and with a daring young writer named Mary MacLane, the author of a scandalous bestselling memoir. To show their devotion to Mary, the girls establish their own private club and call it the Plain Bad Heroine Society. They meet in secret in a nearby apple orchard, the setting of their wildest happiness and, ultimately, of their macabre deaths. This is where their bodies are later discovered with a copy of Mary’s book splayed beside them, the victims of a swarm of stinging, angry yellow jackets. Less than five years later, the Brookhants School for Girls closes its doors forever–but not before three more people mysteriously die on the property, each in a most troubling way.

Over a century later, the now abandoned and crumbling Brookhants is back in the news when wunderkind writer Merritt Emmons publishes a breakout book celebrating the queer, feminist history surrounding the “haunted and cursed” Gilded Age institution. Her bestselling book inspires a controversial horror film adaptation starring celebrity actor and lesbian it girl Harper Harper playing the ill-fated heroine Flo, oppo-site B-list actress and former child star Audrey Wells as Clara. But as Brookhants opens its gates once again, and our three modern her-oines arrive on set to begin filming, past and present become grimly entangled–or perhaps just grimly exploited–and soon it’s impossible to tell where the curse leaves off and Hollywood begins.

A story within a story within a story and featuring black-and-white period-inspired illustrations, Plain Bad Heroines is a devilishly haunting, modern masterwork of metafiction that manages to combine the ghostly sensibility of Sarah Waters with the dark imagination of Marisha Pessl and the sharp humor and incisive social commentary of Curtis Sittenfeld into one laugh-out-loud funny, spellbinding, and wonderfully luxuriant read.

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

I decided that Orion Lake needed to die after the second time he saved my life. Everyone loves Orion Lake. Everyone else, that is. Far as I’m concerned, he can keep his flashy combat magic to himself. I’m not joining his pack of adoring fans. I don’t need help surviving the Scholomance, even if they do. Forget the hordes of monsters and cursed artifacts, I’m probably the most dangerous thing in the place. Just give me a chance and I’ll level mountains and kill untold millions, make myself the dark queen of the world. At least, that’s what the world expects. Most of the other students in here would be delighted if Orion killed me like one more evil thing that’s crawled out of the drains. Sometimes I think they want me to turn into the evil witch they assume I am. The school certainly does. But the Scholomance isn’t getting what it wants from me. And neither is Orion Lake. I may not be anyone’s idea of the shining hero, but I’m going to make it out of this place alive, and I’m not going to slaughter thousands to do it, either. Although I’m giving serious consideration to just one.

With flawless mastery, Naomi Novik creates a school bursting with magic like you’ve never seen before, and a heroine for the ages–a character so sharply realized and so richly nuanced that she will live on in hearts and minds for generations to come.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Donna Tartt, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for her most recent novel, The Goldfinch, established herself as a major talent with The Secret History, which has become a contemporary classic.

Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly and forever, and they discover how hard it can be to truly live and how easy it is to kill.

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

From the author of Burn Our Bodies Down, a feminist Lord of the Flies about three best friends living in quarantine at their island boarding school, and the lengths they go to uncover the truth of their confinement when one disappears. This fresh debut is a mind-bending novel unlike anything you’ve read before.

It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her. It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous.

They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything. But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Five Bookish Businesses to Shop for Your Bookish Friends

Five Bookish Businesses to Shop for Your Bookish Friends

Do you have that one bookish friend you’re not sure what to buy? Do you want to get them books because they love them, but don’t know what books to get? Or are you  yourself a bookish person who yeah, has some friends who love books too but don’t make a big deal about it?

If this is your case, then might I suggest a few non-bookish items that will definitely wow your bookish friends without having to buy them another book!

Bookish folks are obsessed. They love books and they’re not afraid to show it in their ephemera. So here are a few small businesses working overtime this holiday season to bring bookish gifts that aren’t a literal book (and double points for shopping small instead of going to Amazon).

Out of Print

Out of Print was a small company that printed vintage book covers on t-shirts who  Since then, they’ve expanded their brand to slogans and books including Harry Potter, Star Wars, and A Handmaid’s Tale. With every purchase, you can also help donate books and support literacy programs around the world!

