True Story

True Story Halloween Costumes and TBR–Busting Book Lists

Belated happy Halloween, nonfiction nerds! My two favorite costumes this year were both based on true stories. First, there are these three amazing sisters as the women of Hidden Figures. Mad props!

Sponsored by Chicago Review Press

Pinball Wizards: Jackpots, Drains, and the Cult of the Silver Ball  by Adam Ruben tells the dynamic story about America’s quintessential arcade game. By visiting pinball museums, gaming conventions, pinball machine designers and even pinball factories, Adam attempts to discover what makes the world’s best players so good. The book also explores the history of the game, as well as its invention, defeat and recent resurgence in American culture today.

And then there’s this little girl as “that funny astronaut” (Leland Melvin, author of Chasing Space). So good! 

I also saw someone dressed as Ruth Vader Ginsberg, which I found totally delightful but neglected to bookmark. C’est la vie.

Nonfiction Listicles

We’ve had a bunch of really good nonfiction lists up at Book Riot this week (and I’m not just saying that because I wrote a couple of them):

A Bunch of People Are Writing Books

It feels like it’s also been a busy few weeks of new book announcements:

Rhetta, who I love from Parks and Recreation, is publishing a book of essaysSo Close to Being the Sh*T, Y’all Don’t Even Know will be released in June 2018. I am EXCITED about this one.

John McCain will be publishing a memoir in April titled The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations. According to the Los Angeles Times, the book deal was finalized about five months before McCain was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer. McCain is co-writing the book with Mark Salter, a speechwriter and friend.

Football player Colin Kapernick landed a $1 million book deal, but so far there’s not much information on what it will actually be about. Kapernick, a free agent NFL quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers, made headlines as the first player to stage a protest during the playing of the national anthem. He’s still looking to play in the NFL, but no teams have shown interest this year.

Goodreads ‘Best Books of 2017’ Voting Opens

And finally, voting is open for the opening round of Goodreads Best Books of 2017 project. I’m glad they divide out nonfiction into a few different categories — Humor, Nonfiction, Memoir & Autobiography, History & Biography, Science & Technology, and Food & Cookbooks — but I also sometimes wonder about what ends up where. The Food & Cookbooks category is especially weird — how do you judge memoirs and food reporting against cookbooks? Anyway, pop over there and vote for your favorites — it’ll be interesting to see what shakes out over the next month.

We’re giving away $500 to spend at the bookstore of your choice! Click here, or on the image below to enter:

And that’s it for this week. Check in with me on Twitter and Instagram as @kimthedork, or via e-mail at Happy reading!

Riot Rundown


Today’s Riot Rundown is sponsored by Flatiron Books.

“She finds herself single, twenty-nine, partially-employed, and about a half a stone overweight. Thirties breathing down her neck like an inappropriate uncle. She jogs. Looks good in turquoise. This is who I am, she thinks.”

The women in Lara Williams’ debut story collection, A Selfie as Big as the Ritz, navigate the tumultuous interval between early twenties and middle age. In the title story, a relationship implodes against the romantic backdrop of Paris. In “One of Those Life Things,” a young woman struggles to say the right thing at her best friend’s abortion. In “Treats,” a single woman comes to terms with her loneliness. As Williams’ characters attempt to lean in, fall in love, hold together a family, fend off loneliness, and build a meaningful life, we see them alternating between expectation and resignation, giddiness and melancholy, the rollercoaster we all find ourselves on.

Today In Books

Elizabeth Banks Will Direct THE PAPER BAG PRINCESS: Today in Books

Elizabeth Banks To Direct The Paper Bag Princess

Fans of The Paper Bag Princess, you’re getting a movie. Elizabeth Banks will helm a film adaptation of the classic children’s story about a princess who rescues her Prince Charming. The book has sold more than 10 million copies. Suicide Squad‘s Margot Robbie is also attached to the project as a producer. Robbie may even star in the film, but that’s so far unconfirmed. Added to the list of women steering the adaptation is Katie Silberman who will write the screenplay. Lots of anticipation for this one.

Audible Is Letting Romance Readers Skip To The Good Parts

The company is launching their new Audible Romance service, which will include special features such as being able to skip ahead to “the good parts.” But the good parts aren’t just the sex scenes. Recognizing that Romance readers have nuanced and varying interests, the “Take Me To The Good Part” feature lets them jump to pre-selected scenes, including First Meeting, Flirty Banter, Sexual Tension, and First Kiss. Another feature is a “Steaminess” score that lets subscribers filter books by their graphic content. Audible Romance is an all-you-can-read service, so some filtering will probably be necessary.

