Book of the Month YA At a Glance — December Picks

Posted November 24, 2019 by stuckint in Book Subscriptions, BOTM / 0 Comments

Hi all! We wanted to round out our coverage of Book of the Month with more information on the YA picks for this month! I’m super excited about a couple of them! I personally just have an Adult subscription and use the YA books as add-ons, but if I keep consistently adding them on, I may have to get a second subscription! If you’re interested in the adult picks, yesterday we summarized those picks and gave you some information to help you decide which to pick. Definitely check that out if you haven’t already! For today, though, we are focused on YA. We have combed through countless reviews and distilled all of it down to provide a spoiler-free description of each book so you can make the most informed decision about which book(s) are the best fit for you and your reading taste.

As a reminder, here are the choices for this month’s YA box.

Book of the Month YA At a Glance — December PicksDangerous Alliance: An Austentacious Romance by Jennieke Cohen 
Published by HarperTeen on December 3, 2019
Pages: 448

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice
and Virtue meets Jane Austen in this witty, winking historical romance with a dash of mystery!
Lady Victoria Aston has everything she could want: an older sister happily wed, the future of her family estate secure, and ample opportunity to while her time away in the fields around her home.
But now Vicky must marry—or find herself and her family destitute. Armed only with the wisdom she has gained from her beloved novels by Jane Austen, she enters society’s treacherous season.
Sadly, Miss Austen has little to say about Vicky’s exact circumstances: whether the roguish Mr. Carmichael is indeed a scoundrel, if her former best friend, Tom Sherborne, is out for her dowry or for her heart, or even how to fend off the attentions of the foppish Mr. Silby, he of the unfortunate fashion sensibility.
Most unfortunately of all, Vicky’s books are silent on the topic of the mysterious accidents cropping up around her…ones that could prevent her from surviving until her wedding day.

Dangerous Alliances: An Austentacious Romance by Jennieke Cohen

At A Glance: This book has been billed as part romance/part murder mystery/part historical fiction. Set in the 1800s, our main character Vicky has to make a romantic match before the Season ends, so that her family estate doesn’t fall into the hands of her sister’s abusive (ex)husband. The book is set in the 1800s, so Jane Austen has written most of her novels already, and Vicky uses them as a guide when finding a match. The story is told from multiple POVs — although Vicky is the main narrator, we also get chapters from the love-interest and his half-sister. Like any good Austen-esque novel, it relies on social misunderstandings and well-known character types, but with an original twist. Early reviews on this one are overwhelmingly positive, and if you love Jane Austen, this seems like a must read.
Spine Logo: Yes
Comparable BOTM Titles: Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore and The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

Book of the Month YA At a Glance — December PicksHearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things by Jacqueline Firkins 
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on December 17, 2019
Pages: 384

In this charming debut about first love and second chances, a young girl gets caught between the boy next door and a playboy. Perfect for fans of To All The Boys I've Loved Before.
Mansfield, Massachusetts is the last place seventeen-year-old Edie Price wants to spend her final summer before college. It’s the home of wealthy suburbanites and prima donnas like Edie’s cousins, who are determined to distract her from her mother’s death with cute boys and Cinderella-style makeovers. Edie has her own plans, and they don’t include a prince charming.
But as Edie dives into schoolwork and applying for college scholarships, she finds herself drawn to two Mansfield boys who start vying for her attention. First there's Sebastian, Edie’s childhood friend and first love. He’s sweet and smart and . . . already has a girlfriend. Then there's Henry, the local bad boy and all-around player. He’s totally off limits, even if his kisses are chemically addictive.
Both boys are trouble. Edie can’t help but get caught between them. Someone's heart is going to break. Now she just has to make sure it isn't hers.