The designs are colorful and bright and most definitely the first stop you need to make when shopping for your bookish friend. They sell everything from t-shirts to tote bags, mugs, enamel pins, and socks. I’ll have to admit, their sock collection is kind of envious (and I don’t even like socks).

What I recommend:

Obvious State

I found Obvious State on Etsy years ago where they sold unique graphic prints attached to a vintage literary quote. Years later, Obvious State is still creating beautiful prints, but also making postcards, calendars, mugs, notebooks, and tote bags. Their designs are unique, use very little color, but pack a punch.

If your book lover needs a few more prints to decorate their library or if you’re looking for something a little more “classic,” then Obvious State might have exactly what you’re looking for. They’re also always looing

What I recommend:

Burnt Edge Studio

I got the opportunity to work with Burnt Edge Studio this year who makes brilliant wood bookmarks featuring bookshelves and stacks of books. You can purchase one of their pre-made bookmarks featuring classic books and genres or you can customize your bookmark to include some of your favorite books.

While they’re known for their bookmarks, the company also makes keychains, magnets, and notebooks. And if you’re really worried about your gift, you can always sign your bookish friend up for their Bookmark of the Month Club, which I’ll be looking into as well because that sounds amazing!

What I recommend:

Bookshelf Tees

There’s nothing a book lover loves more than to shout from the rooftops that they love to read. With that, I love companies like Bookshelf Tees who makes t-shirts that says it all. I’ve purchased from these folks before and let me tell you that their t-shirts are comfortable, well-worn, and good all 365 days of the year. My personal favorites are the What Would Kathleen Kelly Do? and Read a Book t-shirts.

However, I get you might want to get something else, so here’s what I recommend:

Literary Emporium

For the folks who live in the UK and Europe, I wanted to also include an international (to me) brand like Literary Emporium. Similar to Out of Print, Literary Emporium prints t-shirts, notebooks, enamel pins, tote bags, and gift sets. I’ve never purchased a gift set from here, but I have bought t-shirts to support them.

While this company does work hard to make some beautiful items, keep in mind that they will be shipping from the UK. If you’re looking for a gift ASAP and Literary Emporium is more of your friend’s vibe, then I might suggest one of their gift cards.

But if you have the time, here’s what I recommend:

What will you be buying this holiday season for your bookish friends or yourself?

All photos found on brand’s website and taken by those companies. Simone and Her Books isn’t affiliated with any brands mentioned.

Seven Family Sagas Published This Year Ready for Thanksgiving Weekend

Seven Family Sagas Published This Year Ready for Thanksgiving Weekend

I love Thanksgiving. I love turkey and football and eating so much that you feel like you’ll explode. I also love making turkey sandwiches a la Ross from Friends (the moist maker is the key).

Of course, with the holidays approaching, I wanted to get my holiday reading in order. Sadly, Thanksgiving isn’t covered much and aside from The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen, it seems a little barren as a topic of interest.

However, one of the biggest components of Thanksgiving is family and this year was a good publishing year for the sweeping multi-generational family sagas. So I put together a list of some of the family sagas published this year that’ll make for great reading while waiting around for the turkey to cook. Have you read any of these yet? What other family sagas would you recommend for the long weekend?

The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo

When Marilyn Connolly and David Sorenson fall in love in the 1970s, they are blithely ignorant of all that’s to come. By 2016, their four radically different daughters are each in a state of unrest: Wendy, widowed young, soothes herself with booze and younger men; Violet, a litigator-turned-stay-at-home-mom, battles anxiety and self-doubt when the darkest part of her past resurfaces; Liza, a neurotic and newly tenured professor, finds herself pregnant with a baby she’s not sure she wants by a man she’s not sure she loves; and Grace, the dawdling youngest daughter, begins living a lie that no one in her family even suspects. Above it all, the daughters share the lingering fear that they will never find a love quite like their parents’.