“To The Lady Who Mistook Me For The Help At The National Book Awards”

Not exactly news, but oh boy. Filipino author Patrick Rosal attended the National Book Awards and was mistaken for a waiter, as the title implies. So, he wrote about it and beautifully. No, it isn’t news and that’s the saddest thing about this piece. Give it a read.

Don’t forget, we’re giving away $500 to the bookstore of your choice! Click here to enter.

Thank you to Renegades by Marissa Meyer for sponsoring today’s newsletter.

Secret Identities.
Extraordinary Powers.
She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone . . . except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to the villains who have the power to end them both.


All the Audiobook News!

Happy November, audiobook fans!

I missed y’all last week but I know Amanda dazzled you with her wit and excellent book recommendations. I’ve been remiss recently in getting to the Links for Your Ears/audiobooks news roundups section of this newsletter. So this week, I’m bringing you all the audiobooks news I can fit in a single newsletter so we can all catch up.

Sponsored by Unbound Worlds

Build your library with a collection of classic science fiction and fantasy novels from Unbound Worlds! Fall is in full swing, and it’s the perfect time to cozy up with some classics. Unbound Worlds is giving away thirty-two books from timeless sci-fi and fantasy authors like Philip K. Dick, T.H. White, Anne McCaffrey, and Samuel R. Delaney, plus some bookish swag from Out of Print! Enter for a chance to win.

BUT FIRST: Can we talk about listening speed? I tried listening to a book at 1.25x and it was bananas. It makes the narrator sound like they’re an auctioneer. But I think it’s pretty common to listen to audiobooks at a higher speed? How do people stand it? What am I missing? Let me know: on Twitter or at

Spooky, Scary!

I know, Halloween is over. But that doesn’t mean you have to let the spooky times go. The weather is getting colder, the nights are getting longer, you might as well curl up with a book that’s going to scare the bejeezus out of you. Bustle has you covered with a list of 8 Horror Audiobook recommendations for when you want a good scare. I’m currently listening to one of their recommendations, A Stranger in the House, and so far so good! (Also, one of the books on the list, This Darkness Mine, takes place at Oberlin College–- I was yapping about my alma mater to y’all a few weeks ago. Hoping to tackle that one next.)

I have not seen the Netflix Original Series Mindhunter because I’m worried it’s going to be too scary for me. BUT basically everyone else in the world says it’s fabulous. If you’re unfamiliar with the story, Mindhunter is a fictionalized retelling of the crimes committed by a serial killer named Ed Kemper. When Kemper was in the California Medical Facility State Prison, he started narrating audiobooks for the blind. The A.V. Club cites a “recently unearthed” 1987 Los Angeles Times article about a prison program in which incarcerated individuals narrate audiobooks for the blind. From the Times article:

“Kemper, a confessed mass murderer, has read onto tape cassettes more books for the blind than any other prisoner. He has spent more than 5,000 hours in a booth before a microphone in the last 10 years and has more than four million feet of tape and several hundred books to his credit.

Two large trophies saluting Kemper for his dedication to the program, presented by supporters outside the prison, are on display in the Volunteers prison office, which has eight recording booths, two monitor booths and a battery of sophisticated tape duplication equipment.”

I actually think this is a great program, especially in 1987, when audiobooks weren’t quite as ubiquitous as they are today. But it is a little creepy when The Lad Bible puts it this way, “Next time you’re settling down on the evening and you pop an audiobook on while you relax, bear in mind that you may well be chilling out to the dulcet tones of a convicted serial killer.”

On a completely different and way less serial killer-y note: Jim Dale is interviewed on the Children of Song podcast! Dale is the Tony award-winning narrator of the Harry Potter series (in which he narrates a Guinness Book Record-setting number of distinct characters, 174 to be exact. In this interview, Dale talks about  “how he came up with the voices behind those quirky characters, some of whom he met on the street, and others he borrowed from his eccentric family.” Well worth a listen to hear one of the greats.

