Archive by Author | Meredith

Spotlight Post: Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong

Hey everyone! Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong (November 16, 2021 – Margaret K. McElderry Books) comes out in ONE MONTH!! Have you checked it out/pre-ordered yet??

Shanghai is under siege in this captivating and searingly romantic sequel to These Violent Delights, which New York Times bestselling author Natasha Ngan calls “deliciously dark.”

The year is 1927, and Shanghai teeters on the edge of revolution.

After sacrificing her relationship with Roma to protect him from the blood feud, Juliette has been a girl on a mission. One wrong move, and her cousin will step in to usurp her place as the Scarlet Gang’s heir. The only way to save the boy she loves from the wrath of the Scarlets is to have him want her dead for murdering his best friend in cold blood. If Juliette were actually guilty of the crime Roma believes she committed, his rejection might sting less.

Roma is still reeling from Marshall’s death, and his cousin Benedikt will barely speak to him. Roma knows it’s his fault for letting the ruthless Juliette back into his life, and he’s determined to set things right—even if that means killing the girl he hates and loves with equal measure.

Then a new monstrous danger emerges in the city, and though secrets keep them apart, Juliette must secure Roma’s cooperation if they are to end this threat once and for all. Shanghai is already at a boiling point: The Nationalists are marching in, whispers of civil war brew louder every day, and gangster rule faces complete annihilation. Roma and Juliette must put aside their differences to combat monsters and politics, but they aren’t prepared for the biggest threat of all: protecting their hearts from each other.


Book Birthday Spotlight: The Witch Haven by Sasha Peyton Smith

Happy Book Birthday to The Witch Haven by Sasha Peyton Smith!!! This book is one of my most anticipated of 2021, and I can’t wait to read it!! Go buy a copy ASAP!

The Last Magician meets The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy in this thrilling and atmospheric historical fantasy following a young woman who discovers she has magical powers and is thrust into a battle between witches and wizards.

In 1911 New York City, seventeen-year-old Frances Hallowell spends her days as a seamstress, mourning the mysterious death of her brother months prior. Everything changes when she’s attacked and a man ends up dead at her feet—her scissors in his neck, and she can’t explain how they got there.

Before she can be condemned as a murderess, two cape-wearing nurses arrive to inform her she is deathly ill and ordered to report to Haxahaven Sanitarium. But Frances finds Haxahaven isn’t a sanitarium at all: it’s a school for witches. Within Haxahaven’s glittering walls, Frances finds the sisterhood she craves, but the headmistress warns Frances that magic is dangerous. Frances has no interest in the small, safe magic of her school, and is instead enchanted by Finn, a boy with magic himself who appears in her dreams and tells her he can teach her all she’s been craving to learn, lessons that may bring her closer to discovering what truly happened to her brother.

Frances’s newfound power attracts the attention of the leader of an ancient order who yearns for magical control of Manhattan. And who will stop at nothing to have Frances by his side. Frances must ultimately choose what matters more, justice for her murdered brother and her growing feelings for Finn, or the safety of her city and fellow witches. What price would she pay for power, and what if the truth is more terrible than she ever imagined?


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Spotlight Post: For All Time by Shanna Miles

Hey everyone! For All Time by Shanna Miles (September 28, 2021 – Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers) comes out in ONE MONTH!! Have you checked it out/pre-ordered yet??

“A romance for the ages. Fresh voices and original predicaments make this one perfect little novel.”
—Stacey Lee, award-winning author of The Downstairs Girl

The Sun Is Also a Star meets Outlander in this vivid, utterly romantic debut novel about two teens who relive their tragic love story over and over until they uncover what they must do to change their fate.

Tamar is a musician, a warrior, a survivor. Fayard? He’s a pioneer, a hustler, a hopeless romantic.

Together, Tamar and Fayard have lived a thousand lives, seen the world build itself up from nothing only to tear itself down again in civil war. They’ve even watched humanity take to the stars. But in each life one thing remains the same: their love and their fight to be together. One love story after another. Their only concern is they never get to see how their story ends. Until now.

When they finally discover what it will take to break the cycle, will they be able to make the sacrifice?


Review: One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: One Last Stop by Casey McQuistonOne Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on June 1, 2021
Pages: 422
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

From the New York Times bestselling author of Red, White & Royal Blue comes a new romantic comedy that will stop readers in their tracks...

For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. She can’t imagine how waiting tables at a 24-hour pancake diner and moving in with too many weird roommates could possibly change that. And there’s certainly no chance of her subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures.