As the novel moves through the tumultuous year following the arrival of Jonah Bendt–given up by one of the daughters in a closed adoption fifteen years before–we are shown the rich and varied tapestry of the Sorensons’ past: years marred by adolescence, infidelity, and resentment, but also the transcendent moments of joy that make everything else worthwhile.

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves.

The story is told by Cyril’s son Danny, as he and his older sister, the brilliantly acerbic and self-assured Maeve, are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into the poverty their parents had escaped from and find that all they have to count on is one another. It is this unshakeable bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures.

Set over the course of five decades, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past. Despite every outward sign of success, Danny and Maeve are only truly comfortable when they’re together. Throughout their lives they return to the well-worn story of what they’ve lost with humor and rage. But when at last they’re forced to confront the people who left them behind, the relationship between an indulged brother and his ever-protective sister is finally tested.

All This Could Be Yours by Jami Attenberg

Now that her father is on his deathbed, Alex—a strong-headed lawyer, devoted mother, and loving sister–feels she can finally unearth the secrets of who Victor is and what he did over the course of his life and career. (A power-hungry real estate developer, he is, by all accounts, a bad man.) She travels to New Orleans to be with her family, but mostly to interrogate her tightlipped mother, Barbra.

As Barbra fends off Alex’s unrelenting questions, she reflects on her tumultuous life with Victor. Meanwhile Gary, Alex’s brother, is incommunicado, trying to get his movie career off the ground in Los Angeles. And Gary’s wife, Twyla, is having a nervous breakdown, buying up all the lipstick in drug stores around New Orleans and bursting into crying fits. Dysfunction is at its peak. As each family member grapples with Victor’s history, they must figure out a way to move forward—with one another, for themselves, and for the sake of their children.

The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin

When the renowned poet Fiona Skinner is asked about the inspiration behind her iconic work, The Love Poem, she tells her audience a story about her family and a betrayal that reverberates through time.

It begins in a big yellow house with a funeral, an iron poker, and a brief variation forever known as the Pause: a free and feral summer in a middle-class Connecticut town. Caught between the predictable life they once led and an uncertain future that stretches before them, the Skinner siblings—fierce Renee, sensitive Caroline, golden boy Joe and watchful Fiona—emerge from the Pause staunchly loyal and deeply connected.  Two decades later, the siblings find themselves once again confronted with a family crisis that tests the strength of these bonds and forces them to question the life choices they’ve made and ask what, exactly, they will do for love.

A novel that pierces the heart and lingers in the mind, The Last Romantics is also a beautiful meditation on the power of stories—how they navigate us through difficult times, help us understand the past, and point the way toward our future.

The Guest Book by Sarah Blake

No. It is a simple word, uttered on a summer porch in 1936. And it will haunt Kitty Milton for the rest of her life. Kitty and her husband, Ogden, are both from families considered the backbone of the country. But this refusal will come to be Kitty’s defining moment, and its consequences will ripple through the Milton family for generations. For while they summer on their island in Maine, anchored as they are to the way things have always been, the winds of change are beginning to stir.

In 1959 New York City, two strangers enter the Miltons’ circle. One captures the attention of Kitty’s daughter, while the other makes each of them question what the family stands for. This new generation insists the times are changing. And in one night, everything does.

So much so that in the present day, the third generation of Miltons doesn’t have enough money to keep the island in Maine. Evie Milton’s mother has just died, and as Evie digs into her mother’s and grandparents’ history, what she finds is a story as unsettling as it is inescapable, the story that threatens the foundation of the Milton family myth.

The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall

Charles and Lily, James and Nan. They meet in Greenwich Village in 1963 when Charles and James are jointly hired to steward the historic Third Presbyterian Church through turbulent times. Their personal differences however, threaten to tear them apart.

Charles is destined to succeed his father as an esteemed professor of history at Harvard, until an unorthodox lecture about faith leads him to ministry. How then, can he fall in love with Lily—fiercely intellectual, elegantly stern—after she tells him with certainty that she will never believe in God? And yet, how can he not?

James, the youngest son in a hardscrabble Chicago family, spent much of his youth angry at his alcoholic father and avoiding his anxious mother. Nan grew up in Mississippi, the devout and beloved daughter of a minister and a debutante. James’s escape from his desperate circumstances leads him to Nan and, despite his skepticism of hope in all its forms, her gentle, constant faith changes the course of his life.