Audiobook Review:

Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Nobel winner’s best-selling audiobook got a rave review from James Kidd of Post Magazine. He says, “The story of a butler’s repressed love (for a passionate, frustrated woman and a weak-willed employer), it displays Ishiguro’s key strength: graceful prose that unravels to reveal powerful emotions, and which also conveys grand sweeps of history. This portrait of life denied and wasted is beautifully read by Dominic West, whose clipped, refined tones are perfect for Stevens, the writer’s personification of duty, self-sacrifice and moral neutrality.”

New Release of the Week: In the Midst of Winter by Isabelle Allende; Narrated by Dennis Boutsikaris, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Alma Cuervo

I love love love audiobooks with multiple narrators. Even though there are really talented narrators like Jim Dale (see above) you can do different voices well, there’s just something about multiple narrators that makes me feel like I, I don’t know, have really bad seats at a theater and am listening to a play.

From the Publisher: “In the Midst of Winter begins with a minor traffic accident – which becomes the catalyst for an unexpected and moving love story between two people who thought they were deep into the winter of their lives. Richard Bowmaster – a 60-year-old human rights scholar – hits the car of Evelyn Ortega – a young undocumented immigrant from Guatemala – in the middle of a snowstorm in Brooklyn. What at first seems just a small inconvenience takes an unforeseen and far more serious turn when Evelyn turns up at the professor’s house seeking help. At a loss, the professor asks his tenant Lucia Maraz – a 62-year-old lecturer from Chile – for her advice. These three very different people are brought together in a mesmerizing story that moves from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala in the recent past to 1970s Chile and Brazil, sparking the beginning of a long overdue love story between Richard and Lucia.”

Obituary: Robert Guillaume

Guillaume won a Grammy award for his narration of The Lion King, but he was a theater, film, and television actor as well. Read his full obit here (and check out the Lion King video)!

Don’t forget (and really, how could you?), we’re giving away $500 to the bookstore of your choice! Enter to win here.

Until next week,



Win FEMINST ICON CROSS-STITCH by by Anna Fleiss and Lauren Mancuso!


We have copies of Feminist Icon Cross-Stitch by Anna Fleiss and Lauren Mancuso to give away!

Here’s what it is:

Feminist Icon Cross Stitch puts a new spin on smashing the patriarchy. Featuring inspiring bios and embroidery patterns of empowering sayings and trailblazing women—like Gloria Steinem, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Beyoncé—this book is a celebration of everyone’s favorite lady heroes. With an introduction on modern feminism and instructions on the basics of cross-stitch, FEMINIST ICON CROSS-STITCH is perfect for veteran crafters who have already knit their own pussy hats and those who are new to the craftivism game. As the book says, the future is female—so start cross-stitching and let these powerhouse women inspire you to make herstory!

Go here to enter for a chance to win, or just click the cover image below. Good luck!

Kissing Books

Audible and Chill?

Well, Halloween’s over. I am sort of proud of myself for not acquiring All The Candy. I didn’t see any romance heroes or heroines in my Instagram scrolling; did you dress up?

And now it’s time for NaNoWriMo! Lots of romance novels have been born in November over the years. Are you writing one? Or just looking forward to reading them?

Sponsored By 36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You, by Vicki Grant

Inspired by the real psychology study popularized by the New York Times and its “Modern Love” column, this contemporary YA is full of humor and heart. It explores the interactions between Hildy and Paul, two random strangers in a university psychology study, when they ask each other the 36 questions that are engineered to make them fall in love. Told in the language of modern romance–texting, Q&A, IM–and punctuated by Paul’s sketches, this clever high-concept YA will leave you searching for your own stranger to ask the 36 questions. Maybe you’ll even fall in love.

It’s mostly fun stuff this week!

The film adaptation of Afterburn/Aftershock premieres on Passionflix this weekend. I still haven’t read the book. But I’m probably gonna watch it anyway. That trailer is hot.

Dance With Me! On Spotify!

:scream emojis:

Entertainment Weekly is continuing their romance coverage, and the October edition is definitely more diverse than their first run out of the gate. And I must say, I support those choices.

Want to support a Kickstarter? How about this queer romance comic?

I…I’m sorry, what?

Do you watch Jane the Virgin? If you’re caught up, you know about Snow Falling. Well, guess what.

It’s early November, which means it’s definitely time for end of year Best Ofs to begin. Publisher’s Weekly already announced theirs, and their romance grouping includes some Book Riot favorites!