Hearts, Strings and Other Breakable Things by Jacqueline Firkins
At A Glance: This is actually another Jane Austen related book — this time, a modern retelling of Mansfield Park . Early reviews say it’s a sweet contemporary romance with a love triangle between the main character Edie and her “first love but he has a girlfriend” Sebastian and “bad boy” Henry. This is a lighter romance and sounds like it might be perfect for this time of year.
Spine Logo: Yes
Comparable BOTM Titles: Well Met by Jen DeLuca and Symptoms of a Heartbreak by Sona Charaipotra

Book of the Month YA At a Glance — December PicksThe Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3) by Holly Black, Kathleen Jennings 
on November 19, 2019
Pages: 305

The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black
At A Glance: Ok, so this one is pretty hard to summarize because it’s the third in a series and it’s a series you have to read in order. In fact, we decided not to include the synopsis for this one because it definitely has spoilers for the rest of the series. It’s a story about Jude, who was born in the modern world, but is part-faerie and not the Tinkerbell kind, either. She eventually goes to live in Faerie after the death of her parents, and from there all hell breaks loose. I’ve only read the first one so far — The Cruel Prince — but I definitely really enjoyed it and plan to get to this one ASAP.
Spine Logo: Yes
Comparable BOTM Titles: Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell and Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Book of the Month YA At a Glance — December PicksReverie by Ryan La Sala 
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on December 3, 2019
Pages: 416

Inception meets The Magicians in the most imaginative YA debut of the year!
All Kane Montgomery knows for certain is that the police found him half-dead in the river. He can’t remember how he got there, what happened after, and why his life seems so different now. And it’s not just Kane who’s different, the world feels off, reality itself seems different.
As Kane pieces together clues, three almost-strangers claim to be his friends and the only people who can truly tell him what’s going on. But as he and the others are dragged into unimaginable worlds that materialize out of nowhere—the gym warps into a subterranean temple, a historical home nearby blooms into a Victorian romance rife with scandal and sorcery—Kane realizes that nothing in his life is an accident. And when a sinister force threatens to alter reality for good, they will have to do everything they can to stop it before it unravels everything they know.
This wildly imaginative debut explores what happens when the secret worlds that people hide within themselves come to light.

Reverie by Ryan La Sala
At A Glance: Here we have a standalone fantasy novel with a queer protagonist. Ok, enough said, I want it. But, fine, in case you want more information, the main character is Kane Montgomery and he can’t remember the last decade of his life. As he is investigating that and determining who he can trust, he is pulled into various different magical worlds and it turns out he has superpowers? This book is supposed to be both self-aware and laugh-out-loud funny and it sounds completely original. I can’t wait to dig in.
Spine Logo: Yes
Comparable BOTM Titles: Early Riser by Jasper Fforde and An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

Book of the Month YA At a Glance — December PicksWhere the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean 
Published by Usborne Publishing on May 1, 2017
Pages: 336

Every time a lad came fowling on the St Kilda stacs, he went home less of a boy and more of a man. If he went home at all, that is...
In the summer of 1727, a group of men and boys are put ashore on a remote sea stac to harvest birds for food. No one returns to collect them. Why? Surely nothing but the end of the world can explain why they have been abandoned to endure storms, starvation and terror. And how can they survive, housed in stone and imprisoned on every side by the ocean?

Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean
At A Glance: A story “based on true events” presented as a mix of historical fiction and survival story. This book takes place in the late 1700s when a group of men and boys are dropped off on a remote sea stac to hunt for birds and no one ever comes to pick them up. The group is forced to determine both how to survive on this small, isolated rock, as well as figure out what the heck happened to everyone else to make them not come back for the group. Early reviews say this doesn’t quite feel like YA, but some say it feels more Middle Grade and other say more adult, so who knows. The writing style is unique and some say potentially difficult, while others rave about it. This one was actually first published in the UK in 2017, so there’s a lot of information out there about it if you are on the fence!
Spine Logo: Yes
Comparable BOTM Titles: The Great Alone by Kristen Hannah and Small Country by Gael Faye

So What Are You Thinking?

There are so many great choices this month — will you be picking any of them for your box? Do you subscribe to YA or use them as add-ons? Can’t wait to see what everyone loves!

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