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

Moving forward and backward in time, Jacqueline Woodson’s taut and powerful new novel uncovers the role that history and community have played in the experiences, decisions, and relationships of these families, and in the life of the new child.

As the book opens in 2001, it is the evening of sixteen-year-old Melody’s coming of age ceremony in her grandparents’ Brooklyn brownstone. Watched lovingly by her relatives and friends, making her entrance to the music of Prince, she wears a special custom-made dress. But the event is not without poignancy. Sixteen years earlier, that very dress was measured and sewn for a different wearer: Melody’s mother, for her own ceremony– a celebration that ultimately never took place.

Unfurling the history of Melody’s parents and grandparents to show how they all arrived at this moment, Woodson considers not just their ambitions and successes but also the costs, the tolls they’ve paid for striving to overcome expectations and escape the pull of history. As it explores sexual desire and identity, ambition, gentrification, education, class and status, and the life-altering facts of parenthood, Red at the Bone most strikingly looks at the ways in which young people must so often make long-lasting decisions about their lives–even before they have begun to figure out who they are and what they want to be.

10 Highly Anticipated Novels Publishing Today!

10 Highly Anticipated Novels Publishing Today!

“Remember, remember the Fifth of November…”

Happy Guy Fawkes Day!

So a few weeks back, I might have teased that November was going to be a big month for publishing. I mean, many months are a big month for publishing, but this November 5th is the mother lode of highly anticipated reads we’ve been dying to receive since the beginning of the year. Today’s the day and I need to share with you all the books I’m so excited about publishing today.

Some of these I’ve read, others I’m still waiting to read, and even others I’m just waiting for some money to come in before I go ahead and buy them all. While I’m excited about all of them, some of these are sequels or continuations of series I’m dying to read. I’ll leave those at the end and highlight the standalones you can pick up today!

New Books

The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

Princess Guinevere has come to Camelot to wed a stranger: the charismatic King Arthur. With magic clawing at the kingdom’s borders, the great wizard Merlin conjured a solution–send in Guinevere to be Arthur’s wife . . . and his protector from those who want to see the young king’s idyllic city fail. The catch? Guinevere’s real name–and her true identity–is a secret. She is a changeling, a girl who has given up everything to protect Camelot.

To keep Arthur safe, Guinevere must navigate a court in which the old–including Arthur’s own family–demand things continue as they have been, and the new–those drawn by the dream of Camelot–fight for a better way to live. And always, in the green hearts of forests and the black depths of lakes, magic lies in wait to reclaim the land. Arthur’s knights believe they are strong enough to face any threat, but Guinevere knows it will take more than swords to keep Camelot free.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues–a bee, a key, and a sword–that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library, hidden far below the surface of the earth.

What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians–it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also those who are intent on its destruction.

Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly-soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose–in both the mysterious book and in his own life

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamourous family’s mansion. The next items?

Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.

But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…

Song of the Crimson Flower by Julia C Dao

Will love break the spell? After cruelly rejecting Bao, the poor physician’s apprentice who loves her, Lan, a wealthy nobleman’s daughter, regrets her actions. So when she finds Bao’s prized flute floating in his boat near her house, she takes it into her care, not knowing that his soul has been trapped inside it by an evil witch, who cursed Bao, telling him that only love will set him free. Though Bao now despises her, Lan vows to make amends and help break the spell.

Together, the two travel across the continent, finding themselves in the presence of greatness in the forms of the Great Forest’s Empress Jade and Commander Wei. They journey with Wei, getting tangled in the webs of war, blood magic, and romance along the way. Will Lan and Bao begin to break the spell that’s been placed upon them? Or will they be doomed to live out their lives with black magic running through their veins?

Unnatural Magic by CM Waggoner

Onna can write the parameters of a spell faster than any of the young men in her village school. But despite her incredible abilities, she’s denied a place at the nation’s premier arcane academy. Undaunted, she sails to the bustling city-state of Hexos, hoping to find a place at a university where they don’t think there’s anything untoward about providing a woman with a magical education. But as soon as Onna arrives, she’s drawn into the mysterious murder of four trolls.

