August First Impressions

August 2020 is here and it’s been one eternity since January 2020. While the world’s on fire, why not use that fire as a reading light for these fantastic books coming out this August. Before you ask, no, Midnight Sun is not on this list despite the last book being perfect to make this a six book list.

Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From – Jennifer De Leon

First-generation American LatinX Liliana Cruz does what it takes to fit in at her new nearly all-white school. But when family secrets spill out and racism at school ramps up, she must decide what she believes in and take a stand.

Liliana Cruz is a hitting a wall—or rather, walls.

There’s the wall her mom has put up ever since Liliana’s dad left—again. 

There’s the wall that delineates Liliana’s diverse inner-city Boston neighborhood from Westburg, the wealthy—and white—suburban high school she’s just been accepted into. 

And there’s the wall Liliana creates within herself, because to survive at Westburg, she can’t just lighten up, she has to whiten up.

So what if she changes her name? So what if she changes the way she talks? So what if she’s seeing her neighborhood in a different way? But then light is shed on some hard truths: It isn’t that her father doesn’t want to come home—he can’t…and her whole family is in jeopardy. And when racial tensions at school reach a fever pitch, the walls that divide feel insurmountable.

But a wall isn’t always a barrier. It can be a foundation for something better. And Liliana must choose: Use this foundation as a platform to speak her truth, or risk crumbling under its weight.

Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From by Jennifer De Leon
August 4th, 2020

Let’s be honest. This book sounds dope, looks dope, and I have no doubt will be dope. Sure, is the back copy a little long for my taste?  Yes. Does the back copy have me super excited for this book? Absolutely, yes. Is the fact that it’s published by Simon Schuster Audio have me shaking with excitement for this audio book? You betcha. Don’t be surprised if on the podcast you hear me begging at the end of every episode for Maggie and Jess to read this so we can talk about it. In fact, I should text them now just how excited I am for this book.

The Game – Linsey Miller

If you loved American Horror Story 1984, you’ll die for this paperback original thriller mashup of Agatha Christie’s The A.B.C. Murders and Riverdale in which a game turns deadly with a killer who picks his victims one by one, letter by letter.

Every year the senior class at Lincoln High plays assassin. Lia Prince has been planning her strategy for years and she’s psyched that not only does she finally get to play, she’s on a team with Devon Diaz. But this year, the game isn’t any fun–it’s real. Abby Ascher, Ben Barnard, and Cassidy Clarke have all turned up . . . dead. Can Lia stop the ABC killer before he reaches D?

The Game by Linsey Miller
August 4th, 2020

Did you hear that squeal I let out as I was writing this? It was loud enough to register on The Richter Scale. Yes, I understand that The Richter Scale is for earthquakes and not loud noises. However, that’s how loud the squeal was. It shook the earth. Now, why am I so excited? Well, Linsey Miller has another book coming out. As you know from our interview with Linsey Miller, for Belle Révolte, I am a huge fan of Linsey Miller. I have zero doubt that this book will be absolutely amazing. In fact, it’s already in my shopping cart on IndieBound. That’s how excited I am for it.

Heartbreak Boys – Simon James Green

Faking the best summer ever is a lot harder than it looks…

At the start of summer, Jack and Nate find themselves dumped as their respective exes, Dylan and Tariq, start up a new relationship together. Not only that, their exes start posting pics on social media, showing the whole world how fabulous their new life together is!

Jack and Nate are reeling. Not to be outdone, they decide to create their own ‘highlights reel’ and show their exes that they’re having an even better time.

But between the depressing motorway service station motels, damp campsites, and an ultimate showdown with the exes, something epic really is happening: Jack and Nate are learning to get over their heartache and open themselves up to new possibilities for love.

A hilarious story of heartbreaks and hijinks from award-winning author Simon James Green.

Heartbreak Boys by Simon James Green
August 6th, 2020

Sure, am I naturally attracted to this cover because there is someone that kind of looks like how I like to think I looked in high school on the cover? Maybe. Did the title make me think of how I imagined my love life in high school? Maybe. Am I grinning at this love story described on the back cover? Maybe. Are all of those maybes really poor attempts at me hiding my total excitement? Yeah, you got me. The story sounds cute as hell. The cover is perfect. Who couldn’t use some sweet love stories right now, right? 

Star Daughter – Shveta Thakrar

This gorgeously imagined YA debut blends shades of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust and a breathtaking landscape of Hindu mythology into a radiant contemporary fantasy.