But then, there’s this gorgeous girl on the train.

Jane. Dazzling, charming, mysterious, impossible Jane. Jane with her rough edges and swoopy hair and soft smile, showing up in a leather jacket to save August’s day when she needed it most. August’s subway crush becomes the best part of her day, but pretty soon, she discovers there’s one big problem: Jane doesn’t just look like an old school punk rocker. She’s literally displaced in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things, after all.

Casey McQuiston’s One Last Stop is a magical, sexy, big-hearted romance where the impossible becomes possible as August does everything in her power to save the girl lost in time.

This book was… Everything I wanted and everything I needed. It filled me with love and joy. This book was… Home. I honestly don’t think I can put into words how much I loved this book. It’s just gonna be a bunch of rambling. But I’ll do my best.

I loved August so much. She was a fun, flawed protagonist who really came into her own throughout the novel. She was also super relatable for SO many reasons. I also loved Jane. Being able to go on this journey with her – watching her remember who she was, figuring out who she is, and deciding who she wants to be – was such a fun experience. And, obviously, I loved August and Jane’s relationship from start to finish. It was just.. Perfect. Really, I just loved every single character in this book. The found family trope was STRONG and I don’t really have a single bad thing to say about any of them.

Like, don’t get me wrong. I know this book wasn’t perfect. I know a few people have discussed some flaws – both with the characters and with the plot – they noticed. But I honestly have no interest in digging too deeply into the book’s flaws because, overall, I loved it so much. I really just fell into this world and these characters and just loved being in their heads.

So, yeah… I don’t know that this is much of a review? It’s mostly just me rambling about how amazing the book was? But… I really just loved it so much. Like, I loved everything about it. So. Yeah. Okay, if you managed to get to this point, thank you for sticking around despite my rambling, haha. Now go read a more coherent review! Or just buy the book and read it. You won’t regret it, I promise!


Author Interview: Sweet & Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley

Hey everyone! I’m BEYOND excited to have Adrienne Tooley, author of Sweet & Bitter Magic (March 9, 2021 – Margaret K. McElderry Books), here for a special Pride interview! June might be over, but Pride is All Year Long! So, without further adieu, here’s more about the book:

In this charming debut fantasy perfect for fans of Sorcery of Thorns and Girls of Paper and Fire, a witch cursed to never love meets a girl hiding her own dangerous magic, and the two strike a dangerous bargain to save their queendom.

Tamsin is the most powerful witch of her generation. But after committing the worst magical sin, she’s exiled by the ruling Coven and cursed with the inability to love. The only way she can get those feelings back—even for just a little while—is to steal love from others.

Wren is a source—a rare kind of person who is made of magic, despite being unable to use it herself. Sources are required to train with the Coven as soon as they discover their abilities, but Wren—the only caretaker to her ailing father—has spent her life hiding her secret.

When a magical plague ravages the queendom, Wren’s father falls victim. To save him, Wren proposes a bargain: if Tamsin will help her catch the dark witch responsible for creating the plague, then Wren will give Tamsin her love for her father.

Of course, love bargains are a tricky thing, and these two have a long, perilous journey ahead of them—that is, if they don’t kill each other first..




And now for the interview! Enjoy!

Describe your book in ten words or less. Go!
A sapphic love story filled with magic, grief, witches, & hope.

What inspired you to write Sweet & Bitter Magic?
At the heart of it, SWEET & BITTER MAGIC is a book about grief and a book about power. Both of these concepts are explored through the eyes of two very different girls. With a dual POV I got to see the world through the eyes of Wren, a girl who feels everything, and Tamsin, who feels nothing (though not by her own volition).

I wanted to look at the past through different lenses. After all, grief and ghosts look different to everyone. How people choose to face their past, how they continue onward even in the face of unbearable loss, is power in its own right.

But beyond that, I wanted to explore the idea of strength and power and how that affects the world and the individual. When being told that strength is good, and weakness is bad, how does that affect the ways a person can grow? How does that affect their relationships? How does that affect their own perceived value? And then, on the flip side, how does a person deal with the consequences of that power? SWEET & BITTER MAGIC offered me a way to attack those concepts head-on.

If Pride month existed in your book’s world, how would Tamsin and Wren celebrate?
Wren would absolutely drag a reluctant Tamsin to a parade or party, dressed in bright colors and glitter. Tamsin would celebrate by doing research into queer history so she could better understand those who paved the way for her.