Tsira is a troll who never quite fit into her clan, despite being the leader’s daughter. She decides to strike out on her own and look for work in a human city, but on her way she stumbles upon the body of a half-dead human soldier in the snow. As she slowly nurses him back to health, an unlikely bond forms between them, one that is tested when an unknown mage makes an attempt on Tsira’s life. Soon, unbeknownst to each other, Onna and Tsira both begin devoting their considerable talents to finding out who is targeting trolls, before their homeland is torn apart…

We Met in December by Rosie Curtis

Twenty-nine-year-old Jess is following her dream and moving to London. It’s December, and she’s taking a room in a crumbling, but grand, Notting Hill house-share with four virtual strangers. On her first night, Jess meets Alex, the guy sharing her floor, at a Christmas dinner hosted by her landlord. They don’t kiss, but as far as Jess is concerned the connection is clear. She starts planning how they will knock down the wall between them to spend more time together.

But when Jess returns from a two-week Christmas holiday, she finds Alex has started dating someone else—beautiful Emma, who lives on the floor above them. Now Jess faces a year of bumping into (hell, sharing a bathroom with) the man of her dreams…and the woman of his.

A Constellation of Roses by Miranda Asebedo

Ever since her mother walked out, Trix McCabe has been determined to make it on her own. And with her near-magical gift for pulling valuables off unsuspecting strangers, Trix is confident she has what it takes to survive. Until she’s caught and given a choice: jail time, or go live with her long-lost family in the tiny town of Rocksaw, Kansas.

Trix doesn’t plan to stick around Rocksaw long, but there’s something special about her McCabe relatives that she is drawn to. Her aunt, Mia, bakes pies that seem to cure all ills. Her cousin, Ember, can tell a person’s deepest secret with the touch of a hand. And Trix’s great-aunt takes one look at Trix’s palm and tells her that if she doesn’t put down roots somewhere, she won’t have a future anywhere.

Before long, Trix feels like she might finally belong with this special group of women in this tiny town in Kansas. But when her past comes back to haunt her, she’ll have to decide whether to take a chance on this new life . . . or keep running from the one she’s always known.

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.

The Deep by Rivers Solomon

Yetu holds the memories for her people—water-dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women thrown overboard by slave owners—who live idyllic lives in the deep. Their past, too traumatic to be remembered regularly, is forgotten by everyone, save one—the historian. This demanding role has been bestowed on Yetu.

Yetu remembers for everyone, and the memories, painful and wonderful, traumatic and terrible and miraculous, are destroying her. And so, she flees to the surface, escaping the memories, the expectations, and the responsibilities—and discovers a world her people left behind long ago.

Yetu will learn more than she ever expected to about her own past—and about the future of her people. If they are all to survive, they’ll need to reclaim the memories, reclaim their identity—and own who they really are.

Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater

Ronan Lynch is a dreamer. He can pull both curiosities and catastrophes out of his dreams and into his compromised reality.

Jordan Hennessy is a thief. The closer she comes to the dream object she is after, the more inextricably she becomes tied to it.

Carmen Farooq-Lane is a hunter. Her brother was a dreamer . . . and a killer. She has seen what dreaming can do to a person. And she has seen the damage that dreamers can do. But that is nothing compared to the destruction that is about to be unleashed. . . .

Sequels and Continuations I’m Excited About

 Which books are you most excited about?

I Forgot About Witches: Eight Witch-y Books to Read this October

I Forgot About Witches: Eight Witch-y Books to Read this October

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about my favorite vampire books from when I was a kid and growing up. And as much as everyone loved the post, the one thing people asked me about was witches. Why don’t I have any witch books? Why did you go into October with Halloween looming behind me without considering the witches? What, do you have a thing against witches?!

No! In fact, I believe in witches more than vampires. I believe in the power of spirit that flows through everything and believe in the magic force of good over evil. So I decided to put my thinking cap on and get a list of some witch books I loved reading or would love to read in the future.