And speaking of “best of,” Goodreads has opened voting for their Goodreads Choice awards. I enjoyed a couple books in the romance section, but I am wondering why some of my favorites of this year are going to have to be write-in entries.

Where are you going to be on December 2? If you live anywhere near Culver City, you should be here.

And if you can’t be there, you can still order signed copies.

I want to be sure to acknowledge the passing of Miranda Neville. She touched a lot of people in romancelandia and will be missed.


Beverly Jenkins’ Forbidden is 99 cents right now! While the hero and his sister were featured in a previous Jenkins novel, this is still a great entryway into her work. You’ll want to read it all.

Rachel Gibson’s Simply Irresistible is also 99 cents! Funny hockey romance with awesome women doing things? Thanks, I think I will.

I love Cat Sebastian’s books. The Ruin of a Rake is 99 cents. Yes, it’s the third in a series, but it’ll be a good excuse to read the  others too 😉

J. Daniels’ Four Letter Word was kind of a shock to the system, but I enjoyed it so. It’s 2.99 right now!

Over on Book Riot…

Want free romance audiobooks? Here’re a few places to find them.

Laura doesn’t care about your straight romance. Queer is where it’s at for her. (PS, be sure to read the comments for some recs!)

Oh! And have you seen our new site layout? ROMANCE HAS ITS OWN TAB!!!

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I can gush about books.

Do you read Santino Hassell’s Boroughverse? He just released a freebie, Third Rail, that whets the appetite for his upcoming collection, Citywide. It’s hella sexy, but it also includes a lot of character exploration that made me fall in love with Chris. So in love. If Raymond Rodriguez didn’t exist, Chris would be my favorite in the verse. It sets the scene for the first story in Citywide, in which Chris comes to term with his feelings for Jace and Aiden after several hook-ups with the couple. That’s right. M/M/M HEA coming through. I love the Boroughverse.

Wilde in Love
Eloisa James

It’s been a while since I’ve read one of James’ novels, but picking up Wilde in Love reminded me why I loved the ones I read years ago. I made it through the first 3/4 of the book in a single sitting, and found myself excitingly picking up my copy as soon as it was light enough in my bedroom to read early the next morning. While the title might hint at an Edwardian setting, it’s a Georgian novel, set just before the American Revolution. But don’t worry, there are a lot of winks to Oscar Wilde, including characters named Chasuble and Prism, witty parlor exchanges, and a play at the center of it all. Willa Ffynche is one of the belles of the Season, but she’s not delighted to be at a house party where The Infamous Lord Wilde will be the center of attention. Alaric Wilde has spent the last several years traveling the world and publishing his adventures, but it’s really the play Wilde in Love (which he did not write) that has made him the beloved and pursued of the ladies of England. But he finds Miss Ffynche is who he really wants to spend time with.

Also, there’s a pet skunk. And she’s the cutest thing ever.

Hamilton’s Battalion: A Trio of Romances
Rose Lerner, Courtney Milan, Alyssa Cole

I know, I know. I already gushed about this one. But I actually finished it and seriously, if you haven’t read this already, you need to. (And it’s finally out in print!) As I mentioned two weeks ago, Rose Lerner’s entry is just great. But I hadn’t made it to the others yet, and they are…so wonderful. You could say they amaze and astonish. They smash every expectation.

Okay, I’m done.

The Pursuit Of… is Courtney Milan’s contribution to the trio, and it follows a black soldier going home after Yorktown and his unlikely companion, a former British officer. While Henry is severely talkative, John is more introspective, and a great amount of the story is the same. But the author’s familiar style matched with her customary attention to detail and research make the story damn near perfect. And her author’s note is sheer perfection. That Would Be Enough takes place in the 19th century, as Mrs. Hamilton’s maid/secretary and the granddaughter of Elijah Sutton (of Be Not Afraid fame) take a long journey towards love (mostly because Mercy is being stubborn). Alyssa Cole’s writing is amazeballs as usual, and can we talk about the whole historical fiction featuring two black women in love?

Okay, how about some new and upcoming releases?

The Sea King by CL Wilson

The Texan Duke by Karen Ranney

Off the Ice by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn

Highland Dragon Rebel by Isabel Cooper (11/7)

Snow Falling by Jane Gloriana Villanueva (Caridad Pineiro) (11/14)

That’s probably enough for now, huh? In the meantime, catch me on Twitter @jessisreading or Instagram @jess_is_reading, or send me an email at if you’ve got feedback or just want to say hi!

