In honor of Wonder Woman Day, another sneak peek featuring her partner in crime, Aquaman, facing off against a group of, you guessed it, sharks with lasers on their heads. My Justice League book featuring Starro drops in August. Pick up a copy HERE. Art by Tim Levins!
We have five books that honestly look amazing. Which ones are on your TBR list?
Warcross by Marie Lu
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
From #1 New York Times
bestselling author Marie Lu—when a game called Warcross takes the world
by storm, one girl hacks her way into its dangerous depths.
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 players who bet on
the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one,
and survival has not been easy. Needing 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.
In this sci-fi thriller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie
Lu conjures an immersive, exhilarating world where choosing who to trust
may be the biggest gamble of all.
Jaya and Rasa: A Love Story by Sonia Patel
Cinco Puntos Press
Seventeen-year-old Jaya Mehta detests wealth, secrets, and privilege,
though he has them all. His family is Indian, originally from Gujarat.
Rasa Santos, like many in Hawaii, is of mixed ethnicity. All she has are
siblings, three of them, plus a mother who controls men like a black
widow spider and leaves her children whenever she wants to. Neither Jaya
nor Rasa have ever known real love or close family―not until their
chance meeting one sunny day on a mountain in Hau’ula.
The unlikely love that blooms between them must survive the
stranglehold their respective pasts have on them. Each of their present
identities has been shaped by years of extreme family struggles. By the
time they cross paths, Jaya is a transgender outsider with depressive
tendencies and the stunningly beautiful Rasa thinks sex is her only
power until a violent pimp takes over her life. Will their love
transcend and pull them forward, or will they remain stuck and separate
in the chaos of their pasts?
You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
This elegant novel captures the immigrant experience for one
Indian-American family with humor and heart. Told in alternating teen
voices across three generations, You Bring the Distant Near explores
sisterhood, first loves, friendship, and the inheritance of culture–for
better or worse.
From a grandmother worried that her children are losing their Indian
identity to a daughter wrapped up in a forbidden biracial love affair to
a granddaughter social-activist fighting to preserve Bengali tigers,
Perkins weaves together the threads of a family growing into an American
Here is a sweeping story of five women at once intimately relatable and yet entirely new.
Shadowhouse Fall by Daniel José Older
Arthur A. Levine Books
Sierra and her friends love their new lives as shadowshapers, making
art and creating change with the spirits of Brooklyn. Then Sierra
receives a strange card depicting a beast called the Hound of Light — an
image from the enigmatic, influential Deck of Worlds. The shadowshapers
know their next battle has arrived.
Thrust into an ancient struggle with enemies old and new, Sierra and
Shadowhouse are determined to win. Revolution is brewing in the real
world as well, as the shadowshapers lead the fight against systems that
oppress their community. To protect her family and friends in every
sphere, Sierra must take down the Hound and master the Deck of Worlds…
or risk losing them all.
Rebel Seoul by Axie Oh Tu Books
After a great war, the East
Pacific is in ruins. In brutal Neo Seoul, where status comes from
success in combat, ex-gang member Lee Jaewon is a talented pilot rising
in the ranks of the academy. Abandoned as a kid in the slums of Old
Seoul by his rebel father, Jaewon desires only to escape his past and
prove himself a loyal soldier of the Neo State.
When Jaewon is recruited into the most lucrative weapons development
division in Neo Seoul, he is eager to claim his best shot at military
glory. But the mission becomes more complicated when he meets Tera, a
test subject in the government’s supersoldier project. Tera was trained
for one purpose: to pilot one of the lethal God Machines, massive robots
for a never-ending war.
With secret orders to report on Tera, Jaewon becomes Tera’s partner,
earning her reluctant respect. But as respect turns to love, Jaewon
begins to question his loyalty to an oppressive regime that creates
weapons out of humans. As the project prepares to go public amidst
rumors of a rebellion, Jaewon must decide where he stands—as a soldier
of the Neo State, or a rebel of the people.
Pacific Rim meets Korean action dramas in this mind-blowing, New Visions Award-winning science fiction debut.
What I Like - Raised in Silesia ripped away of their mothers (Sety loses the opportunity because he ventures out), venture out into the world looking for family with drastically different results. I can get behind this.