Before I get into my list, I did want to mention some factors that went into it. First off, I tried to keep this list to books about witches. I didn’t want a witch in a book to be the dynamic of all witches. I always feel like there’s more power in knowing a witch’s life than seeing the good/evil things they’ve done. For example, The Wizard of Oz. On one end, you can definitely call this a witch book, but on the other, you can imagine that this is actually a book about a young girl trying to get back home from a magical place where witches exist. This is why books like Wicked exists. Sadly, Wicked didn’t make this list because 1) I hated that book 2) I make the rules.

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

As a person who watches Practical Magic almost every year around this time, I couldn’t have a list of witch-y books without the Owens sisters. It’s the story of Sally and Gillian; two sisters who recently lost their parents and living with their crazy aunts in a small Massachusetts town. But their strange family lineage makes them responsible for all the bad things that happen around town and abused by its inhabitants. Sally and Gillian both hope for some release of the daily taunts of their neighbors and both receive it; one gets married and the other runs away.

When I think of witches, this is the book and movie I think about. It’s not about casting big spells, but being one with nature and the divine creating beauty in the subtle ways. I also envy the house they live in because it’s gorgeous and all the witch-y aesthetics you can dream of.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

I was actually considering putting this book with my vampire list, but I didn’t because I felt like this was centered more around the witchery than that. A young scholar and witch named Diana Bishop comes across a strange little book among the library stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library. While to her this was just some ordinary book that needs to be sent back to the stacks, it opens up a world for her filled with witches and demons and vampires. As she continues to research the happenings around this book, a very old and very attractive vampire named Matthew Clairmont finds her and helps her with both discovering the book and herself.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

I will be honest and say that I tried to read this book, but failed to finish. While I love the prose and the story, I thought it was a little long. However, I also didn’t really appreciate the slow burn back when I read this book, so I’ll have to try again in the future. The story is about Agnieszka, a young girl who comes from a village not too far from a very powerful wizard named Dragon. Every few years, Dragon comes down from his tower to pick a girl from their village. While villagers don’t know who he’s going to pick, they all automatically assume it will be the pretty girl named Kasia. However, when it turns out to be Agnieszka, the village is shocked. Agnieszka isn’t prepared for life with Dragon, but willingly goes to his tower to serve him the way he sees fit. As she settles into her role, Dragon warms a little to her and offers to teach her his magic since she showed signs of having some magic within her.

Rereading this synopsis, I do want to give this book another chance. It is breathless and lyrical and I do love Naomi Novik’s writing. I guess I’ll have to accept its slow burn and just enjoy the ride.

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

I really love diverse fantasy and the reason why I love diverse fantasy is because authors add in their culture and world into the stories. And for Zoraida Cordova, she calls her witches “bruja” because of their Latin heritage. But the best part about bruja is that it’s not the same stake-burning ones we had in the Northeast of America. Brujeria combines many forms of witchcraft including santeria and voodoo. When you’re digging from this well of witchcraft for your novel, then you’re going to have something set apart from the other witch stories

And the same goes for the actual story. The story follows Alex, a very powerful Bruja who doesn’t really care for magic. In fact, she hates it. On her Deathday celebration, she casts a spell to rid herself of her powers, but it backfires erasing any trace of her family. All she has is another brujo to help with returning her family, but she doesn’t trust him. I haven’t read this one yet, but it’s on my list of books because the story sounds so interesting and I love the YA tropes I can already see forming.

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

First off, I’m going to hate on this movie tie-in photo for the book. I would have much rather used the original cover, but that doesn’t allow me to inundate you with affiliate links and help me make a little money.

While most of the books on this list are about a witch or witches, this particular book is about a witch who makes a ton of predictions about the future and all of them are absolutely right. It’s also about an angel and a demon assigned to live alongside humans and causing havoc or creating miracles within their history. And it’s also about how this angel and demon messed up the end of the world. The witch in question has already predicted the mistakes Aziraphale and Crowley make as well as where the real ending of the world will take place. It’ll take Anathema, an occultist, and her lover, a witchfinder, to disseminate the prophecies and stop the apocalypse from making its way to a small town in England.