What about you? Do you have any fun plans for Pride?
I absolutely loved getting to be a part of the inaugural Pride Book Fest (@pridebookfest) and talking with other authors writing queer YA!!

Craziest thing you’ve had to Google for a work in progress?
The first book I ever wrote was about a cult, and I fell down an absolute rabbit hole of research, and for a while cult documentaries were the only thing I watched. I still find myself wildly fascinated by the psychology of cults, and although that first book has since been shelved, I’d love to explore the topic further one day.

What are three must-have items when you sit down to write?
A hot beverage that I will inevitably forget about once I get into the flow and then refuse to drink once its gone cold (usually coffee), headphones so I can listen to my book playlists without having to explain why I’m listening to the same songs over and over again, and a notebook for tracking word count & writing sprints!

What book are you currently reading?
I’ve just started Joan He’s The Ones We’re Meant to Find and Tasha Suri’s The Jasmine Throne!!

Are you working on anything new?
Yes! My second book SOFI & THE BONE SONG is a standalone fantasy about a young musician whose plan for her future falls apart when another girl wins the title she’s been training her whole life for. It’s got magic, music, taverns, an endless winter, sapphic romance, and an exploration and dismantling of the idea that people should suffer for their art. Currently, it’s slated for a Spring 2022 release.


About the Author

Adrienne Tooley (she/her) grew up in Southern California, majored in musical theater in Pittsburgh, and now lives in Brooklyn with her wife, six guitars, and a banjo. In addition to writing novels, she is a singer/songwriter who has currently released three indie-folk EPs. Her debut novel, SWEET & BITTER MAGIC, is out now. Her second novel, SOFI AND THE BONE SONG, will release in 2022.

Adrienne is represented by Jim McCarthy of Dystel, Goderich, & Bourret.

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Blog Tour: The Okay Witch and the Hungry Shadow by Emma Steinkellner (Review)

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Blog Tour: The Okay Witch and the Hungry Shadow by Emma Steinkellner (Review)The Okay Witch and the Hungry Shadow by Emma Steinkellner
Series: The Okay Witch
Published by Aladdin on July 6, 2021
Pages: 256
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

In this hilarious and heartwarming sequel to the bestselling and critically acclaimed graphic novel, The Okay Witch, half-witch Moth Hush uses magic to boost her confidence with disastrous results—perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Molly Ostertag!

Moth Hush is starting to settle into her newfound witch heritage and powers, but life at school continues to be rough. Even her best friend, Charlie, doesn’t entirely understand what it’s like for her to always be the one who gets mocked, and things only get worse when Moth’s mom starts dating one of the dorkiest teachers in the school! Then Moth gets hold of a mysterious charm that can unleash another version of herself—one who is confident, cool, and extremely popular. What could possibly go wrong?


“Lighthearted and cheeky.” – The New York Times

“Steinkellner’s debut graphic novel is a tour de force of middle grade storytelling.” – School Library Journal, starred review

“The Okay Witch is the perfect read for kids who love Hocus Pocus.” – A.V. Club

Hey everyone! I’m incredibly excited to be a part of the blog tour for The Okay Witch and the Hungry Shadow (July 6, 2021 – Aladdin)! I ABSOLUTELY LOVED the first book in this series, The Okay Witch, so you can imagine how excited I was when the email for this blog tour hit my inbox!! And I absolutely loved the sequel just as much as the first book! So without further adieu, here’s my review!


I absolutely adored The Okay Witch, and the sequel was just as amazing. First of all, I loved the quick recap of book one. I have such a bad memory, so it was nice to have that.

I love these characters so much. Moth is fun, smart, and strong. She makes mistakes, but she always learns from them. I also love Mr. Laszlo, more than words can describe. Mr. Gorski-Garcia was a great addition. Sometimes, you just need a teacher you can talk to and trust, but who won’t make things worse with the kids tormenting you. Mr. Gorski-Garcia felt like that kind of teacher. I also love how his story ended, though I can’t go into details without spoilers. But it was perfect, and I really hope we get a sequel so we can see what happens next with him. I really loved the storyline with Professor Folks and Mr. Laszlo. It both made me so sad and so happy, all at once. I loved where their story ended in this book and – just like with Mr. Gorski-Garcia – I really hope we get another book so we can see what happens next with them!

