Book of the Month YA At A Glance — February 2020 Picks

Posted January 24, 2020 by stuckint in BOTM / 3 Comments

Well we’re tired of waiting for the Adult picks to be confirmed so we’re changing it up and providing the YA At A Glance post before the adulr picks are confirmed.

By now, you know the routine, we do the work so you don’t have to and we are so excited to share our thoughts about each of these titles!

Ink in the Blood (Ink in The Blood, #1) by Kim Smejkal
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on February 11, 2020
Pages: 448

A lush, dark YA fantasy debut that weaves together tattoo magic, faith, and eccentric theater in a world where lies are currency and ink is a weapon, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Kendare Blake.
Celia Sand and her best friend, Anya Burtoni, are inklings for the esteemed religion of Profeta. Using magic, they tattoo followers with beautiful images that represent the Divine’s will and guide the actions of the recipients. It’s considered a noble calling, but ten years into their servitude Celia and Anya know the truth: Profeta is built on lies, the tattooed orders strip away freedom, and the revered temple is actually a brutal, torturous prison.
Their opportunity to escape arrives with the Rabble Mob, a traveling theater troupe. Using their inkling abilities for performance instead of propaganda, Celia and Anya are content for the first time . . . until they realize who followed them. The Divine they never believed in is very real, very angry, and determined to use Celia, Anya, and the Rabble Mob’s now-infamous stage to spread her deceitful influence even further.
To protect their new family from the wrath of a malicious deity and the zealots who work in her name, Celia and Anya must unmask the biggest lie of all—Profeta itself.

At A Glance: Smejkal’s debut is a lush, dark YA fantasy with a very unique concept. Celia and Anya tattoo followers of a cult called Profets with magic-infused ink. The problem, the girls know it’s all a lie. Then, when they find escape through a traveling theater troupe, they are pursued by the Divine being they never believed in. Most reviewers are raving about this one with a few concerned about the writing style but it definitely sounds like one to pick up for YA fantasy lovers.

Comparable BOTM Titles: House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig; The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
Published by Delacorte Press on February 4, 2020
Pages: 400

For readers of Kara Thomas and Karen McManus, an addictive, twisty crime thriller with shades of Serial and Making a Murderer about a closed local murder case that doesn't add up, and a girl who's determined to find the real killer--but not everyone wants her meddling in the past.
Everyone in Fairview knows the story.
Pretty and popular high school senior Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh, who then killed himself. It was all anyone could talk about. And five years later, Pip sees how the tragedy still haunts her town.
But she can't shake the feeling that there was more to what happened that day. She knew Sal when she was a child, and he was always so kind to her. How could he possibly have been a killer?
Now a senior herself, Pip decides to reexamine the closed case for her final project, at first just to cast doubt on the original investigation. But soon she discovers a trail of dark secrets that might actually prove Sal innocent . . . and the line between past and present begins to blur. Someone in Fairview doesn't want Pip digging around for answers, and now her own life might be in danger.
This is the story of an investigation turned obsession, full of twists and turns and with an ending you'll never expect.

At A Glance: This YA thriller set in a small town and featuring an amateur sleuth sounds perfect anyone looking for a good whodunit. Reviewers are singing its praises as a fast paced, well plotted crime story that promises plenty of twists and turns.

Comparable BOTM Titles: Bonfire by Krysten Ritter; Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna

The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow
Published by Inkyard Press on February 25, 2020
Pages: 432

Don’t miss this spectacular debut novel… Can a girl who risks her life for books and an alien who loves forbidden pop music work together to save humanity? This road trip is truly out of this world! A beautiful and thrilling read for fans of Marie Lu and Veronica Roth.
Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world’s population.
Seventeen-year-old Janelle “Ellie” Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. With humans deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, emotional expression can be grounds for execution. Music, art and books are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules by keeping a secret library. When a book goes missing, Ellie is terrified that the Ilori will track it back to her and kill her.
Born in a lab, M0Rr1S was raised to be emotionless. When he finds Ellie’s illegal library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human music and in desperate need of more. They’re both breaking the rules for the love of art—and Ellie inspires the same feelings in him that music does.
Ellie’s—and humanity’s—fate rests in the hands of an alien she should fear. M0Rr1S has a lot of secrets, but also a potential solution—thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and dangerous road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums, all the while creating a story and a song of their own that just might save them both.

At A Glance: The Sound of Stars is a sci-fi romance between a human girl who loves (and hoards) books in a world where all art is banned and an alien Morris, who should turn Ellie into the authorities but his love of music, and his growing feelings for Ellie, give him pause. Reviews are pretty split on this one. The consensus seems to be that it feels more contemporary romance than science fiction, so if that’s your style, definitely pick this one up!

Comparable BOTM Titles: When the Sky Fell on Splendor by Emily Henry; The Boy and Girl Who Broke the World by Amy Reed.

All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth, #1) by Adalyn Grace
Published by Imprint on February 4, 2020
Pages: 384

Set in a kingdom where danger lurks beneath the sea, mermaids seek vengeance with song, and magic is a choice, Adalyn Grace’s All the Stars and Teeth is a thrilling fantasy for fans of Stephanie Garber’s Caraval and Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series.
She will reign.
As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer—the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.
When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.
But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder—and more peril—than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.
I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom.

At A Glance: All the Stars and Teeth is definitely one of the highly anticipated YA novels of the year and the premise sounds so intriguing! Pirates, magic, and political intrigue? Yes, please! Reviewers and YA subscription boxes are going crazy over this one and if you need more pirate themed fantasy novels in your life, definitely add this one to your box.

Comparable BOTM Titles: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik; Enchantee by Greta Tralease

Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli, Aisha Saeed
Published by Balzer + Bray on February 4, 2020
Pages: 400

New York Times
bestselling authors Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed have crafted a resonant, funny, and memorable story about the power of love and resistance.
YESJamie Goldberg is cool with volunteering for his local state senate candidate—as long as he’s behind the scenes. When it comes to speaking to strangers (or, let’s face it, speaking at all to almost anyone), Jamie’s a choke artist. There’s no way he’d ever knock on doors to ask people for their votes…until he meets Maya.
NOMaya Rehman’s having the worst Ramadan ever. Her best friend is too busy to hang out, her summer trip is canceled, and now her parents are separating. Why her mother thinks the solution to her problems is political canvassing—with some awkward dude she hardly knows—is beyond her.
MAYBE SOGoing door to door isn’t exactly glamorous, but maybe it’s not the worst thing in the world. After all, the polls are getting closer—and so are Maya and Jamie. Mastering local activism is one thing. Navigating the cross-cultural romance of the century is another thing entirely.

At A Glance: The only contemporary on the list is centered around two teens who end up spending a summer working a local political campaign. Funny, heartwarming and oh so timely this social issue contemporary (with a little romance thrown in) is a response to the current political climate in the US and we are here for it! Reviewers love it and we think you will too!

Comparable BOTM Titles: Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuisten; Symptoms of a Heartbreak by Sona Charaipotra

What About You?

Are any of these YA novels calling your name? What will you be adding to your box this month? We can’t wait to hear what you think!

3 responses to “Book of the Month YA At A Glance — February 2020 Picks

  1. I read an ARC of Yes No Maybe So and it’s pretty good, even if the politics are a little too heavy-handed at times (I think there’s merit in learning to write a political enemy without making them a Neo Nazi) but I’m excited to get a Good Girls Guide to Murder and finally cancel my BOTM YA account (I’ve been carrying a credit since October)

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