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia

While I wasn’t the biggest fan of this story, I did love the inclusion of witches, a witch-y family, and an outsider who doesn’t know how important he is to this coven. Lena is a new student who recently moved to the small town of Gatlin in South Carolina. While she looks like your average teenage girl, she has a dark secret; she will inherit the full strength of her magical powers on her 16th birthday and renounce the human world for her magical one.

Ethan is a young teenager who’s lived in Gatlin his entire life, but recently he’s been having these dreams of a mysterious girl with long hair and the song “Sixteen Moons” playing on his MP3 player. When Ethan meets Lena, he finds her attractive but would settle for a friendship. But when they find a mysterious locket, it reveals to them the terrible past their ancestors had during the Civil War. As the secrets behind their family heritage reveal themselves, Lena gets closer to her 16th birthday where fate will decide whether she’s a good witch or a bad witch.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling

I hope you weren’t perusing through this list waiting for me to get to this point. I honestly thought whether or not it made sense to include this book because it is a beloved and well known series about a young wizard who goes to a fancy wizarding school and learns that he’s a part of a bigger plot of an evil wizard who didn’t have enough love in his life. I’m just teasing.

 

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

This one has been on my TBR since it came out, but sadly I haven’t had a chance to read it (of course). Tea is a young witch who just raised her brother from the dead. While that might sound like something a witch would normally do, it’s not. Necromancy means that Tea is a bone witch; a name that makes her people fear her and ostracize her from their community. But Tea isn’t alone and she finds solace with another older bone witch who takes Tea and her brother away to learn more about her powers. Of course there are dark elements coming her way and prepared to fight. Tea just needs to get herself as powerful as they to defeat whatever is coming.

What other witch-y books could you recommend for the witchiest time of the year?

Pride and Prejudice and So Many Retellings

Pride and Prejudice and So Many Retellings

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single book in possession of a huge fanbase must be in want of a whole lot of retellings.

Recently, I finished reading Pride and Prejudice and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev; a modern retelling of the classic Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and it got me thinking about one thing; sheesh there’s a lot of retellings of Pride and Prejudice out there.

So I did a little bit of research to unmask a whole lot of P&P retellings spanning across cultures, across countries, and across timelines. There’s books, movies, TV shows, YouTube series, etc. Jane Austen is constantly quoted, constantly a figure of the literary world, and unafraid to shut down a marriage proposal with a paragraph long speech about how much the guy sucks. If Jane Austen was alive today, she would probably be as rich as the Queen. She probably will go all JK Rowling and build herself a Pemberley the likes that Mr. Darcy couldn’t even afford.

And with each retelling, no one is going straight verbatim of the book. Each book I’ve read has themes and parts that relate back to the original story. Mainly they relate back to the Elizabeth/Darcy/Wickham weird love triangle that didn’t happen. The prejudice always plays a huge role and I’m pretty sure Jane Austen invented the enemies-to-lovers trope.

But I did want to highlight a few that I came across in my readings and on my shelves. I haven’t read these all, but I plan on it in the future. Here’s some notable Pride and Prejudice retellings for fans who love the original.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

This particular story isn’t a retelling. In fact, it’s literally Pride and Prejudice with the added bonus of zombies. When this book first came out, everyone was screaming because it was their favorite story with some little additions. I think a lot of people loved this novel because it’s clever. Pride and Prejudice isn’t the most fun book to read with a lot of words I’m pretty sure the English language has forgotten, but the added bonus of zombies gives this book a little kick in the pants for the newer generations.

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

This is Afro-Latinx version of Pride and Prejudice when the young and rich Darcy family moves in across the street from Zuri in her rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood. The story is very close to Jane Austen’s story, but with diversity. I love diverse stories and I love when folks can take a story like Pride and Prejudice and relate it back to their own world. I’m also a sucker for stories that take place in Brooklyn since I lived there for eight years of my life.

I haven’t read this one yet, but I totally plan to. The modernity and diversity in this book is definitely what I love and I can just imagine the level of prejudice Zuri has for the Darcys even before meeting them just knowing that they come from money. I can most definitely relate to that.