What I Don’t Like - Eh, I guess just lack of interaction
What I Would Fix - Give them interaction
What I Like - Levin gets told by Siggy, his mom, his yet to be wife, his yet to be sister-in-law/former crush, and literally everyone in his country to get his shit together and…he does. He acquires Forseti, he ends the Civil War, and he gets the actual girl of his dreams? Like he actually thought hard and long and he’s going to move forward with determination in his choices, dam I’m proud…to bad he dies.
What I Don’t Like - I default ship this when Deet’var is not in the picture. Also the whole “I may like you or your sister more” might get into the weird territory for some. But I usually interpret it as Levin when he was younger having like a kid crush on Mahnya and growing up over time to truly love Fury. Again it can get weird and I understand why some it might be.
What I Would Fix - N/a? It’s pretty simple and basic.
It was 23:16 when Eames dialed Arthur’s number on some highway between Nevada and California, knowing already that Arthur wouldn’t be asleep at this hour which forced him to wait patiently for the man to pick up his phone as soon as possible. After three rings, a cracking noise resonated in the silence of the car, and the low voice of Arthur emerged from the device.
“Eames? What’s wrong?” Asked Arthur, who knew full well that it was one of Eames’ private numbers he only used in emergencies. “Eames?” He called again some seconds later, and Eames realized that a big lump in the back of his throat had formed. He tried to swallow his saliva and answered back at his turn.
“Darling!” He replied with a hoarse voice. “What’s up? What’re you doing at this hour?
Shadowshaper: outstanding supernatural YA contemporary fantasy
Daniel José Older’s debut novel Shadowshaper
is a thrilling supernatural YA novel with a diverse, likable cast of
characters whose peril can only be averted through acceptance, true
friendship and an embrace of their identity.
Ever since his stroke, Sierra’s grandfather has been incoherent, until
one day he seizes her wrist and embroils her in the mysterious peril
that has come to her close-knit Puerto Rican Brooklyn community. He
talks about Shadowshapers, though no one will tell Sierra what that
means, but it seems to have something to do with the great graffiti
murals that Sierra and others paint, covering over the failed
gentrification products that have been arrogantly dumped in her
What are shadowshapers? How are they related to Sierra’s heritage, and
to the heritage of Robbie, a cute Haitian boy covered in tattoos
depicting his varied ancestors? And, more importantly, who is hunting
them, and did she really see her grandfather’s dead friend, risen from
the grave and stalking her?
Older’s book is a first-rate example of how representation, diversity
and themes of social justice and identity can be skilfully woven into a
narrative – not so that they disappear, but so that the story pivots on
them in a way that is authentic, exciting, and ultimately satisfying.
There’s so much to love here: Older skilfully threads his storyline
around issues of class and gender, makes trenchant commentary on the
anthropologist’s claim to objective distance and claims of superior
understanding of other cultures, and the indisputable and easy-to-miss
fact that every person is the hero of her own story, even people whom
society treats as unimportant or even as a liability.
But Shadowshaper is a novel, not a polemic. All of these elements emerge
naturally from a contemporary supernatural horror story that is
beautifully plotted, filled with likable and imperfect characters you
can really root for. Sierra is on something very like a classic Hero’s
Journey, but bent around her unique identity and circumstances in a way
that elevates the timeworn formula into something new and compelling.
Looking for some YA books that just happen to have characters of color, LGBT characters, and/or disabled characters? Here’s a diverse dozen titles with something for every reader — contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, and mystery too. (Descriptions are from WorldCat.)
Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac (Tu Books) — In a world that has barely survived an apocalypse that leaves it with pre-twentieth century technology, Lozen is a monster hunter for four tyrants who are holding her family hostage.
Pointe by Brandy Colbert (Putnam) — Four years after Theo’s best friend, Donovan, disappeared at age thirteen, he is found and brought home and Theo puts her health at risk as she decides whether to tell the truth about the abductor, knowing her revelation could end her life-long dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer.
If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth (Arthur A. Levine Books) — Seventh-grader Lewis “Shoe” Blake from the Tuscarora Reservation has a new friend, George Haddonfield from the local Air Force base, but in 1975 upstate New York there is a lot of tension and hatred between Native Americans and Whites–and Lewis is not sure that he can rely on friendship.