The overall message and plot of this book was incredible and amazing and definitely something kids in middle school need to hear. Underneath all the magic and witch talk, this book is so relatable. It’s about being different when you just want to fit in, and struggling to not lose yourself in the chaos of middle school and peer pressure. It encourages you to be proud of who you are, to embrace what makes you you. This book also tackled racism and bullying.

Overall, I definitely loved this book and highly recommend it for anyone who loves graphic novels, witches, and awesome coming-of-age novels/movies.etc.


Emma Steinkellner is an illustrator, writer, and cartoonist living in Los Angeles, California. She is a graduate of Stanford University and the illustrator of the Eisner-nominated comic Quince. She is the author and illustrator of The Okay Witch graphic novel series.

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Giveaway Details:
3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE OKAY WITCH AND THE HUNGRY SHADOW, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Blog Tour Schedule – Week Two:

7/5/2021 – brittreadsalattebooks – Review
7/5/2021 – Lady Hawkeye – Excerpt
7/6/2021 – Fictitiouswonderland – Review
7/6/2021 – Pandora’s Books – Review
7/7/2021 – hauntedbybooks – Review
7/7/2021 – Curlygrannylovestoread – IG Spotlight
7/8/2021 – Confessions of a YA Reader – Review
7/8/2021 – Nerdophiles – Review
7/9/2021 – Eli to the nth – Review
7/9/2021 – Simply Daniel Radcliffe – Review

Full Schedule Here.


Spotlight Post: The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad

Hey everyone! The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad (August 3, 2021 – Margaret K. McElderry Books) comes out in ONE MONTH!! Have you checked it out/pre-ordered yet??

From William C. Morris Finalist Nafiza Azad comes a thrilling, feminist fantasy about a group of teenage girls endowed with special powers who must band together to save the life of the boy whose magic saved them all.

Meet the Wild Ones: girls who have been hurt, abandoned, and betrayed all their lives. It all began with Paheli, who was once betrayed by her mother and sold to a man in exchange for a favor. When Paheli escapes, she runs headlong into a boy with stars in his eyes. This boy, as battered as she is, tosses Paheli a box of stars before disappearing.

With the stars, Paheli gains access to the Between, a place of pure magic and mystery. Now, Paheli collects girls like herself and these Wild Ones use their magic to travel the world, helping the hopeless and saving others from the fates they suffered.

Then Paheli and the Wild Ones learn that the boy who gave them the stars, Taraana, is in danger. He’s on the run from powerful forces within the world of magic. But if Taraana is no longer safe and free, neither are the Wild Ones. And that…is a fate the Wild Ones refuse to accept. Ever again.


Spotlight Post: The Lucky List by Rachael Lippincott

Hey everyone! The Lucky List by Rachael Lippincott (June 1, 2021 – Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers) has been out in the world for THREE weeks!! Time sure flies!! Have you checked it out yet??

From the #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of Five Feet Apart comes a gripping new romance, perfect for fans of The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.

Emily and her mum were always lucky.

But Emily’s mum’s luck ran out three years ago when she succumbed to cancer, and nothing has felt right since.

Now, the summer before her senior year, things are worse than ever – Emily has wrecked things with her boyfriend, Matt, and her dad is selling the house she grew up in and giving her mum’s belongings away. The only person she has to talk to is Blake, a girl she barely knows since she and her dad moved back to town five seconds ago.

But that’s when Emily finds the list – her mum’s senior year summer bucket list – buried in the back of her closet. When Blake suggests that Emily take it on as a challenge, the two set off on a journey to tick each box and help Emily face her fears over losing her connection to her mum. As she starts to feel closer to her mother, so too does Emily’s bond with Blake deepen into something she wasn’t expecting.

And suddenly Emily must face another fear: accepting the secret part of herself she never got a chance to share with the person who knew her best.

A captivating, heartfelt love story about learning who you are, and who you love, when the person you’ve always shared yourself with is gone.


Author Interview: Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sambury

Hey everyone! I’m BEYOND excited to have Liselle Sambury, author of Blood Like Magic (June 15, 2021 – Margaret K. McElderry), here for an interview! This book has been on my radar for quite awhile. It features a diverse cast, LGBTQ+ representation, a magical plot and so much more. So, without further adieu, here’s more about the book:

A rich, dark urban fantasy debut following a teen witch who is given a horrifying task: sacrificing her first love to save her family’s magic. The problem is, she’s never been in love—she’ll have to find the perfect guy before she can kill him.