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

While Bridget Jones may be obsessed with the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice, I don’t know if she knows she’s living in her own version of the book. The story follows Bridget Jones, a woman who is on the verge of finding herself. It’s a new year and she’s vowed to keep track of her life; less cigarettes and booze, more gym time and making meaningful friendships. But what Bridget Jones also wants is a stable relationship with a steady man. Of course that’s when she meets two men, her Darcy and Wickham, both with the potential as her future boyfriend. But when she finds out what happened to her Wickham and Darcy in the past, she most definitely makes the decision on who will be the right man for her.

I’ve read this one before and despite all the great reviews, it wasn’t a well-written story. I thought it was weird that her weight was also only 130 pounds and that’s not overweight, girl. That’s normal! But I absolutely loved this movie and think about how clever that they casted two actors that Bridget Jones literally mentions in the book (Colin Firth and Hugh Grant). It’s a laugh-out-loud story with a woman who’s scarily self-aware and just trying to live her life.

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

The most ultra modern version of Pride and Prejudice. This story follows Liz, a mid-30s magazine writer, and her family (the whole Bennett gang is represented here). They meet Chip Bingley, a wealthy doctor and recent bachelor of a famous reality dating series similar to The Bachelor. While Chip has an immediate liking to Liz’s 40-year-old sister, Jane, it’s Fitzwilliam Darcy who swoops in to tell them otherwise. This series sticks much closer to the original Pride and Prejudice story with all its supporting cast and disasters playing out.

However, after reading this one I was a little disappointed. I thought that the situations they were in were a little unrealistic and didn’t really buy the conflict. Perhaps it’s because the adaptation was too literal and not using the themes of the story to their full potential.

Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

It wasn’t until recently that I heard Ayesha at Last is an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. While I haven’t read this one yet, I do have a copy on my shelf and plan to make it a priority! A young Muslim-Canadian woman named Ayesha who’s focused on paying off her debts to her uncle as a poet and writer. She meets Khalid, a young conservative, and for all intents and purposes,  you assume this is Darcy. But when he turns out to be engaged to Ayesha’s younger cousin, she starts to look into Khalid and his family secrets.

While I haven’t read this one yet, it’s high on my list of reads. It sounds like Darcy’s character is a mix of Wickham and Darcy, which makes for an interesting idea. I can see a lot of that enemies-to-lovers trope in this and I think the prejudice themes are also present here. An interesting take on the story that isn’t straight up Jane Austen.

Pride and Prejudice and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev

This is the book I recently read and really ended up enjoying. It isn’t the most prolific piece of writing and there’s a few issues I had with her style, but the story here about Trisha, her family, and DJ will definitely keep you reading. It’s not a direct retelling with a gender swap on Darcy and Elizabeth and changes to the characters, you still get the sense that Pride and Prejudice is the inspiration for this story. When Julia Wickham shows up, that’s when this story really turns into a Pride and Prejudice retelling.

I loved the usage of themes here. It’s got the prejudice themes. It has some resemblances of the triangle between Wickham, Darcy, and Elizabeth, but the way it’s played out is much different than what Jane Austen did. I really liked this story because it took the elements of Pride and Prejudice and really spun it. It almost makes you question if there is a Pride and Prejudice theme within the story!

Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal

Similarly to Eligible, this is an almost straight retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in modern-day Pakistan where the Binat family has lost a lot of face within their community. Alys is a young English teacher sharing with her students the stories of Jane Austen she’s come to love, but when she and her family are invited to the biggest wedding of the season, the story launches right into the perfect retelling of Pride and Prejudice. There’s a Bingley, Jane, a Mrs Bennett trying to marry off her daughters, and a Darcy. There’s prejudice themes, class themes, and others. I haven’t read this one, but it’s also one I’m very interested in.

What kinds of Pride and Prejudice retellings are you into? Is there any I missed on this list that you would recommend?

*Please note that this isn’t an extensive list and I carefully chose my options here. There are plenty more retellings and you can actually find the list on Goodreads.