What's Up in YA

Native American YA Reads for Native American Heritage Month

Good Monday, YA Friends: It’s reading season!

“What’s Up in YA?” is sponsored by Last Chance by Gregg Hurwitz.

An alien threat has transformed everyone over the age of eighteen into ferocious, zombie-like beings, and Chance and Patrick are humanity’s only hope for salvation in Last Chance, the second book in Gregg Hurwitz’s thrilling The Rains Brothers series. Don’t miss the continuation of the tale Ridley Pearson called “all-too-creepy-and-believable…. Chilling!”


Let’s kick off our foray into the month of November with a round-up of YA books in honor of Native American Heritage Month. This list includes both authors who identify as Native American, as well as books where the main character is Native. Titles in the first category don’t always include a Native main character. For books which fall in the second category, I’ve done what I can to ensure that the titles noted are among the strongest representations. For readers who are curious about and want to know more about Native American representation in youth literature, I recommend spending some time at Debbie Reese’s American Indians in Children’s Literature blog.

All descriptions below are from Goodreads.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (Sherman is Spokane-Coeur d’Alene)

Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.


After The Fall by Kate Hart (Kate is a member of the Chickasaw Nation)

Seventeen-year-old Raychel is sleeping with two boys: her overachieving best friend Matt…and his slacker brother, Andrew. Raychel sneaks into Matt’s bed after nightmares, but nothing ever happens. He doesn’t even seem to realize she’s a girl, except when he decides she needs rescuing. But Raychel doesn’t want to be his girl anyway. She just needs his support as she deals with the classmate who assaulted her, the constant threat of her family’s eviction, and the dream of college slipping quickly out of reach. Matt tries to help, but he doesn’t really get it… and he’d never understand why she’s fallen into a secret relationship with his brother. The friendships are a precarious balance, and when tragedy strikes, everything falls apart. Raychel has to decide which pieces she can pick up – and which ones are worth putting back together.

If you haven’t, check out my interview with Kate from earlier this year.

Crazy Horse’s Girlfriend by Erika T Wurth (Erika is Apache/Chicasaw/Cherokee)

Margaritte is a sharp-tongued, drug-dealing, sixteen-year-old Native American floundering in a Colorado town crippled by poverty, unemployment, and drug abuse. She hates the burnout, futureless kids surrounding her and dreams that she and her unreliable new boyfriend can move far beyond the bright lights of Denver that float on the horizon before the daily suffocation of teen pregnancy eats her alive.


Feral Nights (series) by Cynthia Leitich-Smith (Cynthia is Muscogee Creek Nation)

When Yoshi, a sexy, free-spirited werecat, tracks his big sister, Ruby, to Austin, he discovers that she’s not only MIA; she’s also the key suspect in a murder investigation. Meanwhile, sarcastic werepossum Clyde and his human pal Aimee have set out to do a little detective work of their own, sworn to avenge the brutal killing of a friend.

When all three are snared in an underground kidnapping ring, they end up on a remote tropical island ruled by an unusual (even by shape-shifter standards) species. The island harbors a grim secret, and were-predator and were-prey must join forces in a fight to escape alive.


House of Purple Cedar by Tim Tingle (Tim is Choctaw)

“The hour has come to speak of troubled times. It is time we spoke of Skullyville.” Thus begins Rose Goode’s story of her growing up in Indian Territory in pre-statehood Oklahoma. Skullyville, a once-thriving Choctaw community, was destroyed by land-grabbers, culminating in the arson on New Year’s Eve, 1896, of New Hope Academy for Girls. Twenty Choctaw girls died, but Rose escaped. She is blessed by the presence of her grandmother Pokoni and her grandfather Amafo, both respected elders who understand the old ways. Soon after the fire, the white sheriff beats Amafo in front of the town’s people, humiliating him. Instead of asking the Choctaw community to avenge the beating, her grandfather decides to follow the path of forgiveness. And so unwinds this tale of mystery, Indian-style magical realism, and deep wisdom. It’s a world where backwoods spiritualism and Bible-thumping Christianity mix with bad guys; a one-legged woman shop-keeper, her oaf of a husband, herbal potions, and shape-shifting panthers rendering justice. Tim Tingle—a scholar of his nation’s language, culture, and spirituality—tells Rose’s story of good and evil with understanding and even laugh-out-loud Choctaw humor.