The daughter of a star and a mortal, Sheetal is used to keeping secrets. Pretending to be “normal.” But when an accidental flare of her starfire puts her human father in the hospital, Sheetal needs a full star’s help to heal him. A star like her mother, who returned to the sky long ago.

Sheetal’s quest to save her father will take her to a celestial court of shining wonders and dark shadows, where she must take the stage as her family’s champion in a competition to decide the next ruling house of the heavens–and win, or risk never returning to Earth at all.

Brimming with celestial intrigue, this sparkling YA debut is perfect for fans of Roshani Chokshi and Laini Taylor.

Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar
August 11th, 2020

Admit it. You’re stealing this for your next Dungeons and Dragons character aren’t you? It’s okay. I won’t tell anyone. We just need to make sure that we don’t play together because I know I am! Holy Toledo! What a fun-exciting-awesome-delightful-gorgeous-amazing-interesting sounding book right? I put these books in order by release date. I won’t say what order they would go in one to five, but yeah I am thinking this book would be number one on a most excited for list. A debut novel that sounds this good has my mouth watering. Especially for one very important detail, which I hope doesn’t change. This doesn’t say Star Daughter (Star Daughter #1). No. It says, Star Daughter. A fantasy novel this interesting told in one book and not a series. Yes, please! Shveta Thakrar, based on the cover and back copy, seems to have written gold with this book and I am unable to measure my excitement for it.

Six Angry Girls – Adrienne Kisner

A story of mock trial, feminism, and the inherent power found in a pair of knitting needles.

Raina Petree is crushing her senior year, until her boyfriend dumps her, the drama club (basically) dumps her, the college of her dreams slips away, and her arch-nemesis triumphs.

Things aren’t much better for Millie Goodwin. Her father treats her like a servant, and the all-boy Mock Trial team votes her out, even after she spent the last three years helping to build its success.

But then, an advice columnist unexpectedly helps Raina find new purpose in a pair of knitting needles and a politically active local yarn store. This leads to an unlikely meeting in the girls’ bathroom, where Raina inspires Millie to start a rival team. The two join together and recruit four other angry girls to not only take on Mock Trial, but to smash the patriarchy in the process.

Six Angry Girls by Adrienne Kisner
August 18th, 2020

As you will know from my interview with Rob Rufus, for The Vinyl Underground, I thrive off anger, vengeance, and spite. Now, does that make me Anger from Disney’s Inside Out? No. Fire does not shoot out of my head. However, does that mean I love to read books about people who have had all they can take and they can’t take anymore? Yes, it absolutely does. Six Angry Girls sounds like the kind of book that needs to be taught in schools, in every kid’s hand, and on every kid’s bookshelf. That’s right. Two books per kid. Their travel copy and their bookshelf copy. They can write in one and get the other one signed, or something. This book sounds, looks, and more than likely will be one you read a review about in September.

And that’s my list. Which one are you most excited for? Let me know in the comments and tell me what August books you’re excited for and why it’s not Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer.

Success! You're on the list.


Writing Spaces and Retreats Booked All Night

Writing Spaces and Retreats

This week we had the quintessential Spring writing chat: what to do about our writing spaces and where to take them. Writing spaces have shrunk during the pandemic and many coffee houses still aren’t offering in person seating. How do we writers get away and respark our motivation when we don’t have the space to stretch our creative muscles? The answer: writing retreats. But are retreats worth it? That and more on this week’s episode.

Ask Maureen Johnson A Question

Maureen Johnson is the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of several YA novels, including 13 Little Blue Envelopes, Suite Scarlett, The Name of the Star, and Truly Devious. She has also done collaborative works, such as Let It Snow with John Green and Lauren Myracle (now on Netflix), and several works in the Shadowhunter universe with Cassandra Clare. Her work has appeared in publications such as The New York Times, Buzzfeed, and The Guardian, and she has also served as a scriptwriter for EA Games. She has an MFA in Writing from Columbia University and lives in New York City.

An Interview with Molly E Lee

You know what Court of Wings and Ruin needed? More smut. We discuss this and other amazing things in this interview with Molly E Lee.

Published by D.S. Davis

Hello, my name is D.S. Davis. I am a YA and Middle Grade writer currently seeking an agent. I am the MFA in Creative Writing program coordinator at Sierra Nevada University, where I graduated in January 2020 having studied specifically writing for children and young adults. I'm a Jersey boy who has moved to Truckee, California in pursuit of mountain living and to immerse myself in the writing program that changed my life. I can be found on Twitter and Instagram @thedsdavis

%d bloggers like this: