ya-romance

Everything begins TODAY!

entertainmentweekly calls Everything, Everything by nicolayoon “fresh, moving” and Bustle.com raves it’s “vibrant, thrilling…bound to be an instant hit.” 

#EverythingEverythingBook

Aelin took a step forward. One step, as if in a daze.
   She loosed a shuddering breath, and a small, whimpering noise came out of her - a sob.
   And then she was sprinting down the alley, flying as though the winds themselves pushed at her heels.
   She flung herself on the male, crashing into him hard enough that anyone else might have gone rocking back into the stone wall.
   But the male grabbed her to him, his massive arms wrapping around her tightly and lifting her up. Nesryn made to approach, but Aedion stopped her with a hand on her arm.
   Aelin was laughing as she cried, and the male was just holding her, his hooded head buried in her neck. As if he were breathing her in.
   "Who is that?“ Nesryn asked.
   Aedion smiled. "Rowan.
—  Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
10

10 Diverse Love Stories for Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day! Here are 10 stories about love, starring people of color and/or LGBT characters. Book descriptions are from Worldcat.

He Said, She Said by Kwame Alexander (HarperCollins)— When a popular football ‘playa’ and ladies man and the smartest girl in school lead a school protest, sparks fly as their social media-aided revolution grows.

Naughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman (Simon & Schuster) — In a world where the pale-skinned Naughts are discriminated against by the politically and socially powerful dark-skinned Crosses, teenagers Callum—a Naught—and Sephy—a Cross—test whether their love is strong enough to survive their society’s racism.

Between You & Me by Marisa Calin (Bloomsbury) — Phyre, sixteen, narrates her life as if it were a film, capturing her crush on Mia, a student teacher of theater and film studies, as well as her fast friendship with a classmate referred to only as “you.”

Romiette and Julio by Sharon M. Draper (Atheneum) — Romiette, an African-American girl, and Julio, a Hispanic boy, discover that they attend the same high school after falling in love on the Internet, but are harrassed by a gang whose members object to their interracial dating.

When the Stars Go Blue by Caridad Ferrer (Thomas Dunne Books) — Soledad Reyes decides to dance Carmen as part of a drum and bugle corps competition, not knowing if it will help or harm her chance of becoming a professional ballet dancer but eager to pursue new options, including a romance with the boy who invited her to audition.

Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier (Scholastic Press) — Seventeen-year-old Dimple, whose family is from India, discovers that she is not Indian enough for the Indians and not American enough for the Americans, as she sees her hypnotically beautiful, manipulative best friend taking possession of both her heritage and the boy she likes.

My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger (Dial) — Three teenagers in Boston narrate their experiences of a year of new friendships, first loves, and coming into their own.

Street Love by Walter Dean Myers (Amistad) — This story told in free verse is set against a background of street gangs and poverty in Harlem in which seventeen-year-old African American Damien takes a bold step to ensure that he and his new love will not be separated.

Mismatch by Lensey Namioka (Delacorte) — Their families clash when a Japanese-American teenaged boy starts dating a Chinese-American teenaged girl.

The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler (Simon Pulse) — Jude has learned a lot from her older sisters, but the most important thing is this: The Vargas brothers are notorious heartbreakers. But as Jude begins to fall for Emilio Vargas, she begins to wonder if her sisters were wrong.

The tale of forbidden love between a righteous princess and a rakish court jester …


There is a rule amongst his kind: A jester doesn’t lie.

In the kingdom of Whimtany, Poet is renowned. He’s young and pretty, a lover of men and women. He performs for the court, kisses like a scoundrel, and mocks with a silver tongue.

Yet allow him this: It’s only the most cunning, most manipulative soul who can play the fool. For Poet guards a secret. One the Crown would shackle him for. One that he’ll risk everything to protect.

Alas, it will take more than clever words to deceive Princess Briar. Convinced that he’s juggling lies as well as verse, this righteous nuisance of a girl is determined to expose him.

But not all falsehoods are fiendish. Poet’s secret is delicate, binding the jester to the princess in an unlikely alliance—and kindling a breathless attraction, as alluring as it is forbidden.

