Should Book Bloggers Only Write Book Reviews?

…our identities as book bloggers and book nerds aren’t tied to exclusively to how fast we can read. We also have different fashions, aesthetics, ways of organizing our shelves, crafting hobbies, and even a preferance for bookmarks. We have senses of humor and passions about genre and craft.

9 Books That Should Be On Your Radar For 2021

Welcome to 2021! Hopefully, this year is better than the year that must not be named. We might be just coming off our vacation here at Booked All Night but that doesn’t mean I haven’t spent the last month and a half drooling over soon to be published books. So to get us started, here are some books I’m totally excited for this year.

Yes No Maybe So

New York Times bestselling authors Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed have crafted a resonant, funny, and memorable story about the power of love and resistance.

YES
Jamie Goldberg is cool with volunteering for his local state senate candidate—as long as he’s behind the scenes. When it comes to speaking to strangers (or, let’s face it, speaking at all to almost anyone), Jamie’s a choke artist. There’s no way he’d ever knock on doors to ask people for their votes…until he meets Maya.

NO
Maya Rehman’s having the worst Ramadan ever. Her best friend is too busy to hang out, her summer trip is canceled, and now her parents are separating. Why her mother thinks the solution to her problems is political canvassing—with some awkward dude she hardly knows—is beyond her.

MAYBE SO
Going door to door isn’t exactly glamorous, but maybe it’s not the worst thing in the world. After all, the polls are getting closer—and so are Maya and Jamie. Mastering local activism is one thing. Navigating the cross-cultural romance of the century is another thing entirely.

Chirp

From acclaimed author Kate Messner comes the powerful story of a young girl with the courage to make her voice heard, set against the backdrop of a summertime mystery.

When Mia moves to Vermont the summer after seventh grade, she’s recovering from the broken arm she got falling off a balance beam. And packed away in the moving boxes under her clothes and gymnastics trophies is a secret she’d rather forget.

Mia’s change in scenery brings day camp, new friends, and time with her beloved grandmother. But Gram is convinced someone is trying to destroy her cricket farm. Is it sabotage or is Gram’s thinking impaired from the stroke she suffered months ago? Mia and her friends set out to investigate, but can they uncover the truth in time to save Gram’s farm? And will that discovery empower Mia to confront the secret she’s been hiding–and find the courage she never knew she had?

In a compelling story rich with friendship, science, and summer fun, a girl finds her voice while navigating the joys and challenges of growing up.

The Shadows Between Us

Alessandra is tired of being overlooked, but she has a plan to gain power:

1) Woo the Shadow King.
2) Marry him.
3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.

No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King’s power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves, and she’s going to do everything within her power to get it.

But Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. As attempts on his life are made, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen—all while struggling not to lose her heart. After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?

What Happens Next

Can a star be put back in the sky even after it’s fallen? In this heartfelt, entertaining, and accessible middle grade novel perfect for fans of The Truth About Jellyfish, one girl makes it her summer mission to find out.

Astronomy-obsessed Abby McCourt should be thrilled about the solar eclipse her small town of Moose Junction is about to witness, but she’s not. After her older sister Blair was sent away for an eating disorder, Abby has been in a funk. Desperate to dull the pain her sister’s absence has left, she teams up with a visiting astronomer, Dr. Leo Lacamoire, to help track down his long-lost telescope. Though this is supposed to take Abby’s mind off the distance between her and Blair, what she finds may bring her closer to her sister than she ever thought possible.

Attack Of The Stuff

In what is described as “an 8 year old’s fever dream,” New York Times bestselling author introduces us to Bill Waddler. Bill is a duck who dreams of being smothered by farting snakes. He also has a special gift. He is able to hear appliances complain. Imagine what toilets would complain about. Bill doesn’t need to imagine. While working as a cash-only hay seller (that doesn’t accept credit cards), Bill doesn’t know that he, and a very confused orange juice sales clerk, are about to save the world. If you could hear this book complain, it would be saying “where have you been all my life?”

When You Know What I Know

A sensitive, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful novel in verse about one girl’s journey in the aftermath of abuse.