After years of waiting for her Calling—a trial every witch must pass in order to come into their powers—the one thing Voya Thomas didn’t expect was to fail. When Voya’s ancestor gives her an unprecedented second chance to complete her Calling, she agrees—and then is horrified when her task is to kill her first love. And this time, failure means every Thomas witch will be stripped of their magic.

Voya is determined to save her family’s magic no matter the cost. The problem is, Voya has never been in love, so for her to succeed, she’ll first have to find the perfect guy—and fast. Fortunately, a genetic matchmaking program has just hit the market. Her plan is to join the program, fall in love, and complete her task before the deadline. What she doesn’t count on is being paired with the infuriating Luc—how can she fall in love with a guy who seemingly wants nothing to do with her?

With mounting pressure from her family, Voya is caught between her morality and her duty to her bloodline. If she wants to save their heritage and Luc, she’ll have to find something her ancestor wants more than blood. And in witchcraft, blood is everything.



And now for the interview! Enjoy!

Describe your book in ten words or less. Go!
A family of Black witches in a near future Toronto.

Which character was the easiest to write/get inside the head of?
I actually find that Keisha, one of my main character Voya’s cousins, is the easiest for me to get into character with because I just have so much fun writing her. She’s truly unafraid to speak her mind or share her opinions which makes for interesting interactions, but at the same time, she has her own insecurities that she’s protecting. I love writing Keisha.

On the flip side, which character was the hardest to write/get inside the head of?
I struggled the most with Voya partly because I was determined to get her right but also partly because when I started, I didn’t have a perfect sense of who she was. It took many revisions for me to understand exactly the sort of character that she is. But once I nailed her in Blood Like Magic, it was very natural to get back into her head for the sequel.

Craziest thing you’ve had to Google for a work in progress?
I don’t think anything I googled was particularly wild or out-there. But it was really interesting to learn how much progress we had made on things like self-driving cars and gender affirming surgery beyond what I already knew, which were things I researched so I could decide how to advance them further in the future.

What are three must-have items when you sit down to write?
The first is something to drink, which I did tea for a long time but I’m trying to drink more water, so now it’s water. I need to have Scrivener which is what I use for my word processing. And I do need complete silence but that’s less of an object and more a state, though I don’t need much beyond those two things. I have a very boring writing routine in that I literally just sit down at my desk and do it so I have very few needs.

What book are you currently reading?
Right now, I’m reading The Witch King by H.E. Edgmon which follows a trans witch who ran away from the fae world, but he’s found by his royal fiancé and basically dragged back into the world he left behind. It’s a contemporary fantasy and it’s honestly unexpected just how funny it is. The characters have so much humor and personality, and yet it still digs into some important topics. Balancing those two things is definitely a skill!

Are you working on anything new?
I’ve been doing a lot of tinkering with an adult horror novel that I’m trying to get going, so that’s what I’m working on in between edits of the Blood Like Magic sequel. It’s a little intimidating to jump into an adult age category after doing young adult for so long, but I’m excited about where that path could potentially lead.


About the Author 
Liselle Sambury is a Trinidadian-Canadian author who grew up in Toronto, and her brand of writing can be described as “messy Black girls in fantasy situations.” In her free time, she shares helpful tips for upcoming writers and details of her publishing journey through a YouTube channel dedicated to helping demystify the sometimes complicated business of being an author. She is represented by Kristy Hunter at The Knight Agency.

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Review: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Review: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuistonRed, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on May 14, 2019
Pages: 421
Format: Paperback
Buy on Amazon

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations. The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince.

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

I don’t think anything I say in this review can truly do this book justice. Like. I don’t even know what to say except that this book was amazing and I’m mad I didn’t read it sooner and it’s 100% one of my favorite books of all time, ever.

The characters. The plot. The writing. There’s nothing about this book I didn’t love. My only gripe is that I want more of this world and these characters. Someone please tell me there’s going to eventually be a sequel because I NEED MORE.

This book was hyped up so much for so long. I think that’s why I waited to read it; I was super excited for it but worried that it might have been over-hyped. I was wrong. So wrong. I wish I’d read it sooner. I’ll def be re-reading it. And Casey is now on my auto-buy list forever and ever. I’m already reading One Last Stop and loving that, too.

I feel like I should say more, but I also feel like this book has been reviewed and discussed like crazy, and you’ve heard it all already. But just know this book is just as good – better – as everyone says it is, and it’s 200% worth the read. I promise you won’t be disappointed!