Fake ID by Lamar Giles (Amistad) — “An African-American teen in the Witness Protection Program moves to a new town and finds himself trying to solve a murder mystery when his first friend is found dead.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (Simon & Schuster) — Lara Jean writes love letters to all the boys she has loved and then hides them in a hatbox until one day those letters are accidentally sent.
Pantomime by Laura Lam (Strange Chemistry) — Gene, the daughter of a noble family, runs away from the decadence of court to R.H. Ragona’s circus of magic, where she meets runaway Micah, whose blood could unlock the mysteries of the world of Ellada.
Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall (Tu Books) — In an adventure reminiscent of Homer’s Odyssey, fifteen-year-old Odilia and her four younger sisters embark on a journey to return a dead man to his family in Mexico, aided by La Llorona, but impeded by a witch, a warlock, chupacabras, and more.
Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina (Candlewick) — One morning before school, some girl tells Piddy Sanchez that Yaqui Delgado hates her and wants to kick her ass. Piddy doesn’t even know who Yaqui is, never mind what she’s done to piss her off. Word is that Yaqui thinks Piddy is stuck-up, shakes her stuff when she walks, and isn’t Latin enough with her white skin, good grades, and no accent. And Yaqui isn’t kidding around, so Piddy better watch her back. At first Piddy is more concerned with trying to find out more about the father she’s never met and how to balance honors courses with her weekend job at the neighborhood hair salon. But as the harassment escalates, avoiding Yaqui and her gang starts to take over Piddy’s life. Is there any way for Piddy to survive without closing herself off or running away?
Rogue by Lyn Miller-Lachmann (Nancy Paulsen Books) — An eighth-grade girl with Asperger’s syndrome tries to befriend her new neighbor, facing many challenges along the way.
More Than This by Patrick Ness (Candlewick) — A boy named Seth drowns, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying. So how is he here? And where is this place? It looks like the suburban English town where he lived as a child, before an unthinkable tragedy happened and his family moved to America. But the neighborhood around his old house is overgrown, covered in dust, and completely abandoned. What’s going on? And why is it that whenever he closes his eyes, he falls prey to vivid, agonizing memories that seem more real than the world around him? Seth begins a search for answers, hoping that he might not be alone, trapped in a crumbling, abandoned world.
Prophecy by Ellen Oh (HarperTeen) —A demon slayer, the only female warrior in the King’s army, must battle demon soldiers, an evil shaman, and the Demon Lord to find the lost ruby of the Dragon King’s prophecy and save her kingdom.
Far From You by Tess Sharpe (Hyperion) — After Sophie Winters survives a brutal attack in which her best friend, Mina, is murdered, she sets out to find the killer. At the same time she must prove she is free of her past Oxy addiction and in no way to blame for Mina’s death.
Do you have recs for books with WoC and sci-fi? Or werewolves?
This is an awesome request, especially the werewolf part! The problem is, we only cover YA books, and the only YA book we know of with werewolves and women of color is … a spoiler. So, we’re including it in the following list of YA scifi about women of color. Here you go, in alphabetical order by author name:
Naughts and Crosses (series) by Malorie Blackman (Simon and Schuster)
Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac (Tu Books)
Diverse Energies (anthology of short stories, including many with women of color) edited by Tobias S. Buckell and Joe Monti (Tu Books)
The Deep by Zetta Elliott (indie)
The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson (Margaret K. McElderry Books)
The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson (Arthur A. Levine Books)
Liar by Justine Larbalestier (Bloomsbury)
The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna (Balzer + Bray)
Tankborn (trilogy) by Karen Sandler (Tu Books)
Orleans by Sherri L. Smith (Putnam)
Partials (series) by Dan Wells
That should give you somewhere to start. Note: Those are all books published for young adults, but if you’re OK with reading books published for adults too, you should of course check out all of Octavia Butler’s books. Some of them are about young women, but they are definitely adult science fiction novels.
so apparently when I was like 2 years old my mom took this writing class from Arthur Levine (the American editor of the harry potter books) and they got pretty close and one time she drove him to the airport and I was in the car too so yeah I’ve met jkr’s american editor