November First Impressions

Ah, November. The days are short, the nights are long, and the white hot chocolate is raising my blood sugar. My dashboards are covered in contemporary titles just ripe for reading at a Starbucks with your feet up on the table. Time to see if anything coming up this month is making it to my TBR.

All-American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney

Pub Date 12 Nov 2019

Nadine Jolie Courtney’s All-American Muslim Girl is a relevant, relatable story of being caught between two worlds, and the struggles and hard-won joys of finding your place.

Allie Abraham has it all going for her—she’s a straight-A student, with good friends and a close-knit family, and she’s dating popular, sweet Wells Henderson. One problem: Wells’s father is Jack Henderson, America’s most famous conservative shock jock, and Allie hasn’t told Wells that her family is Muslim. It’s not like Allie’s religion is a secret. It’s just that her parents don’t practice, and raised her to keep it to herself.

But as Allie witnesses Islamophobia in her small town and across the nation, she decides to embrace her faith—study, practice it, and even face misunderstanding for it. Who is Allie, if she sheds the façade of the “perfect” all-American girl?

My Thoughts:

My first thought was whether or not Nadine should be telling this story. But the author herself is of Circassian heritage so this is right up her alley. I would probably pick this up just to see how it all plays out but I am hesitant since the character has to hide her identity.

Songs from the Deep by Kelly Powell

Pub Date 05 Nov 2019

A girl searches for a killer on an island where deadly sirens lurk just beneath the waves in this gripping, atmospheric debut novel.

The sea holds many secrets.

Moira Alexander has always been fascinated by the deadly sirens who lurk along the shores of her island town. Even though their haunting songs can lure anyone to a swift and watery grave, she gets as close to them as she can, playing her violin on the edge of the enchanted sea. When a young boy is found dead on the beach, the islanders assume that he’s one of the sirens’ victims. Moira isn’t so sure.

Certain that someone has framed the boy’s death as a siren attack, Moira convinces her childhood friend, the lighthouse keeper Jude Osric, to help her find the real killer, rekindling their friendship in the process. With townspeople itching to hunt the sirens down, and their own secrets threatening to unravel their fragile new alliance, Moira and Jude must race against time to stop the killer before it’s too late—for humans and sirens alike.

My Thoughts:

Could be good. Not “have to have it on my shelf right this second” good, but I probably wouldn’t say no to a copy. The cover feels pretty basic and the description makes me feel like Moira is about to learn she’s part siren. BUT, I do love a good murder mystery and I’m a bit addicted to fantasy settings. So I’ll leave this one on my radar and see what other people think.

Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw

Pub Date 05 Nov 2019

Deluxe edition with special embellishments on first printing only.

From New York Times bestselling author of The Wicked Deep comes a haunting romance perfect for fans of Practical Magic, where dark fairy tales and enchanted folklore collide after a boy, believed to be missing, emerges from the magical woods—and falls in love with the witch determined to unravel his secrets.

Be careful of the dark, dark wood…

Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.

Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.

But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.

For as long as there have been fairy tales, we have been warned to fear what lies within the dark, dark woods and in Winterwood, New York Times bestselling author Shea Ernshaw, shows us why.

My Thoughts:

…Everyone has secrets anymore. Honestly, I’d rather have this presented in a different way. I mean, that sentence about his secret and the other missing kids feels like it goes on forever. Maybe something that hints that Nora takes some action when she learns about the other missing kids.

Sick Kids In Love by Hannah Moskowitz

Pub Date 05 Nov 2019

Isabel has one rule: no dating.
It’s easier—
It’s safer—
It’s better—
—for the other person.
She’s got issues. She’s got secrets. She’s got rheumatoid arthritis.
But then she meets another sick kid.
He’s got a chronic illness Isabel’s never heard of, something she can’t even pronounce. He understands what it means to be sick. He understands her more than her healthy friends. He understands her more than her own father who’s a doctor.
He’s gorgeous, fun, and foul-mouthed. And totally into her.
Isabel has one rule: no dating.
It’s complicated—
It’s dangerous—
It’s never felt better—
—to consider breaking that rule for him.

My Thoughts:

So sick kid romance is a genre now, I guess? I think the part that really throws me from wanting to read this is the “It’s never felt better–to consider breaking that rule for him.” There’s a certain tropey feel there, right on the back copy. I can practically hear it in that movie trailer narrator voice: Isabel has rheumatoid arthritis. An unnamed boy at the hospital has a disease no one can pronounce. Will they risk their own health just to have a surface level relationship? Find out, when SICK KIDS IN LOVE drops this month.

A Thousand Fires by Shannon Price

Pub Date 05 Nov 2019

Shannon Price’s A Thousand Fires is a breakout contemporary debut—think The Outsiders meets The Iliad—that’s perfect for fans of Courtney Summers and Veronica Roth.

10 Years. 3 Gangs. 1 Girl’s Epic Quest…

Valerie Simons knows the Wars are dangerous—her little brother was killed by the Boars two years ago. But nothing will sway Valerie from joining the elite and beautiful Herons with her boyfriend Matthew to avenge her brother. But when Jax, the volatile and beyond charismatic leader of the Stags, promises her revenge, Valerie is torn between old love and new loyalty.

My Thoughts:

So… it says “contemporary debut” but it reads like “dystopian-esque debut.” There’s the Wars (capital W), three gangs, and a woodland setting just dying to have some disease in it. And the comp titles (this is why I hate comp titles) are to The Outsider and The Iliad–NOT CONTEMPORARY TITLES AT ALL! What is going on in this description!?

Published by J. M. Tuckerman

A super nerdy YA-fangirl. Blogger at BookedAllNight.blog and JMTuckerman.com. Mom to two Lab/St.Bernards, one retriever mix service dog to be, and one nine pound orange tabby. Voracious reader. Collector of expensive paper (AS, BA, MA, MFA). Copyeditor. Proud Ravenclaw. Future NYT bestselling author.

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