*Mature YA. Intended for readers 17 and older*


Release date and pre-order goodness to come soon!!! In the meantime:

  • PLEASE check out my INDIEGOGO crowdfunding campaign to help support TRICK’s publication! There’s a VIDEO and special treats for contributors, like SIGNED PAPERBACKS AND BOOKMARKS. Or please reblog and spread the word. It would mean so much to me!
  • Add TRICK to your Goodreads shelf

Natalia Jaster

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Cover design and illustration by Nicole Jaffe

Cliches in YA Romance

gabrielarava said to fixyourwritinghabits: Hi! I’m in the process of outlining a young adult novel and am very adamant about avoiding cliches in the genre, especially romantic ones. What are some of the most common cliches in YA romances?

Truthfully, I’m a real sucker for a good romance my in YA novels. I’m also quite picky about what I read and ship. I feel like somewhere along the line, this answer turned into “all-the-things-I-hate-about-YA-romance,” but here we go!

The Love Not-Triangle. I don’t mind love triangles, as long as they actually are triangles, not something that looks vaguely like this from the start:

A “love triangle” that adds no suspense because we know by the end of chapter one that A is going to eventually end up with B, and B and C have no relationship other than their competition for A’s affections. It doesn’t matter how great C is, or how badly B treats A, A will end up with B. 

Write a love triangle that actually has the reader guessing who your protagonist will end up with. Write a love triangle with fleshed out characters that includes other complicated non-romantic relationships interfering. Write a love triangle that is memorable. 

Not-Plain Heroine. A heroine that is plain only to her eyes. Often with brown hair. Extremely pretty when she dresses up. Love Interest finds her beautiful all the time. 

The Eternally Smiling White Knight in Shining Armour and the Brooding Baddest Baddass also known as your typical male love interests. Please, give the White Knight some flaws and the Brooding Baddass some reasons for being brooding. Less cardboard cutouts, more rounded characters. 

Tragic Backstory. Everyone needs a backstory, but sometimes it goes too far. Sometimes, backgrounds with abuse and other very serious things are taken lightly and used for the sake of a flashy tragic backstory, to make a “broken” character that can be simply “fixed” by love. 

“I’m dangerous/I’m not good for you/Stay away from me.” Please no. If they really have that level of self awareness, and really are as good as the book later makes them out to be, then they should have made the effort to stay away. If someone said that to me, I’d give the creep a look and walk away. 

Unnecessary and easily solved conflict. If the problem can be solved through an easily do-able 2 minute conversation or a text, then it does not need to be dragged out into 5 chapters of angst. 

Romantic Stalking. I don’t know why this is a thing. Stalking is never romantic, it’s a creepy invasion of privacy. Overly “protective” and possessive guys are not romantic, they’re abusive. 

First Love at First Sight/Insta-Love. Well, we’ve all seen this one. People get crushes, people fall in lust, but two people do not fall in a deep, maddening, meaningful and heathy love within five minutes of meeting. 

The Jealous Third Party who exists for no reason other than to tear the main couple apart. Usually horrible, vapid and shallow. No character development other than to hate the protagonist more and more. 

Straight, cis and white. Not exactly a cliche, but you get the idea. You see a lot of YA out there with straight, cis and white people falling in love, and I’m getting a little tired of it. Of course, writing about other genders/sexualities/cultures takes a lot of work and research, but I highly encourage you to do so! 

The Magical Healing C***. Sex heals wounds. Falling in love cures you of depression. Your relationship means an end to any mental illness you’ve been struggling with. Please, stop right there. Just no. Stop. Don’t do it. 

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We might have mentioned before how much we love science fiction, and the fact that this year’s summer reading theme is Science. Actually: Science!! It needs an exclamation point. 

So, we’ve put together a really, really, incredibly huge booklist (working title? The Hive) for fans of science and fantasy fiction - and we added a little something extra, since, if you’re anything like us, when you love reading a genre, you love to watch films and shows, and play video games, in that same genre. 

And if you’re playing Reading Bingo this summer with us for Summer Reading - or if you’re planning to take part in our Summer Fling (With a Book)! matchmaking program - then these books will definitely see you through summer and beyond!