If I Ever Get Out Of Here by Eric Gansworth (Eric is a member of Onondaga Nation)

Lewis “Shoe” Blake is used to the joys and difficulties of life on the Tuscarora Indian reservation in 1975: the joking, the Fireball games, the snow blowing through his roof. What he’s not used to is white people being nice to him — people like George Haddonfield, whose family recently moved to town with the Air Force. As the boys connect through their mutual passion for music, especially the Beatles, Lewis has to lie more and more to hide the reality of his family’s poverty from George. He also has to deal with the vicious Evan Reininger, who makes Lewis the special target of his wrath. But when everyone else is on Evan’s side, how can he be defeated? And if George finds out the truth about Lewis’s home — will he still be his friend?


Killer of Enemies (series) by Joseph Bruchac (Joseph is Abenaki)

Years ago, seventeen-year-old Apache hunter Lozen and her family lived in a world of haves and have-nots. There were the Ones — people so augmented with technology and genetic enhancements that they were barely human — and there was everyone else who served them. Then the Cloud came, and everything changed. Tech stopped working. The world plunged back into a new steam age. The Ones’ pets — genetically engineered monsters — turned on them and are now loose on the world.

Lozen was not one of the lucky ones pre-C, but fate has given her a unique set of survival skills and magical abilities. She hunts monsters for the Ones who survived the apocalyptic events of the Cloud, which ensures the safety of her kidnapped family. But with every monster she takes down, Lozen’s powers grow, and she connects those powers to an ancient legend of her people. It soon becomes clear to Lozen that she is not just a hired gun. As the legendary Killer of Enemies was in the ancient days of the Apache people, Lozen is meant to be a more than a hunter. Lozen is meant to be a hero.


Lightfinder by Aaron Paquette (Aaron is Cree)

Aisling is a young Cree woman who sets out into the wilderness with her Kokum (grandmother), Aunty and two young men she barely knows. They have to find and rescue her runaway younger brother, Eric. Along the way she learns that the legends of her people might be real and that she has a growing power of her own.

The story follows the paths of Aisling and Eric, siblings unwittingly thrust into a millennia old struggle for the future of life on earth. It deals with growing up, love and loss, and the choices life puts in our path. Love and confusion are in store, as are loss and pain. Things are not always what they seem and danger surrounds them at every turn.

Will Raven”s mysterious purposes prevail? With darkness closing in how will they find the light to guide them? Will Aisling find Eric in time?


My Name Is Not Easy by Debby Dahl Edwardson (Debby is not Native, but her husband is Inupiaq)

Luke knows his I’nupiaq name is full of sounds white people can’t say. He knows he’ll have to leave it behind when he and his brothers are sent to boarding school hundreds of miles from their Arctic village. At Sacred Heart School things are different. Instead of family, there are students — Eskimo, Indian, White — who line up on different sides of the cafeteria like there’s some kind of war going on. And instead of comforting words like tutu and maktak, there’s English. Speaking I’nupiaq — or any native language — is forbidden. And Father Mullen, whose fury is like a force of nature, is ready to slap down those who disobey. Luke struggles to survive at Sacred Heart. But he’s not the only one. There’s smart-aleck Amiq, a daring leader — if he doesn’t self destruct; Chickie, blond and freckled, a different kind of outsider; and small quiet Junior, noticing everything and writing it all down. Each has their own story to tell. But once their separate stories come together, things at Sacred Heart School — and in the wider world — will never be the same.


Cheap Reads!

Snap up some great YA without dropping a ton of bones:

Skin by Donna Jo Napoli, who is one of those YA authors you’ve seen a million books by but haven’t picked up yet. Here you go. $1.

ME Kerr is another author you’ve seen books by but haven’t tried yet. Give If I Love You, Am I Trapped Forever? a spin for $1.

Begin a mystery series for $1 with Steven James’s Blur.



Thanks for hanging out again this week, and we’ll see you again next Monday for a round-up of the latest happenings in the YA world. In the mean time, get your read on and if you haven’t yet, tune into the latest episode of Hey YA, where Eric and I talk about LGBTQ YA, new trends we’re seeing, and the hilarious AOL Instant Messenger names of favorite YA authors.

–Kelly Jensen, @veronikellymars