One day after school, on the couch in the basement, Tori’s uncle did something bad. Afterward, Tori tells her mom. Even though telling was a brave thing to do, her mom still doesn’t believe her at first. Her grandma still takes his side. And Tori doesn’t want anyone else—even her best friend—to know what happened.

Now Tori finds herself battling mixed emotions—anger, shame, and sadness—as she deals with the trauma. But with the help of her mom, her little sister, her best friend, and others, can Tori find a way to have the last word

From debut author Sonja K. Solter comes a heartbreaking yet powerful novel that will strike a chord with readers of Jacqueline Woodson and Tony Abbott

The Vinyl Underground

Dig it.

During the tumultuous year of 1968, four teens are drawn together: Ronnie Bingham, who is grieving his brother’s death in Vietnam; Milo, Ronnie’s bookish best friend; “Ramrod,” a star athlete who is secretly avoiding the draft; and Hana, the new girl, a half-Japanese badass rock-n-roller whose presence doesn’t sit well with their segregated high school.

The four outcasts find sanctuary in “The Vinyl Underground,” a record club where they spin music, joke, debate, and escape the stifling norms of their small southern town. But Ronnie’s eighteenth birthday is looming. Together, they hatch a plan to keep Ronnie from being drafted. But when a horrific act of racial-charged violence rocks the gang to their core, they decide it’s time for an epic act of rebellion.

Jo & Laurie

Bestselling authors Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz bring us a romantic retelling of Little Women starring Jo March and her best friend, the boy next door, Theodore “Laurie” Laurence.

1869, Concord, Massachusetts: After the publication of her first novel, Jo March is shocked to discover her book of scribbles has become a bestseller, and her publisher and fans demand a sequel. While pressured into coming up with a story, she goes to New York with her dear friend Laurie for a week of inspiration—museums, operas, and even a once-in-a-lifetime reading by Charles Dickens himself!

But Laurie has romance on his mind, and despite her growing feelings, Jo’s desire to remain independent leads her to turn down his heartfelt marriage proposal and sends the poor boy off to college heartbroken. When Laurie returns to Concord with a sophisticated new girlfriend, will Jo finally communicate her true heart’s desire or lose the love of her life forever?

Selected

After a polarized nation was broken by the threat of civil war, States have now become countries. And in New Maine, things have gotten worse.

Giving my family a better life is everything. And my selection to attend an elite prep school suddenly offers my family a dramatically different life—food on the table, a roof over their heads, and a fighting chance at a future.

Everything is going great until some of my friends begin ghosting me, and then disappear. Soon it becomes clear this “chance of a lifetime” isn’t the Holy Grail I was promised. And the attention from one of Easton’s elite has me questioning why a boy with a golden future wants to risk it by being seen with me.

But when I find out why I’m really at this school, I may have to trust him if I want to live.

Jinxed

Lacey Chu has big dreams of becoming a companioneer for MONCHA, the largest tech firm in North America and the company behind the “baku” – a customisable smart pet that functions as a phone but makes the perfect companion too. When Lacey finds out she hasn’t been accepted into Profectus – the elite academy for cutting edge tech – it seems her dreams are over. Worst of all, rather than getting to choose one of the advanced bakus, she’s stuck with a rubbish insect one.

Then, one night, Lacey comes across the remains of an advanced baku. Once it might’ve been in the shape of a cat but it’s now mangled and broken, no sign of electronic life behind its eyes. Days of work later and the baku opens its eyes. Lacey calls him Jinx – and Jinx opens up a world for her that she never even knew existed, including entry to the hallowed halls of Profecus. Slowly but surely, Jinx becomes more than just a baku to Lacey – he becomes her perfect companion. But what is Jinx, really? His abilities far surpass anything written into his code or built into his motherboard. He seems to be more than just a robotic pet. He seems … real.

Every Other Weekend

Can life begin again…every other weekend?

Adam Moynihan’s life used to be awesome. Straight As, close friends and a home life so perfect that it could have been a TV show straight out of the 50s. Then his oldest brother died. Now his fun-loving mom cries constantly, he and his remaining brother can’t talk without fighting, and the father he always admired proved himself a coward by moving out when they needed him most.

Jolene Timber’s life is nothing like the movies she loves—not the happy ones anyway. As an aspiring director, she should know, because she’s been reimagining her life as a film ever since she was a kid. With her divorced parents at each other’s throats and using her as a pawn, no amount of mental reediting will give her the love she’s starving for.

Forced to spend every other weekend in the same apartment building, the boy who thinks forgiveness makes him weak and the girl who thinks love is for fools begin an unlikely friendship. The weekends he dreaded and she endured soon become the best part of their lives. But when one’s life begins to mend while the other’s spirals out of control, they realize that falling in love while surrounded by its demise means nothing is ever guaranteed.

Belle Revolte

Emilie des Marais is more at home holding scalpels than embroidery needles and is desperate to escape her noble roots to serve her country as a physician. But society dictates a noble lady cannot perform such gruesome work.

Annette Boucher, overlooked and overworked by her family, wants more from life than her humble beginnings and is desperate to be trained in magic. So when a strange noble girl offers Annette the chance of a lifetime, she accepts.

Emilie and Annette swap lives—Annette attends finishing school as a noble lady to be trained in the ways of divination, while Emilie enrolls to be a physician’s assistant, using her natural magical talent to save lives.

But when their nation instigates a frivolous war, Emilie and Annette must work together to help the rebellion end a war that is based on lies.

7 $10 Audiobooks for October

Did you know that Libro.fm supports your local indie bookstore AND has a YA book club? And each month those audiobooks are on sale for $10 or less! Join the club, it’s free.

What could be better than affordable audiobooks and supporting your local bookstore?

Glass Sword ★★★★★

If I could sum up my entire experience of Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard in a single gif, it would be this one: If you’ve spent any amount of time on this site, or listening to our Podcasts, you know how much of a fan Jess and I are of Victoria Aveyard. We fell in love withContinue reading “Glass Sword ★★★★★”

Stalking Jack the Ripper ★★★★☆

A thrilling mystery with a terribly wrapped up ending. But most of the book was amazing and a great approach to popular period of history. Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, sheContinue reading “Stalking Jack the Ripper ★★★★☆”

Stalking Jack the Ripper ★★★★☆

A thrilling mystery with a terribly wrapped up ending. But most of the book was amazing and a great approach to popular period of history. Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, sheContinue reading “Stalking Jack the Ripper ★★★★☆”

The Thousandth Floor ★☆☆☆☆

Maybe it’s because the performance was terrible–maybe it’s because the book itself couldn’t be salvaged by a good reading–maybe I want to give it the benefit of doubt because I love the cover. Who knows? But I did NOT enjoy nor did I finish Katherine McGee’s The Thousandth Floor. A thousand-story tower stretching into theContinue reading “The Thousandth Floor ★☆☆☆☆”

For This Life Only ★★★★★

I have a theory that Stacey Kade wants to watch me die from dehydration. A scene that’s absolutely plausible given how much I cried while reading For This Life Only. Three minutes. Jacob Palmer died for three life-changing minutes. And when he woke up, nothing was the same. Elijah, his twin brother, is dead, and his family isContinue reading “For This Life Only ★★★★★”

The Wolf in the Attic ★☆☆☆☆

The Wolf in the Attic by Paul Kearney is the long winded tale of Anna, a Greek refugee living in London with her father in the early 20th century. There was exactly one exciting, plot driven scene in the first quarter of the book and everything else is countless pages of details, descriptions and characterContinue reading “The Wolf in the Attic ★☆☆☆☆”

Lions in the Garden ★★☆☆☆

I was severely disappointed by the stereotypical romance and on and off strong female character in Luna’s Lions in the Garden.

Akarnae ★★☆☆☆

I always thought I loved portal fantasy stories; after all, I did spend ten years writing one, but Akarnae proved that I did not love portal fantasies as much as I thought I did.

The One and Only Ivan ★★★★★

I was so pleasantly surprised by The One and Only Ivan, I just had to give it all five stars. This is what a middle grade novel should be.

The Lie Tree – ★★★★☆

I’m always enamored by girls in stories that seem innocent and invisible but use that to their advantage to carve their own path — which is exactly what Faith Sunderly does in The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge. It’s impossible to put down this historical mystery, set just after the advent of Darwin’s On TheContinue reading “The Lie Tree – ★★★★☆”

Mean Margaret ★★☆☆☆

Question: What do a pair of newlywed woodchucks, a squirrel, a testy snake, a skunk, and a couple of bats have in common with a family of pudgy human beings named Hubble?Answer: Their lives are all turned topsy-turvey by a tyrannical toddler named Margaret. Question: Will Margaret ever realize that there’s more to life thanContinue reading “Mean Margaret ★★☆☆☆”

Asteroid Made of Dragons ★★★☆☆

If you gave me the option to read a book with dragons, versus one without, I will pick the dragons over everything else. I love dragons that much. So, of course, being promised an asteroid made of dragons, I was pretty excited. And Asteroid Made of Dragons by G. Derek Adams was pretty exciting–at first.

Shadowhunters Episode 12 ★☆☆☆☆

I think this is the last episode of Shadowhunters that I’m forcing myself through. Once again, we fly through story arcs and subplots. We are introduced to Magnus Bane’s old friend Ragnar Fell on the off-chance he might know how to awaken Clary’s mom from the weird potion induced coma that she is currently floating in. IContinue reading “Shadowhunters Episode 12 ★☆☆☆☆”

Beyond the Red ★★★★★

When it comes to the broad sibling genre of Sci-Fi and Fantasy, I’ve always been more in the favor of Fantasy. But Beyond The Red by Ava Jae showed me a whole new world within the Sci-Fi realm, and I have fallen in love. Alien queen Kora has a problem as vast as the endless crimsonContinue reading “Beyond the Red ★★★★★”

Shadowhunters Episode 10 ★★★☆☆

Here we are. Episode 10 of FreeForm’s Shadowhunters, a show I can’t believe got a renewal for season 2. Not only because of its general terribleness but also because of the copyright suit against Cassandra Clare. But let’s dive right in here because we’ve got three stories to follow: Clary goes to an alternate dimensionContinue reading “Shadowhunters Episode 10 ★★★☆☆”

Glass Sword ★★★★★

If I could sum up my entire experience of Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard in a single gif, it would be this one: If you’ve spent any amount of time on this site, or listening to our Podcasts, you know how much of a fan Jess and I are of Victoria Aveyard. We fell in love withContinue reading “Glass Sword ★★★★★”

Shadowhunters Ep 9 ★★☆☆☆

Let’s use all the words like we’ve been using them all along and this isn’t still a new experience. I feel nothing for Clary, she’s just one of the unfortunate stereotypes of today’s literature attempting to make a strong female character. Overly confident and incapable of thinking ahead she gets on my nerves something fierce.Continue reading “Shadowhunters Ep 9 ★★☆☆☆”

Shadowhunters Ep 8 ★★☆☆☆

This week on Shadowhunters, Clary Fray doesn’t check her phone messages. Evident with in the first few minutes of the episode. “Oh Simon, I’ve got so much to tell you, so sorry I don’t seem to have the ability to listen to voicemail.” I may have embellished the quote a little. Oh but she does eventuallyContinue reading “Shadowhunters Ep 8 ★★☆☆☆”

REVIEW: Shadowhunters Ep 5 ★★☆☆☆

This… was the worst episode of Shadowhunters that I’ve seen yet. Where do I begin here? I guess I’ll start with the setting. The Institute. The mysterious institute of–what exactly? Because that hasn’t really been explained or revealed in the TV show. Oh, we’ve seen some random “girl” training with Hodge (but seriously the actress lookedContinue reading “REVIEW: Shadowhunters Ep 5 ★★☆☆☆”

REVIEW: Shadowhunters Eps 2-4 ★★★☆☆

Let’s just save ourselves the time and do a bulk review to catch ourselves up, shall we? Yes, I gave Shadowhunters three stars. But it’s for episode two through four, so I’m really judging close to three hours of content.

Shadowhunters Ep 1 ★★★☆☆

Okay, so FreeForm’s Shadowhunters started a few weeks ago, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. It feels like a well-budgeted b-film and–not surprisingly–I kind of like that charm about it. But that’s not why you’re reading this review. So I didn’t read the books, that’s an important lead out here. I have onlyContinue reading “Shadowhunters Ep 1 ★★★☆☆”